Resources and Notes on Plant Taxonomy

We continually update our species names to reflect recent taxonomic changes or by simply correctly identifying plants in our inventory. For a list of the updated species names, please follow this link: taxonomic changes. In determining the taxonomy of the plants we sell, we rely on experts in the field, a number of botanical books, and our experience. We suggest these resources to anyone who wants more information on the species that we sell. We recommend Rainbow Gardens Bookshop for books. We generally do not recommend any specific books on succulent plants and cacti but instead have a library of books to refer to and contrast when resolving issues of plant taxonomy.

General Taxonomy

We accept the current names for most species that we offer for sale except for cacti.

Web Sites

The internet can be a treacherous place filled with misinformation. However, there are good sites that we regularly use:

The South African National Biodiversith Institute website:

The International Plant Names Index site:

The PlatzAfrica website has some useful information:

General References

We do not list the numerous picture books available to succulent plant and cactus enthusiasts here, only books with more than names and photographs that are useful in understanding plant taxonomy.

Benson, L., 1977, The Cacti of Arizona: University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona.

Collenette, S., 1999, Wildflowers of Saudi Arabia: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Court, D., 2010, Succulent Flora of Southern Africa:Struik Nature, Cape Town, RSA.

Cowlings, R., and S. Pierce., 1999, Namaqualand, a Succulent Desert: Fernwood Press, Vlaeberg, South Africa.

Curtis, Barbara, and Coleen Mannheimer, 2005, Tree Atlas of Namibia: National Botanical Research Institute, Windhoek, Namibia.

Eggli, U. (editor), 2002, Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Dicotyledons: Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany.

Eggli, U. (editor), 2001, Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Monocotyledons: Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany.

Epple, A.O., 1995, A Field Guide to the Plants of Arizona: Falcon Publishing, Helena, Montana.

Ingram, S., 2008, CactiAgaves, and Yuccas of California and Nevada: Cachuma Press, Los Olivos, California.

Miller, A.G., and M. Morris, 1988, Plants of Dhofar: The Sultanate of Oman..

Miller, A.G., and M. Morris, 2004, Ethnoflora of the Soqotra Archipelago: The Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

Pickering, H., and A. Patzelt, 2008, Field Guide to the Wild Plants of Oman: Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK.

Rauh, W., 1998, Succulent and xerophytic plants of Madagascar: Strawberry Press, Mill Valley, CA. (two volumes).

Roberts, N.C., 1989, Baja California Plant Field Guide: Natural History Publishing Company, La Jolla, California.

Rowley, G.D., 1987, Caudiciform & Pachycaul Succulents: Strawberry Press, Mill Valley, CA.

Thulin, M., 1993, Flora of Somalia, volumes 1-4: Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK.

Wood, J.R.I., 1997, A handbook of the Yemen Flora: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK.

Specific Groups or Genera




Anacampseros, Avonia










Other Species

Pachycaul Trees