LACSS Meetings are first Thursday of the Month
October Meeting will be held on-line via zoom
Thursday Oct 1 at 6:30pm
Please watch your email for more information!
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South Africa's Namaqualand
by Steve Frieze
When Phyllis (my wife) and I decided we wanted to visit South Africa another time we reached out to Rob Skillin, a horticulturist located in the San Luis Obispo area, and he suggested contacting Karel du Toit as a possible guide. Karel as it turns out, is a member of the South African Police force and a former professional rugby player who now is a devoted naturalist who regularly studies the flora of an area in South Africa known as Namaqualand. After conversing with us for a period of time he built a flexible schedule that enable Phyllis and I to explore and experience the thriving flora of this geographical area. We were introduced to a variety of different succulents – some very small (mesembs) and some very large (Aloe pilansii) that were captivating even thought this are of South Africa has been in drought conditions for several years. We had the extraordinary opportunity to spend almost three weeks traveling north from Cape Town to Springbok seeking out some of the most exotic plants found anywhere on earth. In addition to the plants. we were treated to many different aspects of the South African culture that enabled us to even more appreciate this unique and strange ecosystem. Karel’s familiarity and access to locations made the trip even more fulfilling.
BIO Steven Frieze has been involved with collection, sales and propagation of cacti and succulents for over thirty years. He is a lifetime member of the Los Angeles Cacti and Succulent Society where he served as the President of this club for a number of years and as its newsletter editor for several more. Steven was one of the founding owners Desert Creations, an exotic cactus and succulent nursery. Steven has made several plant related expeditions to exotic locals such as Chile, East Africa, South Africa, Oaxaca Mexico, Cost Rica, and Brazil. He and his wife have now created Distinctive Flora, a new plant business that will specialize in exotic plants such as tillandsias, bromeliads, cactus and succulents.
Prior to his retirement in 2006, Steven was an Administrator for the California State University system serving in a variety of capacities in the area of institutional research. Subsequent to his retirement he has joined the Psychology Department at California State University, Dominguez Hills as an adjunct faculty member where he still teaches. He also functions as the Director of the Positive Psychology Lab at the same institution where students get the opportunity to design and execute psychological research studies.