All cacti are succulents. But not all succulents are cacti. That's the first lesson Dave Bernstein teaches you at California Nursery Specialties, but that's not all you'll learn at this paradise of water-wise plants that he started 30 years ago. As King of the Succulents, he reigns over a one-and-a-half-acre kingdom of 100,000 cacti, succulents and tropicals — all harvested on a tour-worthy site containing seven sky-high metal dinosaurs, a western town, two palatial greenhouses, a stagecoach, meandering display gardens and thousands of rows of plants meticulously organized by container size. “If you've seen succulents at malls, Disneyland, even your Aunt Molly's backyard, they come from here,” says Bernstein, who's sought out by high-end landscape contractors and retail distributors for his expertise and inventory of thousands of species. But if you just want to pick up a $2 prickly pear for your patio, he's got that, too. (Open to the public weekends only.) 19420 Saticoy St., Reseda; (818) 894-5694,

—Heidi Dvorak

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