The Cactus Patch
May 2018

Another Busy Month
A Letter From Bruce
by Bruce Hargreaves

What’s in a name?
That which we call a rose
By any other word
Would smell as sweet.


The April issue of Asklepios (the milkweed journal) has an article on the late Sheila Collenette.  I did not know her, but I knew her work as the leading expert on plants of the Arabian Peninsula.  She was president of the International Asclepiad Society and I have written many articles for their journal.

The recent journal also has an editorial which mentions an article in the South African Journal of Botany which lumps all those stinky stapeliads as well as Brachystelma in the genus Ceropegia!  I am a lumper and would certainly lump Brachystelma in with Ceropegia, but I’m not quite ready to join in the stapeliads.  As the editor Keith Bensusan says “Time will tell whether such a radical repositioning of so many genera will gain traction with plant taxonomists.” He also adds, “Names are but a convenience and they certainly make no difference to the plants themselves.”

On the 24th of March we joined the school kids protesting campus killings in their “March for Our Lives”.  It began with speeches in Yokuts Park and then we processed to Truxtun where we stood as cars whizzed by, some of them honking.  I’m not sure we accomplished much, but something has to be done about these intolerable killings!

On the 29th we went to the old First Baptist Church on Truxtun for an opening of yet another restaurant.  For me it is always a bit nostalgic to go there as it was the church my family went to when I was in high school.  It is strange to see a bar in what used to be a teetotal church.  The food and drinks were good.  I especially liked the blue cheese with a bit of a bite to it.

The 30th was a sad occasion as it was the last showing of FLICS!  The film itself (Our Little Sister) was good and had an upbeat ending, but it was Phil Neufeld’s farewell before he leaves for Santa Fe.  The Fox Theater will continue with Flix, a similar film series, but I don’t believe it will be the same.  At any rate, Phil now has a star on the sidewalk outside.

On Easter Sunday Harvey appeared on our clover patch in the lawn along with some eggs.  We went to Lora’s for a family dinner.

On the 5th we went to Fresno and heard Robert Scott, a member of the FCSS, give a talk on propagating and growing and showing succulents.  It was good and I’m glad to hear someone else who does not agree with “one size fits all” solutions.  The only complaint was he tried to cover too much.  Fortunately there was no raffle that night, so we did have a little extra time to be filled.

On the 7th we were once again at Yokuts Park, this time to remember Martin Luther King and his Dream.  Unfortunately the rain discouraged people and there was a low turnout.

The 10th , of course, was the BCSS meeting with a talk by Rob McGregor.  Again we heard about propagating succulents, this time without all the burning and slashing of his previous talk.  We learned how to build greenhouses out of discarded material, which certainly makes our hobby more affordable.

PREVIOUS LETTER               Bruce's Letters               NEXT LETTER