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First Thursdays January through November at 7 PM - Open to the Public

A short business meeting then an informative presentation

In person meetings at the school have the following . . .

Great refreshments follow to socialize with other cactus enthusiasts

All attendees get a free plant, 3 door prizes awarded and 3 raffle plant winners selected

 Members can sell their plants prior to the meeting - see rules

Our Meetings are normally held at Sky Islands Public High School located at 6000 E. 14th St Tucson, AZ 85711

NOTE: We have been ONLY having virtual zoom presentations for some time due to Covid-19 concerns.
The August meeting will be a virtual zoom presentation.
To join our monthly Meetings use   or  View our Zoom Instructions


The TCSS September meeting will be held in person at
Sky Island Public High School
6000 East 14th Street, Tucson AZ 
(see links above for information and directions)
speaker and topic below under Meeting Presentations

See a List of Previous Monthly Meetings including Overviews, Videos, Free and Raffle Plant Slide Shows

Also, you can view previous presentations on YouTubeSee Index




The TCSS September meeting is planned to be held in person at
Sky Island Public High School
6000 East 14th Street
Tucson, AZ 85711 

September 2, 2021  7:00 pm

"Agave Cultivation Tips: An overview of how to care for your favorite specimens"
Presented by: Greg Starr  

More information and photos will be added in August.


August 5, 2021  7:00 pm

"The Succulent Flora of Limpopo, KZN and Mpumalanga"
Presented by: Robert Skillin, Arroyo Grande, California  
Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga are the 3 provinces of South Africa which comprise the northeastern corner of the country. They are adjacent to the countries of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland.

The succulent flora there is adapted to a subtropical, summer-rainfall regime and is generally totally different than that found in the winter-rainfall areas in the western portions of the country such as Namaqualand and the Richtersveld. The diversity of succulent flora is very high, and comparable to the western areas. Rainfall varies from lows of 4 to 8 inches in the very northeastern tip of the country, to highs over 40 inches in the Drakensberg Mountains, which run parallel to, and inland from the eastern coastline. Rain frequently occurs as thundershowers throughout these northeastern areas. Temperatures are generally mild; highs ranging from 77° - 90° with lows of 45° - 60°. Maximum highs of 113° - 117 ° are only occasionally felt. It rarely freezes in the winter, except in the Drakensberg Mountains, where snow is possible.

Rob's program will feature euphorbias, aloes, stapeliads, summer-growing bulbs from various different families, adenias, pachypodiums, haworthias and other succulent plants. 

Rob has been growing cacti and succulents for 43 years, and has been involved in various local societies for most of that time, starting with the San Diego CSS in the 1970's, then to the Santa Barbara and Bakersfield clubs. He currently belongs to the Central Coast CSS of which he was a founding member, first President and first Show and Sale Chairman. He has also been involved with the CSSA as a member of its Board of Directors, and is a CSSA certified Judge.

Along with his interest in cacti and succulents, he enjoys photography and travel. These interests have come together in a wonderful way during his botanical explorations of the western US and Mexico, and portions of South America, Africa, Madagascar and the Middle East. He has several programs based on these trips, and he speaks regularly to clubs in northern and southern California, as well as at the Huntington Succulent Symposium and 2019 CSSA Convention. Many of his photographs have been published as illustrations for articles and covers of the CSSA Journal and Haseltonia, as well as the Timber Press Book of Succulents of the World. He has recently published articles on Pediocactus and Ariocarpus in the CSSA Journal.

Please join us for this excellent Zoom program that will be an important educational and information presentation you must see. Also be sure to log in to win a $25.00 gift certificate from TCSS or choose a copy of the new 3rd edition of the Field Guide to Cacti & Other Succulents of Arizona.


July 1, 2021  7:00 pm

"Tohono O’odham Cultural Significance and Uses of Ha:sañ" (Carnegiea gigantea / Saguaro Cactus)

Presented by: Andrea Ramon. MA-AIEd/LLSS

O’odham Ñi’okĭ kc HImdag Ha-Maṣcamdam, TOCC, ASU

Note this meeting was a Virtual Meeting using Zoom conferencing technology


Andrea Ramon is Tohono O’odham, an educator, trainer, and capacity builder. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona and Master’s degree in Language, Literacy, & SocioCultural Studies with a concentration in American Indian Education from the University of New Mexico. She is currently an Adjunct Instructor in the Tohono O’odham Studies Department at Tohono O’odham Community College and an associate faculty at Arizona State University in the American Indian Studies Department. Her passion, work, and advocacy focus on Indigenous and immersion language and cultural revitalization, maintenance, teaching, training, Indigenizing curriculum with Indigenous communities, and developing materials for O’odhamkaj (Indigenize It).

Please join us for this Zoom program that will be an important educational and informational presentation. Also be sure to log in to win a $25.00 gift certificate from TCSS or choose a copy of the new 3rd edition of the

Field Guide to Cacti & Other Succulents of Arizona.


June 3, 2021  7:00 pm

"What you need to know about the Ocotillo before you die"

Presented By: James W. Cornett
Desert Ecologist and Professional Naturalist

Note this meeting was a Virtual Meeting using Zoom conferencing technology


Did you know? In the American Southwest, there are more streets named after the ocotillo than any other desert plant. It is the only species that blooms every year regardless of rainfall. Migrating hummingbirds can’t survive without its blossoms. Learn what every desert aficionado should know about the desert’s most remarkable keystone species. Presented by Jim Cornett who has been studying ocotillos in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California, since 2007.

James W. Cornett is a desert ecologist living in Palm Springs, California. He is one of the Southwest’s most prolific writers with more than forty-two of his books published as of 2021. He enjoys sharing his love of desert natural history through writing, teaching and lecturing. He is the first professional naturalist to have visited all nine of the world’s great deserts and is currently writing a book on his travels and research in each desert. His most recently released book (2021) is titled Wildflowers of Anza-Borrego. Mr. Cornett holds both B.A. and M.S. degrees in biology and is the founder and principle biologist for JWC Ecological Consultants, Inc., an ecological consulting firm specializing in endangered species studies in the deserts of the American Southwest.

In addition to his books and award-winning newspaper column (his column was voted “Best of The Valley” in 2011), Mr. Cornett has written for numerous magazines including Natural History (published by the American Museum of Natural History), California Wild (published by the California Academy of Sciences), Harper’s and Westways to name only a few. He has also authored dozens of scientific papers and is one of the country’s leading experts on desert palm oases, the Joshua Tree and Ocotillo. He is currently researching the impact of climate change on these three symbols of the California deserts. In 1987, Mr. Cornett discovered the local desert fan palm was the first terrestrial plant on Earth whose populations were being effected by global warming. His research has made front-page news in both the Desert Sun and Riverside Press Enterprise as well appearing in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and New York Times. More recently he has been conducting research on the possibility roadrunners hibernate. The new edition of his book on the Roadrunner has been recently released.

Everyone needs to Zoom in for this program and you will truly enjoy this special educational and informational presentation. Also be sure to log in to win a $25.00 gift certificate from TCSS or choose a copy of the new 3rd edition of the Field Guide to Cacti & Other Succulents of Arizona.


May 6, 2021  7:00 pm

"Exploring the Evolutionary History of the Chollas and Prickly Pears of western North America and beyond"

Presented By: Lucas C. Majure, Ph.D.

Assistant Curator Keeper, University of Florida Herbarium (FLAS) Florida Museum of Natural History University of Florida

Note this meeting was a Virtual Meeting using Zoom conferencing technology


Lucas will focus on some of their recent work to determine the relationships among the chollas commonly found across the Chihuahuan, Mojave and Sonoran deserts, but with a focus on the Sonoran Desert, which is the most diverse region for the chollas. He will discuss the distribution of those taxa and speciation processes that have led to the current diversity that we see in the group. He will also touch on the recent and updated work on the prickly pears of the region, with a special focus on members of the Opuntia macrorhiza complex, indeed a complicated group of plants with a very wide distribution.

Lucas C. Majure, Ph.D., is the Assistant Curator and Keeper of the University of Florida Herbarium (FLAS). Department of Natural History at the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Please join us and welcome Lucas back again. This time he will focus on an excellent Zoom program. Enjoy this special educational and informational presentation. Also be sure to log in to win a $25.00 gift certificate from TCSS or choose a copy of the new 3rd edition of the Field Guide to Cacti & Other Succulents of Arizona.

             Cylindropuntia fulgida                                                                              Cylindropuntia_whipplei          

               Grusonia  parishii                                                                                 Opuntia macrorhiza                                                                                


April 1, 2021  7:00 pm

"The Folklore, Enchantment, and Evolution of the Cactus & Succulent Hobby from 1889 to the Present Day"

Presented by:  Gunnar Eisel 

President, San Gabriel Valley Cactus & Succulent Society

Executive Director, Cactus and Succulent Society of America

Note this meeting was a Virtual Meeting using Zoom conferencing technology

The allure of  cacti and succulents has fascinated people for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. However, unlike some other horticultural endeavors, the collecting and fostering an interest in Cactus & Succulents is fairly new. This program focuses on the people, the changing American landscape, and a curious set of events that have shaped our hobby as we find it today

Gunnar Eisel’s interest in cacti and succulents can be traced back to his childhood infatuation with photographing night-blooming cereus flowers and a few unfortunate encounters with opuntia glochids. His interest in cacti became intensified through many annual trips to the Anza-Borrego desert.

Born and raised near Heidelberg, Germany, Eisel has taught music at CSULA, CSUF, Whittier College Fullerton College and Citrus College. He recently retired as a  full-time music theory and history of music professor at Citrus College in Glendora, CA where his students were occasionally subjected to his rantings regarding cacti and succulents.

An avid C&S collector, he serves as Executive Director of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America (CSSA) and President of the San Gabriel Valley Cactus and Succulent Society.

Please join us for an excellent Zoom program and enjoy this special educational and informational presentation. Also be sure to log in to win a $25.00 gift certificate from TCSS or a copy of the new 3rd edition of the Field Guide to Cacti & Other Succulents of Arizona.

Note this meeting is available to TCSS Members on YouTube - you must log-in on this web site


March 4, 2021  7:00 pm

"Cacti of Anthony Gap"

Presented by
Root Gorelick, Professor of Biology - Cactus Biology

I have seen spectacular cactus habitats in many countries, but, surprisingly, my favorite cactus habitat is at the New Mexico-Texas border, just north of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, on the four-lane high-speed NM Highway 404, four miles east of I-10 and the town of Anthony. These are public lands in the Franklin Mountains: the Sierra Vista Trail on BLM lands in New Mexico and Franklin Mountains State Park in Texas. Along an old jeep track perpendicular to Highway 404, there are at least 21 species of cacti (see checklist, below). This is the only known locale in New Mexico for Coryphantha dasyacantha. Clumps of Coryphantha sneedii exist along the trail with over 100 stems. Some specimens of Glandulicactus uncinatus have 8-9 inch long spines. The largest specimens of Echinomastus intertextus I have ever seen are less than a hundred feet from the highway, with a dozen flowers open at once. There are a profusion of forms of the hybrid Echinocereus x roetteri, along with its two putative parents. I will show photos of 20 cactus species here, many in flower, plus the one natural hybrid. I will show another 5-7 taxa that are probably also here, all of which I have seen nearby, which I now need to make a concerted effort to find when I next visit Anthony Gap.

I am a professor of biology (cross-appointed in both mathematics and interdisciplinary studies) at Carleton University in Ottawa, the capital of Canada, but seem to spend most of my days living at the end of a lake in Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park. While this is boat-access (or snowmobile-access) only, 8.5 km from the nearest road, electricity is supplied by cables at the bottom of the lake, so is hardly rustic. My cactus gardens overlook the lake, so close that snapping turtles often lay eggs, digging up my cacti in the process. My cacti are now under several feet of snow. In addition to research on cacti, I study evolution of sex, philosophy of science, mathematics for quantifying diversity, and academic freedom. In the mid 1990s, I lived in Las Cruces, NM, but ironically never stumbled upon Anthony Gap until 15 years ago, as I was moving to Canada.

Cacti at Anthony Gap (21 taxa)
Coryphantha macromeris
Coryphantha dasyacantha (= Escobaria dasyacantha)
Coryphantha sneedii var. sneedii (= Escobaria sneedii var. sneedii)
Coryphantha tuberculosa (= Escobaria tuberculosa)
Coryphantha vivipara var. neomexicana (= Escobaria vivipara var. neomexicana)
Cylindropuntia imbricata
Cylindropuntia leptocaulis
Echinocactus horizonthalonius
Echinocereus coccineus var. rosei
Echinocereus dasyacanthus
Echinocereus x roetteri (= E. dasyacanthus x E. coccineus var. rosei)
Echinocereus viridiflorus var. chloranthus
Echinomastus intertextus
Epithelantha micromeris
Ferocactus wislizeni
Glandulicactus uncinatus var. wrightii
Mammillaria lasiacantha
Opuntia engelmannii
Opuntia macrocentra
Opuntia phaeacantha (= Opuntia camanchica)
Opuntia tortispina

Nearby cacti that are probably also at Anthony Gap (5 taxa)
Coryphantha robustispina
Echinocereus fendleri
Echinocereus stramineus
Mammillaria heyderi
Mammillaria meiacantha

Nearby cacti that may also be at Anthony Gap (2 taxa)
Coryphantha (= Escobaria) sneedii var. organensis (= orcuttii)
Mammillaria grahamii

Please join this Zoom program and enjoy a great presentation from Root Gorelick. It will be very educational and informational. Also be sure to sign up for a free door prize ticket. You can win a $25.00 gift certificate from TCSS that can be used at various locations or you can get a free copy of the new, 3rd edition of the field guide.

Coryphantha sneedii (28 Feb 2020)

Echinomastus intertextus (11 March 2020)

Glandulicactus uncinatus var. wrightii and Coryphantha sneedii (28  Feb 2020)

Mammillaria lasiacantha (11 March 2020)


February 4, 2021  7:00 pm

"Field Guide to Cacti & Other Succulents of Arizona - 3rd Edition Introduction "

Presented by Thomas Staudt

Note this meeting was a Virtual Meeting using Zoom conferencing technology

First published in 2015 the TCSS Field Guide to Cacti & Other Succulents of Arizona is now available in an updated third edition. Thomas Staudt conceived the original idea for the much needed field guide and has served as editor for all three editions. The program will cover a brief history on why and how the book was published. The program will address the process of preparing the field guide for publication including details on how the pages were formatted, layout, photos selected and the use of the species distribution maps. Additionally, adaptations and changes to the second and third editions will be covered with emphasis on the third edition. Overall, three new species have been included. There have been a combined 44 photo updates, 24 map modifications and several nomenclatural adjustments along with occasional copy corrections. 

Thomas is originally from Iowa and moved from Portland, Or. to Tucson in 1991. The Sonoran Desert and the bird life of SE Arizona were the attractions. He had little knowledge of native cacti/succulents at that time but like most of us was fascinated by the mighty saguaro. From the early 90's to 2005 Thomas spent parts of the year conducting bird and plant surveys in AZ, worked above the Arctic Circle and in Denali National Park, Alaska, guided bicycle tours across western and northern states including a cross country tour in 1993. In Winter Thomas would move south, working in the environmental field in McMurdo, Antarctica. One season included a two week stint at the South Pole. While there, Thomas pulled a bike out of storage and did three quick trips around the world in one day at minus 40 degrees. Since 2005 Thomas has remained close to Arizona continuing work with plant and wildlife surveys.

Thomas and his wife Maria Voris have been members of TCSS since 2007. Maria knew of the club and it's rescue activities and their xeriscape yard needed some cacti so... Thomas has served as a Board member for 8 years and is currently head of the Conservation Committee.

Please join this Zoom program and enjoy a very special educational and informational program. Also be sure to join us to try and win a $25.00 gift certificate or a free copy or our 3rd Edition Field Guide..

Thomas Staudt standing next to one of his Cactus Rescue Crew Saguaros that has more than doubled in height in ten years.


Thursday January 7, 2021  7:00 pm

"Euphorbias I: Trees, Medusoids, and Globose Species "
Presented by:  Robert Webb and Toni Yocum via Zoom

Bob Webb and Toni Yocum have travelled extensively in Arabia and East and Southern Africa, and despite having other plant objectives have seen a large number of Euphorbia in habitat. In addition, Arid Lands Greenhouses, which they owns, has one of the world's largest collections of Euphorbias in cultivation. This talk explores several groups of Euphorbia: trees, medusoids, mound formers, and globose species. The emphasis will be on growing these plants in cultivation while learning a few things about them from habitat.

Bob and Toni are owners of Arid Lands Greenhouses. - 3560 W. Bilby Rd., Tucson, AZ 85746  -

Note this meeting is available to TCSS Members on YouTube - you must log-in on this web site


                                                                             Euphorbia qarad

                                Euphorbia pugniformis

Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society (TCSS)

PO Box 64759  -  Tucson, AZ 85728-4759   -   Phone: (520) 256-2447  -  Email:

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