Inter-City CSS Show 2016 Part 1

New LED lighting in the exhibition hall made this year's Inter-City show vastly easier to photograph.  

"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?
Wow, huh? 

Eulychnia castanea verisperalis (crested):
Mammillaria boscana 'Fred':
Yes, that's a crested Pedilanthus macrocarpus:

More to come--too many amazing plants for just one post. 


  1. Oops I hate that Opuntia with the fine brown spines, I had that one once and ccould not get all those spines outof my fingers, terrible. The Agave 'Tuxedo Mask'is a beauty but I also like the crested Euphorbia obesa. Can imagine you loved that show you can grow these cacti all in your garden, we have to put them inside in the sun on a windowsill or heated greenhouse.

    1. I agree with you on Cacti, they are dangerous. I have a few because of the beautiful flowers but they are not my favorites.

      The crested Euphorbia obesa was quite amazing. I had never seen one before.

      You have more skill as a plant grower when they must be on a window sill or in a heated green house. Here we can be lazy!

  2. I've only been to one succulent show, but the entries all amaze me. How do they grow such pristine plants? And how do they transport? Beauties though!

  3. Your post illustrates why this is the best C&S show in the country. So many great specimens.

    I wonder if that Agave 'Tuxedo Mask' is a variegated Agave ovatifolia...

    1. It was pretty awesome. I hope you attend it one day.

      No clue on 'Tuxedo Mask'.

  4. I'd never heard of 'Tuxedo Mask' either. Love the varieg titanota. And that varieg octopus agave might have been my fav of the show -- well, one of them anyway. The show/sale was jammed when I was there on Saturday. I thought it looked like one of the best turnouts I've seen at the show.

    1. I enjoy the show more each time, can ID some Cactus genus now, and appreciate them more. Not just a shopping opportunity. The Tephrocactus geometricus and Pachycormus discolor on the trophy table I recognize from several previous trophy tables. Now both are bigger and (and impressive) to see plants develop over the years.

  5. Oh how fabulous. I love them all. Looking forward to the next installment !

  6. This show is in a class by itself! I wish it wasn't held in August but I'll make an effort to get myself there next year!

    1. The early bird gets the coolest temperatures!

  7. OH those Agaves, seriously!!? The variegated Agave bracteosa is mind boggling for sure, and the others? Simply gorgeous.

    1. Eye candy everywhere...I dealt with it as best I could.

  8. The strange, the weird, the beautiful.


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