Join the Kirstenbosch Botanical Society in celebrating our rich and diverse Succulent plant heritage at a special sale and exhibition of succulent plants at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden from 4 to 6 November.

Succulents are a creative gardener’s dream! These hardy, moisture-retaining plants come in all shapes, sizes, and colours. They thrive when planted in a variety of different containers so there are hundreds of unique ways to grow and display these special little plants.

Whether you’re already a lover of succulents, starting out on your succulent obsession or a seasoned collector, or simply intrigued by these unique and eye-catching plants, make sure you visit “Celebrate Succulents” taking place in the Richard Crowie Hall at Gate 2. There’ll be something of interest for everyone including a fabulous assortment of succulents for sale, creative succulent planting displays, a selection of books on succulents, and information on how to grow and care for these plants. Also on sale will be a variety of Streptocarpus plants.

The flipside of the growing interest in succulent plants is that indigenous South African succulents are under threat as a result of the poaching and illegal trade of these species for the ornamental market. Since 2019, global demand for our succulents has risen rapidly, mainly driven by emerging markets in Asia, Europe and North America and BotSoc is working with partners to address this challenge.

The latest IUCN Red List of Threatened Species now includes 210 species of succulents that have been listed for the first time due to the dual threats of illegal trade and climate change. Sadly, it is likely that some of these species are already extinct in the wild with more extinctions very likely if nothing is done.

Some of the stolen plants are confiscated by law enforcement at our country’s airports and borders and in the past three years confiscated plant material has increased by 250% per year. The Botanical Society has teamed up with Botanical Gardens around the country to rescue these confiscated plants and maintain them so that they can be used in the pending legal cases. More than 200 000 succulents that have been confiscated from poachers are at various secure locations across the country, in need of potting and maintenance.

The BotSoc Kirstenbosch branch has assisted both financially and with volunteers to keep these stolen succulent plants alive, however more assistance is needed to keep up with the demand for potting trays and soil media. Proceeds from the “Celebrate Succulents” plant sale will be used to mitigate the effects of this crisis.

For more information visit our website botsoc-kirstenbosch and keep an eye on our social media for regular updates about plants we’ll be featuring. And remember to share with your flora-loving friends.

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