cactus pictures About the Custom Nomenclature Feature

Cactus Family                                                                                        Custom Nomenclature - System Default    About This | Login Custom Nomenclature
Introduction to the Custom Nomenclature Application
As stated in the explanation on the nomenclature page, the taxonomic system on is dynamic and a reflection of many different systems. This page is an introduction and explanation of the Custom Nomenclature application. This on-line or "web-based" application frees from being "pigeonholed" into a static, singular statement of Cactus taxonomy. Additionally, this application provides the unique ability to compare multiple systems of cactus nomenclature in detail without sacrificing the ease of use for the novice or hindering the usefulness of as an identification aid.

How It Works
The Custom Nomenclature application is a complex, database-driven on-line resource that enables users to rearrange the taxonomy on within the existing range of all possible names per individual taxon. Each taxon may be split or lumped at the species level or at the level of subspecies, variety, and form. User-specific notes may be added per taxon or at the genus level. This system is then stored on and can be accessed from any internet connection with the correct username and password. Users may set up a system for their own personal study or they may choose to make their system available for others to view.

New users can create a login on the user sign-up page. There are two primary types of users: individuals and publications.

An individual user is someone who creates a user account that reflects the taxonomy that the individual holds to. This individual taxonomy may be a reflection of that individual's extensive field study or might simply be the personal preferences of an amateur hobbyist or that of the professional nurseryman.

A publication user may be managed by an individual or a group of individuals and it reflects the taxonomy as used in a particular publication. This system can then be shared with others so that they can compare the nomenclature used in various publications. The home page for these publications will provide a summary of the treatment in that publication and genera that are not affected by the publication will be left as the default system. While logged in, users will be notified if a genus is unchanged by the system they are viewing. This feature does not in anyway infringe on authors' copyrights as all of the content that is used on this site is property of The Custom Nomenclature application simply recategorizes that information based on the publication. The categorization itself is not protected by copyright laws.

When a user is logged into the system as administrator, a user may edit the content of their home page by adding a representative image and a description of the taxonomy they have chosen. Users can then select individual species on the site starting with the default classification and change as many names as they choose. New names or those that I somehow missed when building the database may be submitted for inclusion on a case by case basis using a simple built-in notification feature.

Once a user is satisfied with the classification they have constructed, they may choose to make the system public. If they do so, the system will automatically allow guests to login using their Display Name for username and "guest" for the password. A guest user is able to view the custom home page for the individual user or publication user that they are visiting and will see the species listed per that classification as well as the user taxon notes. However, guest users will not be able to make any changes to the system.

Why It Was Created
With the on-going disputes between the existing taxonomic systems of both past and present, it became apparent to me that no singular publication was sufficient on its own and no such system is even visible on the horizon. Likewise, it occurred to me that unlike print publications, an online publication can be made dynamic and simultaneously reflect current names and past names in a clear and orderly fashion. Furthermore, as new discoveries are made these changes can be reflected in real-time here on the site and these changes are immediately accessible world-wide.

In recognizing this potential, it was evident that this system must be created sooner or later. Since is the most comprehensive website in existence that is dedicated to the entire cactus family and strictly to the cactus family, it was only appropriate for this one-of-a-kind feature to be incorporated into

Last, but certainly not least, the website is supported by the collective knowledge of individuals on the CactiForum. This support is invaluable to me as one man trying to tackle this monumental task. I gladly recognize the members of the CactiForum and herein express my gratitude for their contribution to this website.

Custom Nomenclature Home Pages

Below are links to two of the currently reflected taxonomies:

NameUser TypeDescrption
The Cactus FamilyPublicationAnderson's 2001 monograph on the Cactaceae
The New Cactus LexiconPublication2006 Two-volume treatment of the entire cactus family

To compare the taxonomy from various publications on the site in a complete list of changes, visit the Taxonomic Compare Page.
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