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2014 Gunther Schwarz Memorial Lecture

May 2, 2014 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Australian Succulent Plants: an Introduction

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This lecture offers a fresh approach to conventional attitudes and ideas about the diversity and beauty of Australian flora.  Enjoy a colourful visual tour of lesser known and intriguing Australian native plants, mostly in habitat, some of which are rare and very unusual.  With Australia’s natural flora of well over 20,000 species, at least 400 are considered to have a notable degree of succulence.

Included are some of the most under-appreciated, diverse, and interesting of Australian plants.  Discussion will include traditional and modern foods, supply and availability, cultivation, conservation and other points of interest.  The fact that many of them are among the most drought or dry tolerant of all plants, helps link them all together, along with their obvious succulence.

Many of these plants have never been trialled in gardens before.  Some interesting aspects of their usefulness in the garden will be explored. Marvel also at the majestic and spectacular giants of our continent—grotesque and monstrous bottle trees and boabs, at times “appearing in need of a hug,” according to Mr. Kapitany.

Attila Kapitany

Attila is immediate past president of the Cactus & Succulent Society of Australia, with 10 years in this position, and is also currently editor of its journal.

He has thirty years of experience growing and marketing cacti and succulents.  Attila is also a prominent horticulturalist in Australia, writing regularly in magazines, journals and newspapers and promoting succulent plants.

He was co-founder and developer of the well-known Collectors Corner and Paradisia nurseries, where his interests focused on the breeding, cultivating and marketing of rare and unusual plants. He has travelled extensively to plant habitats around the world and had amassed possibly one of the largest collections of (mostly seed-raised) plants in Australia.  Also, Attila has co-written seven books with Rudolf Schulz about succulents, with an eighth book a solo effort on Australian native species. His newest publications are a series of seven booklets on xerophytic Australian plants.

Since 2007 Attila has dedicated much of his time and resources to promoting lesser known Australian succulent plants, touring the Australian speaking circuit regularly, and featuring on television and radio.

Special Note to Club Members

Attila will be bringing some of his books for sale to club members.  He will be available to autograph these or books already owned by club members.  His books as main author or co-author include Australian Succulent Plants, Echeveria Cultivars, the five books of the ‘Succulents for the Garden’ series with Schulz, and Copiapoa in their Environment.


May 2, 2014
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


Santa Barbara Cactus and Succulent Society
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Trinity Lutheran Church
909 North La Cumbre Rd.
Santa Barbara, 93110 United States
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