This month's program will feature two little known genera of American cacti: Pediocactus and Sclerocactus. Presented by the Central Coast Cactus and Succulent Society
's Rob Skillin. The program highlights the best of 25 years of field study during which Rob photographed all species of the two groups, as well as the magnificent landscapes of the Southwestern US. He will explain what these plants are, where they are found, the often very specialized environmental conditions they have adapted to, and why they are so seldom grown in plant collections. Come to this month's meeting and learn about the smallest US cactus, the rarest US cactus, and the most widespread genus you've never heard of.
I have been growing cacti and succulents for nearly 40 years, and have been involved in various local societies for most of that time. The first office I held was Show and Sale Chairman for the Santa Barbara C&SS, during the late 1980ís. After moving to Californiaís Central Valley, I became a founding member, and later, President of the Bakersfield C&SS. In 2005, after another move, I was a founder the Central Coast C&SS and became its first President. This society now boasts 300+ enthusiastic members, and held its very successful tenth annual show and sale in May of 2016. I have also been involved with the CSSA as a member of its Board of Directors.
My first interest, which continues today, was cacti of the Chihuahuan desert, especially those unique genera such as Ariocarpus, Aztekium, and Strombocactus, etc. Gradually, I diversified my collection to include Mesembs, Haworthias, and other succulents, particularly caudiciforms. Iíve spent many years studying the cacti of the US, particularly Sclerocacti and Pediocacti. I am an avid grower of plants from seed, and now have a number of seed-grown specimens in my collection dating back to 1982. As an acknowledgment my expertise with these plants, I have been asked to judge numerous shows throughout California, including the CSSA, Intercity, NORCAL, LA, and San Diego shows.
Along with my interest in cacti and succulents, I enjoy photography and travel. These interests have come together in a wonderful way during my botanical explorations of the western US and Mexico, and portions of South America, Africa, Madagascar and the Middle East. I have several programs based on these trips, and I speak regularly to clubs in northern and southern California. Many of my photographs have been published as illustrations for articles and covers of the Journal and Haseltonia, as well as the Timber Press Book of Succulents of the World.
This should be an excellent program that will cover plants many people have never seen in habitat even though they are found growing in the United States. Come and enjoy friends, refreshments, view the educational library, win some plants and get a free plant at the end of the meeting.