TCSS Field Guide to Cactus and Succulents of Arizona


  • This book will be the definitive identification and distributional source for cactus and succulents that occur within Arizona.
  • Written, photographed, illustrated and produced by TCSS members.
  • The author/photograpers are experts in field research who have traveled and re-traveled hundred of back road miles to establish not only species distribution but also to capture that rare moment of glowing flourescens.
  • The TCSS Field Guide to Cactus and Succulents of Arizona is an important updated treatment of the taxanomy, distribution and status of these native plants and the first comprehensive undertaking of the subject in 30 years.
  • The team of contributing writers, editors and support staff, all TCSS members, are providing all the documentation, photography and artwork featured in the book.
  • Scheduled for release in early 2015, this publication embodies the TCSS charter of education and conservation.

The Team behind this publication


  • Thomas Staudt - Program Manager
  • Peter Breslin - Writer
  • Greg Starr - Agave Guru
  • Rob Romero - Writer
  • Vonn Watkins - Cactus Dude
  • John Durham - Fundraiser


Peter Breslin

began growing and studying cacti and succulents at age of 10, in the inhospitable climes of Pennsylvenia. Four decades later, after migrating west, he still has the cactus bug. He worked for Santa Fe Greenhouses/High Country Gardens as a cactus and succulent propagator and has done extensive field work in Arizona and the American Southwest, as well as Sonora and Baja California North and South. His articles and photographs have appeared in Cactus & Co. and The Cactus and Succulent Journal. He holds a BA in Liberal Arts from St. John's College in Annapolis, MD and is currently pursuing a Master's in mathematics at Arizona State University.


Rob Romero

got the cactus bug during the New Mexico C&SS show and sale 1991. There he met Steven Brack of Mesa Garden and the adventure began. He quickly joined the NM Society eventually becoming president. A job opportunity came along with Tucson as the destination and the rest is history. Rob travels several times a year to see plants in habitat and has been all around the southwest of the U.S. and most of Baja California, Mexico. He likes to grow many species with emphasis on US an Mexican plants. Growing from seeds is a favorite part of the hobby.


Greg Starr

was born in Tucson, Arizona and is the author of two books, Cool Plants for Hot Gardens and Agaves: Living Sculptures for Landscapes and Containers. Greg has written several horticultural articles about landscape plants for the journal Desert Plants. He travels throughout the desert southwest and Mexico to photograph cacti, succulents and any other interesting plant in habitat, also to help him better understand the plants and their interaction with each other and the surrounding enviroment, all the while searching for new plants that can be used in xeric landscapes. Greg lectures at various venues throughout the west primarly on unique desert landscape plants and the fabulously sculptural agaves.


Vonn Watkins

was first introduced to cactus and succulents while growing up in North Carolina. Many years later he enrolled at East Tennessee State University and during his time in Johnson City, Tennessee he began studying propagation and growing cacti and succulents from seed.
As a resident of Arizona he has traveled throughout many western states and Mexico, exploring and recording numerous observations on cactus and other succulents. He has been Vice-President and Program Director for the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society over 10 years. He has a great interest in the genus Cylindropuntia, Opuntia, Echinocactus and Ferocactus, and continues to gather further knowledge about those plants. Vonn received a BFA in Graphic Design and Photography from East Tenessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee.