Cactus Wiki

So, you think you know a lot about a particular cactus, or you're prepared to research it! Ultimately we hope to cover thousands of cactaceae species which might seem like a daunting task, but actually making the perfect article is a matter of minutes, once a picture is uploaded. With several contributors, this suddently doesn't seem impossible.

Here is a list all the things you'll need to do to bring an article to perfection: If you have objections or comments about these guidelines, use the talk page to discuss.

To illustrate how these guidelines are applied, we will concentrate on the Echinopsis oxygona as a model article.


Upload a picture that you took yourself or that you know is appropriately licensed. Copyrighted pictures can be uploaded only with permission of the copyright holder. The filename should ideally be a .jpg named with the binomial name followed by a number, short description, or nothing.


Echinopsis oxygona.jpg
Echinopsis oxygona2.jpg
Echinopsis oxygona flowering.jpeg

are all good names for E. oxygona. Make sure that the license is mentioned on the image page, along with any attributions.

Put the image in all the categories that you will put the cactus article in. This makes categories show thumbnails of all the members and is helpful for identification.


Write a short discussion of obsolete or alternative scientific names and classifications.


Add a Template:cactusbox. See an example from Echinopsis oxygona:

{{Cactusbox | color = lightgreen | name = ''Easter Lily cactus'' | image = Echinopsis oxygona cluster.jpg | image_width = 200px | regnum = [[Plant]]ae | divisio = [[Flowering plant|Magnoliophyta]] | classis = [[Dicotyledon|Magnoliopsida]] | ordo = [[Caryophyllales]] | familia = [[Cactaceae]] | tribus = [[Trichocereeae]] | genus = ''[[Echinopsis]]'' | species = '''''E. oxygona''''' | binomial = ''Echinopsis oxygona'' | binomial_authority = ([[Wikipedia:Johann Heinrich Friedrich Link|Link]]) [[Wikipedia:Joseph Gerhard Zuccarini|Zucc.]] ex [[Wikipedia:Louis Karl Georg Pfeiffer|Pfeiff.]] & [[Wikipedia:Christoph Friedrich Otto|Otto]] }}

Notice that name should be the common name if available, otherwise it is the binomial name. image is the name of the best image for that cactus. Edit everything below the Cactaceae family to reflect the most accepted taxonomy. Remember that alternative taxonomies are discussed in the text. If possible, name the authorities who proposed that taxonomy.


After the text, if any, insert a gallery if there are more pictures of that cactus. Enter captions for the images if you think they are needed. The gallery for our example is at the moment:

<gallery> Image:Echinopsis oxygona01.png.jpg|''{{PAGENAME}} at its flowering stage.'' Image:Echinopsis oxygona0.jpg|''{{PAGENAME}}'' Image:Echinopsis oxygona flowering.jpg|''{{PAGENAME}} cluster with one fully developed flower and one that is withered.'' </gallery>


Add external links to other pages that provide more information. For wikipedia articles, use the template. For example:

{{MoreOnWikipedia:Echinopsis oxygona}}

If you know of a scientific publication or book that provides very good information on that cactus and needs to be mentioned, try to use the citation template. See an example of how this is done at Yavia cryptocarpa.



  • Add the Genus of the species as a category. For example:


  • If there are additional Genera that are or were in use, add these too. In our example:


For example: [[Category:Globose cacti]]

For example: [[Category:Cacti of Argentina]]

Making new categories[]

Remember that if the cactus has a notable feature or origin that you think is missing, you might have to create the category yourself. Remember that if you do that, many cacti articles might have to be updated to include that feature, so use common sense to decide if you should proceed.

To make a new category:

  • Make a new page with the Category: prefix followed by the category name like so: Category:Flying cacti.
  • Then, in the new empty page paste the following code for an origin category...

All '''{{PAGENAME}}''': [[Category:Geographic locations]]

...or the following code for a feature category:

All '''{{PAGENAME}}''': [[Category:Features]]

Now you can use that category to browse articles that have it.

Making new taxonomy parts[]

If you think you need to add a Genus or Tribe to make your cactus reachable from the Category:Cactaceae (root of the taxonomy), you must do two things:

  1. Create a redirect page. For our example we need the Trichocereeae tribe, so we make a Trichocereeae page and fill it exactly with the following code:

#REDIRECT [[:Category:{{PAGENAME}}]]

We do this so that we can use these names in the cactusbox without a :Category: prefix.
  1. Then edit the Category:Trichocereeae and put code similar to this:

'''{{PAGENAME}}''' tribe: [[Category:Cactaceae]]

i.e. mention whether your category is a tribe or genus and put it in the most immediate super-category on the taxonomy.


Common names[]

Start a new article for every common name of the cactus. If your article has the only cactus that is called by that name, insert code like the following:

#REDIRECT [[Echinopsis oxygona]] [[Category:Common names]]

However if that common name is also used for other plants, you'll have to use a disambiguation page. Here is another example for Barrel cactus:

'''Barrel cactus''' is a common name for [[Echinocactus]] or [[Ferocactus]]. [[Category:Common names]] [[Category:Disambiguation]]

Scientific names[]

Also, for every other binomial name by which your cactus is known, make a redirect as follows. For example look at the code for Cereus oxygonu:

#REDIRECT [[Echinopsis oxygona]] [[Category:Alternative scientific names]]

All the primary binomial names are listed under Category:Cacti. Alternative scientific names are listed as a subcategory of that category.

That's it[]

If you have done all of the above, you can be proud, you have created a model article for Cactus Wiki. If some of this seems complicated, just do what you can and someone else will hopefully fix the technical bits. In fact, even contributors who are not comfortable editing wikis can be valuable, as long as they upload a picture or two, properly annotated.