Graham Charles of Stamford, England, will be our guest speaker at the opening banquet.
Graham started growing cacti and succulents in England at the age of 12 and joined the National Cactus and Succulent Society in 1962. He qualified as a judge in 1972 and soon began to assemble his collection of documented plants. He has always been particularly interested in South American cacti and has written a number of articles for specialist Journals. Graham met his wife, Elisabeth, at a cactus event and now they share their hobby and a large glasshouse in rural England. Graham is a popular lecturer and has spoken in Europe and at previous CSSA Conventions. He has made sixteen trips to South America to observe the plants in their natural habitats and was a botanical guide for the CSSA trip to Chile in 2004. Graham’s first book ‘Copiapoa’ was published in 1998 and he has since co-authored ‘Cacti in Brazil’ with European enthusiasts and written ‘Cacti and Succulents’, a general guide. Since retiring from full-time employment, he has worked on the editorial team of the recently published ‘New Cactus Lexicon’. The CSSA awarded Graham a fellowship at the recent Scottsdale (Phoenix) Convention.
Graham’s presentation: "Highlights of South America"
South American cacti can be found in many diverse habitats, some unexpected. You will see the high Andes, tropical lowlands and arid deserts where many of your favorite plants live. Knowing where they flourish naturally can improve your cultural techniques and, although cacti are remarkably adaptable, there are some that challenge even the most skilful grower. Conservation is an important issue. Some of the habitat changes affecting plants will be illustrated as they face increasing threats to their long-term survival.
Joe Clements of Claremont, California and his wife, Susan, have raised three children. Joe and Susan are currently living in Claremont, California. Joe’s education was predominately derived from Whittier College and USC, where he received a degree in Geology. He was employed with the Huntington Botanical Gardens as Curator of the Desert Gardens for 22 years. For the past five years he has been the Director of the Rodman Arboretum at Pitzer College. He is also the coauthor of Dry Climate Gardening. For long-standing service in the CSSA, Joe has been granted the CSSA’s Superior Service Award
Joe has served on the CSSA board since 1972, putting in more than 32 years on the board. He has been president of the San Gabriel Cactus and Succulent Society several times and cochairman of that society’s Study Group. Being an active hobbyist, he has served on the board of several local clubs. His presentations are:
Chile – Cold, Dry, Beautiful
Southern California Hot Spots – A talk about the Deserts (Geology and Plants) of Southern California, including pictures of locations within Joshua Tree National Monument, Mojave National Preserve, Borrego State Park, and surrounding areas.
Myron Kimnach of Monrovia, California, was Director of the Huntington Botanical Gardens for 25 years and editor of the CSSA journal and Managing Editor of Haseltonia for ten. He has searched for succulents in many countries and published numerous new species of cacti and Crassulaceae. His program on cacti is, 'Cacti of the West Indies, Costa Rica and the Andes'. To demonstrate the diversity of cacti in different habitats, Myron will present glimpses of species on Caribbean islands, the forests and coasts of Costa Rica and at high and low altitudes in Venezuela, Peru and Bolivia. See “Succulent Lectures” below for Myron’s other lecture.Among other honors and awards, Myron is a Fellow of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America.
Dr. Urs Eggli of Switzerland – Born 1959 near Zürich, completing high-school in 1978, studying biology (systematic botany) at the University of Zürich, 1983 Masters Degree (The stomata of the Cactaceae); 1983-1987 Ph.D. studies at the University of Zürich under the guidance of Prof. K. Kramer (A monographic study of the genus Rosularia (Crassulaceae); published as Bradleya 6: Suppl., 1988).Present position (since 1986) as scientific assistant at the Sukkulenten-Sammlung Zürich; editor the series "Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants" (published 2001-2003); since 1984 editor of the "Repertorium Plantarum Succulentarum" published annually by the IOS; numerous journal papers on various aspects of succulent plant botany, esp. systematics and nomenclature; active field research in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, and involved with flora projects in Argentina and Chile.
Lecture: 'Understanding the Cacti of Chile: A Bouquet of Problems and Some Results' - The flora of Chile counts an estimated 5100 species, of which about 100 are cacti. Cacti are an important element in the flora of the northern half of the country. They are often dominant elements in the landscape, but despite several synoptical publications, our knowledge is still insufficient. Some reasons for this are explained and illustrated with a bouquet of problems encountered when studying the family for the "Proyecto Flora de Chile". One of the major problems is the lack of good herbarium material. The impact of the collections made by Friedrich Ritter will also be discussed. The genus Eulychnia serves as an example of what can be achieved by combining data from several sources. See “Succulent Lectures” below for Dr. Eggli’s other presentation.
Dr. Leo Martin of Phoenix, Arizona – traveler, enthusiast, and Speaker Chairman of our 2005 Convention. Leo Martin has been growing cacti and other succulents since his mother bought him his first cactus at Fedco when he was 4 years old. After a detour through the University of California left him with a medical doctorate, he resumed the urgent task of filling all his living space with plants, boxes of packets of seed, labels, heating mats, and books.
Leo is a director of the CSSA and stands for election to his potential third term in the fall of 2006. He has lived, as well as sprouted and grown cacti and succulents, in Milwaukee, WI; Orange County, CA; Seattle; St Louis; Tucson and Phoenix. Among his plant collection are fair numbers of cacti, asclepiads, and cycads. He prefers growing plants from seed where possible. He is currently vice president of CSSA affiliate Central Arizona Cactus and Succulent Society and also a member of the Henry Shaw Cactus Society of St Louis.
His presentations are entitled 'Cacti from Seed Indoors, Cheaply, in a Small Space' & 'Cacti of the Valley of the Río Huaura in Perú'.
Dr. Jon P. Rebman of San Diego, California, is the Mary and Dallas Clark Endowed Chair/Curator of Botany at the San Diego Natural History Museum. He has a B. S. in Biology from Millikin University, Decatur, IL; M. S. in Biology from Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO; and Ph. D. in Botany from Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. His dissertation research was on the biosystematics of the genus Opuntia subgenus Cylindropuntia (Cactaceae), the chollas of Lower California, Mexico. His research interests include the taxonomy of the family Cactaceae, especially the genus Opuntia, and floristics of the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico.
Both of Jon’s presentations will focus on Baja California. The first, The Succulent Flora of Lower California, Mexico: The Baja California peninsula has a diverse assemblage of weather regimes including a Mediterranean-type, winter rainfall climate; extreme arid, hot desert conditions; and tropical, summer rainfall patterns. In addition, the region’s biogeographic history and physiognomy have resulted in a wide range of vegetation types, which include: coastal chaparral, conifer forest, low desert scrub, and tropical deciduous forest. Thus, this arid piece of land and its adjacent islands supports a wealth of plant diversity. It is estimated that the flora consists of more than 4,000 plant taxa with approximately 1,200 of these known only from Lower California. With more than 300 succulent plant taxa present and with a rather high rate of endemism, the cacti and succulents of Lower California are a conspicuous and truly unique part of the peninsula’s natural history.
Jon’s second presentation is entitled Baja California: New Botanical Research and Resources. A new website (bajaflora.org) has been created by the San Diego Natural History Museum in order to provide a botanical resource to the public and the scientific community on two Baja California projects being conducted at the Museum. The checklist of the vascular flora of Lower California and the digitization of plant photos are both ongoing projects that will provide a better understanding of the diversity and beauty of the plants of the Baja California region. In respect to succulents, the first step of the digitization project was to focus on the Cactaceae and Crassulaceae. The Museum’s photographic archives contain ~40,000 photographic slides and prints of vascular plant species primarily from southern California and Baja California. Many of these are images of rare succulents. These photos have been donated by various botanists and amateurs who have worked on our regional, succulent flora including Reid Moran, George Lindsay, Norman Roberts, and Jon Rebman.
Nick Heiting of Belleview, Washington, was Born in 1939 in Munich, Germany. Nick immigrated to Canada in 1955 and settled in the Seattle area in 1957. After graduation from the University of Washington, he taught junior and senior high school math and German, always incorporating his interest in plants whenever possible. He has been a featured speaker at the Convention of Garden Clubs of the Western United States, and Master Gardeners’ conventions, as well as numerous local garden clubs. An accomplished entertainer and co-founder of the Bonnie Birch-Nick Heiting Cabaret Ensemble, Nick has been playing guitar and singing professionally for 50 years.
Nick's first presentation will be on Cacti and Succulents -- an Introduction to Living Plant Art . Nick brings a whole new twist to the concept of “lumping”. See how his love of cacti and other succulents are expressed through astounding, original works of living art. He will widen your vistas in unimaginable ways as he introduces you to his ‘Fant’sy Plants’--desert bonsai, desert islands on dishes, hanging gardens, and living plant sculptures. Come to see his million-dollar jade, ”The Trinity.” His approach to raising cacti and succulents differs radically from conventional wisdom. His goal is to increase awareness of many ways to enjoy these plants and to encourage club membership!
Nick's final presentation - Desert Islands, Magic Mountains, Hanging Gardens. Do you wonder how you can create gorgeous group plantings to showcase your variety of desert plants? Welcome to Nick Heiting’s “how-to” class. He’ll cover: Good choices for interesting and unique planters, options for growth media, concentrated plantings, care and feeding (light, water and fertilizer needs) of the unique garden sculptures you create. You’ll leave with both the vision and the confidence to create your own living art.
Sheila Collenette, of the UK, noted botanical explorer and favorite at previous conventions. Sheila has tremendously contributed towards knowledge of the Arabian flora. She has collected possibly more specimens of flowering plants from Arabia than anyone else, depositing herbarium material mostly in Kew and Edinburgh. And of course, she has published two editions of her marvelous book "Wildflowers of Saudi Arabia", illustrated with thousands of her own photographs. Her presentations are:
"Succulent euphorbias in Saudi Arabia" and "The plants of Jabal Shada"
At the 2005 Convention in Scottsdale, Arizona, Sheila was awarded Fellowship in the Cactus and Succulent Society of America.
Dr. Graham Williamson was born in Harare (Salisbury) Zimbabwe in 1932 and spent his childhood roaming the wild granite hills of east Harare and herding cattle on his parents' small-holding. He collected his first succulents at five years old. Bent on a career in botany or zoology, he discovered that the opportunities for natural scientists were limited, so he switched to dentistry, graduating BDS from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He first practiced in Bulawayo, which gave him the opportunity to research the rich succulent flora of the Matopo Hills. After leaving Zimbabwe, he set up a private practice in Zambia, where he spent from 1962 - 1975 researching the Orchids of South Central Africa published in 1978. Graham and his wife, Francoise, were privileged to explore and collect the Sperrgebiet (Forbidden Diamond Area) and the previously restricted semi-arid Richtersveld mountain desert.
Graham has received local and international awards for photography, art work and botany. He was given the Bolus Award of the Botanical Society of South Africa and the Allen Dyer Award from the Succulent Society of South Africa. On election as a Fellow of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America he was cited as an "Intrepid explorer, conservationist, author, artist and discoverer and describer of new taxa." He has lectured in RSA, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, USA, Canada, United Kingdom and New Zealand. His many publications include major works on euphorbia, aloe, floral zones of the Sperrgebiet and the "Richtersveld, The Enchanted Wilderness", a culmination of about 20 years work. To date he has described about 72 new species and subspecies. Both he and his wife have been commemorated in the naming of succulent plants.
Presently Graham is a Research Associate of the Bolus Herbarium, University of Cape Town and works as a full-time botanist/environmentalist based in Cape Town. His presentations at this convention will be Part one of 'KUNENE to the KAROO': Kaokoland in Namibia to Richtersveld and Bushmanland in South Africa and Part two of 'KUNENE to the KAROO': Namaqualand to Grahamstown.
Dr. Urs Eggli of Switzerland (photo above), will be speaking on a wide spectrum of succulent families, including cacti (see Cactus Lectures – above) His first presentation at this convention – Succulent plants: An inside view. Succulent plants are widely admired for their varied and often ornamental external appearance, but who has looked at their insides? The lecture presents novel looks at our plants: "How is succulence organized?", "What is the architecture of a window leaf?" or "What is succulence?" are some of the questions that will be asked. Additional topics that will be addressed are the organization of cephalia, whether cacti produce stolons, or how the knowledge of internal body features can help to identify and classify cacti.
Myron Kimnach of Monrovia, California (photo above), will be speaking on an African adventure as well as on cacti (see Cactus Lectures – above). This presentation is entitled, 'Moroccan Adventure'. Following a 1998 succulent symposium in Gibraltar, some attendees spent another week in Morocco exploring for euphorbias and stapeliads. Finally seven of the group spent another week seeking out the habitat of a new subspecies of Dracaena draco in a remote, hard-to-reach canyon. Also shown are photos of the Moroccan landscapes and the indigenous people. Among other honors, Myron is a Fellow of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America, and holds a Special Service award for that society as well.
Peter Gammarano of Shoreline, Washington, will present programs on 'Secrets of a Windowsill Garden' & 'Plant Giants of the Succulent World'. Peter will discuss the techniques of keeping more than 800 potted plants not only alive, but also thriving. He has grown cactus and succulents in a variety of settings for over 40 years. He has lived in New York, California, and Washington and has grown cactus and succulents in each location. Since living in the Pacific Northwest, his primary method for expanding his collection has been growing plants from seed.
John Lavranos born in Corfu, Greece, in 1926, emigrating to the even browner pastures of South Africa in 1952 is now a denizen of Portugal. His interest in botanical exploration has led him to many parts of Africa, Madagascar, Saudi Arabia, the Yemen, and Socotra. He has recently become an octogenarian, yet does not appear to be showing any signs of waning in his extensive travels, discoveries, or writings. John will present a two-part program on 'Somalia.' John is also a Fellow of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America.
Dr. Dan Mahr was (until January, 2007) the President of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America and is a Fellow of that society as well. He will honor us with two parts of an extended presentation on Succulent Trees (including cacti). Dan was once on all CSSA Board committees and the Chairman of too many to list here. He is an avid plantsman and holds a Ph.D in entomology; ergo, his life is inundated with plants, their pollinators, and their predators. Dan will present a two-part program on "Succulent Trees (including cacti)".