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Pasadena, California

California Cactus Center

A nursery specializing in strange and beautiful succulents and cacti. 

The California Cactus Center may be small in comparison to the Huntington Gardens and Los Angeles County Arboretum, both of which are located down the street, but it rivals its esteemed neighbors in terms of the beauty and rarity of the unusual cacti and succulents it has for sale.

Succulents are ubiquitous in Southern California, and some of that is thanks to the California Cactus Center. With nursery facilities in Indio and Chino, they supply local municipalities, businesses, and even universities with succulents and cacti for all their landscaping needs. Recently, they supplied the plants for the grounds of a new Google campus nearby, and the succulents for a large landscaping project at the University of California, Riverside. However, they also specialize in rare and hard to find succulents and cacti, with specimens from all over the world. While most are grown in their nurseries, some especially rare species and cultivars are transplanted (extremely carefully) from all over the world, and a beautiful few are over a century old. Some of these rare plants are bred for conservation, with some offspring made available for sale. 

The owners are friendly and helpful, and have an adorable one-eyed cat. Even if you aren’t in the market for new, unusual plants (like a gorgeous, professionally-staged show-quality Euphorbia medusoid) perusing their collection is certainly worth a visit.

Whether the cats missing eye has anything to do with the abundant cacti around the shop is unknown.

Know Before You Go

Parking is scarce, but some is available around the corner on the street.