In September 2016, Jan Emming joined five other members of the TCSS to make a several-week-long trip to the marvelous nation of South Africa. The excursion was specifically designed to take in many of the natural features of this very diverse country. While succulent plants were definitely a part of the itinerary there was much time spent on nonsucculent botanical features, as well as the various big game and smaller animals that South Africa is justifiably famous for. From elephants to elephant food trees (Portulacaria afra), penguins to cycads, and thornbush to fynbos, Jan's program will highlight some of the country's best natural features.
A note on the program itself: we did see numerous succulents, but we spent a greater share of our time in regions that are better known for nonsucculent plant species and big game animals, so the program will reflect this. I believe that many TCSS members have seen great programs that focused almost entirely upon the most succulent-rich habitats of the Western and Northern Cape Provinces, most notably the Karoo, Richtersveld, Namaqualand, etc, which were not actually regions we visited. We did spend two days in the Little Karoo and items we saw there will be reflected, but the program has lots of photos of animals, intriguing nonsucculent plants, and less-seen succulents in the north and east of the country. I am pleased with the numerous good photos I captured and I think that the TCSS membership will be as well.
Jan Emming has been a member of the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society for 17 years, joining shortly after he moved to Arizona in 1999. That was the year he purchased a large, off-grid 40 acre parcel of land in the scenic and biologically diverse Hualapai Mountains south of Kingman, Arizona, where the Sonoran Desert merges with the Mojave Desert. This ecological conjunction brings together both saguaro cacti and Joshua trees, alongside a whole range of other species. Since then he's been working on accumulating a large horticultural collection of plants grown outdoors in the ground, mainly succulents but also other xerically-adapted trees, shrubs, and bulbs. Desert Sense Nursery at Destination:Forever Ranch and Gardens offers tours and plant sales by appointment. Jan assures people that the detour off of the main roads is worthwhile if they happen to be in the area!"
All our members that live within traveling distance to our meeting location should attend this excellent program presented by Jan Emming. We will also have some wonderful plants in our plant raffle, lots of great refreshments and excellent free plants offered to everyone by the club.