Geometric Geophytes

By Tom Knapik
Tuesday, August 15, 2020 – 7:00 pm Pacific Time


NOTE: This month’s presentation will be held online. Zoom login information below. Our in-person events are suspended until further notice.

Spiral, fractal and symmetrical forms all contribute to the special allure of cacti and succulents. “Geophyte” is a term for miniature plants that grow low to the ground or even underground. In extreme drought they often “pull down” and shrink, only to fatten back up when moisture becomes available. Needless to say, that can make them hard to find, but when we do, they are incredibly rewarding. This month Tom Knapick will encourage us to look at the amazing little gems under our feet, with habitat photos from Mexico, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, and the United States. Adaptive strategies, habitat characteristics, and growth design will be discussed, including mathematical connections.

Woody, Kelly, and Tom, with Coppiapoa

Tom Knapik has photographed succulent collections around the world, and in habitat. He grew up in Northern New York, and moved to San Diego in 1976 for college. He eventually transferred and got a degree in Biology and Zoology from Humboldt State. While visiting a college friend in 1982, he saw a small succulent collection that changed the trajectory of his life. Tom moved back to San Diego and started his career teaching high school math while also working part time at David Grigsby’s cactus nursery. He joined the San Diego Cactus and Succulent Society and eventually served as program chair, president, and newsletter editor, and acted as their annual show chair for 12 years. He has recently retired after 36 years of teaching.

Meeting Format and Login Instructions:

Please plan to join the meeting by 7pm if you haven’t used zoom before, as it takes a moment to download and install. Everyone else is welcome early as well to chit-chat before we start.

The formal presentation will begin at 7:30pm.

Zoom doesn’t run in your browser. It is a desktop app, and there are also mobile apps you can download in your device’s app store to watch on a phone or tablet.

If it’s your first time using zoom, click the link below and it will automatically take you through a download process. If you already have Zoom installed, you can click and go straight in, or  open zoom and use the meeting ID and password to get in. At some point you may be asked a question about audio. “Join with computer audio” is the right choice. Don’t worry, you will be able to keep your microphone muted until you are ready to speak.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 826 7502 7919
Password: sfscs

If the Zoom meeting fills up or you cant get it to work, we will simulcast on Facebook live on our page at: