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Cactus Culture for Amateurs Being Descriptions of the Various Cactuses Grown in This Country, With Full and Practical Instructions for Their Successful Cultivation   By:

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CACTUS CULTURE FOR AMATEURS:

BEING

DESCRIPTIONS OF THE VARIOUS CACTUSES GROWN IN THIS COUNTRY.

with

FULL AND PRACTICAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THEIR SUCCESSFUL CULTIVATION.

By W. WATSON, Assistant Curator of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED.

LONDON: L. UPCOTT GILL, 170, STRAND, W.C.

1889.

[Illustration: FIG. 1. A COLLECTION OF CACTUSES. Frontispiece.]

PREFACE

The idea that Cactuses were seldom seen in English gardens, because so little was known about their cultivation and management, suggested to the Publisher of this book that a series of chapters on the best kinds, and how to grow them successfully, would be useful. These chapters were written for and published in The Bazaar, in 1885 and following years. Some alterations and additions have been made, and the whole is now offered as a thoroughly practical and descriptive work on the subject.

The descriptions are as simple and complete as they could be made; the names here used are those adopted at Kew; and the cultural directions are as full and detailed as is necessary. No species or variety is omitted which is known to be in cultivation, or of sufficient interest to be introduced. The many excellent figures of Cactuses in the Botanical Magazine (Bot. Mag.) are referred to under each species described, except in those cases where a complete figure is given in this book. My claims to be heard as a teacher in this department are based on an experience of ten years in the care and cultivation of the large collection of Cactuses at Kew.

Whatever the shortcomings of my share of the work may be, I feel certain that the numerous and excellent illustrations which the Publisher has obtained for this book cannot fail to render it attractive, and, let us also hope, contribute something towards bringing Cactuses into favour with horticulturists, professional as well as amateur.

W. WATSON.

CONTENTS.

INTRODUCTION

BOTANICAL CHARACTERS

CULTIVATION

PROPAGATION

THE GENUS EPIPHYLLUM

THE GENUS PHYLLOCACTUS

THE GENUS CEREUS

THE GENUS ECHINOCACTUS

THE GENUS ECHINOPSIS

THE GENUS MELOCACTUS

THE GENUS PILOCEREUS

THE GENUS MAMILLARIA

THE GENUS LEUCHTENBERGIA

THE GENUS PELECYPHORA

THE GENUS OPUNTIA

THE GENUS PERESKIA

THE GENUS RHIPSALIS

TEMPERATURES

DEALERS IN CACTUSES

INDEX OF SPECIES

CACTUS CULTURE FOR AMATEURS

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTION.

The Cactus family is not popular among English horticulturists in these days, scarcely half a dozen species out of about a thousand known being considered good enough to be included among favourite garden plants. Probably five hundred kinds have been, or are, in cultivation in the gardens of the few specialists who take an interest in Cactuses; but these are practically unknown in English horticulture. It is not, however, very many years ago that there was something like a Cactus mania, when rich amateurs vied with each other in procuring and growing large collections of the rarest and newest kinds.

"About the year 1830, Cacti began to be specially patronised by several rich plant amateurs, of whom may be mentioned the Duke of Bedford, who formed a fine collection at Woburn Abbey, the Duke of Devonshire, and Mr. Harris, of Kingsbury. Mr. Palmer, of Shakelwell, had become possessed of Mr. Haworth's collection, to which he greatly added by purchases; he, however, found his rival in the Rev. H. Williams, of Hendon, who formed a fine and select collection, and, on account of the eagerness of growers to obtain the new and rare plants, high prices were given for them, ten, twelve, and even twenty and thirty guineas often being given for single plants of the Echinocactus. Thus private collectors were induced to forward from their native countries chiefly from Mexico and Chili extensive collections of Cacti." (quoting J. Smith. A.L.S., ex Curator of the Royal Gardens... Continue reading book >>




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