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Joseph Maria Franz Anton Hubert Ignaz Salm-Reifferscheid-Dyck (1773-1861)

Monographia Generum Aloes et Mesembryanthemi

No copyright (public domain)

This is a rare series of plates (partly coloured) and descriptions (1 or 2 pages in latin), both made by Salm-Dyck. He learnt botany when meeting Desfontaines, de Jussieu, Thuillier, and the art of drawing with Pierre-Joseph Redouté. The work was published from 1836 to 1863 in 6 successive fascicles; the editor issued a seventh fascicle in 1863, after the death of Salm-Dyck, which contains extra plates of Aloe without descriptions.
It is not obvious whether there were some preprints or reprints (with corrections?), however some plates or descriptions have duplicates with some slight changes.

Further details on this monograph can be found in the articles by Stearn published in The Cactus Journal, 1938, vol. 7, No. 2, p. 34 (Aloe) and No. 3, p. 66 (Mesembryanthemum).

Finally, the reader must be aware that the genus names Aloe and Mesembryanthemum are as defined by Linné, i.e., they includes many genera defined later and then possibly eliminated even later:

  • For Aloe: Aloe, Apicra, Haworthia, Bowiea, Chamaealoe…
  • For Mesembryanthemum: Acrodon, Aptenia, Aridaria, Bergeranthus, Carpanthea, Carpobrotus, Cephalophyllum, Cheiridopsis, Conicosia, Conophytum, Cryophytum, Delosperma, Drosanthemum, Eberlanzia, Erepsia, Faucaria, Glottiphyllum, Hymenocyclus, Lampranthus, Lithops, Oscularia, Prenia, Psilocaulon, Punctillaria, Ruschia, Sceletium, Semnanthe, Skiatophytum, Sphalmanthus, Trichodiadema…


Originals can be seen at the following websites:

  • images and pdf: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Use the links on the left of the image to go to some specific parts of the set). The complete series of plates is ordered according to Salm-Dyck classification; the web server is slow and the pdf is here. Searching a given plant is very slow and difficult, and it may trigger nervous breakdown…
  • images and pdf: Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Düsseldorf (use the links “overview”, “Page”, “Fasciculus”… to navigate among the work). Only fascicles 1 to 4 are available. Search of specific plants is easier and faster than in the previous website.


Interpreted files: the plants are ordered according to Salm-Dyck classification. The fascicles are indicated at the end of the compilation. The description is given first, then the plate; duplicates or plates from fascicle 7 are given without prior description. Plates are cleaned and some are restored; most plates spreading over two pages still show the vertical folding at the middle. Roy Mottram is gratefully acknowledged for providing an excellent copy of A. microstigma.

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This project is hosted by cactuspro.com, a web site mainly in French (some pages translated) dedicated to cactus and other succulents.
Cactus and Succulent Plants Digital Library, http://www.cactuspro.com/biblio/