Collecting Cacti.

(Ramblings of a raw beginner!)


I have had some sort of a cactus collection for many years, but little care or attentionhas been afforded the poor things, in truth, I couldn't tell my Echinopsis from my Mammillaria! All this was to change when I happened to visit an exhibition given by the local 'Cactus' Society in the neighbouring town. I suppose this must have fired my collecting instinct, and gave me the incentive to find out more about these fascinating plants.

It was not long until I had bought a few more species to swell my meagre collection. I really had no idea what to buy at this stage, I just got the ones I liked the look of, especially if they happened to be in blossom at the time! A word of warning here: I saw some cacti for sale at a nearby DIY chain store. They looked quite good from a distance, but closer inspection showed that most of the flowers had been 'glued' to the body of the plants. It proved that the blossom was not only the incorrect type for the species, but had been (badly) glued on in the wrong places! Of course, the assistant in the store could offer no solution when quizzed about this!

It soon became obvious that there was no real direction or theme to what I had started. It was time therefore to find out more.

The first logical step was to find out more about the local growers and collectors. This was done, and in due course I received a programme for the following year from the North Wiltshire branch of the British Cactus and Succulent Society. I went along to the first meeting of the year, which, as it happened was just suited to my immediate needs, and concerned cultivation and propagation. Being a raw beginner to this fascinating hobby, I was quickly coerced into getting 'up front' and doing a little light potting on! The members at the local branch, although not very many in number, were extremely helpful to me, and I was made to feel really welcome.

I asked about the existence of a Web-site, and was told that one was being designed at this very moment. A link will be posted here as soon as the URL becomes available. Watch this space!


The BCSS have a web-site which may be found at:-

Here it is possible to find details of your local Branch and all sorts of other good information

I have written a special Website for our local BCSS Branch here in Wiltshire.

Click here

One of my favourite aspects of cacti and succulent plants is the wonderful variety and colour of the flowers they produce. I have taken the opportunity to display some of the many flowers which I have had the pleasure of seeing in my modest collection. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

All the pictures in the galleries below were taken with an Olympus Digital SLR camera, ideal for producing images for use on these pages.

Cactus Picture Gallery - 2000

Cactus Picture Gallery - 2001

Cactus Picture Gallery - 2003

More photos will be posted here as and when they become available.

Some books about Cacti and Succulents

Cacti - the Illustrated Dictionary
Rod & Ken Preston-Mafham
Timber Press (Portland Oregon)
ISBN 0-88192-400-8
19.99 appx $28
Excellent book for identification of 'Barrel' Cacti. Over 1100 colour photos.

The Complete Book of Cacti & Succulents.
Terry Hewitt.
Dorling Kindersley.
ISBN 0-7513-2419-1

The Pathfinder's Guide to Cacti & Other Succulents.
Keith Grantham & Paul Klassen.
David & Charles.
ISBN 0-7153-0925-0

Success with Cacti.
Franz Becherer.
Merehurst Ltd.
ISBN 1-85391-322-7
2.99 (Bargain!)

The World Encyclodpedia of Cacti & Succulents
Miles Anderson.
Anness Publishing Ltd.
ISBN 1-84081-436-5

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