Succulent Sunday

The nice man who I gave all my cash to, talking about a miniature agave from Japan he called ‘Shoji.’
(Unlike many of the Japanese A. potatorum hybrids, this one supposedly grows not much bigger than a poker chip.)


Cleaned out, and I hadn’t been at the show five minutes. His was the first table I stopped by at the Los Angeles Cactus and Succulent Society Plant Show and Sale held this Sunday, June 12, lured in by his variegated sport of Kalanchoe beharensis and this Aeonium smithii.


I couldn’t leave Kalanchoe synsepala on his table either.


Like Vegas, you have to develop a plan to stretch whatever resources you came with for the duration. But I don’t see how this is possible at plant shows.
There’s just too many fascinating, smooth-talking characters with backyard hybridization stories to part you from your money, like a John Laroche behind every plant sale table, right out of Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief. And by that reference, I’m not implying any chicanery, just lifelong, obsessional love for plants.

I was later tempted by a small $7 Agave ‘Creme Brulee,’ but did no further shopping and just basked in the show atmosphere.

Unnamed bromeliad hybrids in bloom.


Though I did harass at least three people to find the correct name of this bromeliad, which was mislabeled on the show table. None were for sale.
It was difficult to get a clear photo without moving other show plants. And at a plant show, you do not touch the plants.

Billbergia sanderiana is officially on the Future Plant Purchases list.

And since I was up in the Valley anyway for the show, I checked out the succulent and cactus nursery California Nursery Specialists a few minutes away in Reseda. They are commercial growers open to the public on Saturday and Sunday. The experience was a bit overwhelming, to say the least.

Endless vistas of Echeveria subrigida


Narrow walkways, hanging pots overhead. Dark red leaves are Crassula marginalis with string of pearls, Senecio rowleyanus.


And nursery houses after nursery house, each suffocatingly hot, although outside temps were mild, in the 70’s.

The heat, the shapes, the colors. (There was a table loaded with the ‘Pink Butterflies’ kalanchoe I blogged about yesterday.)


I bought a couple Echeveria ‘Metallica’ and a small Agave angustifolia ‘Marginata.’ Reasonable prices, overwhelming selection.

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5 Responses to Succulent Sunday

  1. Gorgeous photos! And I’m putting that nursery on my list to visit when we are back in the LA area someday. The second to last photo isn’t of the succulent (Echeveria agavoides) that I’ve been lusting after in Dustin’s garden is it? The look a little like they could be young versions.

  2. Denise says:

    Loree, you’re right, that is E. agavoides, and I saw an unnamed variety that looked very close to Dustin’s, which to my eye recurves inward more than other agavoides, and Dustin’s seems to offset more too. There’s also darker-tipped cultivars out there called ‘Lipstick.’

  3. Sheri says:

    Oh, such beautiful plants! I so wish I could find some different cactus and succulents around my area. They are gorgeous.
    Sheri in Georgia (where it’s 103 today and my tropical plants are smiling-flowering plants not so much)

  4. David says:

    Hi Denise,
    I liked this post a lot. I can’t take money to places like this because…because..I think the 12-step program for my plant addiction would be in jeopary. LOL
    I’ve read the Orchid Thief and actually have a copy. There’s another called Orchid Fever….two good reasons I don’t grow orchids.
    Now about those Bromeliads…they are beautiful and I’d be tempted to join you in the purchase of that Billbergia! My goodness…imagine the combinations you could make with that plant. I’ve not ever seen that particular species. I’ll ask the Bro. Society here if it grows well and offsets pups readily. There’s nothing more exciting than a plant that sets off dozens of pups. 🙂
    David/ Tropical Texana

  5. Denise says:

    David, so you’ve read the book and probably know exactly what I mean. Yes, if I find a source for the billbergia I’ll let you know. There’s a bro show coming locally in August.

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