Lexicon of Cacti Names Millennium Edition (25,000 names, some legitimate!)

A comprehensive computer database of currently accepted cactus names together with all their synonym names.

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Anyone who is even mildly interested in cacti is often bewildered when faced by the enormous number of names in print that he or she encounters. The purpose of this program is to bring some order into this chaos. Over the last several years Lucio and Vittoria Mondolfo have been collecting as many legitimate cactus names as possible and their probable synonyms. Also collated in their research are references where a picture, in colour or black and white, a description or at least a mention can be found. The amount of data collected is astounding, running to over 1000 pages if printed out using the standard size typeface.

Since most prospective users of this research may not have access to a library where ancient publications are available, no attempt has been made to list the first publication of a name (which often dates before 1900). Instead reference has been made to recent publications which are in print or readily available. Assignation of a species to a genus has been based mainly on consensus; usually the assignation chosen is the one that most of the references quoted have chosen, keeping in mind that the most preferred may not be acceptable.  Many assignments are only tentative and are to be considered as the most probable rather than definitive ones. Very seldom complete agreement between various authors can be found. Even when pictures are given, it is often found that there is less similarity between pictures of the same species by different authors, than between pictures of different species. Descriptions as to number and size of spines, colour, shape or size of flowers and similar features also show the same type of discrepancy. Thus it is often impossible to decide with complete certainty if different names belong to the same plant or two different plants.

In many cases different spellings of a name are listed, but the user is warned that misspelling is very prevalent and often names that differ only in one or two letters are the same, but considering the large number of people of different nationalities involved, variations of names' spelling is to be expected. Many of these variations are displayed, but no attempt has been made to collect all of them, just enough to give users an idea of the variety that they may encounter.

Whenever available the collector's numbers are displayed for both accepted and synonym names. The search facility allows the display of the name corresponding to a particular collector number. Many of the collectors numbers were obtained second-hand. Thus they may not be listed under the name given by the original collector but by the synonym preferred by the author who lists it. For example a plant collected by Friederich Ritter as Neolobivia divaricata FR 696 has been reported as Lobivia divaricata (FR 696) by Backenberg and is actually listed as a synonym of Echinopsis backebergii hertrichiana. Problems with collector numbers arise also because sometimes the same collector published two different names for the same number. In this work this number has been assigned to both names on the assumption that the two plants with that number are identical.