Treasures of the Southern Atacama Desert: The Land of the Copiapoa

With Peter Beiersdorferfer
Tuesday, July 18, 2023 – 7:00 pm Pacific Time (California)

Members and visitors can attend in person in San Francisco,
or register/join the meeting in progress on Zoom.

Program Description

Chile is home to some of the most iconic cacti in the world. This talk will focus on the genus Copiapoa, which grows in the far southern part of the Atacama Desert, centered on the Chilean town of Copiapo. Plants shown in the presentation will include Copiapoa cinerascens, C. dealbata, C. echinoides, C. haseltoniana, C. krainziana, C. longistaminea, C. serpentisulcata, and C .solaris. The area is also home to other cactus genera such as Eulychnia, Eriosyce, Miqueliopuntia, and Cumulopuntia, as well as other succulent plants that are adapted to grow in one of the most arid regions on our planet. 

Peter retired from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory four years ago. Since then he has traveled twice to Chile during early spring to explore and photograph its succulent flora, complementing two earlier trips to Argentina. Peter is one of the vendors at our annual show & sale. He propagates plants from seeds and cuttings, including mesembs and bulbs from the winter rainfall areas of Southern Africa, and many cactus species from North and South America.

Show & tell table: Copiapoa and Aloe, and anything else that is looking good.

Featured grower: Peter Beiersdorfer

Snack table:, There will be a shared spread, but we suggest bringing something every couple of months if you partake regularly. As a thought, we are often short on drinks. 

Covid precautions: Vaccination recommended. We will keep doors open to ensure adequate ventilation. This can make the room a bit chilly so dress appropriately.

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

Watch Online

On Zoom: Register or join the meeting in progress.

Or watch the simulcast on our Facebook page:

Upcoming Events

  • Meetings usually on the third Tuesday each month: August we will feature a talk on Succulent Geometry by Russel Ray.