Botanic Gardens and Herbaria


Serious students of cacti as well as those interested in seeing the great diversity of the family cannot always go to the natural habitat of the plants. Not only is there the matter of expense, many areas are remote and difficult to reach. Botanic gardens present a wide variety of plants in pleasant, comfortable surroundings, however. As noted in Chapter 3, botanic gardens also play an important role in ex situ conservation of cacti.

Herbaria may not be as spectacular as botanic gardens with their living specimens, but for the researcher, herbaria are of equal importance. The herbarium contains numerous specimens, often from throughout the geographical range of a particular cactus, something that may not be possible in the limited space of a botanic garden. The herbarium specimen also contains valuable collection data in addition to the actual preserved plant material.

Several botanic gardens and herbaria have received the collections of workers on cacti and have supported research on plants of arid regions. Most of these institutions welcome visitors and scientists who wish to study the plants. The botanic gardens and herbaria are arranged alphabetically, by country, state, and city.

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