The Cactus File Handbook 1: Thelocactus

by John Pilbeam

Members of the genus Thelocactus are very popular with cactus plant enthusiasts; they are undemanding plants which grow steadily into impressively spined specimens, and which flower freely during the summer growing period. Information on this small genus has hitherto been scattered in various publications and individual articles, with no definitive reference source or copiously illustrated book available.

The Cactus File Handbook 1 – Thelocactus provides a colourful and comprehensive reference on this genus of mostly Mexican cacti. In the main chapter of the book, the 'Commentary on Species', it discusses in detail the 11 recognized species, with full-colour illustrations and distribution maps of each species and variety; many are illustrated both in habitat and in cultivation. The text for each species discusses the plants' history, classification, distribution and habitat, along with details on variability, threats to survival, and any other relevant facts.

The Handbook also includes a number of additional chapters, including:

Classification – Several important revisions of this genus have taken place over the years. In 1923, Britton and Rose recognized 12 species. Backeberg, in his monumental Die Cactaceae recognized 17 species, and a further 8 varieties. In 1977 Glass and Foster in a major article in the US journal effectively recognized 10 species, with a further 7 varieties. The most recent classification, and that followed most closely in this publication, was by E.F. Anderson, published in 1987 in Bradleya (yearbook of the British Cactus and Succulent Society). Anderson recognized 11 species and 7 further varieties, and his key is reproduced in the Handbook.

Cultivation – The basic methods of cultivation are discussed, with information on soil, watering, feeding, light, temperatures, potting, pests, and sooty mould.

Geography – This chapter includes maps showing the individual distribution of each species, plus lists detailing the country and state in which each is known to occur.

Referred and other superfluous names – This chapter includes a list of rejected or superfluous names, with details of their origin and a reference to the correct name that should be applied.

Field collectors' numbers – Lists of the field collection numbers of Alfred Lau, Glass & Foster, and Steven Brack, the three major field explorers for Thelocactus of recent times, are published, with details of the identifications and localities recorded by them.

Written by John Pilbeam, author of numerous popular titles on various genera of succulent plants, the Handbook is aimed fairly and squarely at the cactus and succulent hobbyist. It is written in a friendly, non-technical style, with special emphasis on those topics that are of particular concern to amateur enthusiasts of these plants.

With colour on every page, this Handbook sets a new standard in popular cactus publications, and the generous reviews published in the journals of succulent societies around the world confirm that this worthwhile Handbook will be considered one of the main references on the genus Thelocactus for many years to come.

See our Ordering Information page to place your order.

(Published 1996) ISBN 0 9528302 0 5 (softbound).

56 pages, 165 x 235mm.
Illustrated in full-colour throughout, with 42 colour photographs. 32 distribution maps.

Price: 95 UK, 50 rest of world (post free).

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