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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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Academic & Professional Books  Botany  Vascular Plants  Vascular Plants: General


By: Dan Torre(Author)
224 pages, 70 colour & 30 b/w photos & illustrations
Publisher: Reaktion Books
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  • Cactus ISBN: 9781780237220 Hardback Apr 2017 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1 week
Price: £17.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Related titles

About this book

Cacti are full of contradictions. Although many are found in the driest and most barren environments on earth, some grow exclusively in the branches of the rainforest canopy. Many species bristle with ferocious-looking spines, while other varieties are perfectly smooth. And while they might strike us as the most austere plants on earth, nearly all of them exhibit remarkable floral displays – some even larger than the plant itself. In Cactus, Dan Torre explores these unique plants as they appear all around the world and throughout art, literature, and popular culture.

As Torre shows, cacti have played a prominent role in human history for thousands of years. Some species were revered by ancient civilizations, playing a part in their religious ceremonies; other varieties have been cultivated for their medicinal properties and even as a source of dye, as in the case of the prickly pear cactus and the cochineal insect, the source of red carmine used in everything from food to lipstick. Torre examines how cacti have figured in low-footprint gardens, as iconic features of the landscapes of Westerns, and as a delicious culinary ingredient, from nutritious Nopal pads to alluring Pitaya – or Dragon – fruits. Entertaining and informative, Cactus will appeal to any of us who have admired these hardy, efficient plants.



One Natural History of the Cactus
Two Native Cacti, Alien Cacti
Three Beautiful Cacti, Beastly Cacti
Four Almost Human: The Anthropomorphic Cacti
Five Eating Cacti
Six Transforming the Cactus
Seven Cactus Collectors and Cactus Societies

Further Reading
Associations and Websites
Photo Acknowledgements

Customer Reviews

By: Dan Torre(Author)
224 pages, 70 colour & 30 b/w photos & illustrations
Publisher: Reaktion Books
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