Working Groups

Succulenta East Africa

Succulenta East Africa

Did you know that there is only one true cactus indigenous to Kenya – Rhipsalis baccifera – and it has no spines and doesn’t even look like a cactus! Did you know that there are three species of exceedingly poisonous aloes in Kenya – and that not all aloes are the benign Aloe vera, which is not indigenous?

Succulenta East Africa is a division of Nature Kenya devoted to growing and learning about succulent plants. These are plants that store water in their tissues to survive periods of drought. Swollen stems or leaves for water storage give many bizarre shapes, and features such as spines and waxy surfaces add to their attraction. A garden planted with showy succulents does not need regular watering.

Succulenta East Africa group activities include interesting talks and discussions, garden meetings and other social events, giving an opportunity to share succulent plant interests with other enthusiasts. Recent exciting field trips to see how these waterwise plants grow in their natural habitat have included visits to the Marich Pass, Turkwell Gorge, Kasigau and Sabuk in Laikipia. Forthcoming events include a trip to Suyian Soul in Laikipia guided by Anne Powys.

A quarterly newsletter (digital) and occasional booklets are sent to all paid-up members. Join/renew your Nature Kenya membership and you can renew your membership to Succulenta East Africa at the same time – just ask! But be warned! You might be so inspired by Succulenta enthusiasts that you may become obsessed by Succulents – it has happened!


Succulenta East Africa Committee 2015/2016

Chairperson – Sue Allan

Newsletters – Lizzie Lawrence

Secretary – Andrena Low

Events – Jacqui Resley, Astrid von Kalckstein, Julia Glen, Gail Paul

Scientific advisors – Emily Wabuyele and of course Len Newton too!

Nature Kenya liaison – Heather Elkins


Publications by Succulenta East Africa available from Nature Shop from Ksh 200/- | US$ 12 including Postage

The Pollination of East African Succulent Plants Leonard E. Newton

The History of Succulent Plants in Kenya Leonard E. Newton

A Check-list of Kenyan Succulent Plants Leonard E. Newton

Taxonomy Without (too many) Tears Leonard E. Newton

An ABC for Succulent Plant Enthusiasts Leonard E. Newton
Uses of Succulent Plants in East Africa Leonard E. Newton
Ballya – a few old issues still in stock

(Photos OF COVERS)


Adenium obesum by Sue Alan


Euphorbia kalisana by Len Newton


Ceropegia ballyana by Sue Allan