Dragon Trees, Cucumber Trees, and Giant Adeniums: The Island of Socotra

With Brian Kemble
Tuesday, July 19, 2022 – 7:00 pm Pacific Time

NOTE: Members and visitors can attend in person in San Francisco, or watch on Zoom.

Program Description

The island of Socotra, 80 miles long and about 26 miles wide at its widest point, is a wonderland of succulent plants. It lies in the northwestern Indian Ocean, off the horn of Africa and to the south of the Arabian Peninsula. Although it is a possession of Yemen, the ongoing civil war in that country makes it necessary at present to visit the island by way of the United Arab Emirates, which maintains weekly flights. There are many succulent plants found on Socotra, but some of the iconic ones include the Socotran Dragon Tree (Dracaena cinnabari), the Cucumber Tree (Dendrosicyos socotranus) and the largest of all the adeniums (Adenium socotranum). Though the island has floristic connections to both Africa and Arabia, it has many endemics such as the three plants listed.

SFSCS VP Brian Kemble has long wanted to visit Socotra, so it was a dream come true to go there in February-March 2022 along with a group assembled by Guillermo Rivera. The group was fortunate to have Kelly Griffin along, since he was the only one of us who had been there before, and his guidance was instrumental in locating some of the more out-of-the-way species. For information about the succulent flora of the island, Brian recommends Succulent Plants of Socotra, written by French writer and plant explorer Joël Lodé.

For the show and tell table this month, bring stapeliads or any other plants in the Asclepiadaceae – plus anything native to Socotra. And of course, anything else you might think of that deserves its chance to shine.

This month’s featured grower is Brian Kemble

There will be no shared snack table this month, but you can bring your own.

Current SF Covid requirements for our venue: Masks and vaccination recommended. We will keep doors open to ensure adequate ventilation.

Watch Online

On Zoom: Register or join the meeting in progress

Or watch the simulcast on our Facebook page: http://fb.me/sfsucculent

Meeting Agenda

7:00 Mingling and announcements
7:30 Formal presentation starts promptly with Society business
7:35 Show and Tell Table
7:50 Leg stretch
7:55 Featured presentation

Upcoming Events

  • Sept 20, 2022 – Ernst van Jaarsveld, on cliff-dwelling succulents of SA