By David McRitchie, Canada
I am probably opening a can of worms here. As Notos are my favourite genus, I’ll try not to get emotional!
Up until fairly recently, the accepted classification of Notocactus was that of Buxbaum.
In 1989, Nigel P. Taylor, with the blessing of the International Organization for Succulent Plant Study (IOS), decided to rearrange the classification of Notocactus and classed almost all of them as Parodia species. As a result, according to him, Notocactus became a synonym.
The CITES Cactaceae Checklist follows suit (perhaps because Taylor was on the Board of Advisers?) as do Innes and Glass in their “Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cacti”.
However, The INTERNOTO group in Germany, in my opinion the Notocactus experts, do not accept the reclassification as it is felt that Taylor made a number of errors. In 1995, INTERNOTO published the following volume which retains the genus Notocactus while downclassing some species to variety status, thereby cutting down on the number of species.
Gesamtdarstellung aller Notokakteen (Translation: Overall Presentation of All Notocacti)
By: Gerloff, Neduchal & Stuchlik
Published by: Kveten-Verlag
ISBN 80-901 383-3-0
(Click on the book title above for its listing at Worldcat, with libraries that have it.)
There is no mention of Taylor’s reclassification in this book.
The IOS, as you may know, is working on a complete re-classification of the Cactaceae, the first since Backeberg. It is supposed to be published in 4 volumes, first volume available sometime in 1999. I’m sure they will stick with Taylor.
So, where do we stand?
I would advise everyone not to rush out to re-label your Notocactus. I’m not.
© Copyright 1998 of THE AMATEURS’ DIGEST
Rescued from The Wayback Machine on 24 July 2023