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TED – EDWARD ANDERSON (1932 – 2001)

By Innokentiy E. Sinev, Moscow

Edward, or Ted, Anderson, – a prominent American cactologist died March, 29, 2001.

Photo 1.

Ted (Photo 1-2) graduated from a famous among American cacti community Роmоnа Со11еgе, С1аrеmоnt. His teacher and later thesis tutor was a known botanist and cactologist Liman Benson (1909-1993), the author of "Cacti of USA and Canada".

In late 50s Ted participated in a botanical research in Mexico. In early 60s he made himself known as a cactologist after he revised genus Аrioсаrриs basing on field research in Mexico. It was the period where 6 volumes of "Die САСТАСЕАЕ" by Kurt Bakeberg appeared. According to the book Аrioсаrриs, Rоsеосасtus and Neogomesia were not only separate genera but also belonged to different supergeneric taxones. It wouldn't be Kurt Bakeberg if he didn't classify cacti according to their morphological features at any pretext. Thus, he referred genus Neogomesia to supergenus (Siрре) Воrеоесhiпосасti where it stood between Leuchtembergia and Ferocactus; genera Rоsеосасtus and Аriocаrриs came to supergenus (Siрре) Матillаriae but to different subsupergenera ("Untersippe?): Соrурhапthае и Еитатillаriае. Rоsеосасtus was placed between Coryphantha and Encephalocarpus, and Аriocаrриs went between Solisia и Матillаria. Certainly, Bakeberg's taxonomy is doubtful and the American botanists' attitude toward it is quite reasonable. But uniting 3 genera into one Ted Anderson did not classify them at supergeneric level thus rejecting the fact of difference of their generative organs. It seems a big drawback of his system.

Photo 2.

In 60-70s Ted taught botany in Universities of Ecuador, Malaya and Thailand. Field research in Thailand allowed him to write a bestseller "Plants and People of Golden Triangle". In 1976 at the age of 44 he was appointed Professor of biology in Whitman College, Walla Walla, USA which permitted him to resume his studies of the biology of cacti in nature. He paid much attention to preservation of cacti in places of their natural growing. He took an active part in a long-term joint project of Mexican Universities and Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona aimed at the studies of the contents of natural populations of rare species of cacti in the Northern Mexico and at the California Peninsula. This monitoring allowed watching the dynamics of the size of natural populations, determining the endangered species and the reasons of decreasing the number of rare cacti, giving recommendations on preservations of these species. Besides scientific results the work permitted Ted to make wonderful photos of the rarest cacti that he placed in his books.

To pay for this lucky chance he supported, voluntarily or not, severe Mexican laws regarding the preservation of their nature which have been subject to discussion for many years in foreign cacti periodicals.

Photo 3.Photo 4.

Ted was an active member of IOS (International Organisation for Succulent Plant Study). He was Vice President (since 1984) and President (since 1989) of this most authoritative international organisation of cactologists. He retired from the post in 1994 but continued to help his colleagues as the Secretary of IOS.

During his life Ted wrote a great number of books and articles. His book Реуtе: Тhе Divine Сасtus (Аnderson, Е.F., Реуоtе: Тhе Divinе Сасtus - 1980, 295 p.) was republished three times. His most prominent book Тhе Сасtus Fаmilу dedicated to Liman Benson was published shortly before his death. The book contains hundreds of wonderful coloured photos of cacti and a lot of valuable information. One can be sure that more than one generation of cactophiles will open this 3-kg volume with awe. And Ted Anderson will stay with us till his books are opened (Photo 3-4).


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