The Cactus Patch
Volume 16       September 2013      Number 9

Books, etc.
A Letter From Bruce
by Bruce Hargreaves

This has been a relatively slow month, so I will review a few books and journals. Going all the way back to the May-June issue of To the Point (CSSA Newsletter) I was saddened to see four leading cactophiles with the title “In memory of…” I met two of them back in 1987 when I used my study leave from the National University of Lesotho to do a lecture tour in the US. When I gave a talk in Watsonville, we stayed with Frank and Naomi Bloss. More recently, they spoke at the Fresno club in Feb. 2009 (see attached photo). I’m glad we had one last chance to meet with Frank then. At the end of my lecture tour I spoke at the CSSA convention in Tempe, Arizona and met Sam Williams (see attached photo) I met him again at the convention in Tucson in 2009.

On a happier note, we went to a book sale at the Beale Library on the 11th of July and managed to get a lot of reference books such as the 1st edition of The Jepson Manual – Higher Plants of California (only $1!). On the 16th we went to Russo’s Books for the 50th wedding anniversary of the owners. We bought a book on discount.

At the July meeting I mentioned that the Lily family had been split into a dozen families. The recent issue of Alsterworthia (a journal on Aloes, Gasterias and Haworthias) has an article by Gordon Rowley on the rearranging of Aloes and Haworthias.

The genus Aloe has been split into four genera with some species lumped in with Haworthias. They are as follows:

>Aloidendron (trees)
>Aloiampelos (scramblers and climbers)
>Kumara=Aloe plicatilis
>Aloe (most Aloes)

The genus Haworthia has been split into three:

>Haworthia (leaves soft, not spine-tipped)
>Haworthiopsis (leaves firm, spine-tipped; flowers bilabiate) [four Aloes are included]
>Tulista (leaves spiraled or twisted in 5s, spine -tipped; flowers tubular) [8 Aloes included]

On the 1st of August we went to Fresno and sat through a presentation by four members. (Actually it wasn’t bad- Ruth Saludes kept the others in line time wise. Larry Homan spoke on how to stage and grow succulents in ceramic pots. Susan Cook spoke on a “poor man’s greenhouse”-a car port! Fred Gaumer spoke on how to repot and move plants. Finally Ruth Saludes spoke of displays of groups (succulent wreathes etc.).

On the 3rd Polly and I got up early and watched the explosion of the PG&E power plant from a safe distance on Rosedale. The news media keep referring to it as an implosion, but, obviously, it wasn’t. That Sunday our family had lunch at Arby’s which overlooks the site. Afterwards Polly & I drove over to Lowe’s to see where people were injured. It was much closer than we were. We then went and tried out the new Parkway.

On the 8th John came back from Eastern Europe. Among other things he went to an international caving conference in Brno, Czech Republic and some caves in the Ukraine which have gypsum crystals. The pictures are fantastic – but they are only a few among nearly 3000.

On the 13th, of course, we had dinner at La Costa Mariscos. The food was excellent, but the room was a bit warm and noisy.

Next day Polly and I went to Yokuts Park for the demonstration on rationalizing immigration. There were Sikhs in turbans, Koreans with drums, Jews, marchers with mariposas (butterflies) and a pseudo Aztec with pheasant feathers. I think it’s interesting that the news media keep giving the small number of anti immigration demonstrators equal space.

Bruce, Dr. S.J. Williams(Windhoek, Namibia),Brian Kemble(Walnut Creek,CA) & Sam Williams (Sacramento, CA)

Fresno Club


BCSS Dinner

Pseudo Aztec

PREVIOUS LETTER               Bruce's Letters               NEXT LETTER