Sunday, August 26, 2012

Visit to B&B Cactus Farm, Tucson, AZ (part 1)

B&B Cactus Farm on the east side of Tucson, AZ is the most impressive succulent nursery I’ve ever visited. I don’t know if it’s the largest of its kind in the Tucson area but I can’t imagine any nursery offering more variety for a succulent lover than B&B.

I took so many photos at B&B during our recent Southwest trip that I’ve decided to split this post into two parts. This part covers the outside sales areas and the greenhouses. Part 2 covers the demonstration garden and the fantastic pottery and garden décor they also sell.

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When I arrived at 2:30pm, the sky was already quite dark. It was only a matter of time until before it would rain—like it appears to do on a daily basis during the summer monsoon season. I decided to cover the outdoor areas first, starting with the stunning potted specimens outside of the greenhouses.

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I hope these photos will give you an idea of the huge variety of plants at the nursery.

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Golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) galore…

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…in all sizes and prices

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Octotillo (Fouquieria splendens)

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Spiky yucca (not sure about ID) between cacti

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Totem pole cactus (Lophocereus schotti var. monstrosus ‘Mieckleyanus’)

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Mexican fence post (Pachycereus marginatus)

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Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea)

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Assorted chollas and prickly pears

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Assorted barrel cactus

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Barrel and columnar cactus

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Cactus and agaves

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Agave marmorata

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Agave ‘Blue Glow’

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Mature specimen of Agave ‘Blue Glow’

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Agave ocahui

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Agave parryi var. neomexicana

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Agave parryi var. neomexicana

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Agave parryi var. neomexicana ‘Sunspot’

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Rear: Agave ovatifolia
Front: Agave parryi var. truncata

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Assorted agaves

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Agave ovatifolia

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Agave montana ‘Baccarat’

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Agave multifilifera

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Left: Agave multifilifera
Right: Assorted agaves

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Yucca rostrata

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Yucca decipiens

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Yucca decipiens

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Soil they use for potted plants

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The closeout rack—my favorite spot in any store!

As I was finishing up my rounds outside, lightning began to streak across the sky and the first heavy rain drops began to fall. In a matter of minutes all the customers that had been browsing outside were gone. Tucson residents seem to take their weather seriously!

I ducked into the greenhouses where I could easily have spent another couple of hours. However, the nursery closed at 4:30pm so I didn’t have that much time left.

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Unidentified yucca and agave

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Unidentified agave

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Left: Agave ‘Blue Glow’
Right: Agave parryi var. truncata

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The first greenhouse I walked into had euphorbias, aloes and other South African succulents

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Large Beaucarnea recurvata in a 24” box

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Left: Agave parryi var. truncata
Right: Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

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As you can see, their prices are very reasonable

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A great selection of smaller cactus

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Whatever cactus genus you liked best, I’m sure you would have found it

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Cactus neatly lined up on either side of the aisle

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Different Astrophytum species

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More Astrophytum

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More specimen-sized cacti

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More specimen-sized cacti

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Parodia magnifica

So many cacti, so little time to look at them all!

By the time I was done walking through the greenhouses, the rain had stopped (it hadn’t amounted to much after all). I paid for my purchases and then checked out the demonstration gardens and the garden décor set up outside. To see photos of those areas, please read part 2 of this post.

7 comments:

  1. Wow! Two comments: first, I must have one of those totem pole cactus! Second, it's weird to me that there's an Agave that looks so much like a Yucca, even down to the filaments. Amazing.

    What a place! Thanks for taking so many photos. :-)

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    1. Yeah, that totem pole cactus...I would have bought a small one but they didn't have any that would have fit in my plant tub. And there was no way the kids would have shared the back of the car with a cactus for 10 days :-).

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  2. Really like the look of this place. I am going to Tucson this weekend for the first time and I think I definitely have to stop by at this place. My favorite pic was the one with the pots and the low prices!!!!!

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    1. Steve, definitely go if you have the chance! B&B Cactus Farms is at 11550 East Speedway Boulevard. Their web site (such as it is) is http://www.bandbcactus.com.

      Price range widely, depending on the size of plant, but smaller plants especially are very attractively priced. In a way it's a good thing I live so far away, otherwise I'd go broke :-).

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  3. Gorgeous! Now I'm off to read part two...

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  4. Wow what a great selection! I would have been like a kid in a Candy store! No pun intended! hehe

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  5. Magnifica is a good description of that Parodia specimen.

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