Edward Frederick Anderson

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Edward Frederick Anderson (born June 17, 1931 in Covina ; † March 29, 2001 ) was an American botanist who specialized in the cactus family . Its official botanical author abbreviation is " EFAnderson ".


Edward Frederick Anderson's interest in botany began when he his father in the orange - and Avocado helped Horse Owning. He began training at Pomona College in Claremont and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in biology in 1954 . His Master of Arts course was interrupted after a year when he was drafted into the United States Army . He performed his service in Germany. In 1961 he was awarded a Ph.D. PhD in botany and spent a year at Claremont College. He then gave lectures at various universities overseas, including Ecuador ,Malaya and Thailand . Anderson was a teacher at Whitman College in Walla Walla for over twenty years . After his retirement he was employed as Senior Research Botanist at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix (Arizona) since 1992 . Ted, as he was mostly called, was married and had seven children. He died of complications from acute pancreatitis and kidney failure . He refused any life support measures that his condition would have required.


Shortly before the end of his army service in Germany, he received the offer from the botanist and cactus specialist Lyman David Benson (1909-1993), who was one of his teachers in Claremont, to conduct a year-long study on the peyote cactus . The study was funded by Gordon Alles (1901–1963) of the California Institute of Technology , who was very interested in the pharmacological properties of Lophophora williamsii . The results of this study formed the basis of his doctoral thesis A taxonomic revision of Ariocarpus, Lophophora, Pelecyphora and Obregonia (family Cactaceae) (1961) and his first book Peyote: The Divine Cactus (1981).

In 1974 Anderson became a member of the International Organization for Succulent Research (IOS), for which he served in various capacities: from 1984 to 1986 he was vice president, from 1988 to 1994 president and from 1994 to 1998 secretary. In 1984 he was one of the founding members of the IOS Cactaceae Working Party of the IOS (renamed International Cactaceae Systematics Group in 2000 ) and the Cactus and Succulent Specialist Group (CSSG) of the World Conservation Union-Species Survival Commission (IUCN / SSC).

For over fifty years he traveled to the arid regions of South and North America to research the cacti in their locations. In the mid-1990s, Anderson began work on a book that was to present the cactus family of plants comprehensively using the latest scientific findings. The Cactus Family was completed shortly before his death and contains the descriptions of 125 genera , 1810 species , subspecies and varieties . In five chapters he also describes their special characteristics, their possible applications, protection, cultivation and the problems of the taxonomic classification of cacti.


Anderson was a member of the Linnaeus Society in London and received the Cactus d'Or in 1998 for his outstanding achievements in the field of cactus research .

Works (selection)

  • Peyote: The Divine Cactus. University of Arizona Press, Tucson 1981, ISBN 0-8165-0613-2 .
  • Plants and People of the Golden Triangle. Dioscorides Press, Portland (Oregon) 1993, ISBN 0-931146-25-9 .
  • with Salvador Arias, Nigel P. Taylor: Threatened Cacti of Mexico. Balogh Scientific Books, Kew 1994, ISBN 0-947643-70-2 .
  • The Cactus Family. Timber Press, Portland (Oregon) 2001, ISBN 0-88192-498-9 .
  • The great cactus lexicon . Translated from English, supplemented and revised by Urs Eggli. 2nd edition 2011. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart, ISBN 978-3-8001-5964-2 (German edition of The Catus Family )


  • Gideon F. Smith, Liz A. Slauson: Edward F. (Ted) Anderson (1932-2001): One of the Greatest Students of Cactaceae of the 20 th Century. In: Taxon. Volume 50, No. 3, August 2001, pp. 939-942.

Individual evidence

  1. A Short Chronicle of 50 Years of IOS ( Memento from September 5, 2012 in the web archive archive.today )

Web links