The Romance of Northern Mexico — A Plant Safari

With Russell Wagner
Tuesday, October 18, 2022 – 7:00 pm Pacific Time

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

Program Description

Just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and just after being laid off from his job, Russell stood on the sidewalk in front of his office with a few other people, nervously discussing what their plans were, now that none of them had jobs. “What will you do, Russell?”, someone asked? But he didn’t even need to think: “I’m going to Mexico!” he said, and bought a ticket later that day for a month-long cactus adventure.

Russell will share stories and photos of his many adventures in northern Mexico, where we will see many Mexican cacti species that reside in that area, including Lophophora (the famous peyote so common in north-central Mexico), Ariocarpus (the coveted “rock cacti,” which turned out to be common and widespread), Obregonia (much larger than imagined), Geohintonia (which occurs at just one spot, so you have to know where to go), Aztekium, and Astrophytum. Along the way we will encounter mammillarias, agaves and echeverias, too. Russell will also share photos of roadside wildflowers and the pueblos magicos he visited (special towns known for their well-preserved colonial architecture and local crafts).

Russell Wagner is a longtime SFSCS member and former editor of Cactus and Succulent Journal. In his two East Bay greenhouses he hybridizes mesembs, adromischus, and euphorbias, and ruthlessly culls seedlings to select only the most beautiful plants to keep and sell. He has traveled eight times to southern Africa, including a three week solo tour of northern Namibia in 2022. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he began collecting tillandsias, and now has over 400 varieties. Let’s say he’s lost his mind. Again.

For the show and tell table this month, bring any hybrid succulent.

This month’s featured grower is Russell Wagner

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. This can make the room a bit chilly so dress appropriately.

Watch Online

On Zoom: Register or join the meeting in progress.

Or watch the simulcast on our Facebook page:

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

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