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New Cactus Lexicon (Project completed - July 2006)

A comprehensive illustrated reference source for cacti of the world

Harrisia tetracantha (Cactaceae)

Published privately in July 2006 by principal compiler/editor David Hunt, and assisted by Nigel Taylor and Graham Charles, as a not-for-profit project, the New Cactus Lexicon (2 volumes) is the most comprehensive compendium on Cactaceae ever to appear. It is likely to remain unrivalled as a collection of high quality documented images of cacti and an invaluable source of reference for all students of the family. More than 95% of all cactus taxa recognised at the level of species and subspecies are illustrated with 2,505 colour images in the Atlas volume, the majority as plants of known wild provenance, whether in habitat or cultivation. The text volume lists and documents alphabetically the recognised genera and all species names in current use, whether accepted or as synonyms, with bibliographic details, typification, abbreviated diagnostic descriptions, cross references to illustrations in the Atlas, geographical distribution by country and state, and taxonomic commentary. Indexes are provided to all names in current use and basionyms, besides a list of IUCN Red List categories and preliminary conservation assessments for all taxa considered to be threatened in any way. The Atlas volume is organised systematically, with the larger and more complex genera broken down into subgeneric groupings to aid identification. In this way it can function like a 'pictorial herbarium'. The two volumes together run to nearly 1,000 pages.

More than 100 individuals around the world have contributed photographic images to the Atlas volume, including local botanical collaborators from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and the USA. The project is a remarkable example of what can be achieved when professionals and amateurs work together. The collaborators who have contributed either directly or indirectly to the text volume are all members of the International Cactaceae Systematics Group.

Project partners and collaborators

GermanyAmateur from Offenburg
Amateur from Böblingen
Botanischer Institut, Universität der Bonn
Botanisches Garten und Botanisches Museum, Berlin-Dahlem
Universität der Bremen
SwedenDepartment of Evolutionary Biology, University of Uppsala
SwitzerlandSukkulenten-Sammlung, Zürich
Swiss CITES authority, Bern
UKAmateur from Bromley
Amateur from Cambridge
Amateur from Hull
USAArizona State University, Phoenix
Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix
Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
Museum of Natural History, San Diego

Project team

Science Teams: 
Project Leader: