Cactus in Harlow

  Image – Rebutia muscula


The Harlow Branch of the British Cactus & Succulent Society (BCSS) was formed in January 1969 as a Branch of the then National Cactus & Succulent Society. (NCSS).

In 1983 the NCSS amalgamated with the then Cactus & Succulent Society of Great Britain (CSSGB) to become the BCSS – with the Harlow Branch as a member of BCSS Zone 15 with a catchment area including non-metropolitan West Essex and East Hertfordshire.

The BCSS is keen to promote, and actively supports, plant conservation in habitat; whilst also promoting the study and cultivation of succulent plants. CactusWorld is the quartery Journal of the BCSS. In a typical year the Journal runs to well in excess of 200 pages and features authorative articles on many Cactus/Succulent topics and contains adverts from major Cactus/Succulent nurseries. The December Journal carries a comprehensive seed list of both cactii and succulents. In addition, the BCSS publishes a Yearbook, Bradleya, in the second half of the year. Volume 30 of Bradleya was published in 2012.

As an experiment, Joint Meetings were instigated with the North London Branch (Based at Capel Manor) in the year 2000. The meetings alternated between Capel Manor and the Harlow Branch venue (The Latton Bush Centre in Harlow).

In 2003 it was jointly decided by the two Branches that there was merit in amalgamating the activities of the two Branches to form a new Branch – the Lea Valley Branch.

At the end of 2018 it was decided to merge the Waltham Forest Branch of the BCSS, with the Lea Valley Branch. The joint venture then to be known as The Lea Valley and District Branch.

The Lea Valley and District Branch meets on the Second Wednesday of the month (unless indicated otherwise) in Room D7 at Capel Manor, Bullsmoor Lane, Enfield, Middlesex, EN1 4RQ  -  at 7:00 p.m. for a 7:30 p.m. start.



Currently all Branch activity is suspended and has been replaced by a programme of weekly Zoom meetings, hosted by the BCSS - Normally on a Tuesday.

In addition the German Society - Deutsche Kakteen Gesellschaft - holds Thursday on-line meetings - open to the interested public. Whilst a good level of German is an advantage, the topics covered and photography are well worth a visit.

Finally, the Succulent Broadcast Network is a useful source of additional Zoom Links.


Image  –  Notocactus scopa Image – Mammillaria plumosa Image – Mammillaria formosa


Check Out the British Cactus and Succulent Society Calendar of Events (See below)

Electronic Publishing is now a very cost effective way of quickly disseminating information.

The Cactus Explorers Club provides access to a fine example of a modern (Downloadable) Journal. This Journal also includes many references to other current Cactus/Succulent related publications.

Au Cactus Francophone is a massive resource of Web related Cactus and Succulent reference data.

Site constructed and maintained by Don Aaron

Updated Januaey 29th 2021

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