Meeting Location: DBG – Dorrance Hall
Meeting Time: 2:00 p.m.

The monthly meetings will include:

  • Announcements of upcoming meetings and events
  • Club news
  • a 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 pm but you can come early to socialize and peruse the Silent Auction plants. Here is a map of the Garden.

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

Presenter: Scott McMahon

Scott holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Plant Protection from the College of Agriculture, University of Arizona, 1977.

He worked for 5 years in the ag chemical business and held Pest Control Advisor licenses in both Arizona and California.

He has more than 40 years’ experience in landscaping and maintenance in the Phoenix area.

He has been twice past president of the Central AZ Cactus and Succulent Society, and is an honorary lifetime member.

He has been collecting cacti and succulents for over 40 years.

Because of his knowledge of Spanish, he has participated in three workshops on desert plants in Mexico.

He is a second generation native Arizonan.

He was a certified arborist for 15 years and managed the cactus collection at the Desert Botanical Garden from 2006 to 2020.

He has taught classes on various subjects for the Desert Landscaper School, as well as other classes at the DBG and off-site on cacti, succulents, and other subjects pertaining to desert plants.

Retired in 2020, he has been enjoying working on his own collection of cacti, succulents, and desert landscape plants.


Exploring Baja California

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 independently 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 bonsai appearance.