Turbinicarpus Buxb. & Backeb. ()
🌵 Author(s)

🌵 Type Turbinicarpus schmiedickeanus

Latin turbo (stem turbin-) ‘top, whirlwind’ + Greek karpos ‘fruit’. For the shape of the plant body and the fact that the fruits are berries, in contrast to Strombocactus. Not for the shape of the fruits, as Eggli & Newton (Etymological Dictionary of Succulent Plant Names. 2004) and Johnson, Smith & Stockdale (Plant Names Simplified. 3rd Edition. 2019) claim; the fruits are not top-shaped.

Turbinicarpus was originally (invalidly) published by Backeberg (Kaktus-ABC: 75. 1936; see also Buxbaum in Cactaceae (Berlin) 1937: 19-20) as a subgenus of Strombocactus, whose name means “top cactus” (Greek strombos ‘top, whirlwind, trumpet-shell, snail, spindle’) and refers to the shape of the plant body. Backeberg divided Strombocactus into subgen. Turbinicactus for species with “dry fruit with cardboard-like scales” (only Strombocactus disciformis, the type of Strombocactus) and subgen. Turbinicarpus for species whose fruit was “a berry without scales” and had larger seeds (all other species). The name Turbinicactus, with the same literal meaning as Strombocactus, apparently indicates that this subgenus included the type of the genus, while the name Turbincarpus indicates that the included species are related to Turbinicactus, but have berries.

How to cite

van der Meer, Maarten H.J. (2022, July 18). Turbinicarpus. Dictionary of Cactus Names. Retrieved from https://www.cactusnames.org/turbinicarpus