Comparative images of species from genera other than Cylindropuntia, Epiphyllum, Hylocereus, Mammillaria, Nopalea, Opuntia, Pereskia, Pereskiopsis & Pseudorhipsalis (pl. click on this link to see their images):
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Species, genera & family pages of‎‎‎ ‎‎Cactaceae are now with images. I request you to pl. go through & point out mistakes, if any. I hope this will aid in identifications in future.

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Fwd: Cactaceae in India : 1 post by 1 author.
Since I have been posting about Opuntia, would be worth emphasising, in case it is not widely known, that ALMOST NONE, IF ANY of the members of the Cactaceae family are NATIVE to India or anywhere in the ‘Old World’ as it is known.
Thus pretty well ALL those encountered will either be CULTIVATED or escapes from cultivation/naturalised.
I understood that ALL Cactaceae came from the ‘New’ World but according to Wiki, ONE species, Rhipsalis baccifera, MIGHT be native to Africa and Sri Lanka.
My vote goes with the POSSIBLE explanation being that it was spread by ship CENTURIES ago.  The Portuguese certainly visited Sri Lanka – as they did Goa.
Whatever the truth, it will be no more than the “Exception proving the rule” even if this DISJUNCT distribution is REAL.
25 years ago I had a lecture tour in New Zealand, where I met Bill Sykes, who participated (as the UK’s Royal Horticultural Society representative) on the Polunin, Sykes & Williams and Stainton, Sykes & Williams expeditions to Nepal in the 1950s.
He had spent some time in China.  I was told that many in China view a plant growing in China as ‘Chinese’ and do not attach the same significance to so-called ‘Alien’ plants.
There is something to be said for this.   After all, if a plant naturalises (as opposed to those ONLY present in cultivation) it becomes part of the local flora – how it REACHED and where from are less important, perhaps?  As is whether the ‘dispersal’ was intentional or otherwise.
Clearly, we do need to understand HOW plants spread and to take steps to MINIMISE the spread of POTENTIALLY invasive species.

I have seen ‘Himalayan’ Balsam (impatiens glandulifera) growing at Shimla. Given that it dominates in places, the fact that it has ‘taken’ over some riverside and wetland habitats in the UK comes as no surprise.  When in was FIRST introduced into cultivation in the UK (in the 1830s, I understand) people were BLISSFULLY unaware of such risks.


 

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