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Mr Graham Charles

Graham Charles first started growing cacti and succulents at the age of 12 and joined the National Cactus and Succulent Society in 1962. He qualified as a cactus judge in 1972 and soon after, began to assemble his collection of documented plants. His specific interest has always been South American cacti and he has had many articles about them published in various journals. He is enthusiastic about practical conservation, reducing the demand for field collected plants by growing seedlings from documented seed, and propagating plants with provenance that are already in culture. Graham has given hundreds of talks at BCSS branch meetings and conventions in Britain as well as at events in mainland Europe, New Zealand and the USA.

He has made 20 visits to South America to study the plants in their natural habitat. For his contribution to the hobby, the CSSA made Graham a Fellow of their Society in 2005.

His first book Copiapoa was published in 1998 and he has since co-authored Cacti in Brazil with a group of enthusiasts from Germany and the Netherlands. Next was a book titled Cacti and Succulents about the hobby in general, intended for beginners and those wanting to progress their interest. Graham then served as a member of the editorial group for the New Cactus Lexicon, contributing many photographs to the picture volume. The completion of his book, Gymnocalycium in habitat and culture, was the result of three years research including visits to Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia. Graham founded the Cactus Explorers Club and organizes their annual residential weekend.

In 2011, he launched the first free on-line journal for cactus and succulent enthusiasts, 'The Cactus Explorer', which is published four times a year.

He met his wife Elisabeth at a cactus meeting and, for over 25 years, they and their plant collections have shared a large glasshouse at their home in Rutland, near the historic town of Stamford, England.