Saturday, May 19, 2012

Carmichael Cactus & Succulent Society show

This morning I went to the Carmichael Cactus & Succulent Society Show & Sale in the Sacramento suburb of Carmichael. I was glad for this opportunity since I missed the Sacramento Cactus & Succulent Society Show & Sale in early May because of my trip to Germany. I feel lucky that the Sacramento metro area is large enough to support two very active cactus and succulent societies!

I knew that now is the time when many cacti are in bloom but I was still stunned when I walked into the door and saw this:

Planta Seca sale table
Planta Seca sale table
Planta Seca sale table

I stood there transfixed for a minute before the crowd of people pushed me along. The sheer number of cacti in bloom—and the many different colors—were almost more than my brain was able to process.

Bill Munkacsy, aka Planta Seca, had the largest sale table and since nobody can resist cactus flowers, it was also the most crowded. I must admit I was not immune and bought a few more rebutias.

The next table I stopped at was Garden Art by Debbie. Succulents are the perfect plants for a variety of containers—my post about wild and wacky succulent containers is one of the most viewed posts of my blog—but I’d never seen so many different shoes being repurposed like that.

Garden Art by Debbie sale table

I also liked the hollowed-out pumice planters that Merlyn Lenear makes (read this great article about him in today’s Sacramento Bee). Merlyn gave me a few local sources for pumice rocks, and I will try my hand at this very soon.

Hollowed-out pumice rock

Seeing this table (I forgot the name of the vendor, unfortunately) made me wish once again for a larger yard. How wonderful it would be to have a living fence of prickly pear and Eve’s Needle cactus!

Opuntia and austrocylindropuntia cuttings

The other half of the Carmichael Park Clubhouse was taken up by the plants that members had entered in the juried show. Seeing so many absolutely perfect specimens made my heart beat faster. I won’t inundate you with the dozen of photos I took, but here are a few highlights showcasing the variety of plants on display.

Show table
Agave ‘Kojima’ by Penny Newell
Agave ‘Shoji Rajin’
Sansevieria kirkii ssp. pulchra by Patrice Farncomb
LEFT: Dioscorea silvatica by Penny Newell
RIGHT: Fockea edulis by Patrice Farncomb
Euphorbia valida by Harleys
Lobivia arachnacantha by Wigglesworth
Neoporteria gerocephala by Wigglesworth
LEFT: Melocactus glaucescens by Penny Newell
RIGHT: Melocactus macrodiscus by Wigglesworth
Copiapoa krainziana by Penny Newell

The Carmichael Park Clubhouse was packed with people. Most of them were actively buying, which was great to see. Unfortunately, the sale was cash and check only. My cash on hand was limited, and I wish they had taken credit cards. In that case, I would have bought a few pots by Steve Pate, the potter I visited with the Sacramento Cactus & Succulent Society last fall.

The Carmichael Cactus & Succulent Society Show & Sale continues on Sunday, May 20, 2012, from 10am to 2:30pm at the Carmichael Park Clubhouse, 5750 Grant Ave., Carmichael, CA.


  1. I am going tomorrow! Today I had an eye appointment then headed to Lowe's. Should have gone here after! That table with the large prickly succulents is Norm's. He is a retired Dr. that lives in Rancho Cordova. I told you about him. Wonderful man. He gave me many of the cutting that are now huge plants. Hope you and everyone else left some plants for me! Haha!

    1. There were still plenty of plants left when I was there (10am). I still can't get over the masses of flowering cacti!

      I wish I'd had a chance to talk to Norm. He was busy and had to step out for something. His cuttings were impressive. I don't think I've ever seen opuntia pads that big! And they were very reasonably priced, starting at $4.

      I can't wait to hear your impressions of the show.

  2. Looks like a great event! I'll have to try and attend the St. Louis succulent society sale this year. It probably won't compare to this, but I'm curious now.

    1. Alan, I bet the St Louis Succulent Society will put on an awesome show. Many of these succulents are grown in greenhouses anyway so it doesn't matter where you live.

  3. Looks like a fab event and so many goodies! I saw the link to your post on FB via Candy, even better I'm able to see it now on desktop. The Sansevieria kirkii ssp. pulchra looks gorgeous!

  4. It looks absolutely amasing and nice to see that spring is going strong up there for all the beautiful flowers to reveal. Here in Cape Town, South Africa the days are almost as short as they get and most plants are now in winter rest, even though the temperatures never get so low, so some are slightly confused eg a few flowering mammillarias. Kind regards
    Claus in Cape Town or cacti and succulents on FB.

  5. I'm not a catus person myself although I have thought about planting some in shallow pots inside big my pots to keep the squirrels out, catus guards? HA! I did dig the picture of them flowering though :) waving hi from the hills of North Carolina :)