A table absolutely crammed with potted succulents for sale.

Photos of the 2024 SF Succulent Expo

by AK Krajewska

The San Francisco Succulent & Cactus Society held their annual plant show and sale on the weekend of June 14-16. Since I joined the SFSCS last August, having just missed that year's show, this was my first time attending. It was amazing, and frankly a bit overwhelming.

In honor of the SFSCS's 40th anniversary, this year's event was named the "SF Succulent Expo" rather than the more prosaic Plant Show and Sale. It was split into a show room and a sale room.

Succulents from the show #

In the show, SFSCS members displayed their prize succulents and cacti and competed for the "Nicely Grown!" award in several categories. I took most photos in the show room, because the plants on display were particularly unusual and beautiful. I thought I had a sense of just how varied and strange succulents could be, but at the show I learned how much more there is still to explore. Also, now that I've been growing succulents for a few years, I can appreciate how difficult it is to get a succulent to achieve the perfect coloring, shape, or just live long enough to get a slow-growing plant to get spectacularly large. Most of my photos are more like notes to self, because I wanted to include both the plant and its label. I've found it difficult to learn even the common succulent names and my priority when photographing was to develop a personal library that will help me remember identifying features. Some of the photos also came out nice, so I hope you enjoy them.

Ariocarpus #

Pale green succulents with squashy radial symmetry and strange white fuzz

Various species of Ariocarpus on display at the SF Succulent Expo.

Close-up photo of a succulent with big patches of white fuzz nestled between its pale green leaves

Ariocarpus "Aoi Taren" on display at the SF Succulent Expo.

A strange mixed succulent with pokey pale green leaves arising from a background of pebbly bright green

Ariocarpus (whose species name I didn't catch) display at the SF Succulent Expo. I love the way this one looks like an alien.

Echeveria #

Spiky succulents with radial symmetry and black accents

Echeveria agavoides "ebony" on display at the SF Succulent Expo.

Brilliantly pink succulent with a rose like shape

Echeveria monroe on display at the SF Succulent Expo.

Haworthia #

A tightly packed spiky succulent in a striking ceramic bowl that looks like lava rising out of the water

Haworthia "Jim Smith hybrid" on display at the SF Succulent Expo.

A collection of Haworthias in pots with labels indicating they were grown by Jim Smith

Various Haworthia hybrids grown by Jim Smith on display at the SF Succulent Expo.

Three pots each with a slightly different Haworthia

Yet more Haworthia on display at the SF Succulent Expo.

Lithops and other round boys #

A single ceramic pot packed with multiple succulents that look like pebbles split down the middle

Multiple Lithops schwantesii tightly packed in a single pot on display at the SF Succulent Expo.

A table with multiple succulents that are roundish and odd. In the back there's a label that says Sphaeroid Institute

Sphaeroid Institute or sort of round boys on display at the SF Succulent Expo.

Snakes?? #

A succulent that looks a bit like a jar of green snakes

Avonia quinaria on display at the SF Succulent Expo.

Succulents from the sale room #

I didn't take nearly as many nice photos in the sale room. I mostly took reference photos, happy I could get plants and their labels together. It was also a bit more crowded than the show room, even on Sunday afternoon, which is supposed to be the quietest time.

Succulents in little nursery pots

Sedum, crassula, and other succulents for sale at the SF Succulent Expo.

Small echeverias in nursery pots

A collection of very reasonably priced echeverias for sale at the SF Succulent Expo

My succulent purchases #

I pre-decided to spend no more than $50 at the Expo, and it was actually pretty easy to stick to that. The small plants which I'm most interested in were affordable. Some of the littlest ones in the nursery pots were a downright steal, I thought. $2.50 for a perfect little echeveria in a tight rosette? I'll take it. The most expensive thing I bought was the Agave parryi and even that was only $10. I know it will take a while for it to reach its full size, but I don't mind. I've got time.

A basket with several succulents surrounded by an orange scarf

A smallish agave, several echeverias, and a pleasantly funky haworthia are safely protected by my scarf for the trip home.