Day 1: 2023 Sacramento Cactus & Succulent Society Show & Sale

Today was the opening day of the Sacramento Cactus & Succulent Society’s 2023 Show & Sale. I volunteered in the morning, setting up tables and helping vendors haul in plants from the parking lot. This gave me plenty of opportunity to check out the goods as they were arriving and grab the plants I wanted. Volunteering helps the organizers, and it gives you first dibs at plants.

Club members who weren’t working as volunteers had an exclusive one-hour window for shopping (12 am to 1 pm) before the Shepard Garden & Art Center opened to the public.

Here’s a collection of snaps I took while wandering around. Most photos were taken outside because the old-fashioned fluorescent lighting inside the Center makes photography challenging. I’ll volunteer again tomorrow (Saturday) and will take more photos.

The Show & Sale runs until Sunday, May 7. Saturday hours are 9 am to 4 pm, Sunday hours 9 am to 3 pm. It’s being held at the Shepard Garden & Art Center right next to McKinley Park, 3330 McKinley Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95816.

Planta Seca has a lot of flowering cacti, mostly rebutias and sulcurebutias

Planta Seca table

Planta Seca table

Desert Creations table

Haworthias by Jim Smith

Public Land is a first time vendor and they brought looks of cool cacti and other succulents

More cacti from Public Land

Medusa head euphorbia seen on Peter Walkowiak’s table

My favorite plant of the day, Mangave ‘Porcupine’, a hybrid between Mangave ‘Bloodspot’ and Agave toumeyana ssp. bella. $25 at Desert Creations.

Agave oteroi ‘Solar Eclipse’, $28 at Grow Nursery

Agave utahensis var. nevadensis at Grow Nursery, awesome plants but a bit too steep for me at $45

Agave victoriae-reginae ‘White Rhino’, at $500 the second most expensive plant I saw

Agave albopilosa is still spendy, $150 for this larger specimen, $40 for 4" pots

My second most favorite plant of the day, Yucca endlichiana in full flower. $250 at Desert Creations. That seems like a lot, but I think it’s a fair price, considering this plant is decades old.

Yucca endlichiana flowers up close

Variegated Haworthia truncata, at $225 one of the more expensive plants. (Sorry for the bad photos, but the lighting inside the Shepard Garden & Art Center is always tricky for photography.)

Gianluca Bacci specializes in rare South African plants, especially geophytes like this Drimiopsis dolomiticus

Brightly variegated Astrophytum myriostigma

Ariocarpus are consistently among the most expensive cacti, like this Ariocarpus retusus

At $600, this Ariocarpus lloydii was the most expensive plant I saw all day

Cool three-ribbed Astrophytum myriostigma

Very cool Astrophytum asterias. The dots are so three-dimensional, they look like somebody glued them on.

Flowering Astrophytum capricorne

Turbinicarpus ysabelae

Sulcorebutia bicolor

Sulcorebutia canigueralii

Sulcorebutia sp.

Rebutia sp.

Thelocactus hexaedrophorus ssp. lloydii

Gymnocalycium with crazy variegation

This Scleranthus biflorus had me do a double-take. What the heck is it? Turns out its a moss-like groundcover from Australia and New Zealand where it’s called cushion-bush or knawel.

I have a Cussonia paniculata a.k.a. mountain cabbage tree in the ground; it’s 10 feet tall now. This is a bonsaied version with a raised caudex. I’ve never seen this kind of presentation before.

Aeonium tabuliforme. Not rare, but I’m always drawn to it. I just wish it wouldn’t flower (and then die) so quickly.

Variegated Gasteria armstrongii with rigid leaves and warty bumps

This is the only photo I took of the display plants. I love the use of Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ as a stand-in for a desert tree (it reminds me of a Joshua tree). The winged fairy isn’t my style, but overall this dish garden shows great creativity.

And here is my haul. Mind you, this was day 1, and I’ll be back tomorrow to volunteer...

Three cool mangaves (one is for a friend), an agave, an echeveria, a geophyte, and a dragon blood tree seedling

Agave oterori ‘Solar Eclipse’

Mangave ‘Porcupine’ (Mangave ‘Bloodspot’ × Agave toumeyana ssp. bella)

Simply labeled Mangave hybrid. I don’t see any Manfreda influence; it reminds me more of Agave × romanii, a hybrid between Agave filifera and Agave mitis var. albidior.

My plant haul:

  • Agave oteroi ‘Solar Eclipse’
  • Dracaena cinnabari
  • Echeveria agavoides ‘Ebony’
  • Haemanthus pauciflorus
  • Mangave ‘Porcupine’
  • Mangave hybrid
  • Yucca endlichiana

I’ll have more photos tomorrow.

© Gerhard Bock, 2023. All rights reserved. To receive all new posts by email, please subscribe here.


  1. Nice haul, can't wait to see more pictures. I found myself saying the higher prices out loud. The Haemanthus pauciflorus looks good & healthy - it looks like it split into 2?

  2. Those Yucca endlichiana flowers! Wow.

    1. I must admit I bought a fairly old Yucca endlichiana to go in the ground.

  3. A regular candy shop of colourful choices. Almost overwhelming but so much fun! You would have to be a real collector to purchase those really expensive ones. I would be afraid of it dying after such an investment. Look forward to Saturday's photos.

    1. If I bought a plant that cost $500, I'd bring it inside every night and put it on my bedside table.

  4. What a great selection! I'm in love with Mangave 'Porcupine' and that Yucca is other-worldly. There are a lot of succulents I've never even heard of. I just checked on the South Coast C&SSS and discovered that it was held 3 weeks ago - I apparently missed the notice :( It's nothing on the order of your Sacramento sale since SC Botanic Garden stopped hosting it but I'm still bummed.

    1. It was (is) a great show. Definitely bigger than most. A huge selection of everything from hardcore collector plants to common but still pretty stuff.

  5. I love that you volunteer, though it could prove a costly endeavor :-D
    I did a double take at the 3-ribbed Astrophytum myriostigma... how odd and cool.

    1. So many weird and wonderful plants. I've been to many shows, but I see new things each time.


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