This past weekend I drove up to Los Angeles to visit the 31st Annual Inter-City Cactus and Succulent Show and Sale that took place at the Los Angeles Arboretum. LA traffic never makes things easy, so a 3-hour drive turned into 4 that Friday. The show was well worth the drive, however.
The Inter-City Cactus and Succulent Show and Sale is billed as “one of the premier horticultural shows of the year, and provides an important educational component for both the Cactus and Succulent Societies of Southern California and the Los Angeles Arboretum.” There are many Cactus and Succulent Society plant shows throughout California, but I have been told from many succulent lovers that this is the show to attend.
Before you can get into the doors of the show you first need to get by the Cactus Police.
Once inside, it is a plant lover’s dream come true. Tables upon tables of beautifully grown cactus and succulents. My only beef? The lighting was terrible.
View of the Best-in-show Table.
From the Best-in-show table I wanted to start off the individual plant pictures with my overall favorite from the entire show. It was truly an amazing specimen. But first let me explain how the plants are judged. Condition of plant counts for 60 percent. Size and degree of maturity is valued at 15 percent. Staging and presentation is worth 20 percent, and nomenclature closes out the 100-point total with 5 percent value. Believe it or not, I actually found a few plants incorrectly labeled or the species names spelled wrong. So I get the 5 percent for nomenclature. Staging as part of the scoring can lead to some debate. Some shows place a smaller value here while others won’t count staging at all. The purists believe it needs to be about the plant, not the expensive pot you place it in. While there were some amazing pots to accompany the beautiful plants at the show, you will see from the photos below that I focused on the plants.
My vote for best plant of the show went to this perfectly grown Tephrocactus geometricus.
Each time I visit a cactus and succulent show I find that my main interests change. I can usually tell when I get home and look at all the pictures I took to see where I was most focused. For this show I hung around the Mammillaria table a lot. Many of these Mammillaria shown below are not rare at all. Some can even be found at Home Depot. While rarity is the most important thing to many cactus and succulent collectors, to me it is the individual beauty of a perfectly grown specimen that will always take precedence. The Mammillaria table had unbelievable examples of this.
Mammillaria geminispina var. leucocentra.
Mammillaria geminispina var. geminispina.
One of my favorites of the show: Mammillaria lloydii.
Once a Mammillaria, this is now the only plant in its own genus. Mammilloydia candida.
Most likely my overall favorite genus of Cacti is Copiapoa. Plants like this Copiapoa hypogea are the reason why.
“Best Chilean Cactus” award winner went to this Copiapoa cinerea.
Copiapoa dealbata var. longispina.
Continuing with more plants from the Cactus tables.
Sulcorebutia rauschii f. violacidermis.
Echinocactus grusonii var. inermis.
Echinofossulucactus crispatus var. longispinus.
Astrophytum was well represented. These were my favorites. First up the overall winner in that category. Sadly, I forgot to write down the species.
Astrophytum myriostigma cv. fukuryu.
Nicely grown and staged Ariocarpus fissuratus ssp. lloydii.
I didn’t take many photos from the Aloe table this show. I would have added a few more but the pictures turned out poorly. This Aloe ‘Inflamed’ was the champion in its category.
Close Aloe cousin, Haworthia attenuata.
Anyone that follows my blog knows that I am a big fan of the smaller agaves. Especially the variegated ones. The 2016 Inter-City Cactus and Succulent Show had a few great ones.
Agave ‘Ikari Raijin Nishiki.’
Agave potatorum ‘Mediopicta.’
Agave titanota ‘Medial Variegata.’
Agave victoriae-reginae ‘White Rhino.’
Multi-head Agave albopilosa.
It would be really close, but if I had to pick my second favorite plant of the entire show behind the Tephrocactus geometricus, I think I would have to select this Agave ‘Tuxedo Mask’. Absolutely stunning.
Now for the oddballs.
Curari namaquensis. “Best Open Succulent” at the show.
Another nice Curari namaquensis.
This is an old Adenia glauca.
Pelargonium mirabilis is actualy in the Geranium family. This plant will leaf out when not dormant.
Another Dorstenia gigas.
Euphorbia buruana x grandicornis.
The next two are not true succulents but still worth showing. Both can become massive trees when planted in the ground. Pseudobombax ellipticum.
After spending close to 2 hours admiring and photographing the plants in the show, I made my way back outside to check in on the sale. It had gotten very busy. There was a lot of elbowing for space and I found myself being pushed out of the way a few times while trying to get some pictures.
I was glad I did my shopping Friday when the crowds were much smaller. I waited in line maybe 5 minutes the day prior. I asked someone how long they had been in line to check out and they guessed 45 minutes.
This lady has done this before.
I easily could have added another 100 or so photos to this blog post but I had to stop somewhere. It was very difficult to whittle down the pictures to begin with and I still ended up with too many for a post. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the 2016 Inter-City Cactus and Succulent Show and Sale and look forward to attending again next year.