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ISSUE 5 (27):

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Irina Bessmertnaya
Translated from Russian by Irina Kalmykova

The club for cacti hobbyists "Discocactus" was founded in November, 2002. The club is headed by Irina P. Bessmertnaya, her deputy is Sergey S. Syuzev and the secretary of the club is Svetlana Yu. Parfyenova. The club unites those people who are interested in cacti, succulents and orchids as well.

Besides cultivating succulent plants, its members are also interested in studying the flora endemic to the Black Sea coast of the Krasnodar region - they attempt to cultivate and preserve wild populations. The aim of the club is to popularize succulent plants culture, to share knowledge about the nature, to organize exhibitions. The club members also take part in the landscaping along the Black Sea shore using succulent plants. They are also planning to create a reserve collection of plants from Aizoaceae family.

In order to exchange information between all the interested persons and organizations the members of the club are planning to create a database, to organize conferences, seminars, schools, lectures, exhibitions and so on, and also to take part in the similar activities held by local and foreign organizations. Under the aegis of the club it is planned to set up an experimental plot of land in Sochi for growing endemic succulent plants.

The club unites people with creative attitude to the nature, attracts young people to the study of the basics of practical floriculture, cultivation, collecting and preserving rare, exotic, new and uncommon ornamental plants, in order to extend and deepen the knowledge about the plants in botanical, systematic, practical and other aspects. The club endeavors to attract people to such fascinating occupation as cultivation of the rare and newly introduced plants, thus developing their personal creative abilities.

Here are some facts from the club history. Before "Discocactus" club was founded, there had been another club called "Roseocactus" with a 30-year record, headed by Mikhail Zhukovsky. However since 1985 there were no exhibitions organized and all activities were actually stopped. The club "Discocactus" is a member of the public society "The Sycamore Alley" uniting those people of Sochi who are fond of the Nature. There are other member societies in "The Sycamore Alley": club "Miss Violet" for those who grow African violets; oriental arts club "Bonsai"; hand-made crafts club "Hands of gold"; flower arrangement club "Arrange".

This year "The Sycamore Alley" society has already organized two charity shows featuring cacti and other succulent plants. Usually the shows take place twice a year in Winter Theatre in Sochi. They arouse great interest among the city dwellers: the spring show in 2004 was visited by 15,000 people. Besides cacti and other succulent plants, there were African violets, bonsai plants and hand-made crafts exhibited at the show.

This is the list of the "Discocactus" club members who took part in the spring show:

  • Irina Bessmertnaya exhibited Haworthias and plants from Crassulaceae family - Echeverias, Crassulas and others;
  • Sergey Syuzev showed many amazingly beautiful Rebutias and richly flowering Lobivias, Parodias, numerous Lithops;
  • Svetlana Dobratcheva brought to the show many crested and colored forms of cacti, also plants from genera Astrophytum, Monvillea, Cereus;
  • Svetlana Parfyenova exhibited miniature cacti from such genera as Turbinicarpus, Frailea, Blossfeldia, also Parodia;
  • Mikhail Zhukovskiy showed many Mammillarias with big flowers, large Astrophytums, 30 year old Echinocactus grusonii, large Mammillaria geminispina and other plants.

Photo: Participants of the cacti show in the hall of the Winter Theatre


Cultivar e-magazin: Copyright (c) by Valery Kalishev, Chelyabinsk, Russia, since 2000.
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