The Bakersfield Cactus and Succulent Society

The Bakersfield Cactus & Succulent Society meets the second Tuesday of each month at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2216 17th Street Bakersfield California. A "social half-hour" begins at 6:30 PM and the real meeting starts at 7:00 PM. Everyone is welcome! This MAP might help you find the place.

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NEXT MEETING: November 14, 2017 6:30PM

"So, what exactly IS a succulent?" presented by L. Maynard Moe

I am a field botanist (taxonomy and ecology) by training and only recently became interested in cacti and [other] succulents. After reading popular gardening and collecting books, and talking with other collectors, I realized that my notion of a succulent plant and the collector's notion are not the same. Maybe others in our club share this confusion, so I will give a brief, yet riveting talk that may be informative.

Many are quite familiar with the term "succulent," but misconceptions abound. Comments such as "This aloe plant is in the succulent family." or "I don't grow cacti, I only grow succulents." reveal some of these misunderstandings. Of course, our own society's name, "Bakersfield Cactus and Succulent Society," as well as some books such as "Succulents: the Illustrated Dictionary," that do not include cacti, contribute to this confusion by implying that cacti are somehow different from other succulents. The basis for this confusion appears to be a misunderstanding of the term "succulent," which is a descriptive term, not a scientific classification. Generally a succulent is a plant that has developed (through evolutionary adaptation to water stress) swollen, water-storing tissues that protect it from desiccation. This includes plants such as pickleweed (Salicornia) adapted to high salinity, as well as cacti and aloes that are adapted to hot, dry climates.

By convention some plants that display succulence are not considered succulents, such as impatiens and some orchids even though they have fleshy stems and leaves. Plants with fleshy underground bulbs (onions, lilies, daffodils, tulips), corms (gladiolus, freesia, crocus), rhizomes (iris, calla), or tubers (dahlia, begonia, potato) are also not generally considered succulents. Exceptions include pregnant onion (Bowiea) and veld fan (Boophone), both of which have large, green or brown, above-ground bulbs and are often found in succulent collections.

This confusion about what, exactly, is a succulent will be cleared up by a riveting, entertaining talk with lots of nice photos.

see the newsletter for more information

November 14th: BCSS Meeting: "So, what exactly IS a succulent?" presented by L. Maynard Moe

December 12th: BCSS Meeting: "Family Potluck & Silent Auction

January 9th: BCSS Meeting

April 21st: Garden Fest at BC

Succulent Garden Work Day: TBA

Things you may want to bring: hand weeding tools, knee-pad, bottled water, maybe a bucket, gloves and be prepared to get dirty, especially if the soil is wet.

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Come Join The Crowd! Do you have a couple of friends who are interested in Cacti and Succulents? Give them a gentle nudge in the direction of one of our meetings. They'll thank you for it later!