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FRANÇAIS                                                        THE PROJECT                                                          ESPAÑOL 
The new classification of Cacti mainly based on molecular data and explained
by Joël Lodé
Volumes 3-4:
"Description of the Species"

      ±1500 pages / ±12,000 photos / 185 genera / ±2700 species and subspecies  
updated 26th of February 2024    

A surprise is waiting you at the end of this page!

FORECAST of contents:
- Approximately 2,700 listed taxa (sp. + subsp.) recognised, described and explained in alphabetical order,
- ± 1,500 pages A4 format (+ index of taxa treated),
- ± 600 photos of the new taxa and those omitted in the first two volumes, taken in habitat and in collection,
- + 2,500 photos of seeds of almost all species and subspecies, taken under a digital microscope,
- Complete description, updated for each species and subspecies, and moreover, why they were retained, synonymized or discarded.
- Etymology and eponymy for each species and subspecies,
- Portrait of persons who gave their name to a species or subspecies,
- + 1,200 geographical distribution maps, drastically reduced in number through between others, regroupments of subspecies.
- Description of habitats for each species and subspecies,
- Level of threat for each species and subspecies, presence in cultivation,
- Bibliography,
- Index and revised synonyms (in a separate booklet).

This is the ambitious project that prefigures the sequel and the end of the first two volumes of the "Taxonomy of the Cactaceae", which presented for the first time in a single work, the genera of Cacti recognised by the author and using both morphological data and molecular phylogenetic studies.

This time it is an even more detailed and complementary huge
research work, description of all taxa recognised by the author (± 2700) and new data, like pictures under digital microscope of the seeds of almost all species and subspecies concerned.

The book is written in English (will be revised and corrected by specialists!), its translation into French will require one more year of work, thus delaying a publication already planned in the long term, considering the amount of work, knowing that the necessary funds for the writing of this work, and its translation do not exist. This work is based on the will and perseverance of the author (and the patience of future readers!), It requires both financial and logistical support; three databases are already available at the bottom of this page: the list of taxa seeds still to be found, as well as the photographs of the taxa not previously included in the first two volumes. If you are a happy man and have seeds or photos wanted for this book, you are welcome to participate in the illustration! The collaborators will of course be cited and thanked with their names in the work, and the illustrations will be duly identified with the copyright of their authors.

digitalisation des graines

The drafting of the book is a long-term task which demands an almost exclusive dedication, which is not remunerated, and even generates expenses. The financial assistance is therefore particularly welcome to carry out this unpublished project which will spread over several years. I would like to thank the Société Française d'Acclimatation  (Society whose aim is to improve the diffusion of the knowledge of gardeners about their climate and the plants of acclimatisation, to favor the diversity of the plantations in gardens, in agreement with the climate) which was the first to value this work and offered a grant for its implementation, also to Dr Alexander Bunkenburg, Alexander Pichler, Philippe Richaud,  Frédéric Carlier, Brice ChéronPeter Quirini, Marco Alberto Medda, Fabrice ArnaudPhilippe Charbonnier and Al Laius for their financial or material support, as well as Christophe Ludwig for hosting all books data on server, and Jorge Quiñónez as informant.
There is nothing formal, every help is greeted with kindness, and before being embodied in the book with the thanks due to the generous collaborators, it will be pointed out through this page which will honour each step forward towards the final publication of a work necessary to update our knowledge in the field of Cactaceae. In advance, thank you for your involvement.
If you want to help this project to come true, you can also participate with 5, 10, 20 etc. or more Euros, just send the money to the account of cactus-adventures.com on our Paypal account or secure server mentioning (Taxonomy of the Cactaceac Project vol.3-4"*. THANK YOU!
                                                                                           Joël Lodé
* https://www.cactus-aventures.com/secure.php

Started in 2016, the project is already well under way:

SEEDS under digital microscope:
- Seeds are like fingerprints for cacti; for now,
I have currently taken 8,241 photos of the seeds under digital microscope, which represent about 2,600 taxa. Some come from different sources to verify and ensure their identity; most cacti seed sellers found on the web were solicited, some even offered the seeds, which represent a great help. Many amateurs and specialists as well as botanical gardens and botanists have also participated in this compilation on a voluntary and enthusiastic basis, and all will be thanked and cited in the book

Thanks to many collaborators who will be cited fo their merits in the book, the collection of still missing photos in the first two volumes is well advanced, actually with more than 600 photos of new taxa.

More than 1,000 geographical distribution maps of all taxa (the subspecies would be grouped together with the species on a single map in order to reduce their number) are at the project stage, using the QGIS or DIVA-GIS software for their realization. I still have to find a standard model. For now, most information about this distribution is compiled. Help with the use of this software is welcome!

I have also prepared what will be used for the etymological illustration, the model for the gallery showing the persons who gave their name to a species or a subspecies. It is a very laborious and often unsuccessful research work, many people have not been represented, and there is no portrait or photo of these people known, or more simply I have not managed to find their portrait : for example, the chevalier de Monville, Francisco Ortega respectively for genera Monvillea and Ortegocactus, Richard Grässner for Acanthocephala graessneri, José Picardo for Airampoa picardoi etc. There will be many anecdotes about the lives of these characters, many of which will surprise us.

The highlight of the book, which will take the longest time, is the detailed description of ± 2,700 species and subspecies, with many gaps filled. I am currently working on 
Weingartia s.l. (vol.4). A long-term work on which I plan to offer a book as complete and updated as possible on Cacti.

Updated list of genera actually treated in Tax. of Cact. vols.3-4

zone de travail

Most recent studies:

2023: a new phylogenetic revision of the genus Cereus by Taylor et al.

2023: a new, very complete phylogenetic revision of the genus Mammillaria revisited by Chincoya et al.

2023: a revision of the genus Leptocereus on Hispaniola by Hoxey et al.

2022: at last, a phylogenetic work on Melocactus by Majure et al.

2022: two revisions of Cacti, from Chile (Walter & Guerrero), and Ecuador (Loaiza).

2022. Grusonia over Corynopuntia in Bárcenas y Hernández, not followed in my work.
2022: a new molecular study on Pilosocereus by Franco-Estrada et al.
2021: Mammillaria made monophyletic! A study by Breslin et al. is in the process of being published in Taxon and shows Mammillaria sensu lato divided into three large groups: Cochemiea sensu lato (including among others the Mammillarias of Baja California as already previously)
anticipated, Coryphantha sensu lato (including Escobaria) and Mammillaria sensu lato (practically the not hooked ones).
September 2020: Lavor et al. carried out a molecular analysis for the genus Pilosocereus with about forty taxa.
June 2020: Barrios
et al. have just published a molecular work on the genus Leptocereus, which shows that Dendrocereus is embedded within a monophyletic clade of Leptocereus.
October 2019: Sánchez et al. lead a third phylogenetic study on the genus Echinocereus, but this time, they give importance to the morphology and included it in their work.
A DNA study is also published on the genus Tephrocactus (M. Laura Las Peñas et al.).

2019: in September, a new phylogenetic work on Cylindropuntia still more complete was done by Majure et al.
Also in August, a complete molecular analysis was published on the genus Epithelantha (Aquino et al.).
2019: in August 2019, a new molecular study (Vázquez-Sánchez et al.) confirmed that Turbinicarpus should be splitted into three genera: Turbinicarpus sensu stricto, Rapicactus and Kadenicarpus, already suggested in Taxonomy of the Cactaceae second volume as the “clade B1”, but expecting more studies.

2018: the genus Echinocactus was finally studied with a deeper  DNA analysis by Mario Daniel Vargas-Luna et al. and proved that Echinocactus should be splitted;  in fact, Homalocephala is a good genus, including H. texensis, but also H. parryi and H. polycephala. Kroenleinia grusonii is sister to Ferocactus,  although it is still unresolved (probably because of a reticular evolution event).

2018: the genus Eulychnia was the subject of a molecular phylogenetic study by Larridon et al.

Published in december 2017 by Tapia et al., a new molecular study on Cephalocereus was made and confirmed that Neobuxbaumia and Pseudomitrocereus (= Mitrocereus) are part of Cephalocereus and should be included in the latter.
This was already suggested in Taxonomy of the Cactaceae vol. 1 (p. 142: "All this seems to suggest that in the future, Cephalocereus (1838) could include the genus Neobuxbaumia (1938), and the classification proposed here could be changed.") and vol.2 (p. 67: "According to Arias et al. (2003), the DNA studies show that the genus Neobuxbaumia is part of a clade including Cephalocereus and Pseudomitrocereus (= Mitrocereus). According to the same authors, it would therefore be possible to consider Pseudomitrocereus fulviceps, Cephalocereus and Neobuxbaumia part of a single genus."), although waiting for more study, I preferred not to change the taxonomy: now it's time for a global acceptation of the genus Cephalocereus s.l.!

Nadja Korotkova et al.
(2017) have also published a work on the Hylocereeae tribe at the specific level using 4 different plastid regions to extract the DNA.

The results are as follows:

What does not change compared to Taxonomy of Cactaceae, vol.1 and 2:
- confirmed the grouping of Peniocereus pro parte in Acanthocereus.
- confirmed the genus Aporocactus, far removed from Disocactus.
What changes with respect to Taxonomy of Cactaceae vol.1-2:

- Corynopuntia now included in Grusonia for priority.

- New genus Xiquexique confirmed by two DNA studies.

- Neobuxbaumia included now in Cephalocereus.

- Reinstatement of the genus Kadenicarpus.

Reinstatement of the genus Homalocephala.

Reinstatement of the genus Deamia for ex Strophocactus testudo and S. chontalensis.
What I said in volume 2 p.225 was therefore a good point: "Finally, the disjunction of species might suggest that we may be in the presence of more than one genus. "

- Strophocactus now includes: S. wittii, and more curiously, Pseudoacanthocereus brasiliensis, and P. sicariguensis.
What I said p.149 about Pseudoacanthocereus: "It would be interesting, in my opinion, to confirm their lineage with a molecular analysis. "

Deamia and Strophocactus are not part of the Hylocereeae tribe and are now included within Echinocereeae.

- The creation of a new genus, Kimnachia to house Pseudorhipsalis ramulosa.
What I said in the vol.1 of Tdc p. 152: "Pseudorhipsalis has to be included in Hylocereinae, although the boundaries of the tribe seem difficult to establish. "

Hylocereus is now included in Selenicereus, making it monophyletic. My suggestion is that perhaps Hylocereus could be considered as a subgenus?

What I said about Selenicereus in Td, vol.2 p. 202: "It is difficult to set the limits of Selenicereus"., And also: "The phylogenetic work of Barcenas et al. (2011) confirmed that, as currently circumscribed (Anderson 2001 and Hunt et al., 2006), the genus Selenicereus s.l. is not monophyletic in any tree. "

For more details, read the article by Korotkova et al. A phylogenetic framework for the Hylocereeae (Cactaceae) and implications for the circumscription of the genera, Phytotaxa 327 (1): 001-046, 2017.

I will try to take stock with you by updating this page and this text from time to time according to the progress of the project. Patience is a must!
It is just incredible to see how people are contributing with pictures, seeds, portraits, articles from all over the world: thank you for your help and trust.
Joël Lodé, 2016-2024
contact: joel@cactus-aventures.com

I need your help to make this work the most accurate and as complete as possible: thank you for your contributions!
Wishlist of STILL MISSING SEEDS (updated with only 265 taxa missing of about 2,700!)                        
MISSING PICTURES Wishlist (updated with only 32 species missing)
Wishlist of MISSING PORTRAITS (updated, 157 people missing of about 900!)