Three cactuses

Three entries from Rudolf Slaba, The Illustrated Guide to Cacti, Sterling Publishing Co., 1992. Just because the illustrations by Petr Liška are so pleasing. (And of course because these cacti, like so many, are phallic.)

(Hat tip to Juan Gomez, who found the book in the Redwood City public library.)

On the illustrator, from A New Flowering: 1000 Years of Botanical Art by Shirley Sherwood (2005):

Petr Liška: Born Prague 1953. Trained between 1968 and 1972 at the High School of Graphic Arts in Prague. In 1980 he became head of the publicity department at the Medical Plants Company and created desgns and illustrations for a variety of printed material. Since 1991 he has worked as a free-lance artist. He works in tempera and his paintings have been reproduced in a number of Czech magazines… His illustrations have appeared in several books including The Illustrated Guide to Cacti by Rudolf Slaba (1992), Les Fruits by Dlouhá, Richter and Valiček (1995), and Le Jardin de Rocaille by V. Vodičková (1996).

Mammillaria spinosissima.


From Wikipedia on the genus:

The genus Mammillaria is one of the largest in the cactus family (Cactaceae), with currently 200 known species and varieties recognized. Most of the mammillarias are native to Mexico, but some come from the southwest United States, the Caribbean, Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala and Honduras. The common name “pincushion cactus” refers to this and the closely related genus Escobaria.

The first species was described by Carl Linnaeus as Cactus mammillaris in 1753, deriving its name from Latin mammilla, “nipple”, referring to the tubercles that are among the distinctive features of the genus.

Phallic and with nipples!

A photo of Mammillaria spinosissima var. ‘rubrispina’ (‘Super Red’):


Echinocereus delaetti.


From Wikipedia on the genus:

Echinocereus is a genus of ribbed, usually small to medium-sized cylindrical cacti, comprising about 70 species native to the southern United States and Mexico in very sunny rocky places. Usually the flowers are large and the fruit edible.

The name comes from the Ancient Greek ἐχῖνος (echinos), meaning “hedgehog,” and the Latin cereus meaning “candle.” They are sometimes known as hedgehog cacti

A photo of the gorgeous Echinocereus triglochidiatus ‘White Sands’ in bloom:


Notocactus/Parodia leninghausii.


From Wikipedia on this species:

Parodia leninghausii is a species of South American cactus commonly found as a houseplant. Common names include Lemon Ball, Golden Ball and Yellow Tower cactus.

A photo of lemon balls in bloom:


The illustrations are delicate and luminous, the photographs arresting and intense.

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