HSCSS Annual Show & Sale

Show entry rules are changing for 2022. New Exhibitor Guidelines will be posted here when available.

How to Enter (2019)

All current members of the Henry Shaw Cactus and Succulent Society are eligible to enter the annual HSCSS Show and Sale. The Junior Division is open to members who are 16 years old and younger. Children and grandchildren of members are also welcome to participate. No commercial growers may enter this free member show.

Except for the Decorative section, all plants must have been in exhibitors’ possession at least six months. All plants except those in the Decorative section must be identified with their botanical names on entry cards and staged in pots with top dressing. Plants may be supported by trellises when necessary.

This show defines a succulent as a plant that comes from a habitat that is arid or semi-arid at least part of the year and has evolved a means to survive periods of drought. All entries must adhere to this definition. See Show Schedule for complete rules and guidelines.

Follow These Steps to Enter:

(This 2019 process will be updated in 2020 with new dates and links to show documents.)

1. Select plants and determine entry classes
2. Submit completed entry form
3. Complete entry card for each plant
4. Prepare plants for show
5. Stage plants with cards during setup
6. Remove plants after show

1. Review the rules and guidelines in the Show Schedule and determine entry classes for your best plants. Judging is based primarily on plant health, staging and rarity. The show includes categories for specimen and decorative plants, as well as propagation, staging, photography, allied interests and educational displays.

Cactus Classes

Classes in the Cacti division are generally organized by genus. To enter a cactus, find your plant’s genus and accompanying class number in Section 5 of the show schedule. For classes with fewer entries, several genera may be combined. Popular classes may be additionally defined by plant/pot size. Separate classes address miniature, crested, hanging and other specialized plant forms.

Succulent Classes

Classes in Section 6, Specimen Succulents, are primarily organized by plant family. Individual classes are defined by genus name under the family names. As with cacti, genera may be combined or additionally defined by plant/pot size.

If you know the family name for a succulent plant, find it on the alphabetized list in Section 6. If you don’t know the family, look for the plant’s genus in the Succulents by Genus file, which lists aphabetized genera and associated families or groups.

Euphorbias are classed by size and whether they are endemic to Madagascar. See the Madagascar Euphorbias file to confirm your plants’ status. This document alphabetically lists species names for euphorbias from Madagascar.

Separate classes are provided for miniature, crested, variegated and other specialized plant forms. Classes for bonsai forms and staging are found in Section 7.

2. Complete a Show Entry Form. Write in the numbers for the classes you intend to enter – and note any especially large plants. Return a copy in person at the July 7 HSCSS meeting or by mail to Janet Kister (5121 Ashrock Dr., St. Louis, MO 63129). All hard-copy entries must be received by July 20. The information from entry forms is used to allocate display space. Be sure to keep a copy for yourself.

To enter by e-mail, return the PDF form or send a message to Janet Kister ( by July 20 that includes your name, telephone number, e-mail address and which classes you will enter. Also note if your plants are large. Entry confirmation and number assignments will be made by e-mail or telephone.

3. Pick up enough Entry Cards at HSCSS meetings to provide one card for each plant or plant grouping entry, or use the Entry Card file to print your own. The cards identify exhibitors, class numbers and plant names. Place the completed cards next to your individual plants as you stage them on the show tables before the event. Fold back the tops of the cards so the judges cannot see your name.

4. Prepare your plants for public viewing. As the show approaches, remove cobwebs and dead or dying tissue from plants, and be sure they have no bugs or other pests that could affect other entries. Replace broken or unsightly pots. Apply appropriate top dressing. Remember that each entry reflects on both the Henry Shaw Cactus and Succulent Society and Missouri Botanical Garden.

5. Plan to stage your plants in the Ridgway Center at Missouri Botanical Garden during the designated setup periods. Remember, only one vehicle at a time may park at the back door of the building for loading or unloading. Do not park in the director’s space or the bus parking areas. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on garden grounds.

Locate the display areas for your entry categories and place your plants along with their completed entry cards in the designated spaces on the display tables. Remove plant labels and tape them to the bottoms of your entries’ pots or store them elsewhere. Due to space and time limitations, do not plan to do extensive cleaning or “touch-ups” as you stage your plants.

Avoid the judging period after setup on July 26 to allow the judges and their assistants to efficiently do their jobs and post results. All members are encouraged to attend the official show opening at 8:30 a.m. on July 27. Enjoy fellow members’ plants throughout the show and pick up a few choice selections from the vendor tables.

6. At the end of the show on July 28, remove your plants between 5 and 7 p.m. Again, please remember that only one vehicle at a time may park at the back door of the building for loading.