The Cactus File Handbook 4
by Graham Charles
80 pages, hardback, ISBN 0 9528302 5 6
165x235mm, 106 colour photographs and 34 distribution maps

This booklet is aimed at the average collector who has an interest in the genus and wants to have more information on it. The illustration of seedling plants in cultivation as well as mature habitat plants is the most important feature of the book and will surely aid collectors in identifying their plants. Because many Copiapoas are very long lived and because of the extreme environment it is very common for mature habitat plants to look quite different from seedling plants. The naming system chosen for the book is conservative as is the tendency in recent taxonomy and from the point of view of classification of the species I am sure represents a fair treatment. This however is not always the most helpful horticulturally as growers want to have some idea of the appearance of the plant they may be buying. Graham Charles has got round this problem in the book in some cases by supplying the older subsumed name in brackets.

I am quite sure this publication will prove very popular with collectors and will be a very useful addition to many people's libraries. Graham Charles and The Cactus File are to be congratulated on filling a gap in the available literature with an eminently useful and readable book.

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