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  Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society

Monthly Meeting

  • October 05, 2023
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Sky Islands Public High School

"Endemic Cacti and Succulents of Baja California: A Pictorial Travelogue"

Presented by Peter Breslin

The Baja California peninsula is world famous for astonishing cacti and succulent diversity, as well as unforgettable scenery and remote, sometimes almost inaccessible habitat. Breslin’s first trip to the Baja California peninsula was 33 years ago, only about 12 years after the Transpeninsular Highway was completed. After 24 years of exploration and more than a dozen field trips, Breslin decided to pursue a Ph.D. in the biogeography and evolution of Baja cacti, with an emphasis on the genera Mammillaria and Cochemiea, which constitute a significant portion of the cactus diversity on the peninsula. During his research explorations, he visited and photographed every known taxon in Cactaceae and many succulent species, discovered new populations, revised the genera Mammillaria and Cochemiea, and spent a total of nearly four years in the field, finishing his Ph.D. in 2020. This presentation provides a panoramic, visual and adventurous tour of the rugged and beautiful landscapes and beloved plants of Baja.

Peter started studying cacti in habitat more than 30 years ago and decided to get a Ph.D. in cactus evolution and biogeography at age 52, focused on the Mammillaria and Cochemiea of Baja California. He finished his Ph.D. at 58, at Arizona State University. He has published widely on topics in cactus evolution and ecology, including being one of the authors of The Field Guide to Cacti and Succulents of Arizona, published by the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society. He is currently conducting the sixth installment since 1964 of the long-term saguaro survey on Tumamoc Hill in Tucson, Arizona, as a postdoctoral research fellow at The Desert Lab at The University of Arizona. He is also the managing editor for CSSA publications, and edits both the Cactus and Succulent Journal and the annual peer-reviewed yearbook, Haseltonia.   


We are always thinking of your safety and if you are not feeling well we ask that you join us on the internet Zoom presentation. If you're doing well and would like to attend you are perfectly welcome to come and join us for this really special in person presentation (masks will be encouraged but not required). This meeting will also be a Zoom program and will be an important educational and informational event you must see. Also, if using Zoom, 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. Excellent plant give aways will take place at the in person meeting but that portion of the program, because of the recording, will not appear on Zoom. When leaving the live in person meeting, please enjoy great refreshments provided by our member volunteers and also, everyone can get a special free plant offered to you by the TCSS.


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Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society

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

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