National Capital Cactus
              & Succulent Society Logo
National Capital Cactus
              and Succulent Society

The Next Event of the National Capital Cactus and Succulent Society of Washington, D.C.   

will be our regular November meeting on November 19, 2023

  Ariocarpus fissuratus

 It isn't easy to grow Ariocarpus fissuratus, the living rock cactus, and even more difficult to entice one to flower, but one of our NCCSS members has mastered the trick.  Ariocarpus fissuratus is a very slow growing cactus native to a wide area of northeast Mexico and a small area of Texas in the United States.  One of the best places to see ariocarpus in he U.S. is Big Bend National Park.

One of the unusual things about ariocarpus, besides their looking like a rock, is that they flower in the fall, unlike most other cacti that flower in the spring or summer.  Nevertheless, their flowers are large and colorful, and a real bonus to anyone growing this great plant.  

For More Photo's Visit Our  Plant Gallery


Lithops dorotheae

Autumn is the time of year when most lithops flower.  They are in essence, short-day plants, much like chrysanthemums.  Some species flower as early as late August and one species, Lithops optica and its much sought after form, L. optica f. rubra, don't flower until mid December.   Each flower last about 4 to 5 days and there is no detectible fragrance.  The most common reasons for a lithops plant not to flower is that they are not mature (too young) or they have not received enough sun during the preceding spring and summer.

For more information on growing Lithops, see Nick Rowlette's web site A guide to the cultivation of Lithops
It has a great guide to growing these great little plants.
The November regular meeting of the National Capital Cactus and Succulent Society
will be on November 19, 2023 

All NCCSS regular monthly meetings are held at Saint Anselm's Abbey School at 14th & South Dakota Ave. N.E. Washington, D.C.,  Meetings begin at 10:00 a.m and end at Noon.  
 Our society meetings are usually held on the third Sunday of each month between September and June.  We do not meet in July, August, or December.      

If you  have questions about our society, please contact Bob Stewart or Ric Tursan                                                                    

The National Capital Cactus and Succulent Society
  (NCCSS) is a group of individuals sharing an interest in the collecting and growing of cacti and other types of succulent plants.  We meet  once a month from September through June.  In August we hold an annual plant show and sale at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland. Our Regular Monthly Meetings are held at St. Anselm’s Abbey School at 14th & South Dakota Ave. N.E. Washington, DC.  Our meeting begin at 10:30 a.m. and end at Noon.   If you live in the Washington, D.C. area and are interested in succulent plants, why not visit one of our meetings and share your interest with others who also love these weird and fascinating plants.         

Plant of the Month

Agave  Kissho-Kan

Agave Kissho-Kan is believed to be a hybrid or sport (a genetic variation) from the agave species Agave potatorum,
a small growing agave native to Mexico.  The hybrid form is believed to have originated in Japan.  It is a relatively slow growing, small agave with attractive variegated leaves tightly bunched together.  The leaf varigation often varies from plant to plant and may depend on cultural conditions, especially light levels.





The National Cactus and Succulent Society is now on Facebook!
Membership & Dues:

To join the National Capital Cactus and Succulent Society contact Ric Tursan   or Bob Stewart    If you would like a sample of our most recent newsletter, The Eastern Spine, contact newsletter editor Bob Stewart. Annual membership dues are $10.00     

Would You Like To Know More About Aeoniums?Aeonium

Society member Donna Kuroda presented a program on Aeoniums at our October 2011 meeting and she has agreed to allow you access to that program through a PDF presentation.  Just click here on the word AEONIUM  to call up the program.  This is a large file and make take a minute or two to load, depending on the speed of your computer.

Monthly Newsletter:

The Eastern Spine is the official newsletter of the National Capital Cactus and Succulent Society.  It is  published monthly, September through June and is included with your society membership. Join our club and get your own copy emailed directly to you.
Click Newsletter to view the May 2019 newsletter in PDF format.  When you are finished reading the newsletter, hit the BACK button on your browser to return to this page.  For more information about our society or our newsletter contact Bob Stewart at:

Purpose of the National Capital Cactus and Succulent Society:
  • the study, culture, and propagation of cactus and other succulent plants;
  • to exchange information among interested persons and organizations, and to further the education about and understanding of succulent plants and their habitats;
  • to encourage conservation of plants and preservation of natural habitats;
  • to affiliate or associate with other organizations of similar purpose;

Benefits of the National Capital Cactus and Succulent Society:
  • Share ideas and techniques with other cactus and succulent growers.
  • Interesting and informative programs.
  • Good fellowship and refreshments.
  • Use of an extensive club library.
  • A monthly newsletter, The Eastern Spine.
  • Sales table with members plants and related items.
  • Monthly raffle of donated plants and related items.
  • Annual Show & Sale at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland


Our program committee arranges for us to have a unique event each and every month. These consist of lectures, slide shows, informal discussions and presentations; they are always interesting and informative.

Plant of the Month:

Our plant of the month for April 2019 was Euphorbia horrida 'Snowflake'.  This is one of the more popular euphorbias and one that is often mistaken for a  cactus.  Euphorbia horrida is native to southeastern Cape Province in South Africa.  It is easily grown providing it receives 4+ hours of daily sun, and is planted in a well draining potting medium.  It is primarily propagated from stem cuttings.  'Snowflake' is a cultivar with white or grey-white stems, whereas the stem color of the species is generally green.  Euphorbia horrida does get large, over time forming a large clump of stems, each of which can grow to more than 20 inches in height.   

Information on Growing Succulent Plants:

One of the important aspects of growing healthy succulent plants is using the proper potting soil mix.  You can read the NCCSS Potting Soils for Succulent Plants handout by clicking right HERE.

Plant Sales:                                                                                                             

If you have any surplus plants, seeds, pots, books or any other plant related items you want to sell, you can bring them to the meeting. Set your own price. 25% goes to the club to buy new books and cover other club related expenses.


First meeting was held July 21, 1974 at the Samson House at Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD. The club newsletter, The Eastern Spine, became official for the November 1974 meeting. The club began its affiliation with the Cactus & Succulent Society of America with the adoption of the By-Laws at the September 15, 1974 meeting.

Extra-Curricular Activities:

  • Annual Cactus & Succulent Show & Sale.
  • Summer field trips.
  • Summer picnic.
  • Holiday Buffet at St. Anselm's Abbey School in December.
NCCSS Officers for 2018/2019

President: Ric Tursan
Vice-President: Bob Petza
Recording Secretary: Ric Tursan
Membership Secretary: Lisa Faustlin
Treasurer: Donna Kuroda
Director at large: Bob Stewart      
Newsletter/Website Editor
Bob Stewart
Donna Kuroda

Links to Gardens and Other Societies in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area: Cactus and Succulent Society of America  (CSSA)CSSA Logo

The National Capital Cactus & Succulent Society is an affiliate society of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America.  For more information about the CSSA see their web site at:


The NCCSS  web site is maintained by Bob Stewart

The NCCSS Web Site is part of the Cactus Mall Web System
Use the Link Below to Visit the Cactus Mall Site

The Cactus
          and Succulent Plant Mall