September Newsletter – 2022

OPEN GATES – September, 2022  


MEETING WEDNESDAY, September 7th , 2022 -DOOR OPENS AT 6:15 !


Howdy! I hope everyone is staying cool and dry from the unusually prolonged hot and humid summer monsoon weather that’s been present for the last month or so. It’s amazing that despite putting up with the heat, now we also have to deal with the sticky moist air. For people with respiratory health issues, this makes it even harder for them to breathe. For our succulent plants, most of them should do well with the humidity- that’s because there hasn’t been much, if any, summer rain. Their soil is still dry, unless you’ve been watering them. Depending on where you are, some of you may have experienced these quick summer showers from heaven. Just remember to water your plants accordingly.

I also hope that you enjoyed Kelly Griffin’s talk last month and learned something about plant exploration. It was super informative to see how a professional nursery nurtures and expands their succulent collection for the purpose of not only to propagate plants for sale, but to also provide the inspiration to hybridize and create new ones. Clone tissue growth is the secret to mass-production of plants for commercial purposes. It’s amazing how long it takes to develop new succulent hybrids. We can only wait to see more of Kelly’s creation and hopefully add it to our succulent collection soon.

Speaking of collecting plants, specifically succulents, this month’s talk is exactly that! Gunnar Eisel will join us for an evening with a unique talk on the history of succulent. He will first give a brief history and background of our club, Gates Cactus & Succulent Society. Then he will share a unique perspective on the origin and journey of collecting cacti and succulents. How did it start? Who or where did it start? Why collect? And perhaps just as important, where is this hobby of fascination with succulents heading?

Don’t forget about the Huntington’s 39th Annual Succulent Plants Symposium returning on September 3, 2022. Tickets are still available at Have a memorable and wonderful Labor Day weekend celebrating and recognizing the social and economic achievements of American workers. Thank you

See you at the meeting!


September Speaker – Gunner Eisel 

Gunnar Eisel’s interest in cacti and succulents can be traced back to his childhood infatuation with photographing night-blooming cereus flowers and a few unfortunate encounters with opuntia glochids. His interest in cacti became intensified through many annual trips to the Anza-Borrego desert.

Born and raised near Heidelberg, Germany, Eisel has taught music at CSULA, CSUF, Whittier College Fullerton College and Citrus College. He recently retired as a full-time music theory and history of music professor at Citrus College in Glendora, CA where his students were occasionally subjected to his rantings regarding cacti and succulents.

An avid C&S collector, Gunnar serves as Executive Director of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America (CSSA) and President of the San Gabriel Valley Cactus and Succulent Society.

Gunnar’s Talk: The Folklore, Enchantment, and Evolution of the C&S Hobby from 1889 to the Present Day

The allure of cacti and succulents has fascinated people for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. However, unlike some other horticultural endeavors, the collecting and fostering an interest in the C&S is fairly new. This program focuses on the people, the changing American landscape, and a curious set of events that have shaped our hobby as we find it today.


Bring your best plants to enter in the Mini-Show! There are 3 categories of entries: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Points are calculated during the year with the winners announced in December. The entire year Mini-Show plant list is available at

CRESTED, MONSTROSE, VARIEGATES: Occasionally something called a growth mutation happens that ‘messes up’ the regulated and coordinated cell divisions in the primary meristems. The causes of these mutations range from injury to bacterial or viral diseases. The three most common types of growth mutations are crests, monstrose growth, and variegation.

Here are some examples of what is included in that category.


1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108, Rothenberg Hall, 9am to 5pm, Cost:  $100.00. Registration details at, questions call 626 405 3504.
October 24 & 25CSS of SAN JOSE
Saturday 10 A to 5 P and Sunday 10 A to 4P
Peterson Middle3 School
1380 Rosalia Av, Sunnyvale, CA   94087
Facebook: SJcactussucculents
Tentatively Saturday 9 to 5P & Sunday 10A to 3:
San Diego Botanic Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas, CA


We welcome your comments, suggestions or questions. Please email or call one of us at: 

PresidentPhuc Huynh909 910 9145
Vice PresidentJohn Reynolds909 767 5606
SecretaryBarbara Croonquist909 731 1587
TreasurerJo Ann Crabtree909 633 6934
Board MemberJeff Loew330 986 6313
Board MemberRene Hernandez909 875 3607
Board MemberKaren Roholt951 897 2220
Board MemberAnn Reynolds909 987 5706.

Board Member Ann Reynolds 909 987 5706. © Gates Cactus and Succulent Society 2022 Gates CSS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

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