Recap of 2015 Sacramento Cactus & Succulent Society Show & Sale (part 1)

As you may know, I’m involved in the Sacramento Cactus & Succulent Society, an organization well worth supporting if you like succulents and live in the greater Sacramento area. At $15 a year, it’s a bargain, too! Aside from monthly meetings every fourth Monday and occasional field trips to regional destinations, the major highlight of the club’s annual calendar is the Show & Sale that takes place the first weekend in May. A lot of hard work goes into this event and then, before you know it, it’s all over—until next year. This was the 55th Show & Sale, and there’s no reason to think there won’t be a 56th on May 7 and 8, 2015.

Here are some photos I took of the vendor area in the courtyard of the Shepard Garden and Arts Center in midtown Sacramento. Tomorrow’s post will focus on the judged show/exhibition inside.


The calm before the storm: sale area early on Saturday morning, a couple of hours before the crowds arrived


And the crowds did arrive right on time at 9am on Saturday!


Turnout was great…


…and people were buying


It’s not hard to see why


Flowering cacti are irresistible


I, on the other hand, was drawn to non-flowering succulents, like this Sansevieria pinguicula


…this Dyckia ‘Brittle Star’ hybrid…


…this fantastic variegated Agave parryi


…and this Agave ‘Snow Glow’. Unfortunately, my want list always exceeds my budget. The plants I desired the most were also the most expensive. The Agave ‘Snow Glow’ was $65 and the variegated Agave parryi $125. Not outrageously priced considering demand and rarity, but too rich for me.


Echeveria agavoides ‘Ebony’, one of the current “it” plants in succulent circles. Relatively hard to find but not all that different from the species (the leaf tips and margins are a little darker, especially when grown in the sun). I had no problem resisting the $50 price tag on this puppy!


JD Wikert’s succulent grab bag is always popular—and at $10 an outstanding value


JD’s hypertufa pots were very reasonable as well—$8 for this one


Connie Equibel’s sassy ladies were beautiful and quirky as always


Donna Taylor had a large selection of her whimsical pottery


Her pottery is very popular in the B.E.S.T. Succulents and Containers group on Facebook


Mark Muradian is well known on the California C&S show circuit. His pottery is in high demand, and he’s an entertaining guy who knows how to ham it up for the camera!


Just a small selection of the dozens of pots Mark brought


This one and…


…this one were my favorite Mark Muradian pieces at the show but unfortunately not in my budget

In case you’re wondering what I ended up bringing home, nothing!

Just kidding. Of course I bought stuff. Two boxes full. I forgot to take pictures of the boxed plants, but here they are (I’ve already moved a few of them to larger pots):


Clockwise, starting lower left: Agave parryi ‘Variegatus’ (as labeled), Gasteria acinacifolia (best guess), Boophone disticha, Agave parryi ‘Variegatus’


Boophone disticha, a lovely but very slow-growing South African bulb


Labeled Agave parryi ‘Variegatus’, this looks like the same plant I’ve admired at the Ruth Bancroft Garden many times before. I’ve also found Internet references to an essentially identical cultivar called ‘Excelsior’. I’m happy I found these two at the sale; the larger one was $12.50, the smaller one $9.50.


Found at JD Wikert’s booth, this NOID agave was only $4 and I liked the cross-banding and bud imprints. I’ll be interesting to see what it might be.


Three tree aloe seedlings. JD Wikert collected the seeds in Southern California from what he thought was an Aloidendron ‘Hercules’. For $5 worth a gamble! These babies are already spoken for and will soon go on a long journey to their final destination.


Kalanchoe luciae ‘Fantastic’ for a friend


And finally three new Mark Muradian pots for myself


  1. What did you come away with? How did you do with the competition?
    Your sale is so much better than San Jose

    1. First place in every class and second place in the one class in which I had two entries (Agave). But there weren't all that many entries in the Novice category. I'll have a detailed post on the exhibition later this week.

  2. How fabulous! I especially love the photo with all the people milling about and picking out their treasures. Your variegated agaves are gorgeous and while it's not my style I do love the 3 containers you chose, they look super together! What will go in them?

    1. I made a concerted effort to take photos of people looking at, picking out or otherwise interacting with sale plants. They'll be useful when the time comes to do publicity for the 2016 show.

      I do like Mark Muradian's pottery. I have no idea what I'll put in these three pots yet. Maybe one of the variegated Agave parryI?

  3. Your show and sale looks so much more exciting than ours! I've never seen a Boophone for sale here.

    1. I was very excited to find that Boophone disticha. Great price, too--only $8.50.

  4. Wonderful pottery and plants--your show had some great stuff, some of which you brought home. I bet you a variegated parryi that noid Agave is a marmorata. What a fun weekend for Sacramento. The Huntington show here will be in June...

    1. Funny you should say Agave marmorata. That was my first thought, too. JD Wikert, the vendor, said it was an offset from a plant at his mother's place in the Palm Springs area. Greg Starr does say in his book that the blue-gray desert form of Agave marmorata can produce offsets in cultivation while the light to medium green mesic form is always solitary.

      I wish I go could to the Huntington show. Maybe if I do some creative scheduling at work... Are you going?

  5. Looks like a good show. Like the fact you have pot sellers there as well, we need to start that in the UK.

    1. Yes!!!! I think the pottery vendors are a valuable addition We had three this year. We would invite more vendors but the sale area is limited. If only the Shepard Garden and Art Center enlarged their courtyard...

  6. That's a great looking event Gerhard, I'll probably have palpitations if I see all those plants for sale in person! Funny enough at our local cacti and succulent meeting last Saturday our speaker said how much better the turnout is in local meetings in the U.S. than here, not hard to believe :)

    1. It would be so much fun going to a plant show with you guys!

  7. What a great show Gerhard. I'm with you on the variegated Agaves....... I almost cannot resist them. I've probably got too many as it is and of course I have to save the sports and try to get them to grow to. The ones you bought are beautiful. That variegated Agave Parry neither of us could afford is beyond description.
    Talk about plant lust.

    1. I'm glad I found those A. parryi with the lime-colored mediopicta variegation. But I'll keep my eye out for the other one as well. Life would be boring without a watch/want list, LOL.


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