Annual pilgrimage to Poot's Cactus Nursery (part 2)

In part 1 of this post about my visit to Poot's Cactus Nursery in Ripon, CA I showed you the plantings in the front of the nursery as well as the retail sales area. In part 2 we're going inside the greenhouse that is home to the Poots' personal collection of succulents. Some of the plants are also used as stock plants for propagation.

When you think of "personal collection" you may think of a few hundred plants. Not so here. While I have no idea how many individual plants there are—I'm not even sure the Poots know—there are many thousands, maybe more than 10,000. The greenhouse is absolutely packed with plants. At least half of them are cactus, the rest euphorbias, caudiciforms, and succulents like agaves, aloes and haworthias. There are some fairly common plants, too, but many are true collector's items.

Let's go poke around!

The cactus with reddish "hats" are Melocactus, often called Turk's hat cactus
I'd be lying if I said I was able to identify even half of what I saw. Only a few plant labels were easy to read. There's a strict hands-off policy so I wasn't able to pull out labels. I'll only attempt an ID if I'm reasonably sure. 

A particularly impressive Melocactus

×Ferobergia, a rare intergeneric hybrid between a Ferocactus and Leuchtenbergia principis, the agave cactus

Not much room in the aisles

SCSS president Mariel Dennis chatting with Brian Poot

Echinocactus grusonii f. brevispinus, a short-spined form of the golden barrel

Cryptanthus 'Thriller'. Seeing this terrestrial bromeliad from Brazil was quite a surprise since it needs high humidity to thrive.

Flowering Dyckia

This lump reminded me a a fossilized tortoise. I have no idea what it is.

Pedilanthus macrocarpus

LEFT: crested Euphorbia lactea, grafted onto what looks like Hylocereus undatus, the same rootstock commonly used for the ubiquitous moon cactus

More grafted cactus

Dudleya brittonii?

Mesh baggies to prevent cross-pollination and/or to collect seed

Jatropha berlandieri

Haworthia truncata

Euphorbia obesa

Euphorbia polygona 'Snowflake'


Ariocarpus trigonus

I never did figure out what this variegated aloe with the pale orange flowers was

Agave victoria-reginae 'White Rhino' aka 'Snow Princess'


Uebelmannia pectinifera

Cleistocactus with orange flowers


A few snaps from the propagation area outside the greenhouse:

These Yucca rostrata look ready to go

A particularly well armed Aloe marlothii

Lots of golden barrels (Echinocactus grusonii), perennials favorites all over the western and southwestern US


Cactus through shade cloth

This cactus segment was nicely tucked in, I assume to give a bit of protection from the sun as it forms new roots

Poot's Cactus Nursery is located at 17229 E State Highway 120, Ripon, CA 95366. It's an easy and convenient stop on your way to or from Yosemite National Park—and definitely worth a special trip if you live in the Sacramento area or in the East Bay (a 90-minute drive from either area). For more info, visit their website:

And finally, since some of you were wondering, my purchases. I've had to be more selective than before since I'm literally running out of room. Now I'm trying to buy only plants that I know where to put.

Aloe sp., i.e. nobody knows what it is. It does look a lot like Aloe maculata, which I certainly don't need, but there's something about the teeth that's different—they're much sharper (and smaller). It was cheap enough to make it worth a try.

Dyckia choristaminea 'Frazzle Dazzle'

Senecio haworthii

Echeveria agavoides 'Ebony'

Ferocactus peninsulae. This species has particularly attractive flowers.


© Gerhard Bock, 2018. No part of the materials available through may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated or reduced to any electronic medium or machine-readable form, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of Gerhard Bock. Any other reproduction in any form without the permission of Gerhard Bock is prohibited. All materials contained on this site are protected by  United States and international copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Gerhard Bock. If you are reading this post on a website other than, please be advised that that site is using my content without my permission. Any unauthorized use will be reported.


  1. How completely fabulous. I love Caudiciforms and once had a (very) modest collection when I lived in San Diego. When we moved up here I gave them away to a friend-I could only move so many plants.That Haworthia truncata makes mine look pathetic ! I must make it a point to visit there the next time I'm anywhere in that vicinity.

    1. I could get easily into caudiciforms but most of them are so slow!

  2. I'd have gone for Dyckia 'Frazzle Dazzle' too.

    1. I have a regularly Dyckia choristaminea but it's green. 'Frazzle Dazzle' (great name!!) is a dark purple.

  3. My Dyckia 'Frazzle Dazzle' is a reliable bloomer, you’re gonna love it!

  4. Oh how overwhelming! That White Rhino Victoria Agave and the massive pot of Haworthia truncata are highlights for me! I had to miss the excursion last weekend due to my work schedule now eating up my Saturdays :/

  5. Somehow not surprised at all how extensive their greenhouse collection is, very impressive!

    1. That's what you get after a lifetime of collecting on a grand scale :-),

  6. Wonderful report! That varieg., apricot-flwrd mystery aloe is a beaut. And the astrophytum and melocactus! And the cleistocactus with orange flwrs! The grafted interest there yet.

    1. LOL, as always, I fall for the mystery plants--and the ones that aren't for sale!

  7. Oh and I just noticed you grabbed an Ebony agavoides! Those are usually so expensive but I'd bet they have good prices at Poot's. Haven't seen 'em for sale when I've gone otherwise I'd grab one for sure!

    1. I was surprised--'Ebony' was only $3 more than the regular Echeveria agavoides 'Lipstick'. It used to be $75+ for a 3" pot. I paid $28 for a 6" pot.

  8. Amazing collection. 'White Rhino' is my dream plant. I will go on dreaming.


Post a Comment