The Cactus Patch
Volume 2       July 1999      Number 7

What's In A Name?
by L. Maynard Moe

Melocactus albicephalus Buining

Buining = A.F.H. Buining 1901-76, Dutch botanist

The first specimens of this type of cactus were brought to Europe in the early 1500s. They were first called Melocarduus or "melon-thistles." Linnaeus then placed these and all other cacti in the genus Cactus. H.F.Link, a German botanist, created the genus Melocactus for the 30 or so species of these tropical American cacti. The epithet albicephalus refers to the white (albi) cephalium (cephalo= Latin for head).

Senecio scaposus DC

DC= deCandolle 1806-93, Swiss botanist

Senecio is a huge genus of asters with over 1500 species worldwide. Most of the succulent species are found in South Africa. The name Senecio is from the Latin word, senex meaning "old man" because of the white pappus (feathery bristles on the fruit) The epithet, scaposus refers to the leafless flower stalk (Latin, scapus).

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