NEXT MEETING: February 3rd 11 am

MEETING PROGRAM: Ernesto Sandoval: Forms and Functions of Cacti and Succulents, Inside and Out

Ernesto will be sharing his understanding of the way succulents and other desert plants are adapted to surviving drought in
desert and other dry environments. He’ll cover biology (how they work overall), anatomy (how they’re organized on the inside),
morphology (how they’re organized on the outside, and ecophysiology (how all the parts above work together) to
make the plants adapted to their often challenging lives.
As usual Ernesto bring an assortment of plants, mostly hardy succulents to offer for sale! He will also bring a unique assortment,
separate from the sale plants, for the raffle!
Ernesto Sandoval has been wondering and seeking questions to why plants
grow and look the way that they do for a long time. Now he explains and
interprets the world of plants to a variety of ages and experiences from K-
12 to professionals as well as Master Gardeners. He regularly lectures to a
variety of western Garden Clubs throughout the year and particularly to
Succulent Clubs throughout California. Desert plants are his particular passion
within his general passion for plants. He describes himself as a “Jose
of All Plants, Master of None.” Ernesto thoroughly enjoys helping others,
and gardeners in particular, to understand why and how plants do what they
When he was about 13 he asked his dad why one tree was pruned a particular
way and another tree another way. His dad answered bluntly “because
that’s the way you do it.” Since then he’s been learning and teaching himself
the answers to those and many other questions by getting a degree at
UC Davis in Botany and working from student weeder/waterer to Director
over the last 25 years at the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory.
He’s long left the “mow blow and go” monoculture landscape gardening
world and has immersed himself in the world of polyculture and biodiversity
by growing several thousand types of plants at the
UC Davis Botanical Conservatory, many of them succulents. Several of his
favorite garden projects involved converting lawns and or water loving
landscapes to drought tolerant and diversity filled gardens! He likes to promote
plant liberation by encouraging gardeners of all sorts to grow more plants in the ground when possible. He loves the
technical language of Botany but prefers to relate information in more understandable methods of communication! By helping
people to understand the workings of plants he hopes to help us better understand how to and why our plants do what
they do and how we can maximize their growth with less effort.


January 6th at 11AM.

Hiding in plain sight: a new cactus species from the California Desert

Presenter: Michelle Cloud-Hughes

Presentation Description:
Cylindropuntia chuckwallensis (the chucky cholla) is a newly-described cactus found in San Bernardino, Riverside, and northern Imperial Counties, California. Michelle’s presentation will describe how this historically-misidentified cholla was determined to be a distinct new species and the characteristics that distinguish it from similar cholla species. This presentation will provide detailed information on where to see the chucky cholla as well as other cacti and succulents found in the same areas.

Presenter Bio:
Michelle Cloud-Hughes is a botanist and restoration ecologist specializing in desert flora and ecosystems. She worked for the Soil Ecology and Restoration Group at San Diego State University from 1997 to 2013 and spent most of those years doing restoration work in the central Mojave Desert at Fort Irwin National Training Center. In 2010 she started her company, Desert Solitaire Botany and Ecological Restoration, and since then has been involved in many rare plant surveys and other botanical and restoration projects throughout the southwestern U.S. Her main love is Cylindropuntia, but she is also fascinated by other cactus, particularly Echinocereus, Grusonia, Pediocactus, and occasionally even Opuntia.

LOCATION: Rancho Los Alamitos, 6400 Bixby Hill Road, Long Beach, CA 90815.

Rancho Los Alamitos is located within Bixby Hill and accessed through the residential security gate at Anaheim and Palo Verde. From the 405 Freeway, exit at Palo Verde Avenue and turn south. From the 605 Freeway, exit at Willow, follow to Palo Verde and turn south.
TIME: Sunday, January 6th at 11:00 a.m. Setup will be from 10:30 – 11:00.

REFRESHMENTS: We will follow the alphabet to determine who is to bring the snacks and finger foods. This month, those with last names starting with the letters A through C are asked to bring the goodies. Please feel free to bring something even if you don’t fall into this group.
PLANTs-OF-THE-MONTH: Cactus: Mammillaria Hooke Spines  – Succulent: Aeoniums
Enter up to three plants in each category.

Photos from the May Meeting

Mays Guest Speaker Greg Starr!