Meeting Location: Scottsdale Civic Center Library
Meeting Time: 2:00 p.m.

Because of the change in venue, we will not have a silent auction or a free table.  

Please do not bring plants.

Our Board meets monthly to discuss CACSS business. All members are welcome to attend Board meetings.

The general meeting begins at 2 pm and it will include:

  • Announcements of upcoming meetings and events
  • Club news
  • This month’s presentation


Scott McMahon

Scott McMahon is the Cactaceae Collections Manager at the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG). The collection is one of the largest and most complete in the world, with over 10,000 plants in total. He has a BS and MS in Plant Protection from the University of Arizona and is a Certified Arborist which was his first position at the DBG.

Baja California – Part I

Last spring, I had the chance to tour the Baja California peninsula with Guillermo Rivera of Plant Expeditions and 10 other plant enthusiasts. We were on the road for over two weeks and covered the entire length of Baja from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas. We traveled in a large van and made several stops along the way each day to see cacti and succulents, as well as other plants.

Baja California has a very large percentage of endemic and near endemic plants, one of the largest in the world. Many species of cacti and succulents are found nowhere else, or in limited areas on the Mexican mainland. This is due to its long isolation from the rest of Mexico, allowing species to develop independantly from their mainland relatives. A more extreme comparison would be the island of Madagascar.

The climate ranges from coastal Mediterranean in the north, to large areas dominated by fog, to hot dry deserts, a continuation of our Sonoran Desert. The climate at the very southern end is considered tropical, being bisected by the Tropic of Cancer. Many areas in the north were windy, being quite chilly in the evenings, while in the south the days were hot and humid with little breeze.

The landscape of Baja can seem much like our desert here, but with different dominant plants. Cardons and organ pipes replace saguaros, and in some areas Boojums can extend as far as the eye can see. In other places, the landscape takes on a stranger look with lichen covering the plants in the fog zones, and Jatrophas, Pachycormis, Fouquierias, and Burseras growing in twisted shapes taking on a bonzai appearance.