Convention History


Chuck Staples, CSSA Historian

The CSSA puts on a convention every odd year.  This is a special event for members, as we get together from across the country and around the world to learn from expert speakers, attend tours and field trips, and shop for plants and supplies.  In some years we offer special events, such as workshops, and the opening and closing banquets are always great fun.

We offer here an overview of our past conventions, which gives some sense of the breadth of speakers we have invited, locations, leaders, costs and other interesting facts.  These conventions had its beginning in 1941

View Complete Overview of past CSSA Conventions, compiled by CSSA Historian Chuck Staples.

Recent Conventions:



Austin, Texas on 15-20 June 2013 (Saturday evening social–Thursday) at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol — hosted by Austin Cactus and Succulent Society (ACSS).


Full-time fee: CSSA member only per person (including opening banquet): $285 if paid prior to 1 May 2013; $385 on and after 1 May 2013.

Daily Fee: CSSA member only per person: Sunday (including opening banquet and lunch) $175; Monday (including lunch) $120; Tuesday or Wednesday $90; Thursday (including closing banquet) $140.  Thursday closing banquet only $50.


ACCS CONVENTION DIRECTOR: Jeff Pavlat — PROGRAMS: Kelly Griffin & Todd Masilko

SALES: Joyce Hochtritt & Woody Minnich — FIELD TRIPS: Mike Rupe


Susan Amoy, USA—Succulent Bonsai Demonstration (Monday evening, cost $15 per person).

Bob Barth, USA—1. Succulent Plant Diversity in South Africa Part I. 2. Succulent Plant Diversity in South Africa Part II.

Leo Chance, USA—Cacti and Succulents for Cold Climates.

Kelly Griffin/Todd Masilko, USA—Cacti and Succulents of Cuba.

Steven Hammer, USA—1. Titanopsis, Aloinopsis, and Allied Warthogs. 2. The Good, the Bad, and the Immortal (News from the Better Breeding Bureau).

Buck Hemenway, USA—The Richtersveld.

Ernst van Jaarsveld, South Africa—1. Welwitschia: Headless Tree of the Namib Desert. 2. Cliff-dwelling Succulent Plants of Southern Africa.

Attila Kapitany, Australia—1. Roadside Surprises in Australia. 2. Australian Bottle Trees and Boabs.

Ad Konings, USA—Cacti of Texas.

Gertrud Konings, USA—Growing Prickly Pears on the Moon?

Al Laius, England—Moderator of Sansevieria Discussion Session (Monday evening, no extra cost).

Irwin Lightstone, USA—Moderator of Digital Photography Discussion Session (Monday evening, no extra cost).

Joël Lodé, France—1. Succulents of the Canary Islands. 2. In Search of the Phoenix (Socotra).

Jim Mauseth, USA—Mistletoes and Other Parasitic Plants that Attack Cacti and Succulents.

Woody Minnich, USA—1. Secrets of Growing Quality Cacti and Succulents. 2. Highlights of South America.

Len Newton, Kenya—1. A Succulentist at large in Africa. 2. Sorting Out the Sansevierias.

Giuseppe Orlando, Canary Islands—1. Yemen. 2. Somalia.

Jeff Pavlat, USA—1. Succulents of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. 2. Cacti and Succulents of Central Texas.

John Trager, USA—1. Adaptations of Xerophytes: Why Succulents and Other Drought-adapted Plants Look the Way They Do. 2. Echinopsis Hybrids: Queens of the Day.

Colin Walker, England—1. Succulent Monocots: An Update. 2. Agaves Through the Ages.

FIELD TRIP DAY — Choice of one on Tuesday, 18 June:

1. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area ($80).

2. Pedernales Falls State Park ($65).

3. San Antonio Botanical Garden ($70).

4. Westcave Preserve ($60).

5. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center ($55).


Cactus Data Plants (Woody & Kathy Minnich), J&J Cactus and Succulents (Joyce Hochtritt), Oracle Gorge Nursery (Bob Barth), Paul’s Desert (Paul & Elisa Kibler), PW Plants/HCI Services (Peter Walkowiak), Rare Succulents (Petra Crist), Rick Van Dyke Studio (Rick Van Dyke), Rio Grande Cacti (Daniel Perry & Socorro Gonzales Valdez), Sendero Verde Nursery (Thomas Bentliff), Stone Path Gardens (Leo Chance/Edie Gibson)Succulentia (Steve Martinez), Wild Wood Art (Joan Griffith).


1. A special thanks to:

a. Austin Cactus and Succulent Society for sponsoring Ernst van Jaarsveld and Susan Amoy as speakers at

the convention.

b. San Diego Cactus and Succulent Society for sponsoring Atilla Kapitany as a speaker at the convention.

c. Cactus Shack for a donation to help sponsor Steve Hammer as a speaker at the convention.

d. Irwin Lightstone for the use of his photo of Agave havardiana for the convention logo and Ariocarpus 

fissuratus for the convention T-shirt.

e. East Austin Succulents for the banquet centerpieces.

2. Sunday evening (16 June): Opening Banquet with CSSA Awards and Speaker. CSSA Awards presented:

Myron Kimnach Lifetime Achievement: John Lavranos, Jorge Meyran and Gordon Rowley;

Fellow: Rudolf Schulz and Colin Walker;

Superior Service: Robert Barth;

Friend: Miles Anderson, Borderland Tours and Matthew Johnson.

Opening Banquet Speaker: Jim Mauseth.

3. Tuesday (18 June) field trips and late afternoon and evening: (a) Judges’ Workship, (b) Affiliates’ Meeting,

(c) Newsletter Editors’ Meeting, (d) Officer’s Workshop.

4. Wednesday evening (19 June): Rare Plant Auction.

5. Thursday evening (20 June): Closing Banquet with Musical Performance by Dave Madden.

6. Approximate convention attendance 220.




San Diego, California on 24–29 April 2011 (Sunday evening social–Friday) at The Marriott Mission Valley Hotel — hosted by San Diego Cactus and Succulent Society.


Full-time fee: CSSA member only per person (including opening banquet): $285 if paid prior to 16 February 2011; $385 on and after 16 February 2011.

Daily fee: CSSA member only per person: Monday (including opening banquet and lunch) $175; Tuesday (including lunch) $120; Wednesday and Thursday $90; and Friday (including closing banquet) $140.

CSSA CONVENTION DIRECTORS: Buck Hemenway and Peter Walkowiak — CSSA PRESIDENT: Laurel Woodley


Marlon Machado, Brazil—1. A Trip to the Pampas: the Cacti of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. 2. The Dicocacti and Melocacti of Brazil.

Todd Masilko, USA—1. Pachycauls and Stem Succulents in the Wild and the Garden. 2. Succulents of Southern California and Surrounding Ecosystems.

Matthew Opel, USA—1. Nomenclature, Evolution and Succulent Plants. 2. Conophytum – In the Veld and Under Glass.

Jackie M. Poole, USA—1. Spiny or Not: An Overview of Texas Cacti and Succulents. 2. Seldom Seen: An Intimate Look at the Rarest Cacti and Succulents of Texas.

Jon Rebman, USA—Dr. Reid Moran and Succulents on Isla Guadalupe (Opening Banquet).

Guillermo Rivera, Argentina—1. Diversity of Cacti in Northwestern Argentina. 2. Cacti of Peru: Land of the Incas.

Gideon F. Smith, South Africa—1. Aloes and Their Relatives. 2. Succulent in Southern Africa.

Karen Zimmerman, USA—1. An Insider’s Tour of the Huntington Desert Collections. 2. Curious Aloes, Hybridizing Aloes: Past and Present with Future Possibilities.

GROUP SESSIONS AND PROGRAMS: $30 per session on Thursday, 28 April.

7:00 pm Session: Brian Kemble, USA—Aloes: New and Unusual Aloes.

Woody Minnich, USA—Field Work and Its Influence on Our Hobby.

Greg Starr, USA—From Nature to Nurture: Enchanting Agaves for Cultivation.

8:30 pm Session: Dylan Hannon, USA—Socotra, Isle of Bliss.

Tim Harvey, USA—Micropropagation Session

Gary James, USA—Madagascar

FIELD TRIP DAY — Choice of one on Wednesday, 27 April

1. Nurseries ($65).

2. San Diego Botanic Garden (formerly Quail Gardens) and San Diego Zoo Safari Park (formerly Wild Animal Park) ($65).

3. Sherman Library and Garden and Palomar Gardens ($70).

4. Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens ($90).

5. Native Succulents, featuring Dudleyas ($60).

6. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park ($60).

7. Anza-Borrego, Off-Road ($135).

8. Four Private Gardens-North ($65).


Corona Cactus Nursery LLC (Jen and Darryl Craig), SMOLA Garden (Rudy Lime), The Plant Man (Michael and Joyce Buckner), Joe Wujcik, Potter (Joe Wujcik), Rare Succulents (Petra Crist), Gavilan Mountain Succulents(Steven Duey and Garrett Duey), Cactus Data Plants (Wendell S. (Woody) and Kathy A. Minnich), Don Hunt Ceramics (Don Hunt), Muradian Pots (Mark Muradian), J and J Cactus and Succulents (Joyce and Jim Hochtritt), Chuck Everson, Bookseller, San Diego Epiphyllum Society, Miles’ To Go (Miles Anderson), PW Plants/HCI Services (Peter Walkowiak), Rain Shadow Designs (Matt Maggio and Lisa Kirchner), Signature Botanical LLC (Steve and Judy Plath), Succulent Plants (Arnold Chaney), Gregg’s Greenhouse (Gregg DeChirico), Imix Designs (Jerry Garner).



1. Monday evening (25 April): Opening Banquet with CSSA Awards and Speaker.  CSSA Awards presented: (a) Myron Kimnach Lifetime Achievement: Myron Kimnach; (b) Fellow: Jon Rebman; (c) Special Service: Mindy Fusaro; (d) Superior Service: Leo Martin, Lee Miller; (e) Conservation: Jackie M. Poole.  Opening Banquet Speaker: Jon Rebman.

2. Tuesday late afternoon and evening (26 April): (a) Judges Workshop, (b) Affiliates Meeting, (c) Newsletter Editors Meeting,

(d) Officers Workshop.

3. Wednesday day and evening (27 April): Field Trips and Rare Plant Auction.

4. Monday opening banquet included in CSSA Registration Fee.

5. Thursday evening (28 April): Group Sessions.

6. Friday afternoon and evening (29 April): Cactus Quiz and Farewell Banquet.

7. Approximate convention attendance 300.