Mesembs of the world

This is a well-illustrated, easy-to-read guide of all the 123 mesembs genera that are currently recognised worldwide.
Smith, Gideon F.; Chesselet, Pascale; van Jaarsveld, Ernst; Hartmann, Heidi; Hammer, Steven; van Wyk, Ben-Erik; Burgoyne, Priscilla; Klak, Cornelia; Kurzweil, Hubert
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Title: Mesembs of the World
Subtitle: Illustrated Guide to a remarkable succulent group
Authors: Gideon F. Smith, Pascale Chesselet, Ernst J. van Jaarsveld, Heidi Hartmann, Steven Hammer, Ben-Erik van Wyk, Priscilla Burgoyne, Cornelia Klak and Hubert Kurzweil.
Publisher: Briza Publications
Pretoria, South Africa 1998
ISBN 9781875093137 / ISBN 978-1-875093-13-7
Hardcover, 17 x 24 cm, 408 pages, distribution maps, 650 colour photographs


Mesembs of the World provides an illustrated, easy-to-read overview of all 123 mesemb genera that are currently recognised. Illustrations are provided for a representative selection of species. Topics that are covered in the generic treatments in this book include the derivation of the genus name, common names, a brief description, distinguishing characters, flowering time (mostly time of day and season), geographical distribution and ecology, and cultivation. Interesting anecdotes about a genus are given in a separate paragraph. Maps indicating the natural distribution are provided as a further aid to assist with identification at the generic rank. Full lists of all the species and infraspecific taxa that are recognised, are given for each genus, along with an indication of often used generic synonyms and the conservation status of the species. Some of these topics are also discussed in supplementary chapters. Most importantly, a key (identification aid) is provided to all the mesemb genera. To facilitate easy identification, the genera are divided into groups exhibiting more or less similar external characters, for example branching pattern, growth form, leaf shape and capsule type. These groups may or may not reflect a close relationship amongst the genera included. The purpose was not necessarily to attempt a reflection of affinity, but this work will hopefully fill a long-existing void in the literature of this important group of succulent plants.

Content: Mesembs of the World

Magic of mesembs
Distribution and ecology
Conservation by Craig Hilton-Taylor
Uses of mesembs
How to identify the mesemb groups
Guide to the groups
Genera of mesembs
Weedy mesembs
Flat-leaved mesembs
Flowering stones
Tongue-leaved mesembs
Rough-leaved mesembs
Tooth-leaved mesembs
Tufted mesembs
Bead-leaved mesembs
Mat-forming mesembs
Dwarf shrubby mesembs
Glittering shrubby mesembs
Lampranthus-alike shrubby mesembs
Rusch-alike shrubby mesembs
Leipoldt-alike shrubby mesembs
Further reading
Key to genera