Cactus Courier
Newsletter of the Cactus and Succulent Society of San Jose

Growing and propagating South African bulbs

Do you like bulbs? Ernesto Sandoval, director of the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory, will be talking about his experience growing South African bulbs. Come see pretty pictures of these photogenic flowers and learn about their diversity in both foliage and flower as well as their horticultural needs and some of the reasons why South Africa has so many of them!

Also, Ernesto will be bringing bulbs and other succulent beauties to purchase for your benefit and that of the Botanical Conservatory. Nerine, Lachenallia, Albuca, Cyrtanthus and an assortment of other bulbs including a few California natives will be available. Nearly all of these species are quite suitable for and tested in Northern California, especially San Jose! On the less common side of succulents Mr. Sandoval will also bring less common succulents from South Africa and elsewhere such as Pseudolithos migiurtinus, P. cubiformis, Whitesloana crassa!, Dorstenia gigas, Dendrosicyos socotrana, Euphorbia millotti, a variety of Haworthia and an other interesting plants.

Every quarter at UC Davis, a new set of interns gain a better understanding of how and why plants grow and react the way that they do from Mr. Sandoval. Using minimal scientific words and lots of analogies, he relates the people and the plant worlds to each other.

Ernesto grew up in the fast paced "Mow, Blow, and Go!" landscaping business of his father and other close relatives. His interest in Biology took him to UC Davis. A tour during his Freshman year at the Conservatory introduced him to his future passion. At and because of the Conservatory, he discovered plants beyond turf grass and foundation plants, especially succulents and drought tolerant plants -- including natives. To fill a void felt from his container intensive Conservatory work, he started doing more in-ground growing in his own and others' personal gardens.

There will be no Mini Show for the February meeting.

The Cactus Courier is the newsletter of the Cactus and Succulent Society of San Jose (CSSSJ). The members of the CSSSJ freely contribute the materials published herein. The accuracy of information and opinions expressed are those of the contributors. Scannable hardcopy and Windows format text files sent via email or on CD or DVD are acceptable as input. Send newsletter articles to Rich Kroll at:

To contact our club president, Loyd Monaco, send an email to