San Diego In Winter: Cactus/Succulent Show

Glorious winter's day Saturday.  All of San Diego who were not at the beach seemed to be in Balboa Park enjoying mild warmth and bright sun under a blue, blue sky.  
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There were people selling pottery and flowers, athletic dancers doing flips and spins, a man playing a digital accordion with great skill.
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Thousands of people enjoying a peaceful day.
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Off in a small corner of the park, happy plant nuts were enjoying the San Diego CSS winter show.  
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Beautiful plants in beautiful pots
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Beautiful plants in old plastic pots.  It's the plant, not the pot, that counts.  First place:
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This could have been bare root--who cares about a pot when an Agave looks like this?
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Not a huge show, but many unusual plants.  This is Whiteslonea crassa, and it's in bloom. 
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Whatever this is, it belongs in "Star Wars":
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This Leuchtenbergia principis was a winner.  The owner had added a handwritten "for sale" sign to it.  I haven't seen that at a plant show before. 
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There's just something about a Pachypodium with ruffled leaves...
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Or a Boophone.  
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This being San Diego, a fish-under-the-sea theme seemed appropriate for a dish garden display.
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Some of the roundish things are rocks, and some of them are plant.
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Ah!  The Aloes!
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Aloe erinacaea
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This was a fascinating Aloe, marked as Aloe hybrid x divirculata 'Scallops'.  The rounded marginal teeth were striking.
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 The Haworthia table
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A Dudleya
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Fun stuff
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The plant sale was crazy busy.  I got a Leuchtenbergia principis at a great price (not the show one for sale) and a Alluadia dumosa.  Back at home I looked up both.  The Leuchtenbergia is a cactus that lives nestled among long dry grass in dry grasslands.  It has evolved such that its spines look like dried blades of grass--this adaptation has so well disguised it, that at this point it is not yet an endangered species. 
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Alluadia dumosa--the best comment I read on the internet went something like this:  "Well, it's ugly, but it's not hard to grow."  Here's a trophy table Alluadia dumosa from the Intercity show a couple of years ago.  
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Ugly?  Really?  Nahhh...

Mine isn't quite at the trophy-table level yet.  
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A warm winter's day spent with my Sweetie, looking at plants.  What could be better?  



  1. Interesting how similar our San Antonio cactus show looks except for the backdrop of that gorgeous park. Big difference since ours is held in a dull meeting room with fluorescent lighting. Either way it's wonderful to see these plants displayed at their best.

    I recently purchased Leuchtenbergia principis and have made quite a project of searching for the right pot.

    1. Here it was the plant sale that was held in the dull meeting room with fluorescent lighting. Somehow there is always one of those meeting rooms.

      I'm going to put my Leuch in the ground, since I'm so terrible with pots. It's such a cool plant, isn't it? Good luck with your search.

  2. Looks like it was a fun day! I've only been to one cactus and succulent show, but it was a nice introduction to plants that I would not have seen before. I like your Alluadia dumosa -- show it to us again in a couple of years. :)

    1. It is fun to repeat visit and see certain plants again and again, looking better and better. Some people really have the magic touch. And you are right about seeing new plants--the Whiteslonea crassus I've never seen in bloom before--really cool.

      I will track the Alluaudia's progress, if my lack of magic touch is not too embarrassing!

  3. The atmosphere of the place must have been great, and a plant show to top it all off!

    1. It really was a happy atmosphere. That was as fun as the plants.

  4. I love that aloe erinacaea. Cactus and succulent shows fascinate me - I never imagined the range of plants in that classification until I attended a show. South Coast Botanic Garden is having its show on April 11-12 and I can't wait.

    1. C&S shows are a lot of fun. I didn't know SCBG had one--is it a good show?

  5. I was hoping you'd attend and give us a report, and I'm so glad you did. The Leuchtenbergia is fascinating! San Diego looks so beautiful -- I really need to drive down for the June show.

    1. It was a gorgeous, gorgeous day, unlike the year before when it was overcast and windy--as foul as the weather gets in San Diego (not very).

  6. What fun, I'm not buying that part about the container not mattering though. Automatic points deduction in my book. The ones in decorative containers, well matched to the plant, just look so much nicer!

    1. Well I meant as far as the show judging was concerned--they give points for staging, but if the plant is super good, it will still win even in a green plastic pot, because it has more points for rarity, growing difficulty, etc.


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