The CSSM is an affiliate club of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America. We were founded by local horticultural legend Art Scarpa in 1991. Art and many members who joined in the first few years of the CSSM's existence are still actively involved as major contributors to the society. We have new members joining all the time.
The society meets monthly in Norfolk, Massachusetts to share our common interest in growing and learning about cacti and succulent plants.
If you are interested in these beautiful and unusual plants, the CSSM is an excellent place to learn more about them. Fellow plant lovers, beginners and experts alike, are welcome to join us.
Meetings take place on the third Saturday of the month from 1-4 pm at the Norfolk Public Library, in Norfolk, MA. They consist of an educational program, a plant raffle, a plant auction, and include plenty of time for socializing and trading plants. Refreshments including sandwiches, baked goods, and drinks are provided for a small donation.Please explore our website and come to one of our monthly meetings or our annual show.
Learn all you could ever want to know about Cactus and Succulent Plants
There is a whole world of succulent plants to learn about and collect. Have you heard of haworthia, gasteria, mesembs, lithops, conophytum, pachypodium, echevaria, gymnocalicium, ariocarpus, and turbinicarpus? Do you know about crested, monstrose, variegated, and otherwise malformed plants?
Come to a Cactus and Succulent Society of Massachusetts meeting and you will learn all about them.
Being active in the
Cactus and Succulent Society of Massachusetts will expose you to the enormous diversity of these fascinating plants. Many people do not realize just how many different cactus and succulent plants exist and how diverse their appearance and growing needs are. While you have probably seen an Aloe vera plant, did you know there are numerous species of Aloes ranging from 3" rosettes to 30' trees? Did you know there are about 1,500 species of cacti ranging from 1/2" spheres to 40' high, multi-branched giants? There are some succulents that survive in arid areas that receive only 1" of rain per year and others that live in the rich soil of constantly wet jungles.
Obtain new and unusual cacti and succulent plants
Not only will you leave every CSSM meeting with a few new plants, but you will also have the opportunity to trade with or buy from other society members. Dealing directly with other hobbyists is often the best way to obtain rare, hard to find plants. You can also take part in our group plant orders.
Where and When
The CSSM's membership year runs from September through June. Meetings are held at the Norfolk Public Library, in Norfolk, Massachusetts, on the third Saturday of the month from 1-4 PM . In June we forego the regular meeting for a group field trip to a regional cactus and succulent plant-related destination. There are no official CSSM events in July and August, though we do meet to deal with preparations for our annual show and sale in September.
Meetings are typically attended by thirty to forty people. We start off with a social hour. During this time members sell and trade plants, enter and admire the plant show, buy raffle tickets, and use the club library. Then comes a brief business meeting followed by an educational program lasting for 45-60 minutes. After that, the meeting continues with a plant raffle and specimen plant auction. We wrap up at around 4 pm.
For meeting dates and programs click on the "Meetings" tab above.
Visitors are welcome - Admission is free
If you are interested in the Society you are welcome to visit a meeting to see what it is really like.
We are a friendly, easy going group of plant lovers who welcome like-minded folks.
Why attend meetings and other CSSM events?
They are fun, educational, and you will leave with more plants!
Regularly attending CSSM's meetings, annual show, and field trips is the best way to enjoy the benefits of your membership in the society. There is no better way to share with, and learn from, other members, enjoy the educational programs, and use the society's library. The annual show is a great place to get to know other members and see more exceptional cacti and succulent plants in one place than you ever have before. Our field trips are fun, educational, and a great way to get to know other members.
Monthly Plant Show
We have a small plant show at each meeting. The monthly winner in each category is rewarded with first pick from the raffle table! Members are highly encouraged to enter a few of their plants every month. It is a great way to share and learn. Whether or not you enter a plant in the show, be sure to check out those on display. You will see something new and exciting every time and perhaps find a plant that you want to add to your collection.
For more specific information about entering your plants and how the show works please check out
CSSM members have spent a lot of time and effort building our collection of books, journals, and DVDs, all off which are about succulent plants. We are very proud of our library and encourage our members to utilize it. While most books may be checked out and taken home for a month, some are for reference only and may only be used during meetings.
While visitors may take part in most aspects of the meeting, use of the CSSM's library is open to members in good standing only.
Socializing and Refreshments
We take 30-45 minutes at the beginning of each meeting for socializing because it is so much fun to talk about and share your plants. During this time you can enter plants in the show and vote for your favorites. You can also buy plants being sold by other members and check out the auction and raffle plants.
Refreshments are provided during the meetings. The Society provides sandwich fixings and drinks while members bring in snacks and deserts to share.
Every month we have a table full of plants to be raffled. The selection is always different and includes both plants purchased by the Society from specialty nurseries as well as others generously donated by members who have extra plants, cuttings, and seeds. You never know what you will find and many folks have gotten some real gems.
Raffle tickets are three for a dollar and can be purchased during socializing time.
Every month we include the most desirable and well grown of the sale plant selection in our auction. This includes both plants that the club buys specifically for the auction and those that members have donated to the society. Spectacular show quality specimens, one of a kind oddities, and very rare plants have been sold at our auctions. You never know what is going to show up so be sure to make it to every meeting.
Auction plants are on display in the designated area during the meeting for members to examine and admire. The auction takes place at the end of the meeting and payment must be made at that time.
Members may sell their plants in the auction for a donation of a percentage of the sale price. See the society's treasurer for details.
Desirable plants sold at recent CSSM auctions:
Dioscorea elephantipes - specimen with 10" diameter caudex
Tylecodon singularis - young seedling about 2" cross
Conophytum cubicum - mature plant with ten leaf pairs
Conophytum hammeri - four plants in one pot
Cheiridopsis peculiaris - mature plant
Please let the officers know what plants you want to see on the auction table by emailing a list to the president and/or the nursery order chairman or writing the names on the plant wish list at a meeting.
Selling Plants at Monthly Meetings
You never know what great plants a member may bring in to sell during the meeting. Members set their plants out at the beginning of the meeting and you may purchase them at any time. Be sure to arrive on time for the best selection.
Members in good standing are welcome to sell plants at the meetings in exchange for a 10% commission on what they sell. Space is limited so please contact the president well before the meeting if you would like to sell plants. If you are selling plants, you can normally arrive at 12:30 to set up, but do verify this with the president.