Charles Darwin was born 200 years ago this year and his monumental work On the Origin of Species, laying the foundation of modern evolutionary theory driven by natural selection, was published 150 years ago. Earlier in 1759, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, were established. This year’s special issue of Bradleya celebrates these anniversaries with the principal theme of evolution of succulents. Bradleya 27 includes the following articles:
Editorial: Darwin and Kew anniversaries by Colin Walker
Charles Darwin’s succulent plants by Gordon D Rowley
Living under temporarily arid conditions – succulence as an adaptive strategy by Urs Eggli and Reto Nyfeller
Evolution of cacti driven by genetic drift not selection by Root Gorelick
Evolution of characters in the Opuntioideae by M Patrick Griffith
Insect flower visitors and pollinators of cacti from the southwest USA by Zlatko Janeba
On the evolution of nectaries in the Aizoaceae by H.E.K Hatrmann and I.M.Niesler
Kew and its collections of succulent plants by David Hunt and Nigel Taylor
The composite structure of cactus spines by Urs Schlegel
Stapelia hirsuta L. and early portrait by H.A.Jonkers
Rectification of a mistake by G.W.Reynolds on a Malagasy Aloe (Asphodelaceae) and description of a new species by Jean-Bernard Castillon
The identity of Sansevieria arborescens (Ruscaceae), with an amplified description and description of a new species by Leonard E.Newton
Priority of Aloe teissieri over Aloe andohahelensis by Susan Carter and John Lavranos
Ceropegia thailandica (Asclepiadoideae-Ceropegieae), a spectacular new Thai species by Ulrich Meve
Aloe arborescens Miller (Asphodelaceae) is spreading in Portugal by Gideon F.Smith and Estrela Figueiredo.
Cover: (Top left) figure of Tephrocactus (Maihueniopsis or formerly Opuntia) darwinii, published by Henslow in 1837, drawn from Darwin’s preserved material. This drawing provided the background for John Gould’s portrait of the common cactus finch Geospiza scandens, from The Zoology of HMS Beagle (1838) (centre left). (Bottom left) Opuntia galapageia, drawing published by Henslow in1837, again based on a collection by Darwin from The Galapagos Islands. (Right) Charles Darwin as a young man.
Total number of pages: 168
Colour photographs: 99
78 Black and white photographs, 15 line drawings and diagrams.