"Dragon Trees, Cucumber Trees, and Giant Adeniums: The Island of Socotra"
by Brian Kemble
The island of Socotra, 80 miles long and about 26 miles wide at its widest point, is a wonderland of succulent plants. It lies in the northwestern Indian Ocean, off the horn of Africa and to the south of the Arabian Peninsula. Although it is a possession of Yemen, the ongoing civil war in that country makes it necessary at present to visit the island by way of the United Arab Emirates, which maintains weekly flights. There are many succulent plants found on Socotra, but some of the iconic ones include the Socotran Dragon Tree (Dracaena cinnabari), the Cucumber Tree (Dendrosicyos socotranus) and the largest of all the adeniums (Adenium socotranum). Though the island has floristic connections to both Africa and Arabia, it has many endemics such as the three plants listed.
SFSCS VP Brian Kemble has long wanted to visit Socotra, so it was a dream come true to go there in February-March 2022 along with a group assembled by Guillermo Rivera. The group was fortunate to have Kelly Griffin along, since he was the only one of us who had been there before, and his guidance was instrumental in locating some of the more out-of-the-way species. For information about the succulent flora of the island, Brian recommends Succulent Plants of Socotra, written by French writer and plant explorer Joël Lodé.
The in-person meeting is broadcast live from the County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. More info: sfsucculent.org
7:00 Mingling and announcements
7:30 Formal presentation starts promptly with Society business
7:35 Show and Tell Table - with Brian Kemble
7:50 Leg stretch
7:55 Featured presentation
In addition to the Zoom, we will simulcast on Facebook live at fb.me.sfsucculent