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Henry Shaw
Cactus Society

A CSSA Chapter
St. Louis, Missouri


Each monthly issue of the Henry Shaw Cactus Digest includes club updates, columns and articles by members on their favorite aspects of cactus and succulent culture. Follow the link below this item to read select Digest articles -- or join HSCS to receive every article in the print version of the Digest.

The Name Game

By Pam Schnebelen
It is very difficult for us to keep up with changes in plant taxonomy. For all sorts of very good reasons, the science folks continuously change plant names, genera and families. To make a confusing story even more difficult, there are competing authorities in the naming business, and they may disagree about seemingly basic classifications.
Leo Martin, a former HSCS member, has written a very good article that describes the process of plant nomenclature. You can read it on the CSSA website at www.cssainc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=187&Itemid=212.
Regardless of the underlying confusion, HSCS updates and distributes classification documents along with the show schedules each year. Those documents are the say-so for determining what plants can be entered into which classes. I have used Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org) as the primary source for updating those documents. Interesting searches on the site: "Succulent Plants" and "Cactaceae."
Other sites for naming plants include:
Succulent Euphorbias (www.euphorbia.de/fotoabc.htm)
Desert Tropicals (www.desert-tropicals.com/Plants/succulents.htm)
Mesembs.com (www.mesembs.com)
Bihrmann's Caudiciforms (www.bihrmann.com/CAUDICIformS/)
Copiapoa (www.copiapoa.info)
Google (www.google.com)
When searching for pictures of a plant, try the sites above and:
Google Images (images.google.com)
Webshots (www.webshots.com)
Picasa (www.picasaweb.google.com)
Fotki (www.fotki.com)
This year is my last update of the show's classification documents. Is this a task you can take on? Alternatively, is this a task we can drop? With such great information readily available on the web, do we need these paper documents at all?
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