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Welcome to the Southampton & District Branch of the British Cactus and Succulent Society


May Meeting - 1st May

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday 1 May at our regular meeting venue in West End. There will be people setting up at the hall from 7pm, with the meeting starting at 8pm. It will be a Cultivation & Propagation Workshop. Some of the features of the meeting and the topics we will discuss:

The Winter - We will begin with a general chat about how we, our plants and our greenhouses fared through the winter months – how did your heaters cope in the cold weather, did you use a polythene lining to help maintain temperatures, and was your electricity or gas usage much higher this year than in recent winters?

Hardy Plants - Do you manage to grow any cacti or succulents outdoors? Which species have you found to be tough enough to withstand not only the cold, but also the long wet British winter? If you have any hardy plants in pots in the garden please bring them in so that they will help illustrate our discussion.

New products - Last year we spoke about some newer products on the market, such as Rootgrow and SB Plant Invigorator, along with some newer practical and digital greenhouse accessories. We will have a chat about our experiences with these products and discuss any others that might have appeared in shops and garden centres. If you have tried any new products, please bring them along to the meeting.

Free plants handed out by the branch. You may have grown some of the plants given out by the branch in previous years. Please bring yours in, so that we can compare our differing results, and discuss our successes and failures. The plants handed out in previous years include: Echeveria lilacina, Mammillaria albilanata, Mammillaria microhelia, Mammillaria glassii v ascensionis, Frithia pulchra, Euphorbia obesa, Echeveria cuspidata var. zaragozae. And we will also be distributing another free plant to everyone attending the May meeting – that’s another good reason to be there!

Problem Plants. If you have any plants that you are finding difficult to grow, or which are suffering problems for which you are unable to determine the reason, bring them to the meeting and we will see if we can decide what the problem might be, and how best to resolve it.

Haworthias. Haworthias are among Bruce Beckerleg's favourite plants, and he will be bringing along a selection of species from his collection to talk about.

Plant Swap Table for cuttings and seedlings. If you have spare cuttings and seedlings please bring them along to the meeting so that you can swap them with other members.

Don't forget to bring along plants for the Table Show classes this month, which for cactus are 3 Cacti and for succulent are 3 Succulents; we shall also have the regular class for Flowering Plant (cactus or succulent). Full details of pot size limits etc can be found elsewhere on this website, or on the printed branch programme.

Monthly Meetings

The Southampton and District branch holds regular meetings on the first Tuesday of each month, at Saint James' Church Hall, Church Hill (A27), West End (SO30 3LA). The Hall is located on the A27, about one mile west of junction 7 of the M27. Access to the hall car park is from Hatherell Close - if this car park is full, you can also go round the corner and use the main church car park which can be entered from West End Road. There is no charge for attending meetings and visitors are just as welcome as members. In addition, the Branch takes part in shows and displays at other venues throughout the year.

Each monthly meeting starts at 7:30pm and finishes at 10:00pm, with a break for refreshments. The meetings generally consist of a speaker and slide show, or a practical demonstration or talk. A good selection of plants are available for purchase, and there is also an extensive library of books which can be borrowed on a monthly basis. There is also a table show, where members bring along plants from a nominated category or genus.


Each month, the branch publishes a newsletter. These contain summaries of the talks given at meetings and also provide additional information about forthcoming events. You can download these newsletters (in PDF format) here

50th Anniversary

2004 was a very special year for the Branch since it marked our 50th Anniversary. We held a special birthday convention to celebrate this occasion. If you are interested in the history of the branch, click here.


The branch holds an extensive collection of books which can be borrowed by members. Click here for details of the branch library and for a list of the titles available.


The branch has recently commissioned an enamel badge which allows members to show their affiliation to the branch. Click here for further details.

Additional Information & Links

Click here for some general information on the cultivation of cacti and succulents. It's also fun to try and raise plants from seed.
Click here for links to other Internet websites containing useful information on cacti and succulents.

Photo Galleries

Photos of plants, of some of the events we took part in during recent years, and of the 2004 National Show (which featured some of the best plants in the country).
Gallery 1   Gallery 2  
Events 1   Events 2   Events 3
2004 BCSS National Show   1  2  3  4  5  6  7
2005   2006   2007
2016 BCSS National Show   1  2  3  4  5  6 
ELK Conferences   ELK 2012  ELK 2013

2018 Programme

Date Subject/Speaker Table Show
2nd Jan Members' Mini Talks - a number of short talks by branch members Echinocactus Group, Aloe Group, Plant in Flower
6th Feb Brazil - The Land of the Uebelmannia (Cliff Thompson) Eriosyce Group, Crassulaceae Group, Plant in Flower
6th Mar Peru 2017 (Ian Woolnough) Opuntia Group, Haworthia Group, Plant in Flower
3rd Apr What I Saw Last Winter - Mexico & Madagascar (Paul Klaassen) Rebutia Group, Gasteria Group, Plant in Flower
1st May Cultivation & Propagation Workshop With demonstrations and discussions Cacti (3 plants), Succulents (3 plants), Plant in Flower
12th May Display / Plant Sales @ Sparsholt College (Countryside Day) 9:30am - 4:30pm
5th Jun Travels in Ethiopia (Bob Potter) Parodia Group, Euphorbia Group, Plant in Flower
30th Jun Branch visit to South West Cactus Mart, Portishead, Bristol BS20 7DD  
3rd Jul Cultivation of Cacti & Succulents (Terry Smale) Gymnocalycium Group, Stapelia Group, Plant in Flower
22nd Jul Branch Garden Party - hosted by Alice Jankovec, West Moors, Dorset  
24-26 Jul Display / Plant Sales @ New Forest Show, Brockenhurst 9am - 6pm
28th Jul Branch visit to Oxford Branch Show - Old Mill Hall, Grove, Wantage OX12 7LB  
7th Aug Plant Focus Evening – Mammillaria & Euphorbia Echinopsis Group, Agave Group, Plant in Flower
4th Sep Succulent Senecios (John Foster) Mammillaria Group, Mesemb Group (exc Lithops), Plant in Flower
8th Sep Display / Plant Sales @ Romsey Show, Broadlands 9:00am - 6:00pm
2nd Oct Gasterias in Habitat & Culture (Tony Roberts) Echinocereus Group, Lithops Subgroup, Plant in Flower
6th Nov Around The Collection (Stuart Riley) Copiapoa Group, Echeveria Subgroup, Plant in Flower
4th Dec Annual General Meeting, followed by Christmas Social  

Regular Meetings (@ St James)
Shows, Displays and other Events
Note: Amendments are very rare, but if they are necessary, they will be posted on this website. If travelling from a distance, please check here (or with the secretary) a day or two before the event.

Monthly Table Show
The Table Show is held at most branch meetings, see table above for details of the eligible cactus and succulent classes for each month. The classes are divided into Open Section (unlimited pot size), Intermediate Section (4.5in pot size limit) and Novice Section (3.5in pot size limit). For every table show, there is also a class for Any cactus or succulent plant in flower (unlimited pot size).

Members can enter multiple entries in a class, if they wish. The novice classes are open to all branch members who have not previously won the Novice Section.

The classes will be judged according to the 10th edition of the BCSS Handbook of Shows. The decision of the judge will be final.

Trophies will be awarded at the end of the year to the persons gaining the most points over the year in the different classes. In addition, the Ladies Cup will be awarded to the lady member gaining the most points across all classes during the year.

Contact Details

To obtain further information or for correspondence, please contact:
David Neville, 
Tel: 023 8055 1173
Mob: 07974 191354
Email: davnev at btopenworld.com
(replace "at" with @ when emailing)
Vinay Shah, 
Tel: 023 80261989 
Email: info at southampton.bcss.org.uk
(replace "at" with @ when emailing)

British Cactus and Succulent Society Calendar of Events.