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South Coast Cactus and Succulent Society Meeting – Nov 2015
2015-11-08 @ 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm UTC-8
PRESENTER FOR NOVEMBER is Rob Skillin, from the Central Coast Cactus and Succulent Society in Santa Barbara. This month’s program will feature two little known genera of American cacti: Pediocactus and Sclerocactus. His program highlights the best of 25 years of field study during which Rob photographed all species of the two groups, as well as the magnificent landscapes of the Southwestern US. He will explain what these plants are, where they are found, the often very specialized environmental conditions they have adapted to, and why they are so seldom grown in plant collections. Come to this month’s meeting and learn about the smallest US cactus, the rarest US cactus, and the most widespread genus you’ve never heard of.
Rob has been growing cacti and succulents for approximately 37 years, and has been involved in various local societies for most of that time. The first office he held was Show and Sale Chairman for the Santa Barbara C&SS, during the late 1980’s. After moving to California’s Central Valley, he became a founding member, and later, President of the Bakersfield C&SS. In 2005, after another move, he became a founder the Central Coast C&SS and was its first President.
This society now boasts 200+ enthusiastic members, and held its very successful ninth annual show and sale in May of 2015. He has also been involved with the CSSA as a member of it’s Board of Directors.
His first interest, which continues today, was cacti of the Chihuahuan desert, especially those unique genera such as Ariocarpus, Aztekium, and Strombocactus, etc. Gradually, he diversified his collection to include Mesembs, Haworthias, and other succulents, particularly caudiciforms. He has spent many years studying the cacti of the US, particularly Sclerocacti and Pediocacti. He is an avid grower of plants from seed, and now have a number of seed-grown specimens in his collection dating back to 1982. As an acknowledgment his expertise with these plants, He has been asked to judge numerous shows throughout California, including the CSSA, Intercity, NORCAL, LA, and San Diego shows.
Along with his interest in cacti and succulents, he enjoys photography and travel. These interests have come together in a wonderful way during his botanical explorations of the western US and Mexico, and portions of South America, Africa, Madagascar and the Middle East. He has several programs based on these trips, and speaks regularly to clubs in northern and southern California. Many of his photographs have been published as illustrations for articles in the CSSA Journal, as well as on its cover, and that of Haseltonia.