The Cactus Family
Only now, at the beginning of the new millennium, is there an up-to-date, comprehensive study of the cactus family. This long-awaited, monumental work covers the Cactaceae in an encyclopedic manner, addressing 125 genera and 1810 species. The most comprehensive single resource on the subject available today, it includes more than 1000 color photographs in addition to other illustrations. The introduction to each genus concentrates on the discovery of the cacti, and the improvements in our understanding of them, many of which result from relatively recent investigation. As stated in the foreword, "Cacti have a special fascination all their own. Miniature spiny dwarf cacti less than an inch in diameter are hidden in the arid regions of North and South America; the majestic columns of the giant saguaro, Carnegiea gigantea, dominate the deserts of Arizona. Yet all these cacti, given time, offer the surprising paradox of brilliant flowers, their delicacy a striking contrast to the strong spines that keep the viewer at a respectful distance." This remarkable diversity is fully described and illustrated in this authoritative encyclopedia, which is both scientifically accurate and readable. It also includes a chapter by Roger Brown on the cultivation of cacti, making the book even more useful to growers and hobbyists, as well as to taxonomists, ethnobotanists, and conservationists — indeed, anyone interested in succulent plants.
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