"Inter-City" refers to the show being an assemblage of participants from multiple Southern California Cactus and Succulent Clubs. It creates a large show of intense competition with some of the finest rare plants to be seen anywhere.
We arrived early, before the crowds.
The Astrophytum and Ariocarpus table in the foreground:
The plant sale--there were interesting things to be had, even if it seemed a lot of stuff had already been sold by Sunday morning. No matter.
Agaves! They always seem underrepresented at C&S shows, but I'm biased. Let us consider a toddler-aged, in Agave years, A. albopilosa:
A middle-schooler of eccentric shape...I think this one was on the trophy table two or three years ago...
...and a college-age beauty, which won best-in-show Agave:
But how about this variegated A. titanota? Oooh!
Variegated A. parviflora
Or this first-place entry in the Variegated Succulent class, Agave 'Tuxedo Mask', which I'd never seen or heard of before.
Beating out 'Tuxedo Mask', the best-in-show variegate was a huge and stunning medio-variegated Agave bracteosa. For anyone who has this species and knows how slow growing it is, and how fragile the leaves are, the size and perfection of this specimen is eye-widening:
Wow, huh? Even getting that to the show without snapping off some of the leaves must have been a carefully planned ordeal.
Aloes are also a favorite of mine. Like Agaves, they are not heavily represented at most C&S shows, but there were some beauties, including this example of the real Aloe sinkatana. The one commonly seen and sold by that name has recently been correctly identified as Aloe zubb. Sinkatana is larger and normally solitary, not clustering. And ooh! Shiny!
Blue ribbon winner.
Aloe branddraaiensis is endemic to one small area of South Africa. It has a big multi-branched inflorescence somewhat like A. fosteri--most impressive.
One of the two trophy-table Aloes was A. pearsonii--rare, slow, difficult to grow.
A trophy winner was one of those small clustering lumpy-bumpy reddish-hued hybrid Aloes--didn't get the name. It's on the far left of the lower table. At the upper right is our old favorite Gasteria 'Shining Star', sighted at several previous shows. It's offsetting and not quite at the peak of perfection it achieved last year, but still a gem.
The show has a category for bonsai-style succulents...
Operculicarya decaryi as Bonsai from Madagascar:
...a category for "Artistic Arrangements"...this arrangement is perhaps not harmonius plant-wise, but sooper-dooper cool pot, no?
...speaking of sooper-dooper pots, how about the one this Boophone is living in?
...and two of my favorite categories: crested and monstrose plants. This trophy table (the best of the best) Opuntia(?) may have been best-in-show monstrose:
How did it beat out a perfectly grown crested Euphorbia obesa?
Eulychnia castanea verisperalis (crested):
Mammillaria boscana 'Fred':
Yes, that's a crested Pedilanthus macrocarpus: