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Endangered West Hollywood Rare Plant Nursery May Survive

Leon Massoth has owned and operated XOTX Tropico nursery in West Hollywood for over 30 years. (Caroline Champlin/LAist)
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A beloved West Hollywood nursery that specializes in rare species has to shut down by the end of the month, but it appears to have found a new home.

Late last year, Leon Massoth was instructed to vacate XOTX Tropico ("exotics") nursery--a business he started over 30 years ago. The owner of the property it sat on had sold the land.

Massoth was supposed to be out by the end of December, but gave up his security deposit to stay a little longer.

"We're severely under the gun," he told us. "We've claimed January to try to distribute our plants and we really have to be out in the next few weeks," he said.

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XOTX Topico nursery in West Hollywood is offering discounts before the property needs to be vacated. (Caroline Champlin/LAist)

Massoth spent the last few weeks looking through hundreds of property listings, and he's found a new location a 15-minute drive away.

The lease isn't signed yet, but he expects that to happen soon.

"Then we can continue to be a Mecca for horticulture," Massoth said.

An arrangement of South African plants, including Albuca Spiralis and Stomatium. (Caroline Champlin/LAist)
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For now, he's spending his days rushing around the shop, saving seeds in plastic bags to plant later, including some species that are nearly extinct in the wild. Much of his time, though, is spent talking with longtime customers who come in to say goodbye.

"It's a little emotional being here today. The space is so beautiful and it's just really sad to see it go," said Bridget Green, who came from Glendale to make a last-minute purchase.

She said no matter where XOTX sets up shop next, she'll be there.