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
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
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
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
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,
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
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.