Is it really already that time of year for the San Diego Cactus and Succulent Society Winter Show and Sale? What is even more hard for me to believe is that the last time I did a post on the winter show was back in 2014. Three years ago! I guess it is true that time flies when you’re having fun. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go back sooner, it was simply the fact that kid sporting events had priority. Last weekend was one of those rare open weekends.
Once at a succulent show and sale, my usual order of business is to first hit the sale in hopes of finding something on my wishlist before others do. Once done shopping, I then move to the show – where I can take my time and enjoy the beauty. Plus it is usually a little less crowded, making for better opportunities for photography. With that being said, let’s grab a box and check out the sale.
As per the norm, you can never get to any plant sale early enough to beat the over-the-top collectors in line. These plant sales are like Star Wars premiers for movie buffs. I swear some would pitch tents if allowed. I was 15 minutes early and still ended up about 100-150 people back in line. Once in, the joint was already hopping.
There was already a line at the checkout counter as well. Some people don’t waste any time. They get in, and they get out.
I always get a kick out of the change in prevailing winds with plant collectors. A few years back, these Echeveria cante would have been gone in minutes. Nowadays they are old hat, apparently.
You can’t have a succulent sale without pottery. There were four different pottery makers selling their ceramics at the sale.
Pottery by Keith Kitoi was present. Keith is one of my favorite artists. Here he is showing off some of his recent work with pride. I ended up leaving with three of his pots, which I will show at the end of this blog post.
This dog has certainly done this before. The foldable wagon also gives away that this is a seasoned succulent shopper.
While the sale was popular and had many venders, the 2017 San Diego Cactus and Succulent Society Winter Show was much smaller than in the past. The show and sale is always held at Balboa Park. In winter, the sales area is inside the Casa del Prado, Room 101, and the show is under a tent just outside. In the summer, the two switch. You can see from the photo below there were not many show tables. Not to mention it had been raining all morning.
Depending on the succulent class, it could have been sparsely represented or well represented.
While the San Diego Cactus and Succulent Society Winter Show is never as large as the summer show, you can be guaranteed there will still be some amazing plants on display.
First up, the Aeonium and Echeveria table.
Aeonium decorum ‘Sunburst Forma Cristata.’
Graptopetalum paraguayense ‘Forma Crista.’
Cotyledon undulata ‘Variegata.’
Lithops category only had four entries.
Lithops karasmontana var. lateritia.
A Lithops relative – Pleiospilos nelii ‘Royal Flush.’
Ariocarpus table. Some really nice plants were on display here.
Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus. I was a big fan of this plant.
Now for some random photos. I’ll try not to show plants I have posted before from the different shows I have attended.
Agave victoriae-reginae ‘Albomarginata.’
Agave victoriae-reginae x Agave utahensis var. eborispina. Still not sure how I feel about this cross. I like crosses that improve upon each parent plant. Not sure this one does.
This Ceropegia was really unique.
This Boophone haemanthoides was one of a few plants that Keith Kitoi entered into the show. Of course they were displayed in his own custom-made pottery.
Albuca spiralis ‘Fizzle Sizzle.’
I had never heard of this plant prior to the show, but found it really unique and now on my wishlist. Larryleachia cactiformis.
Not the best photo of Copiapoa tenuissima f. mostruosa.
Two different unknown Euphorbia.
I’ll close out the plant photos with shots from my favorite category – the Aloe.
My favorite plant at the entire show was one entered by a friend of mine, Matt Maggio. This is an Aloe pearsonii grown to perfection.
Aloe pachydactylos. I had the pleasure of seeing these plants in habitat on top of Mount Ibity in Madagascar. Sadly, I have also had the displeasure of killing three of these Aloe pachydactylos in my own garden. Very challenging aloe to grow.
The only time I like this aloe is when it is in bloom – Aloe longistyla. The flower size never matches the size of the body. Almost looks fake.
Nice winter coloration on this Aloe parallelifolia hybrid.
Well-known succulent hybridizer and one of the judges for the San Diego Cactus and Succulent Society Winter Show, Kelly Griffin, talking to visitors about some of his new aloe hybrids.
Here are some examples of his new hybrids. They are currently not in cultivation nor for sale.
Aloe ‘Picnic Frost.’
Aloe ‘Sea Star.’
Once the judging started, they roped off an entire row, making it too crowded for me to photograph in the open areas. So it was time to call it a day and head home.
Of course I can’t end a succulent show and sale post without displaying the loot I brought home. From left to right: Neoregelia tigrina, unknown Aloe hybrid, a Matt Maggio hybrid Echeveria agavoides x lilacina, and four Crassula ‘Morgan’s Beauty.’ These Crassula ‘Morgan’s Beauty’ are going for $19+ on Facebook and eBay – I got the very same sized plants for $6 each. What a bargain.
And finally, here are those three Keith Kitoi pots I purchased. Not cheap, but pretty freaking cool, right?
That concludes this year’s San Diego Cactus and Succulent Society Winter Show and Sale blog entry. Still on the schedule for this year are the SDCSS Summer Show and Sale, the Intercity Show at the LA Arboretum, and a first for me, the CSSA Annual Show and Sale at The Huntington. So look for those blog posts later in the summer months.