The genus Gymnocalycium has been popular with cactus fanciers for many years. It is widespread in the wild, with most species occurring in northern Argentina and southern Bolivia, and a handful in southern Brazil, south-western Paraguay and Uruguay. New species or variants of species have been discovered steadily since the recognition by Britton and Rose in 1922 of Karl Pfeiffer's genus Gymnocalycium, proposed by him some 70 years before, and some of the earliest of cactus illustrations are of species of Gymnocalycium, then called under the umbrella names of ribbed, globular cacti Echinocactus.
Since Britton and Rose's classic base, The Cactaceae, the genus has been generally acknowledged, and the distinct appearance of the species has caused little confusion with other genera. The naked bud, for which the genus was named, the distinctive form with more or less prominent 'chins', as the humps on the ribs have come to be called from the resemblance to a human chin, and the often distinctive spination have few imitators, and most collectors can immediately identify most Gymnocalycium species as of the genus, and recognise the more common of them readily. Some species are very distinct, and can be confused with no other, while others merge in appearance, and are more or less closely related.
This book will show the collector what the range of species is, and help him to identify or verify the plants he acquires, as well as presenting under one cover information scattered hitherto in various publications over a period of many years.
Author: John Pilbeam
Publisher: Aa Balkema
Publication Date: 1995-08-01
Title: Gymnocalycium: A Collector's Guide