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Virtual Gila Native Plant Society meeting

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Friday, May 15, 2020, 07:00pm

The Gila Native Plant Society’s first experiment with a Zoom meeting was so successful we have decided to try it again. Dr. Edwin Leuck has agreed to give a two-part presentation on cacti, one in May and one in June.

At the May 15 meeting, Dr. Leuck will present a talk entitled “The Cactaceae: Diversity of Form, Function and Habitat,” about the characteristics that make a cactus a cactus. These include bits of internal anatomy, external morphology, and some physiology. He will discuss the major groups of cacti and the diversity contained within, and the economic importance of some members of the family.

On June 19 at 7:00 MDT, also through Zoom, his presentation on “The Cacti of New Mexico” will cover most of the native cacti present in New Mexico, their distributions, habitat specificities, salient (hopefully diagnostic) characteristics, and lots of photos. Included will be 13 genera and 40+ species.

Dr. Leuck, now a resident of Silver City, is emeritus Professor of Biology at Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport, Louisiana.  He taught courses in botany, plant systematics, ecology, conservation biology, microbiology and introductory biology from 1980-2016. His interest in cacti is of long standing: his doctoral dissertation dealt with the systematics of the small-flowered hedgehog cacti in the genus Echinocereus. He continues to look for cacti in New Mexico, especially in the Bootheel and southern Gila regions, and is currently involved in a long-term study of a Peniocereus greggii (Arizona Queen of the Night) population near Rodeo, New Mexico.

For further information visit the programs page on our website:

GNPS members have received emails with the link to the May 15 meeting, but, as always, the public is welcome. If you are interested in joining in on May 15, please send a request for an invitation to

Sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic has made it impossible, at least in the near future, for the Gila Native Plant Society to conduct its usual summer field trips, but we will post notices of where interesting plants may be found on the Field Trip page of the website ( and on the Facebook page (Gila Native Plant Society).

The Gila Native Plant Society is committed to promoting education, research and appreciation of the native flora of the Southwest; encouraging the preservation of rare and endangered plant species; and supporting the use of suitable native plants in landscaping. For information on programs, publications and membership, please visit


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