Palmer's Culture des Cactées - a rare cactus book

Walker, Colin (2022). Palmer's Culture des Cactées - a rare cactus book. Bradleya, 40 pp. 231–248.


Palmer’s Culture des Cactées was published in Paris in 1867 during the first cactus cornucopia in mid-nineteenth-century France. The contents of the book are summarised and its illustrations are discussed in detail. For its time, it is well illustrated with thirty-three engravings, for which sources of just ten have been identified. Original sources for six of Palmer’s engravings are illustrated here for comparison. Britton & Rose (1919–1923) cited twelve of the engravings, indicating their historical significance. As a growers’ guide the book compares favourably with those published in 1845 and 1868 by Charles Lemaire, Palmer’s contemporary and leading light in the French cactus scene at that time. The rarity of Palmer’s book is indicated by the fact that only seventeen copies have been located, details of which are tabulated.

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