Scout cactus

Scout cactus

"Everyone knows succulents are great for container gardens," says Jeff Karsner, president of the Los Angeles Cactus & Succulent Society. "We figure it's time for the public to advance its plant palette beyond the usual offerings." This weekend, the organization's Educational Show and Sale will let water-conscious gardeners vote on the best displays and shop for California natives, variegated agaves and aloes and exotic species, including the Orthophytum gurkenii, shown here, a more drought-tolerant bromeliad prized for its dark coloration and attractive banding. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with a rare plant auction at sunset on Saturday. Sepulveda Garden Center, 16633 Magnolia Blvd., Encino. (818) 367-0864, www.lacss.com.