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Cultivated species of

Discocactus buenekeri

photo Jan Hovens




Early 1987 Gerard Uil and Jan Hovens from the Netherlands established the study-club DISCOCACTUS. They were joined later by  Wim van de Vel and Louis van Criekinge from Belgium, Günter Königs, Bernd Bohle and Eberhard Kadow from Germany, and Piet van der Laken from the Netherlands.

The main goal of the members of this group was to verify  genuine relation between newly described species and the original species, as well as the inter-relations of these species Also the cultivation and the distribution of these cultivated plants. In the beginning a major contribution to these activities was delivered by Mr. Uil. This work was especially done in the same period that Mr. Buining travelled in Brazil.

In general it was noted that the cultivated species especially the full-grown have less variety then those found in their habitat. This could raise the idea of joining and simplifying species in the genus Discocactus, as was done by Mr. Taylor. 

A problem for the amateur seemed to be  that the phenotype  of cultivated species could differ a lot from the species found in their habitat This could lead to wrong classification of the species. The purpose of this document is to give  a description and picture of both the cultivated plants and the plants in their habitat. In this way the amateur is given a key to determine the species.     

 The described cultivated plants are grown from seeds from plants found at the referenced field number. The first descriptions are taken from the book "Discocactus" from Buining, later discovered species were published in other related magazines like "Kakteen und Sukkulenten". Information about cultivation and knowledge about the culture, based on experience gathered over the years makes this website a helpful tool for the interested amateur.

The discussed species in this document are practically all from habitat plants known to us. Although the rules for nomenclature point out that one should take the average phenotype of the plants on the habitat to describe the species, it shall be clear that researchers in the field mostly select photogenic examples the first description. Many locations have been visited afterwards by amateurs and they confirm often that the description does not describe the average phenotype. The only clue and foothold to verify the species is the geographic location of the field and field-number. Only then are we able to scientifically verify the description with the reality. Science is based on clearly determined factors that make verification possible. Recently described species are missing these verification possibilities. We made several requests to public herbaria to obtain information about geographic locations and field-numbers. Our requests were categorically refused under the pretext that we were no scientists and that publication of the location would lead to a possible extermination of the species by merchant or collectors.  The latter has luckily almost become impossible because of regulations of the CITES document. Unfortunately it has lead to the fact that we haven't been able to give a detailed description of  the latest found species. Mostly it was also impossible to obtain seeds for cultivation. Maybe this website gives us with your help a second chance to complete the portrait of the genus Discocactus. The wish from the amateur, if justly or not to obtain (a cultivated) plant, made possible by means of distributing the seeds from herbaria, shall make it possible for every interested amateur to contribute to the description and verification of the species.

This study-group has in general chosen for the nomenclature as used by dr. Braun, as indicated in the part Taxonomy. The images can be reached from dr. Braun's page, but better still is to go via the part Species were the names are organized in alphabetical order as mostly used in collections. Images can be viewed at full size by double-clicking on the image.

We hope by this way to render service to all the amateurs of these spectacular bloomers and  deliver a contribution to the knowledge about this Discocactus, and by this to broaden the interest in this group of plants. Anyway the best protection of a species is the knowledge about, live with and spreading the living material.

Under the item Cultivation you will find many tips and other information about this subject.

We wish you lots of pleasure by reading and gathering all the available information.