The Journal of South American Cacti
The Chileans started in Autumn 1965 as a
study group for Neoporterianae. It was founded by
John Donald, David Whiteley and Harry
Middleditch in consultation with Dodonaeus, a
Belgian study group, and Dr. Priessnitz of Austria.
The aim was to exchange information about
cultivation and propagation, sharing photographs,
and exchanging spare plants.
The first ‘Bulletin’ was published as a stapled
set of A4 sheets in March 1966. It did not take
long before the scope was extended to include
cacti from other South American countries.
Starting in Number 7 (1967), the first of the
maps drawn by Carl Lazzari appeared. At the
same time, the use of black and white
photographs commenced. This was a time when
more information about habitats was becoming
available. There were also many new species
being discovered by explorers such as Ritter,
Horst and Buining, so
The Chileans played an
important role in bringing these to our attention.
In 1968, the familiar style of the journal began
and continued for all the subsequent issues. Each
topic is introduced by a short article, often
translated from a foreign publication, followed by
comments from members. 1968 also saw the
publication of a Yearbook about the genus Islaya.
The journal grew in size and the number of
illustrations increased, with colour pictures
occasionally being included from 1970.
It was at about this time that I attended one of
the weekend meetings where talks were given by
members, followed by discussions. I remember
thinking how little I knew about these plants and I
wondered if I would ever learn as much as the
other members knew!
I got involved in the production of the journal
from Number 52 (1994) and produced the page
files using Quark Xpress ready for the printer until
Number 71. These original production files have
now facilitated the production of the PDF files
which you can download.
The weekend meetings continued until 2003
and, since I really missed the annual stimulation
of the event, I decided to organise a replacement.
The Cactus Explorer Club was started in 2005
with a weekend meeting at Leicester University.
The scope was expanded to include cacti from
Mexico and North America and the meeting is
now in its 17th year. Details can be found here.
The Chileans Number 73 will be the last issue
to be published so membership of the
organisation is closed. All editions are now
available for free download as PDF files.
I am grateful to Paul Hoxey for PDF files of the
issues up to Number 51. These have now been
processed with OCR to make the text searchable
but please note that this process is not completely
accurate. Issues from 52 to 73 were produced
from the original print files so the active text
should be accurate.
I am also grateful to Chris Leather (who
originally produced the print files for Nos. 72 & 73)
for the originals of the illustrations from No. 52
onwards. This allowed me to insert them into the
text files but the quality is often not very good due
to the poor originals.
Two indices were produced and image PDFs of
these are available for download:
If you have not previously read any of The
Chileans, I hope you will download some issues
and enjoy the contents. The translated articles are
particularly interesting for those of us who don’t
have a good command of other languages.
Chileans Editions 1 to 73