Meeting Date: February 16, 2019
Meeting Time: 2:00 p.m.
Meeting Location: Dorrance Hall, DBG
The meeting will include:
- Announcements of upcoming meetings and events
- Club news
- Monthly presentation
Members frequently bring in cuttings to share on the free plant table.
We meet at 2:00 pm the last Sunday of most months at the Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, Arizona. The general meeting begins at 2:00 pm but you can come early to socialize and peruse the Silent Auction plants. Here is a map of the Garden.
Our Board meets in January, March, May, July, September and November at 11:30 am in Farrington Hall, on the day of the regular monthly meeting to discuss CACSS business; all members are welcome to attend Board meetings.
Biography: Wendell S. (Woody) Minnich
Woody, as he is commonly called, has been in the cactus hobby for some 45 years and has become well known for his participation in many of the cactus and succulent clubs. He is an honorary life member of nine clubs as well as a life member of CSSA (Cactus & Succulent Society of America.) He has served in almost all positions of leadership from president, to newsletter editor, to show chairman and so on. He is also known for his extensive field work studying primarily the cactus family. He has traveled throughout Africa, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Madagascar, Mexico, Namibia, New Zealand, Peru, Socotra, the United States and Yemen. From these trips he has developed an extensive knowledge of the cactus family as well as many of the other succulent genera.
Woody is also known for his many presentations. His photography is considered to be special and his commentary very entertaining and educational. He is a recognized international speaker and has spoken for plant conventions – organizations all over the USA, as well as in England, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Mexico. Woody has also authored a number of articles for various newsletters, the CSSA journal and his photographs are well published. Woody is the creator-originator of the first color version of the CSSA journal “Cacti and Succulents for the Amateur” that also featured show plants, shows and the growers of the pictured plants.
He is also known for his cactus and succulent nursery, Cactus Data Plants. CDP was started in 1975 and is still in operation today. Cactus Data Plants specializes in show specimens and rare cacti and other succulents with particular emphasis in Ariocarpus, Astrophytum, Mammillaria, Gymnocalycium, Turbinicarpus, Melocactus, Copiapoa, Fouquieria, Pachypodium, Euphorbia, Cyphostemma, Adenium and Adenia.
Woody and his wife Kathy now live in the beautiful mountains south of Santa Fe New Mexico in a region called Cedar Grove. He has a small 1,200 sq, ft. greenhouse where he grows his unique plants. He is always on the move and travels frequently to do presentations and shows throughout the western United States. Woody is the proud parent of three children, Leah, Denver and Sarah, all of whom are now grown and out in the big world. Woody is also the proud grandparent of three grandsons, Indiana, Ashton and Logan. He is a retired high school teacher of 32 years and he taught Graphic Arts, Architecture, Art and Health.
Woody Minnick: 20 Years in the Atacama, The Land of the Copiapoa
Similar to the coast of Namibia, the coastal and inland regions of northern Chile, known as the Atacama, is mainly watered by amazing fogs, “the Camanchacas.” These fog-fed regions, in two of the driest deserts in the world, have some of the most interesting cactus and succulents to be found anywhere. The Atacama of northern Chile has an endemic genus considered by many to be one of the most dramatic to have ever evolved, the Copiapoa. This ancient genus is also believed to be tens of thousands of years old, and there are those who feel it might well be on its way out! The ocean currents that affect the coastal Atacama have changed considerably over the last hundreds of years, and now its only source of moisture is primarily from consistent dense fogs. Some of these areas rarely, if ever, get rain and the plants that have evolved there live almost entirely off the heavy condensation from the Camanchaca.
There are many different Copiapoa species ranging from small quarter sized subterranean geophytes to giant 1,000-year-old, 300-head mounding clusters. Thanks to Rudolf Schulz’s excellent field work and his two comprehensive Copiapoa books, we have all been introduced to these amazing plants. Having worked with Rudolf in Chile, I can honestly say that the genus Copiapoa is without comparison! Now, having visited Chile numerous times over the last 20+ years, I have become familiar with most all of the representatives of this genus. With this presentation, I hope to taxonomically introduce you to most of the Copiapoa species as well as show their relationships and synonyms. Along with the Copiapoa, we will also encounter many other genera including the Neochilenias, Neoporterias, Eriosyce, Eulychnias, Trichocereus, as well as many of the other Chilean succulents. Chile also offers some of the best lunar landscapes, geologic formations, and spectacular beaches to be found in all of South America.
This last August 2018, I had the pleasure of leading a group of 20 crazy cactophiles in seven four-wheel drive trucks. Our objectives were to see most of the fantastic plants and spectacular scenery that are to be found in this the land of the Camanchaca. Most of our group were very young adults (25-35yrs), and they all wanted to see and know how us old timers (Rudolf, Woody, Ritter and Charles) used to do our explorations to the wild and seldom seen places of Chile. Not only did we take them on very bad roads, the kind of dusty, dirty two tracks we used to have to maneuver, we also had them camp out in the middle of nowhere with the scorpions. No restaurants, no showers, no beds, and no bar! These camp-outs were exceptional as we could often see, without light pollution, the Southern Cross and the Magellanic Lights until the Camanchaca fog slowly blanketed our campfire discussions. What an incredible trip it was! The energy of the young people and my memories of the last 20+ years in Chile made this an epic adventure, one I will never forget! Join me at the meeting, and hopefully you’ll share our exhilarating experience and the overall magic of this wonderful arid region, the Atacama.