500 Cacti: Species and Varieties in Cultivation

Overview

A visual reference to 500 cacti.

The cactus family includes more than 2,500 species of cacti, succulents, caudiciforms and euphorbs. Native to the Americas, they are at least 50 million years old and highly advanced in their evolution. Not all are desert plants. Some are found in the rainforest, where they enjoy the heavy rainfall and grow much more vigorously than their desert cousins. Many cacti are very popular with rock gardeners and ...

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Overview

A visual reference to 500 cacti.

The cactus family includes more than 2,500 species of cacti, succulents, caudiciforms and euphorbs. Native to the Americas, they are at least 50 million years old and highly advanced in their evolution. Not all are desert plants. Some are found in the rainforest, where they enjoy the heavy rainfall and grow much more vigorously than their desert cousins. Many cacti are very popular with rock gardeners and houseplant enthusiasts.

This new book features 500 species representing all cactus groups. The cacti are arranged alphabetically by scientific genus, with an entire page devoted to each species. At-a-glance information includes size, distribution, spination, flower and flowering time, plus varieties and synonyms used. Detailed descriptions reveal the amazing adaptations cacti have made, such as:

  • Stems with waterproof skin to store water
  • Far-reaching, shallow root systems
  • Leaves that are shed during a drought
  • Spines toward off predators.

The author provides professional advice on growing these plants at home. Among the 500 color photographs that appear in the book are stunning shots of cacti in bloom.

500 Cacti is a useful reference for all who admire these long-living and distinctive plants.

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Editorial Reviews

Tucson Citizen
Absolutely stunning.... user-friendly. This handsome book is ideal for both the novice cacti lover as well as the seasoned pro.
Phoenix Home and Garden
Documents a large selection of cacti, succulents, cadiforms and euphorbs... This book is a handy reference to bring when shopping for your landscape.
Grand magazine (Waterloo)
Colour photos are so attractive that even the fervent anti-cacti people may be won over.
Asbury Park Press
For the serious cactus fancier or a horticultural library... The photographs are magnificent... would be of value to anyone who grows any cacti.
icangarden.com
This new book features 500 species representing all cactus groups. The cacti are arranged alphabetically by scientific genus, with an entire page devoted to each species. At-a-glance information includes size, distribution, spination, flower and flowering time, plus varieties and synonyms used. Detailed descriptions reveal the amazing adaptations cacti have made... The author provides professional advice on growing these plants at home. Among the 500 color photographs that appear in the book are stunning shots of cacti in bloom. 500 Cacti is a useful reference for all who admire these long-living and distinctive plants.
American Reference Books Annual 2008 - Linda D. Tietjen
The author has organized a collection of stunning photographs, most of which are, quite amazingly, given their very short blooming cycles, shown in full blooming splendor... 500 Cacti, an elegant little volume, is highly recommended for public and school libraries, and for academic libraries collecting in botany and horticulture. Because the book is so aesthetically pleasing in its own right, it would also make a wonderful addition to personal libraries.
The American Gardener - Vivela Neveln
500 Cacti provides an encyclopedic look at this family of succulents... The author chose to use names that are "most likely to be found in lists of cactus plants or seeds for sale, or on the label on a pot," to avoid confusion when trying to acquire these plants.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554072613
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/12/2007
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 698,398
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 1.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Preston-Mafham is a naturalist, author and photographer. He lives in England, where he has grown cacti for more than 30 years. His previous books include Cacti and Succulents in Habitat and Cacti: The Illustrated Dictionary.

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Preface

Introduction

500 cacti describes more than 500 species of cacti that we generally available for enthusiasts from specialist nurseries, Including some from more general garden stores. While is difficult to choose what to include or exclude from this large group of plants, it can be said that anyone obtaining all the plants in this book (or a reasonable selection) would end up with a well-balanced collection of diverse, interesting, and rewarding cacti.

The final list contains as many genera as reasonably possible even if they have only a single example. Popular genera, or those that seem to be gaining numerous new deem at present and that are not always covered well elsewhere (for example, the Opuntia group) have been dealt with rather more fully than some people might think they deserve. Genera that have few fans, such as some the long pendant epiphytes, or many large-growing, columnar kinds (cerei), or those whose members are difficult to grow on their own roots (such as Blossfeldia), have been omitted.

To assist the reader who is a complete beginner with cacti and is wrestling with a confusion of names on a mail order list, a selection of genera that are not included here, along with brief reasons why, is given on page 516.

The plants in this book are all members of a single family (the Cactaceae), most of which have succulent stems used for storing water. Numerous other kinds of plants are also succulent and are very popular with collectors, for example, living stones (Lithops) in the famlly Aizoaceae or Stapelia in the milkweed family (Asclepiadaceae). These and many other succulent plants do not belong to the family Cactaceae, and so are not included in the following pages.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 9, 2009

    Pretty Pictures but Not Enough Information

    I am trying to "get my lawn off grass" in order to conserve on water, and thought a cactus garden would be a pretty addition. Although this book is full of beautiful pictures and talks about what country the cacti are native to, it doesn't give the information I need when trying to select beautiful specimens for my garden. I need to know especially what temperature range a plant can tolerate.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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