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Léon Diguet (1859-1926)

Thanks to Martine who digitalizd this book.

Cactacées utiles du Mexique.

Public domain

Léon Diguet was a chemical engineer. In 1889 he was sent to Baja California, Mexico, by the french ”Compagnie du Boleo” who operated a copper mine in Santa Rosalia. It was the occasion for Léon Diguet to start his “second work” devoted to natural sciences, archeology and ethnography.
The book was almost ready when Léon Diguet died in 1926. It was published 2 years later with help of Désiré Bois and André Guillaumin both of Muséum d'histoire naturelle de Paris.

The book is made of 551 pages and it contains 136 B&W pictures (many full page). The cactus enthusiast will not find classical and arid plant descriptions, but a detailed account concerning the habit in the wild, the variability, the history and the use (food, hedge, fibres, fertilizer, cochenille die…) of the most common (Essentially Cereus, Echinocactus, Opuntia, Mamillaria). However, some less common plants (Lophophora, Epithelantha…) are also dealt with.

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