15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Prickly Treat: We Shop (and Shop) at the LACSS Drought-Tolerant Plant Festival

California’s severe drought should be a wakeup call for every babe and babette in our state to take immediate steps to reduce water usage. One of those steps is, of course, drought-tolerant gardening. There are some beautiful examples of it in our neighborhood and on our Instagram feed, which we hope to share with you here (through photos and interviews) in coming weeks. Our own garden is not starved for agave, jade, aeonium, yucca and other xerophytes, but we know we can do better, and do more, in trying to do right by our precious resources.

Yes, this is an unsexy cause. But the upside of drought-tolerant gardening is that drought-tolerant plants are just — so — dang — beautiful.

So beautiful the Los Angeles Cactus and Succulent Society held an event, the Drought-Tolerant Plant Festival, dedicated to plump, sassy, water-saving flora. The day after we hit up Dwell on Design, we headed up to Encino (gotta love that “Encino Man cast” is the second suggestion that comes up when you Google this LA burg; good to know my brain is on the same page as the rest of the internet) to find some fleshy plants to plant in our yard.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

The scene at the Sepulveda Garden Center in late May.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Just a sample of the wonders in store for us at the Los Angeles Cactus and Succulent Society’s 15th Annual Drought-Tolerant Plant Festival.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

We were not prepared. I mean…the Mammillaria genus was out in force, gorgeous and glowing with blankets of white spines and shocking yellow flowers. Remember those buttery bishop’s cap Astrophytums we sweated in Santa Barbara? We finally got one of our own, and for a relative song. But the plant in our haul that people stopped us every few feet to admire was the Euphorbia avasmontana. Picture a green candelabra drawn by Dr. Seuss. Or keep scrolling to see them all in the flesh, including pricing.

And so many more plants, taken home by fellow gardeners and xerophyte-philes, proudly displayed (even for show prizes!) by the plant lovers who cultivate them.

This Friday we bring you shots of this spiny, drought-tolerant splendor. Have a great weekend!

—TH

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

 

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Well, hello. Approaching the booth of the Cactus Store in Echo Park…(Which has a very cool website.)

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

A booth with so many spine-tingling beauties.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Another specimen from the Cactus Store in Echo Park. Flower family, we didn’t catch the names of these species. If you know them, please do ID in comments!

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

And also, also: another Cactus Store prickly treat.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

We grabbed a shot of someone’s haul that included Euphorbia obesa, split rock and fenestraria.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Another benefit of drought-tolerant landscaping: you could get a rebate from DWP. This LA Times story has the details, and estimates “about 2,600 Los Angeles residents have ripped out their lawns, along with nearly 60 companies.” Good on ya.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

At center, the new apple of our eye: the Astrophytum grafted hybrid we purchased for $12..

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Abromeitiella chlorantha is a bromeliad that grows on rocks in arid regions, drawing moisture from the air.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

From Los Angeles Cactus, a reclaimed cactus display.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

A cross-section of a Pachycereus weberi from Los Angeles Cactus. Check the tree rings!

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Cereus peruvianus ‘Monstrosus.’

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Dyckia is a bromeliad genus with over 100 species and numerous hybrids.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

A mesmerizing Dyckia hybrid.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

San Fernando Valley Bromeliad Society’s display of show-worthy Dyckias and Hechtias.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

No matter how many times we see them, these cactus blooms never fail to astonish.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Bonjour, Juju! The day after our Dwell on Design hijinks, our friend Julian Mackler (brilliant Brooklyn-based photographer featured in Vogues round the world) joined us for the succulent celebration.

A warty echeveria

The warty and wonderful Echeveria ‘Paul Bunyan’ (we believe).

Lobivia schieliana v. quiabayensis, which is Latin for "cute host(ess) gift."

Lobivia schieliana v. quiabayensis, which is Latin for “cute host(ess) gift.”

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

…or “gift for ourselves.” We got it for $4.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Eye on the prize! Ryan takes a closer look at this Gasteria ‘Frosty’ ($15). Hanna’s Succulents of Lakerwood, CA, was one of our favorite vendors at the show.

Haworthia truncata. An oddball stunner thanks to its truncated-looking leaves.

Haworthia truncata. An oddball stunner thanks to its truncated-looking leaves.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

More Haworthia truncatas, commonly called horse’s teeth. We took home a smaller specimen for $10.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Rain Shadow Designs of Van Nuys, another one of our favorite vendors.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Euphorbia kibwezensis crest at Rain Shadow Designs.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Monvillea spegazzinii cristata from Rain Shadow Designs.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Euphorbia avasmontana from Rain Shadow Designs. At $32 it was the most expensive plant in our #haul. You’ll find it growing wild in Namibia and South Africa.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

 

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

We were bummed to let this Mammillaria geminispina (twin spined cactus) slip through our fingers. A painful thing literally and figuratively.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

An impressive Euphorbia collection from Proven Winner Plants.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Euphorbia caput-medusae from PW Plants.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Sansevieria hallii, or baseball bat. Attention houseplant gardeners: These Old-World cousins to the agave grow well in the shade.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Best plants in each class…

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Mammillaria duwii by John Matthews.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Agave victoriae-reginae by Cheryl White.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Euphorbia misera or cliff spurge.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Haworthia truncata.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Haworthia pumila.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

A display of the Frailea genera.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Ay, Mammillaria: The buxom line-up.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

 

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Mammillaria plumosa by John Matthews. The genus is called what it is (and also nipple cactus) thanks to the spines that radiate from numerous areolae.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Mammillaria supertexta by John Matthews.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Mammillaria plumosa by Sandy Chase.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Another glimpse at that M. plumosa, which is absurdly cool for its cauliflower impersonation skills.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Mammillaria gracilis.

15th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival - LACSS - The Horticult

Look who followed us home. Stay tuned for shots of their new setting!

 

  • I’ve passed this on to a few people so far. Keep up the good work guys!

    • Thanks, Carey! We’re loving all the plants and pups in your Instagram feed <3

  • Willy Chung

    Really nice, I love succulents too!

    • We’re digging your avatar, Willy! Thanks for joining us.