Author(s): Cactus Store ed.
Xerophile: Cactus Photographs from Expeditions of the Obsessed is the first book of its kind. A selection of over five hundred photographs of arguably the rarest and most spectacular plants on earth, photographed in their natural habitats over the past 80 years by a global cadre of obsessed cactus aficionados made up of both the amateur and the professional-from Ph.D. botanist to banker, art teacher to cancer researcher. Fueled by whispers of ancient plants on forgotten hilltops in Brazil, legends of fields of living fossils deep in the arid deserts of Chile, these explorers' relentless drive to find and document succulent plants in some of the most remote landscapes on earth has created an extraordinary collective body of photographic work, one which has rarely, if ever, been seen by the general public. Compiled by the proprietors of the Cactus Store in Los Angeles-Xerophile is not a field guide or taxonomy. Neither is it a book of photography in the traditional sense. Rather, it mines the space between science and art, between gravity and levity; a space in which plants that by many measures should not exist, and may very well cease to, live on in the darkness of dusty slide carousels and forgotten old hard drives of those who have devoted their lives to searching, writing, gossiping, thinking, dreaming and, if they are lucky-after weeks of false turns, stuck jeeps, and steep mountain paths-laying their eyes on the plant they have so desperately been seeking.