Membership and Meetings
SDCSS Mission Statement
To promote knowledge, study and interest in cacti and succulent plants through educational programs, public exhibits, a public garden, conservation, and sharing of this common interest.
The San Diego Cactus and Succulent Society is a non-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)3 organization. Our club, founded in 1961, is made up of hobbyists, researchers, and enthusiasts who share a common interest and appreciation for the uniqueness and beauty of succulent plants. We welcome everyone to our group, whether an expert, amateur or novice. Our monthly meetings are open to the public.
Regular meetings are held in Room 101, Casa Del Prado, across the street from the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park. The meetings are typically held on the second Saturday of each month. Call the San Diego Floral Association at 619-232-5762 or write to: SDC&SS, P.O. Box 33181, San Diego, CA 92163-3181, or e-mail for more information. Annual dues are $15 for a single person. Other options are available and listed on the Payment tab.
Paid membership includes:
a subscription to the monthly newsletter, Espinas y Flores
access to an extensive lending library privileges
access to professional growers and experts in the field of cactus and succulent cultivation
invitations to our annual picnic (usually in September) and Holiday party
opportunities to participate in field trips and bus excursions to places and events of interest
opportunities to participate in and volunteer at our twice-yearly show and sale – in February and June of each year
If you are visiting from another part of California, the U.S., or the world, please write to receive information regarding the closest society to you.
Our monthly meetings highlight a cactus and a succulent, “Plant of the Month.” These plants are described in an article in the preceding monthly bulletin. Many members also bring in their best plant for our “Brag Table.”
A refreshment break during the middle of the meeting allows members to look over our free plant exchange table. Others may purchase plants and supplies at favorable club prices, take advantage of our library, and/or visit with others.
The highlight of each meeting is a program that begins shortly after the break. We invite renowned scholars, growers, botanists, explorers and advanced hobbyists to speak. A question and answer period follows.
All members are encouraged to participate and contribute toward the Society. Our annual plant shows and sales typically occur during the second Saturday in February, and the first weekend in June. Participation in these events and others is appreciated and encouraged.
The Cactus & Succulent Society of America
The Cactus and Succulent Society of America, Inc. (CSSA) is a national organization that supports about 80 affiliate groups (The San Diego Cactus and Succulent Society has one of the largest memberships). There are no restrictions on membership. Members are from many different ethnic, cultural and social backgrounds. The society has constituents on every continent and many over seas affiliates, making it a truly international organization.
The positive direction provided by the CSSA regarding both national and worldwide environmental concerns is recognized as a strong voice for conservation and preservation of threatened and endangered plant life.
The CSSA Journal and newsletter is issued bimonthly and recognized internationally. The journal is illustrated with color and black and white photos. It contains excellent articles, with a balance for both the amateur and serious student of cacti and succulents. The advertisement section provides sources for plants, books, and supplies available throughout the country. The newsletter, included with the journal, gives information about what other societies are doing and a calendar of events. Recently the CSSA has introduced a new publication, Haseltonia, that will serve as a technical yearbook for extensive papers dealing with botanical or horticultural aspects of succulent plants.
Other important functions sponsored by the CSSA are research, conservation, and environmental protection. Other activities relate to a world class research library, foreign relations, lecture coordination, international liaison, convention coordination, historian, seed distribution, slide programs, annual show and sales and co-sponsorship of electronic communication via ‘cacti_etc’ on the internet. The CSSA webpage is at www.cssainc.org.
Each odd numbered year the CSSA sponsors a convention devoted to cacti and succulents. Hundreds of people from around the world attend these meetings. Experts from all areas of research exploration and the best growers share their experience with others.
The SDCSS volunteers maintain the Baja California Garden and the Old World Succulent Garden at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The Baja Garden has the largest collections of Baja plants outside of Baja. The garden is over 35 years old and the plants are very large and mature. The Old World Succulent Garden is planted with Aloes, Euphorbias, Pachypodiums and other succulents from Africa (including Madagascar and Canary Island) and the Arabian Peninsula. It is a newer garden but still has some very mature specimens. Next time you are at the Safari Park, take a walk up into the Volunteer Gardens and enjoy the view. And if you feel a need to volunteer in one of our gardens contact the website and let us know.
Aloe dichotoma in the Old World Garden
Ferocactus gracilis in the Baja Garden