Meeting Location: ZOOM
Meeting Time: 2:00 p.m.

The monthly meetings will include:

  • Announcements of upcoming meetings and events
  • Club news
  • a Silent Plant Auction
  • a monthly presentation

This meeting will commence on Zoom at 2:00 PM. Members will receive an invitation via email.


Growing Brazilian Cacti in Arizona

Presented by Tristan J. Davis


For many in the cacti-growing community, Brazilian species are an enigma.  A mysterious group of cacti associated with bizarre things like “cephalia” and “ornithophily”, and usually labeled with a patented warning about their delicate constitution – whether it be water, heat, shallow roots, any temperature below 50°F, and general aversion to anything close to Arizona conditions.

But…it’s all a lie!  You’ve been duped!  Well….at least somewhat.

Over the past 20 years I have made it a mission to prove all the naysayers wrong.  With varying success.  This presentation will illustrate the exotic and often bizarre cacti that call Brazil their native home, but can do perfectly well in your own backyard.  What I can say for sure is that Brazilian cacti are well worth the effort, and if you just have a little patience, you can be rewarded with the opportunity to brag to all of your friends you can grow goodies like Coleocephalocereus buxbaumianus; just practice saying it beforehand to sound like a pro.


Born into a very “outdoorsy” family, Tristan was introduced to the natural World at a very young age.  His initial interest was specific to South American birds, and subsequent education at Louisiana State University and the University of Kansas allowed him to accompany scientific expeditions to most South American countries, as well as China, the Philippines, and Equatorial Guinea.  It was obvious early on in his travels that Tristan much preferred those locations with less humidity (western Peru, the pampas of Argentina, etc.), and this was a significant reason he moved with his husband to Arizona in 2001.

Once arriving in Arizona, Tristan readily transitioned his scientific passions to cacti and succulents, and although Tristan has authored numerous scientific publications related to ornithology, he published his first paper on desert succulents in 2011 in the Cactus & Succulent Journal.  He’s since participated in botany trips to study agaves in Mexico, co-authored the description of Agave oteroi and discovered and described a new species of cactus in Mexico (Thelocactus tepelmemensis).  He’s currently working with Greg Starr on another agave discovery, a monograph of the ocotillos, as well as working with South American colleagues on Puya in Peru and Cleistocactus in Bolivia.

As most people know, Tristan’s botanical passions are primarily centered around South American columnar and rare Brazilian cacti and the species of ocotillo (Fouquieria).  Additionally, he continues to accompany scientific expeditions to locations around the World hoping to again get to some desert-like locations!

Tristan currently resides in Chandler, AZ and is a member of the Central Arizona Cactus and Succulent Society and the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society; he served on the Board of Directors for CACSS, and currently administers the Propagation Education Group (PEG) and the Seed Depot for the society.  Tristan also volunteers in the Horticulture, Research, and Education departments at the Desert Botanical Garden.