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


April Meeting - 4th April

The speaker at our next meeting, to be held on Tuesday 4th April at our regular meeting venue in West End, is Ben Turner, giving a presentation called 'The Huntington Desert Garden and LA County Arboretum & Botanic Gardens'. The gardens at the Huntington are world famous, with spectacular outdoor plantings and an impressive private collection. During his visit there last year Ben met some of the main propagators at the gardens, so hopefully we shall see pictures of some of the unusual plants that they are growing behind the scenes. The LA County Arboretum is less well known, but this 127 acre garden near the San Gabriel mountains has many attractions, not least the large collection of Aloes that is maintained there.

Ben is an avid horticulturalist and has worked over the years at Tresco on the Scilly Islands, at RHS Wisley, and at Sparsholt Agricultural College. His plant knowledge is wide ranging and his talks are always interesting and informative. We can be sure that we have an entertaining evening to look forward to.

Don't forget to bring some plants along to support the Table Show classes. Cactus classes at this meeting are Rebutia Group, and succulent classes are for Gasteria Group; we shall also have the regular monthly 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 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
2005   2006   2007
2004 National Show   1  2  3  4  5  6  7
ELK Conferences   ELK 2012  ELK 2013

2017 Programme

Date Subject/Speaker Table Show
3rd Jan Members' Mini Talks - a number of short talks by branch members Echinocactus Group, Aloe Group, Plant in Flower
7th Feb Peru - Arequipa to Ancash (Martin Sheader) Eriosyce Group, Crassulaceae Group, Plant in Flower
7th Mar Plants from my Collection (Julie Carey) Opuntia Group, Haworthia Group, Plant in Flower
4th Apr The Huntington Desert Garden & LA County Arboretum (Ben Turner) Rebutia Group, Gasteria Group, Plant in Flower
2nd May Cultivation & Propagation Workshop With demonstrations and discussions Cacti (3 plants), Succulents (3 plants), Plant in Flower
13th May Display / Plant Sales @ Sparsholt College (Countryside Day) 9:30am - 4:30pm
6th Jun South Africa #1 - Western Cape (Chris Eyers) Parodia Group, Euphorbia Group, Plant in Flower
24th Jun Branch visit to South West Cactus Mart, Portishead, Bristol BS20 7DD  
4th Jul Gymnocalycium in Person (Graham Evans) Gymnocalycium Group, Stapelia Group, Plant in Flower
23rd Jul Branch Garden Party - hosted by Alice Jankovec, West Moors, Dorset  
25-27 Jul Display / Plant Sales @ New Forest Show, Brockenhurst 9am - 6pm
1st Aug Cultivation Masterclass - Composts, Repotting & Watering PMammillaria Group, Agave Group, Plant in Flower
12th Aug Branch visit to Oxford Branch Show - Old Mill Hall, Grove, Wantage OX12 7LB  
19th Aug Branch visit to Southern Area Show & Mart, Sevenoaks, Kent TN14 5DN  
5th Sep The Beauty of our Plants (David Traish) Echinopsis Group, Mesemb Group (exc Lithops), Plant in Flower
9th Sep Display / Plant Sales @ Romsey Show, Broadlands 9:45am - 5:30pm
3rd Oct Cacti of the Big Bend, Texas (Hazel Taylor) Echinocereus Group, Lithops Subgroup, Plant in Flower
7th Nov Epiphytic Cacti - A General Introduction (Dr Mark Preston) Copiapoa Group, Echeveria Subgroup, Plant in Flower
5th 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.