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Turbinicarpus (Backeb.) Buxb. & Backeb. in Cactaceae (Berlin) 1937(1): 27. 1937 sec. Vázquez-Sánchez & al. 20191
  • 1. Vázquez-Sánchez, Sánchez, D., Terrazas, T., De La Rosa-Tilapa, A. & Arias, S. 2019: Polyphyly of the iconic cactus genus Turbinicarpus (Cactaceae) and its generic circumscription. – Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 190(4): 405-420. http://doi.org/10.1093/botlinnean/boz027
  • 2. Hunt, D.R. 2006: The New Cactus Lexicon. – Milborne Port: dh books
  • 3. Hunt, D.R. 2006: The New Cactus Lexicon. – Milborne Port: dh books
  • 4. Kew WCVP (2019)


Phylogenetics: Turbinicarpus was found to be polyphyletic in the molecular studies of Bárcenas & al. (2011) and Hernández-Hernández & al. (2011). The most comprehensively sampled dataset of Vázquez-Sánchez & al. (2013) showed Turbinicarpus to fall into three separate clades. Recent studies have clarified the circumscription of Turbinicarpus. Anatomically, Turbinicarpus and Kadenicapus clades share the presence of prismatic crystals in the hypodermis, while Rapicactus has prismatic druses, and Turbinicarpus differs from Kadenicarpus by the absence of xylary fibers in the cortical bundles (De la Rosa-Tilapa & al 2019). The phylogenetic study performed by Vázquez-Sánchez et al. (2019) showed the Turbinicarpus s.s. clade strogly supported as monophyletic, and sister to Ariocarpus. Three independent genera are thus accepted: Kadenicarpus, Rapicactus (see their respective treatments), and Turbinicarpus. The number of species has been a matter of discussion. In this treatment, 23 species, 15 subspecies, two natural hybrids and 33 artificial hybrids are recognized. Furthermore, three taxonomic complexes are recognized: the Turbinicarpus saueri, T. schmiedickeanus and T. viereckii complexes (see the respective treatments). The recognition of the species proposed here is based on general works focused on the genus, therefore, systematic work is required to solve this problem.
Key literature: Treatments by Lüthy (2002), Mosco (2009), De la Rosa-Tilapa & al. (2019), and Vázquez-Sánchez & al. (2019).A

Taxon standing

Category B. The genus is monophyletic based on phylogenetic studies that support the clade based on a sufficiently dense or even complete sampling, or support a monotypic genus as a distinct lineage, but do not provide a new taxonomic treatment at the species level. In many cases, older classical taxonomic synopses or a monographic treatment exist for these genera providing a reliable assessment of the species included.


Revised by David Aquino


A. Aquino, D. 2021: Revisions of Epithelantha, Kadenicarpus, Rapicactus, Turbinicarpus – In: Korotkova N. & al., Cactaceae at Caryophyllales.org – a dynamic online species-level taxonomic backbone for the family. – Willdenowia 51: 251-270. http://doi.org/10.3372/wi.51.51208