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October 4, 2018 Meeting

We will meet Thursday October 4, 2018 at the Nevada Garden Clubs Center at 7PM. The Center is located at 800 Twin Lakes Drive, 89107.

Our speaker is Ron Parker from Tucson, AZ. Ron has not spoken to the Cactus and Succulent Society of Southern Nevada before. Ron Parker is an outdoorsman, xeric plant enthusiast, and amateur botanist who spends half his time gardening and the other half exploring habitat across Arizona and neighboring states, primarily chasing agaves and archaeological sites. He has been studying agave populations in Arizona for many years, and been out in the field with renowned botanists and regional archaeologists. When not under the open sky, Ron maintains the well-known xeric plant discussion forum, Agaveville.org, an impressive online repository for information on agaves and other succulent plants.

Ron has an upcoming book that is unfortunately not yet published called Chasing Centuries.

His presentation for us will be Agaves of Arizona. From Ron:

I’ll discuss 17 species, including five pre-Columbian cultivars associated with ancient Hohokam, Sinagua and Salado Native Americans.

Agaves are succulent New World monocots, comprising more than 200 species with an epicenter in Mexico. They also extend into Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and the US, occupying habitats in FL, TX, NM, AZ, UT, NV, and CA, with the number of taxa in AZ exceeding the other states combined. There are currently 21 recognized taxa in Arizona, most natural, but some of apparent anthropogenic origin. There are also many Agaves that don’t fit neatly under these taxonomic constraints. Some are intermediate, others may be compromised by feral pre-Columbian cultivars, still others are indeterminate for reason or reasons as yet undiscovered. We are regularly confronted by these types of mysteries as we continue to explore, and wouldn’t have it any other way, but that is a subject for another time. For now, let’s stick to the species we know.

I have been out in Arizona habitat locating and studying these wonderful plants as a near full time vocational exercise for several years, and suspect I know them about as well as anybody at this point. I have at times been accompanied in habitat by renowned botanists and archeologists, who have provided considerable assistance toward an ever expanding knowledge base. My intent here is to provide a brief catalog of these plants.

Bring a friend, a refreshment, a raffle plant, and questions.

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