Cactus show

This weekend I went to the Henry Shaw Cactus and Succulent Society's cactus sale and show at the wonderful Missouri Botanical Garden. Yesterday I showed you the sale. Today it's the show part of the event.

This type of show requires people to grow beautiful specimens of various succulents and cactus over what is most likely many, many years. Unfortunately I lack the level of sophistication and experience with these plants to truly appreciate the efforts of these growers, but I certainly did see some interesting and beautiful plants!


If you take a close look at the clock on the wall in the top image, you may be able to make out that the time is 9:17 AM -- just 15 minutes after the doors to the sale opened. Since I did my shopping before taking a look at the show plants, you can see that I was not kidding when I said I "breezed through" the sale area.

I similarly moved through the show area a bit quickly too, and didn't worry about noting the names of any of these plants -- although I do have a few photos of tags so if you're really interested in what something is please ask in the comments.

Shall we take a look at what was interesting to my eye? To me what makes most of these types of plants interesting is the texture -- which means getting up close.

Note: I recognized many of these plants as much larger versions of items from the sale room. I suspect if I had gone through this room first I may have bought a few more plants.

This is a wonderful elephant bush (portulacaria afra) bonsai specimen:

That's one that I can appreciate, as I've been growing one (not as bonsai) for a few years and my "trunk" is nowhere near as thick as this one. I wonder how old it is? These tags should all have the plant ages on them!

Shall we take a look at some hairy specimens now? Yes please!

I love the hairy cactus, and wonder how nasty they are? If I touched these would it be like working with fiberglass insulation, where you get little fibers stuck into your skin -- few enough not to notice right away, but enough to make things uncomfortable later. Or are they really as soft as they look?

How exactly are these next ones transported? Those two in back are 5' (1.5m) tall!

Do they have some custom-built carrying case that goes around the plant that allows them to be laid down? Do they just go upright in a truck? Does somebody hold them in case of sudden starts or stops? I know I'd be nervous about breakage if I've spent a decade or more growing these beauties and then had to drive them across town (and back) once a year!

So it was a brief but nice 30 minutes at the Henry Shaw Cactus and Succulent Society sale and show -- but my visit to the gardens is not over yet, with more cactus coming tomorrow.

Plus I haven't shown you what I bought yet!


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sandy lawrence –   – (July 1, 2013 at 8:47 AM)  

Great post and photos! The hairy ones are definitely my faves. I like that mostly black one, too, with a little white. Did you by chance snap the tag on that one?

Alan  – (July 1, 2013 at 9:24 AM)  

Sandy: the black one? It was in the "grafted cactus" category, but unfortunately I didn't get the tag on that one. It was one of the first photos I took and I wasn't thinking about IDs at that time. Sorry!

Lisa  – (July 1, 2013 at 9:44 AM)  

It's almost like you traveled to another planet! Very cool!

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (July 1, 2013 at 10:54 AM)  

The hairy cacti can be quite soft but watch out for the spines hiding underneath! In general, though, they're not as nasty as opuntia, which get you every time with their innocuous-looking but supremely annoying and often painful glochids.

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