Conservation of Resilient Biodiversity through Propagation, Dissemination and Education
Website updated 1/5/16
See the bottom of this page for one-of-a-kind Specimen Plants!
Greetings! A small family run business, Sacred Succulents was founded in 1997, borne from our love of plants and a calling to the sacred duty of their conservation through propagation, dissemination and education. While our initial focus was succulents and xerophytes, our travels and the necessity of species conservation has us propagating a diverse cornucopia of unusual and wonderful beneficial plants from remote and immediate regions of our fecund planet. We strive toward maximizing biodiversity in our gardens and offerings. Widespread dispersal of plants along with propagation on an individual level is one of the most viable means of helping protect wild populations while assuring the evolutionary expansion of these botanical wonders.
We all have the strange grace to live in this time of climatic change and massive biological extinction recognized to be greater than anything the biosphere has experienced in 65 million years. Plant extinctions have been estimated at a loss of nearly 2 species a day. Along with this extinction is the loss of our collective human heritage, as the cultures, languages, dreams and songs that were intimately woven to those species disappear with them. Amongst thousands of known food plants, the world’s food supply relies on a scant dozen. We must do much more than save heirloom varieties and landraces of the major crops. We encourage you to relearn the forgotten indigenous foods and medicines of your region and of your lineage. Where habitat still exists, these are often disappearing from the fields and forests for lack of tending. Experiment with strange and rare edible plants, expand your palate. These are the seeds of true health and food security.
Whether you have a bright window in a city apartment, a suburban house with a yard, or access to acres of land, you can take part in the nurturing of endangered plants, propagate them and pass along the seeds, starts, attendant aspirations and ethnobotanical knowledge to friends. Realize the power we each have to assist our vanishing flora, acting as conservationists through a simple and joyful role as gardeners, horticulturalists, admirers of plants. These small endeavors help to put us in resonance with the viridian heartbeat of the biosphere, a reminder of earthly things like soil, weather and mooncycles in a world increasingly adrift in the navel gaze of cyberspace. Attention to seasonal gifts such as Spring flowers can refresh our wonder in the delicate fortitude of life in all its myriad forms. There is so much life and potential to celebrate all around us!
Our coveted paper catalog is beautifully illustrated and full of ethnobotanical and horticultural information including detailed seed germination and propagation techniques. Some of what we offer:
- Cacti– endangered Ariocarpus, Aztekium, Pelecyphora, Turbinicarpus species… we have one of the most diverse selections of Trichocereus species including new hybrids and mutant San Pedros. We are involved with ongoing studies of this genus in South America: mapping distribution, ecology, ethnobotany and taxonomy through genetic analysis to aid preservation.
- Other Succulents & Xerophytes– Aloe, rare and hardy Agave & Yucca, Baobabs & caudiciforms, aromatic Bursera (Copal, Palo Santo), Commiphora (Myrrh, Guggul) & Boswellia species (Frankincense), rare Echeveria, a large selection of Ephedra species, Hoodia gordonii, medicinal Peperomia, uncommon Puya, obscure Rhodiola & Sedum species, Sceletium tortuosum…
- Unusual & Rare Perennial Edible Plants– Gaultheria, Vaccinium, Amelanchier, Lycium, Elaeagnus, Rubus, Ribes, Ugni, Agapetes … Chufa, Capers, Ramps & rare Alliums, Rampion, Breadroot, Vigna subterranea & edible bulbs, tubers, vines, fruit trees and more for adventurous gardeners, permaculturalists, and food forest fanatics.
- Obscure Medicinals– Codonopsis species, Gold Root, Green tea, Honeybush & Rooibos, Maralroot, Mandrake, Sea Buckthorn, heirloom Tobacco, Yaupon, Yerba Mate, Dioscorea, Dan Shen & other Salvia species, Shatavari, Umckaloaba, Silene capensis…
- Rare & Endangered Chilean Endemics– Latua pubiflora, Gomortega keule, Desfontainia spinosa, Ugni, Coriaria, Chilean Macnut, Fabiana, Macqui Berry, Bell Flower, Nothofagus…and from the Juan Fernandez Archipelago- Dendroseris, Ochagavia elegans, Chenopodium sanctae-clarae, Nicotiana cordifolia, and more…
- Andean Ethnobotanicals– From our annual expeditions. Ancient medicinals and species from one of the most imperiled forest ecosystems on the planet- Polylepis, Buddleja, Hesperomeles, Alnus, Escallonia, Erythrina, Anadenanthera, Puya raimondii, Calceolaria, Macleania, Cavendishia, Pernettya, Bomarea, Cypella, Phaedranassa, Stenomesson, etc. Traditional Andean food plants- Caigua, Kaniwa & Quinoa, Tarwi, Aguaymanto, Naranjilla, Tamarillo, Sauco Berries, Ulupica Pepper, Lacayote squash, Congona, Jaltomata, wild Tomatoes, Passiflora and a large selection of heirloom tubers- Ajipa, Oca, Ulluco, Achira, Mashua, Mauka, Arracacha, Yacon, Maca.
- Plants of California – a focus on forgotten feral foods like Brodiaea, Calochortus, Triteleia, Lilium, Yampah, Chia, plus medicinals and endemic rarities.
- A diversity of wild crafted seed from South Africa, China, Himalayas & other remote regions… rock garden & alpine miniatures…and much more!
- Books– Hard to find titles on ecological horticulture and ethnobotany.
Please send $2 ($4 international) to receive our fully illustrated, highly informative catalog and additional supplements.
Seed deliveries anywhere in the world.
Sacred Succulents, PO Box 781, Sebastopol, CA 95473 USA
Please note: We do not have a mobile device and often only check our emails in the morning Monday through Friday,
so if you don’t get an immediate response from us–do not fret! We will get back to you.
To receive our periodic (every 4-6 weeks) emails listing new plants & seeds, specials, news from our gardens, greenhouses & travels sign up at –
Rare Plant and Seed List
Available by subscription. This is where you will find first offerings of exciting new plants that we have in quantities too small to list in our main catalog. One of a kind specimens, rarities and introductions from our travels, and other plants and seeds from the far reaches of our wondrous fertile planet. Something unique for everyone! Cacti including uncommon Trichocereus and Ariocarpus hybrids and specimens. Succulents such as rare Bursera, Commiphora and Boswellia. Obscure medicinal herbs, unusual perennial foodcrops from around the world and selections from our Andean accessions. A fully descriptive list. A must for any serious plant collector, herbal horticulturalist and permaculture enthusiast.
4 issues $5 ($10 outside USA), 8 issues $8 ($16 outside USA)
Grafting of a slower growing species onto a faster growing stock increases plant growth significantly. It is a viable means of quickly producing mature specimens for seed production and vegetative propagation. This illustrated guide covers all aspects of grafting, from week old seedlings to mature specimens. Includes tricks we have learned over the years that help make this valuable conservation technique accessible and practical. Focuses mainly on Cactaceae but coverage is given to Euphorbiaceae, Apocynaceae and other succulent families. $9.00 postage paid.
Public Domain Pledge
An important terms of business note to all our customers:
In order to be in line with our mission to support the preservation of botanical biodiversity, following the lead of J.L. Hudson Seeds and in recognition that the biodiversity of the Earth is the common heritage of all life, all of our seed and plant offerings are now Public Domain. This means that all plants and seeds are supplied solely under the following conditions: We expressly prohibit the use of any seeds or plants supplied by us, or their progeny, in any form of genetic engineering, breeding, or research which will result in any form of life patent, variety protection, trademarks, breeder’s rights or any form of intellectual property applied to living things which would compromise the Public Domain status of the seeds, plants, their progeny and any genetic material therein. We expressly prohibit the transfer to any third party of any seeds, plants, their progeny or any portion of their genetic material without these prohibitions in place. Commercial propagation is encouraged, but in the unlikely event that large-scale commercial distribution is achieved, benefit-sharing along the path towards the source, in accordance with the spirit of the International Convention on Biological Diversity, will be undertaken. Thank you for your understanding and support!
((((((((( Plant seeds. Plant lots of seeds. Plant them without fear. Plant them with love. )))))))))
“We must look for help not so much to the stamen counters as to the plants themselves.” – Luther Burbank
“The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture” – Thomas Jefferson
Specimen Plant Sale
USA customers only. Most of these plants are one-of-a-kind and have been in our collection for many years. This is a one time offer for most of these plants–they will not be available again! If you are interested in purchasing a plant please email first to confirm availability- email@example.com – please provide your full mailing address in the email.
Shipping and Handling for Specimen Plants
First class priority mail = $6.00 for the first plant $2 each additional plant. Express mail = Inquire for current costs
*Plants marked with a single asterisk are large, heavy and have special shipping charges = $14.00 for the first plant $2 each additional plant.
**Plants marked with double asterisk are extra large and/or heavy. We charge the actual USPS postage cost plus an $6 handling fee on the total order. Email with your zipcode for a price quote.
Please note: Shipping costs for these ** will be significant for folks in eastern states (for example a 36″ Trichocereus sent to the East Coast would be around $40 shipping but less than half that for the West Coast). You may inquire the approximate shipping cost by emailing us your zipcode.
California residents add 7.5% sales tax. Sonoma county residents 8.5%.
Specimen Plants – CACTACEAE
Ariocarpus fissuratus “Hikuli Sunami”
The famous living rock cactus. Flattened stem, grayish to brownish green triangular tubercles with a deeply wrinkled surface and wooly central grooves. Magenta flowers. Southern Texas and northern Mexico. Once utilized by the Tarahumara for its medicinal properties. It was used externally for wound healing and internally to remedy fevers and relieve rheumatic pain. Pieces of tubercles were chewed by long distance runners for their stimulant properties. This beautiful cactus is believed to bring protection and good luck. Sadly, plants are still being illegally collected out of south Texas for the nursery trade.
“+ plant 19 years old $45 sold
Ariocarpus fissuratus Graft
Ariocarpus retusus “Tsuwiri” “Brujo”
Largest of the genus with pointed pyramidal blue-gray tubercles and white or occasionally pink flowers. The Huichol indians treat it with great respect. They believe it can trick a deceitful person into eating it, causing him to go mad with visions of his deception. Recent ethnobotanical research has revealed that certain well trained Huichol shamans consider it a powerful ally. Said to be a treatment for fevers. The peculiar habit of smoking the dried tubercle tips has become popular among some locals in Mexico. Though rare, this plant is widespread throughout central and northern Mexico and has many morphologically distinct forms.
4.5″+ plant 20 years old $68* sold
Ariocarpus retusus cv. Frumdosus
A cultivar with chunky triangular tubercles often wider than long, flat, smooth surfaced and lacking an areole at the tip. Wooly center and white flowers. Grafted onto Stenocereus stock.
4″ diameter grafted plant $45 sold!
Unique cactus to 2′ high. Blue green tubercles, traingular and up to 5″ long tipped with papery twisted spines to 4″. Large yellow flowers. Native to the Chihuahuan desert, northern and central Mexico. Related to the genus Ferocactus. A slow grower. Z9a
6″ plant 15 years old $35*
Pelecyphora asselliformis Graft “Peyotillo”
Small, semi-globular, grey cactus with spirally arranged hatchet shaped tubercles tipped with minute spines arranged like a comb. Tuberous roots. Magenta colored flowers in summer. Forms small clusters with age. Endemic to limestone hills of central San Luis Potosi, Mexico. This slow growing plant has long been a favorite of cactus enthusiasts, over collection and habitat destruction has seriously endangered wild populations. Used in ethnomedicine as a treatment for rheumatic pains and fever. Shown to have antibiotic properties. Plant grafted onto Stenocereus stock. Z9 if dry.
3.5″ diameter graft with 4 heads $54 sold!
Strombocactus disciformis Graft
Gray-green spherical cactus to 5″ in diameter. 12–18 spirally arranged ribs divided into unusual rhomboid tubercles, each bearing 1–5 delicate white spines to 2/3″ long. Creamy white flowers appear in summer. In habitat these plants often grow flattened or disc like but lose this characteristic in cultivation. Native to the Hidalgo and Queretaro, Mexico where the plants are only found growing on steep calcerous cliffs. Highly valued by collectors and extremely slow growing. Z9b
2″+ plant grafted on Stenocereus stock $28 sold!
Trichocereus bridgesii f. monstrosus Clone B “Achuma”
2–5 ribs initially bearing 3″ yellow spines then becoming smooth and spineless. The stems reach 4–6″+ in length then stop growing and begin to offset. Eventually forms dense stands to 6′ tall made up of hundreds of small multibranched stems.
#1 – 26″+ tall plant with over 50 stems $130**
#2 – 10″ tall by 12″ diameter plant with over 60 stems $135**
Trichocereus pachanoi f. cristata BK08611.4 Clone A
We had a number of mutants show up amongst these Peruvian seedlings. This is the first clone we’ve propagated. Crested fans of growth that often branch monstrose into small columns with normal to “melted” ribs. First offering of this beauty. Rooted cuttings of clone A.
5″+ crest with small monstrose branches $45
6.5″+ wavy crest $56 sold!>>>
Trichocereus pachanoi f. monstrosus X Trichocereus sp. SS02
This hybrid has a high percentage of monstrose and cristate seedlings. Here we offer a lovely and unique crested plant grown from seed.
5″ wide by 5″ high fan crest with little monstrose nubs 4 years old $45
Trichocereus peruvianus v. cuzcoensis (=Trichocereus cuzcoensis) Hawaq’ollay”
An underappreciated spiny peruvianoid with glaucus-blue upright stems to 15′ + and gorgeous spines on this clone to 5″! Inter-Andean valleys of Cusco Dept., Peru. Considered a “San Pedro” and utilized as medicine since antiquity. Sections of de-spined stems can still be found for sale at the outdoor Cuzco market for use as a famous shampoo said to treat baldness, as a contraceptive and remedy for burns, fevers, swellings, and flu. Z8b–9a
28″ plant with 2 new pups at top, 15 years old $42**
40″ cutting (with some scars) $40**
Trichocereus sp. ‘Juul’s Giant’ X Trichocereus sp. SS01
Fat upright blue-green stems with small to medium sized spines. Large white flowers. A beautiful hybrid between these favorite pachanoid and peruvianoid plants. Z9a
22″ cutting $44** sold!
Trichocereus sp. Luther Burbank “Quisco”
Upright columns to 10’+. Gray-green stems to 6″ diameter with 7–9 ribs and yellow-gray spines up to 2.5″ long. White flowers. Another plant in the T. peruvianus complex. A large stand grew for many years at the California home and gardens of horticultural mystic Luther Burbank, but was removed during a renovation years back. In his writings it was referenced as the Quisco cactus, of Chilean origin. Z9a
19″ cutting $40**
Trichocereus sp. …otj
This plant came from Rob and Jane at the now defunct …of the jungle nursery. It was given to them as a “short spined bridgesii“, which it certainly is not. Green to frosted bluish stems, 1/2 to 1” spines, amber or yellow at first, later turning gray. Looks like a pachanoi / peruvianus /macrogonus intermediate.
24″+ cut $36**
36″+ cut $52**
Small, flattened gray-green stem to 3″+ in diameter. The ribs are divided into many triangular tubercles tipped with gray fuzz and 3–5 papery spines. Remarkable rose-magenta colored flowers. Discovered in 1994 growing on shale canyon walls in a remote area of north eastern Guanajuato. The most highly prized and slowest growing Turbinicarpus. Looks remarkably like an Ariocarpus or Obregonia. Still extremely rare in cultivation, every effort should be made to propagate since plants are highly threatened by illegal collecting in habitat. Large mature plant blooms heavily each year, grafted onto a thick Trichocereus pachanoi stock.
4.5″+ grafted plant $48*
Other Succulents and Xerophytes
Agavaceae. A distinct medium sized species with rosettes of pale green leaves bearing unusual serrated brown spines along the margins. Flower stalk to 10′. Endemic to limestone hills Rancho Tambor, Oaxaca, Mexico. A decidedly handsome plant. Z9b
10″+ plant a cluster of 5 heads $30*
Bursera fagaroides “Copal”
A really wonderful plant. Shrub or small tree to 20′. Thick swollen trunks and limbs with smooth golden bark that exfoliates in thin papery sheets. Pinnate leaves, tiny flowers followed by purple green berries. Widespread throughout the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts of Mexico. The sap is the most common source of Copal, highly aromatic with a sweet citrus like scent. Dormant much of the year, leafing out only with the onset of hot weather. Specimen plant we’ve kept trimmed and bonsaid for many years. Z10a
28″+ plant with 2″ trunk 18 years old $70**
Bursera glabrifolia BLM1306 “Copalillo”
Small aromatic tree with smooth golden to grey bark and slightly fuzzy pinnate leaves. Sierra San Pedro, Oaxaca, Mexico. Mountain species found in the zone between oak forest and tropical dry forest. A common source of Copal incense and linaloe oil used in perfumery. The soft wood is also favored by artisan woodcarvers in Oaxaca, which has sadly lead to a decimation of the trees in the wild once the carvings became popular internationally. Still rare in cultivation, propagation is encouraged. Specimen sized plant from cutting. Z9b
30″+ multibranched plant $78**
Bursera hindsiana “Copalquin” “Torote Prieto” “Xoop Inl”
Shrub to small multi-trunked tree. Fat trunks with beautiful smooth red to grayish bark, velvety trifoliate leaves. Native to the rocky hills and slopes of Sonora and much of Baja. Sacred to the Seri who believe it to be the first plant created. The bark is used medicinally for congestion and as an antiseptic. The sap has a wonderful sweet balsam scent, one of the best copals of Baja. Seri shamans utilized the wood for carving special fetishes (“santos”) used in vision quests and for curing and protective purposes. Edible seeds and fruit. Z9b/10a
48″+ multibranched plant with 1.5″+ diameter trunk 17+ years old $78**
Bursera microphylla “Copal Oro” “Torote Blanco” “Xoop”
Shrub or low branched tree with thick contorted trunks. Young branches are red-brown, bark of older limbs turns whitish yellow, peeling in papery flakes. Thin pinnate leaves. Intoxicatingly aromatic sap, known to squirt from the branches when handled during hot weather. Many medicinal uses, twig tea being a particularly effective disinfectant. Specimen size plants available. Z9b
36″+ tall plant with multiple trunks arising from a 1″+ base $70**
Aizoaceae. Low growing succulent shrub with flattened and elongated gray-green leaves. Thick tuberous caudex forming roots and large flowers, yellow to pale orange in color. A rare and unusual species with a unique chemical composition. Z9b
6″+ multibranched plant with 2″+ caudex 12 years old $38
Aspidosperma quebracho-blanco “Quebracho”
Apocynaceae. Tall tree to 50′ with a crown of weeping branches. Thick cork-like bark, hard yellow-ochre wood highly valued. Whorls of 3 stiff, pointed, green leaves. Yellow flowers. Native to the Chaco dry forests of Bolivia and Argentina. The bark is used for lung conditions, fever, as an astringent, general tonic and famous aphrodisiac. Contains several alkaloids including yohimbine. Drought hardy. Z9b/10a?
16″+ plant 3 years old $26*
Blechnum sp. BK10512.10
Blechnaceae. Unusual and distinct fern with a rosette of thick compound leaves on a small trunk to about 12″ tall, like a miniature cycad. New growth is a magenta to pink-bronze color. Polylepis lanata forest understory and edges. Above Rio Lope Mendoza, Cochabamba Dept., Bolivia. This beautiful fern has been slow growing from spores, we finally have a some up to size that we can offer for the first time. Z8/9?
3″+ plant 4 years old $25
Asteraceae. One of eleven species of bizarre “giant dandelions” endemic to the Juan Fernandez Archipelago. Palm-like shrub 8–10′ tall with thick, smooth trunks that branch at the base and are crowned with rosettes of long thick leaves. White flowers. Endemic to Robinson Crusoe Island. The leaves are likely edible. Critically endangered, yet easily grown. Well draining moist soil. Dislikes intense summer heat. Z9b?
28″+ Plant 4 years old $40*
Stout branching stems 5–10′ tall crowned with rosettes of large yellow-green leaves. Clusters of yellow flowers. Highly endangered endemic of steep coastal cliffs, Santa Clara and Robinson Crusoe Islands, Juan Fernandez Archipelago. Grow like D. micrantha. This is our first and only offering of this endangered beauty. Z9b
14″+ plant 3 years old $48* sold!
Disterigma rimbachii HBG95935
Ericaceae. Beautiful multibranched shrub to 1–2′. Small, spirally arranged, oval leaves clothe the stems. New growth is deep red. Rose-pink tubular flowers borne along the stems. Light indigo-purple berries, sweet and juicy. Blueberry kin endemic to the low mountain forests and cloudforests of Ecuador from 2500–10,700′. Filtered light, well draining, moist, acidic soil. Rooted cutting. Z9b?
10″ tall plant with 3 main branches and several small branches $65
Desfontainia spinosa “Taique” “Borrachero”
Desfontainiaceae. Highly ornamental evergreen shrub. Holly-like leaves, 1″ tubular red flowers with yellow tips, yellow-green fruits. Rare throughout its range from the Columbian Andes south to Chile. Considered a monotypic species with a family all its own. Used as an ethnomedicinal inebrient, possibly a delirient entheogen. The chemistry is poorly understood. Easy to grow, in full sun it stays a bush to 6′, in part shade it can reach 15′ or more. Well drained rich acid soil. Drought tolerant once established, but prefers ample water. Here we offer a lovely flowering size specimen plant of a Chilean clone. Z8b
48″+ multibranched specimen plant $75**
Podocarpus parlatorei “Pino de monte” “Andean Pine”
Podocarpaceae. Evergreen tree to 40′, greyish bark and flattened green needles. Very durable wood. Podocarpus forests use to cover vast portions of the Andes up to 13,000′, but other than a reserve in Ecuador and central Peru, these forests are no more. Needless to say, propagation is vital. It’s mindboggling that Mexican pine is being planted all over these mountains while this amazing native species is slipping away. Rooted cuttings. Z7/8?
48″+ tree $50**
Puya herzogii BK10511.5
Bromeliaceae. Clusters of 2–3′ rosettes of grey serrated leaves. Large club like inflorescence to 6–8′ tall, flowering bracts covered in a white and grey fuzz, yellow green flowers with bright orange pollen. The impressive flower stalk makes this one of our favorite species. Growing amongst Puya raimondii, near Rodeo, Cochabamba Dept., Bolivia, 13,300′. Z7/8?
12″ plant 5 years old $30* sold!
Other Beneficials, etc.
Abies spectabilis CC5791 “Bunga Salla” “Himalayan Silver Fir”
Pinaceae. Large upright tree to 100’+. Gray deeply grooved bark. Flattened needles with pale green undersides. Upright cylindrical cones that turn dark purple. Chadwell collection Solu Khumbu, Nepal, 9400′. The oil rich needles are used as an expectorant and carminative and made into an incense. The wood is utilized for construction. Z5
24″+ tree 8 years old $25*
Schotia afra “Boer-Bean”
Fabaceae. Small tree to 15′ with gnarled trunk, pinnate leaves and clusters of showy red flowers. Bean like pods with large seeds. Native to South Africa. The bean-size seeds are eaten fresh when green or cooked when mature, said to be quite tasty. The bark of Schotia brachypetala is decocted for hangover. Excellent ornamental, drought hardy. Z9a
26″+ plant 6 years old $36** sold!
Taxus Baccata “Sacred Yew”
Taxaceae. A slow growing evergreen tree to 50′ + tall. Dark green needles and fleshy red berries. A European species, sacred to pagans and christians alike. In Wales there is a specimen that has a circumference of nearly 50 feet and estimated to be 4,000 years old! A tree to plant for future generations. Easily trimmed as a hedge or bonsaid. Source of the anticancer drug, Taxol. All parts of the plant are considered poisonous, except for the fruit which are quite tasty! The aromatic wood is burned as an incense and a tea made from the leaves is insecticidal. Sun to shade tolerant, prefers a moist well drained soil. Plant from Hungarian seed. Z4b
40″+ tree 11 years old $32**