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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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The Cutting Edge

Volume VII, Number 2, April 2000

News and Notes | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature

Breteler, F. J. 1999. A revision of Prioria, including Gossweilerodendron, Kingiodendron, Oxystigma, and Pterygopodium (Leguminosae--Caesalpinioideae--Detarieae) with emphasis on Africa. Agric. Univ. Wageningen Pap. 99-3: 1--61.

Prioria, until now considered monotypic and strictly neotropical, is here construed as a pantropical genus of 14 spp.: seven in Africa (formerly as Gossweilerodendron, Oxystigma, and Pterygopodium), six in Asia and the Pacific (formerly as Kingiodendron), and the original Prioria copaifera Griseb. in the New World. The generic realignment is justified on the basis of shared characters; no cladistic analysis was done. The keys to spp. and sp. descriptions are separated according to major geographic regions. The section on "American species" comprises a detailed description of P. copaifera, accompanied by comprehensive specimen citations and a distribution map documenting a geographic range, mainly on the Atlantic coast, from southeastern Nicaragua to northwestern Colombia, plus Jamaica. Two sterile collections from the Pacific coast of Costa Rica are briefly discussed (and a third is cited), with respect to whether or not the sp. is cultivated there. [N.B: these populations are indigenous, and may even represent a different, presumably undescribed sp.!]. Includes a section on "excluded names," and an index to scientific names. The introduction discusses generic limitations, and reprises the author's prior conclusion that Prioria is more closely related to Hymenaea and Peltogyne than to Crudia, as previously believed.
Dostert, N. & M. Weigend. 1999. A synopsis of the Nasa triphylla complex (Loasaceae), including some new species and subspecies. Harvard Pap. Bot. 4: 439-467.
So, what has happened to poor Loasa? We are still trying to piece the story together. As recently as 1996 (A revision of the Loasaceae of Ecuador. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 118: 229-294), Weigend still used the generic name Loasa in its traditional sense. But just a year later, all heck broke loose with the appearance of his doctoral dissertation, "Nasa and the conquest of South America-systematic rearrangements in Loasaceae Juss. (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München. 1997). Here, old Loasa was split into four smaller genera: Aosa Weigend, with six spp., mainly of eastern Brazil; the monotypic Chichicaste Weigend, with C. grandis (Standl.) Weigend ranging from Costa Rica to Colombia; Loasa s. str., with ca. 80 spp. of temperate and Andean South America; and Nasa Weigend, with ca. 100 spp, ranging from Mexico to Bolivia (but most diverse in Peru and Ecuador). In addition to Chichicaste, the group is represented in Costa Rica by Nasa speciosa (Donn. Sm.) Weigend and N. triphylla (Juss.) Weigend. Although based on very thorough morphological investigations, these realignments were accomplished without the benefit of formal cladistic analyses. Rather, cladistic inferences were drawn from a "hypothetical" phylogeny, which remains to be rigorously confirmed. Also requiring confirmation is the question of whether the new genus names and new combinations noted above are effectively published in this work.

The present contribution focuses on the difficult Nasa triphylla complex, here resolved into eight spp. and 16 subspp. Eleven taxa (two spp. and nine subspp.), mostly from northern Peru, are new to science. The only member of the group ranging to Costa Rica (or Mesoamerica) is N. triphylla subsp. rudis (Benth.) Weigend (a new combination, but perhaps invalid, if the genus name is not effectively published). This is nearly a full revision, with a key to sp., nested keys to subspp., descriptions of spp. (but only of new subspp.), specimen citations (but only for new taxa), and composite line-drawings of most new taxa. Introductory or general materials include a discussion of character variation within the group, drawings of leaf, petal, and capsule types, SEM micrographs of trichomes, and a tabularized comparison of spp.

Dressler, R. L. 1999. A reconsideration of Stellilabium and Dipterostele. Harvard Pap. Bot. 4: 469-473.
Manual Orchidaceae coordinator Robert L. Dressler's careful study of the (rather paltry) available material of the exiguous, seldom-seen Stellilabium distinguishes four sp.-complexes, here accorded sectional rank. All Central American spp. belong to either sect. Rhamphostele Dressler or Taeniorhachis Dressler, both here described as new; sects. Stellilabium and Dipterostele (Schltr.) Dressler, comb. et stat. nov., are Andean. Four new spp. are validated, of which only Stellilabium aciculare Dressler is recorded from Costa Rica (from 1400 m elevation at Dulce Nombre de Cartago, on the Atlantic slope of Volcán Irazú). The correct application of the name Stellilabium minutiflorum (Kraenzl.) Garay, one of the most-used names in Central American floristics, remains unresolved; however, a collection from San Carlos, Costa Rica, most closely approaches the type illustration (based on a Costa Rican specimen). Features a key to sections, sp. rosters for each section, a discussion of character variation within the genus, and detailed floral illustrations for each new sp.
Gómez P., L. D. & J. Gómez-Laurito. 1998. Historia natural y presencia de la "planta insectívora" Drosera capillaris (Droseraceae) en Costa Rica. Revista Biol. Trop. 46: 1033-1037.
This is the first official report of the family Droseraceae in Costa Rica; it was reported unofficially more than three years ago in the present non-publication [see The Cutting Edge 3(4): 3, Oct. 1996]. Now we get the full treatment, including a definitive determination: Drosera capillaris Poir., a sp. otherwise known only from the southeastern United States and Mexico. Surprisingly, the Costa Rican material does not conform to Drosera cayennensis Sagot ex Diels (= D. panamensis M. D. Correa & A. S. Taylor), known from Panama, corroborating the authors' notion expressed in the initial report. The exact location of the only station (a vernal pool at ca. 750 m elevation, somewhere on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca in Prov. Puntarenas) is obscured-deliberately, we assume, to protect the small population of just 30 plants. Features a very generous sp. description, several detailed line drawings, and SEM micrographs of seeds. The natural history observations are of an experimental nature, presumably conducted at the Jardín Botánico Wilson on a cultivated specimen.
Grether, R. 2000. Nomenclatural changes in the genus Mimosa (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae) in southern Mexico and Central America. Novon 10: 29--37.
Fine-tuning of Mimosa for several ongoing flora projects has inevitable consequences for Costa Rica. The transfer of Mimosa acantholoba (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) Poir. var. liesneri Barneby to M. platycarpa Benth., as var. liesneri (Barneby) R. Grether, apparently expunges M. acantholoba from the Costa Rican flora. At the same time, it creates the autonym Mimosa platycarpa var. platycarpa, for a taxon also represented in Costa Rica. Mimosa tricephala Cham. & Schltdl. is newly ascribed to Costa Rica on the basis of M. guanacastensis Standl., considered a synonym of M. tricephala var. tricephala. Previously, M. guanacastensis was synonymized under Mimosa xanti A. Gray, e.g., by Manual co-PI Nelson Zamora (Brenesia 36: 120. 1991). Here, the latter name forms the basis for Mimosa tricephala var. xanti (A. Gray) Cheh. & R. Grether, restricted to Mexico and northern Central America. The validation of Mimosa velloziana Mart. var. maxonii (Standl.) R. Grether, for a taxon of Chiapas and Guatemala, establishes the autonymic varietal epithet for our material. Finally, reinterpretation of Mimosa quadrivalvis sensu Barneby (Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 65: 1--835. 1991) results in the elevation of several vars. to sp. rank. According to this view, Costa Rican material previously referred to M. quadrivalvis L. should now be called Mimosa candollei R. Grether (based on Schrankia leptocarpa DC., non Mimosa leptocarpa Rose).
Haber, W. A., W. Zuchowski & E. Bello. 2000. An introduction to cloud forest trees: Monteverde, Costa Rica. 2nd ed. Mountain Gem Publ., San José, Costa Rica. 208 pp.
Literally just off the presses (even Bill and Willow haven't seen it yet), the second edition of this indispensable guide is quite similar to the first [see The Cutting Edge 6(1): 6, Jan. 1997], but with some improvements to the key, nomenclatural updates, a more inclusive index of sp. names, grammatical refinements, and correction of a few errors. Printed in the United States, it is presently available through Willow's sister, Marianne Cogan (coganm@massed.net), and will soon be offered by amazon.com, and other retailers. Price: just $14.95. Thanks to coauthor Willow Zuchowski for this notice.
Hágsater, E. 1999. The genus Epidendrum. Part 2. A second century of new species in Epidendrum. Icon. Orchid. 3: pl. 301-400.
The 100 new spp. are actually 99, plus one new combination. Of the 23 new spp. occurring in Costa Rica, 19 are endemic (two to Isla del Coco), and the remaining four are shared only with Nicaragua or Panama. Several others are known only from extreme western Panama, and might be expected in Tiquicia. Each separable sp. treatment occupies one full page, the obverse with a detailed composite line-drawing, the converse with a lengthy description, comprehensive specimen citations, a summary of "Distribution and Ecology," hints on "Recognition," indications of "Conservation Status" and "Etymology," and a distribution map. The new combination, Epidendrum angustisegmentum (L. O. Williams) Hágsater (based on E. rigidum Jacq. var. angustisegmentum L. O. Williams) pertains to another sp. occurring in Costa Rica, and accorded the same lavish treatment as the new spp. Two picky observations: we think (Botanical Latin 3rd. rev. ed.: 403, 404) the epithet "paradisicolum" is properly "paradisicola" (as in Epidendrum muscicola Schltr.), and are certain (Art. 60.11) that "thurstonorum" must be corrected to "thurstoniorum."

Update: these 23 new spp., plus five others reported in this issue (see this column under Dressler, Luer, Pupulin), bring the total number of new orchid spp. described from Costa Rica during the last six or seven years to 150 (see our last issue)-over 13% of the total Costa Rican orchid flora!

Judziewicz, E. J., R. J. Soreng, G. Davidse, P. M. Peterson, T. S. Filgueiras & F. O. Zuloaga. 2000. Catalogue of New World grasses (Poaceae): I. Subfamilies Anomochlooideae, Bambusoideae, Ehrhartoideae, and Pharoideae. Contr. U. S. Natl. Herb. 39: 1-128.
As suggested by the title, this handy contribution provides complete bibliographic and typological data, as well as information on distribution and acceptance status and occasional notes, for all names attributable to New World taxa in the subfamilies indicated. Accepted names are highlighted in boldface, while synonyms are italicized and cross-referenced. This installment deals with 1294 binomials, of which 608 are accepted; the latter total includes 509 native spp. The serial in which this work appears had been presumed extinct since 1974.
Klitgaard, B. B. 1999. A new species and nomenclatural changes in Neotropical Platymiscium (Leguminosae: Papilionoideae: Dalbergieae). Kew Bull. 54: 967-973.
We believe (but are not absolutely certain) that the name Platymiscium pinnatum (Jacq.) Dugand subsp. polystachyum (Benth.) Klitg. comb. & stat. nov. applies to Costa Rican material of P. pinnatum (inasmuch as the type of P. polystachyum Benth. was collected in Chiriquí). None of the other novelties would seem relevant to us; the new sp. is Mexican.
Lira, R., J. Castrejón, S. Zamudio & C. Rojas-Zenteno. 1999. Propuesta de ubicación taxonómica para los chayotes silvestres (Sechium edule, Cucurbitaceae) de México. Acta Bot. Mex. 49: 47-61.
This paper concerns us only insofar as the validation of the name Sechium edule (Jacq.) Sw. subsp. sylvestre Lira & Castrejón, for the indigenous Mexican populations of this sp., mandates the use of the autonymic subsp. epithets for the domesticated chayote.
Luer, C. A. 1999. Systematics of Pleurothallis section Pleurothallis subsections Antenniferae, Longiracemosae, Macrophyllae-Racemosae and Perplexae (Orchidaceae). Pp. 1-85 in, Icones pleurothallidinarum XVIII. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 76: 1-182.
Manual collaborator Carlyle Luer's revision of the massive Pleurothallis (with ca. 1500 spp. total) marches on. The taxa treated here all belong to subgen. Pleurothallis, one of at least 29 subgenera accepted by the author. Section Pleurothallis, one of three sections in subgen. Pleurothallis, comprises seven subsections. The other two sections of subgen. Pleurothallis (both unispecific) have already been treated in this series, together with two subsections of sect. Pleurothallis [see The Cutting Edge 6(1): 8, Jan. 1999]. With the present contribution, all of subgen. Pleurothallis has now been covered, with the exception of sect. Pleurothallis subsect. Macrophyllae-Fasciculatae (Lindl.) Luer (lately demoted from sectional rank), to be "treated separately because of the large number of species." (N.B.: subsect. Macrophyllae-Fasciculatae harbors ca. 2/3 of the Costa Rican members of subgen. Pleurothallis!) Incidentally, an overview of Luer's infrageneric classification of Pleurothallis, with keys to all supraspecific taxa, can be found in Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 20: 1-109 (1986; note that there have been some subsequent changes).

Only three of the 84 spp. treated here in the present paper occur in Costa Rica. Two of the four subsections dealt with are restricted to Andean South America: subsect. Antenniferae Luer, with 38 spp., and the unispecific subsect. Perplexae Luer. The eight spp. of subsect. Longiracemosae (Luer) Luer are also mainly Andean, however the widespread Pleurothallis pruinosa Lindl. reaches Costa Rica. Despite the author's claim to the contrary (p. 37), two of the 37 spp. of the basically Andean subsect. Macrophyllae-Racemosae (Lindl.) Luer extend to southern Central America and are represented in Costa Rica: Pleurothallis colossus Kraenzl. ex Kerch. and the regionally endemic P. crescentilabia Ames. Includes subsectional and sp. descriptions, a list of published binomials, keys to spp., full synonymy, lists of exsiccatae, discussions, fine composite line-drawings of each sp. (but no range maps), and an index to scientific names. One new section (Perplexae) and five new spp. are validated, none relevant to Costa Rica.

--. 1999. Systematics of Pleurothallis subgenus Pseudostelis. Pp. 87-96 in, C. A. Luer, Icones pleurothallidinarum XVIII. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 76: 1-182.
As implied by its name, Pleurothallis subgen. Pseudostelis (Schltr.) Luer, stat. nov., comprises plants resembling members of the genus Stelis. The group is basically Andean, but two of the six spp. occur in Costa Rica: the widespread Pleurothallis deregularis (Barb. Rodr.) Luer and the endemic P. simplex Ames & C. Schweinf., of high elevations in the Cordillera de Talamanca. This and the following contribution have all the basic features of the preceding one. No new spp. are described here.
--. 1999. Systematics of Pleurothallis subgenus Acuminatia. Pp. 97-134 in, C. A. Luer, Icones pleurothallidinarum XVIII. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 76: 1-182.
The title does not indicate that this is only a partial revision of subgen. Acuminatia Luer: ca. 18 spp. endemic to Brazil are omitted, to be "treated in the Pleurothallis of Brazil." All the published binomials attributable to these Brazilian spp. are listed here (p. 125). That said, this paper treats the remaining 32 spp. of subgen. Acuminatia, which are mainly Andean but extend to other regions (with five spp. reaching Brazil). Two sections are recognized, sect. Acuminatae Lindl. and sect. Alatae Luer, but their composition is not indicated, and the sp.-totals attributed to them (p. 99) are not additive in any way. Just one sp. in the entire subgenus occurs in Costa Rica: the widespread Pleurothallis dolichopus Schltr., here (but not in the author's Manual treatment!) maintained as distinct from the South American P. sclerophylla Lindl. The name of the subgen. and sect. Alatae, as well as five spp. names (none of interest to us), are here newly validated. With this and the preceding paper, eight of the ca. 29 subgenera of Pleurothallis have now been completely revised (at least for our purposes) in this series, with a ninth (subgen. Pleurothallis) partially done.
--. 1999. Miscellaneous new species of Dryadella, Lepanthes and Pleurothallis. Pp. 159-180 in, C. A. Luer, Icones pleurothallidinarum XVIII. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 76: 1-182.
Of the 30 new sp. described here, only the 10 Dryadella sp. are without illustrations ("which will be published in the revision of the genus"). Three of these novelties occur (at least ostensibly) in Costa Rica, and all are endemic, as far as is known. Lepanthes empticia Luer & Béhar is based on a plant "purchased from a collector in Costa Rica by M. Béhar, cultivated in Guatemala." The author states that "its origin is without doubt Costa Rica," but we must remain skeptical. While we do not know M. Béhar, our experience has been that horticulturists in general are unreliable where locality data are concerned. More certainly attributable to Costa Rica are Pleurothallis endresii Luer (from near San Cristóbal, Prov. Cartago) and P. tomentosa Luer (exact locality unknown), both based exclusively on collections made well over a century ago by the mysterious A. R. Endres. The latter sp. is compared with Pleurothallis uncinata Fawc. and relatives.
--. 2000. Icones pleurothallidinarum XIX. Systematics of the genus Masdevallia . Part One. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 77: 1-264.
This is the first of a projected four installments in this welcome condensation of the author's lavish folio series Thesaurus masdevalliarum (Helga Königer, Munich, Germany, 1984-1995) and its sequel, A treasure of Masdevallia (Missouri Bot. Gard., St. Louis, 1996-x). Masdevallia (Orchidaceae) is a principally Andean genus of over 400 spp., here organized in 10 subgenera, of which three are further divided into sections and subsections. The present volume treats only Masdevallia subgen. Polyantha Luer; however, the introduction pertains to the genus as a whole, with a brief morphological orientation, a generic description, an outline of the infrageneric classification, a key to subgenera and sections, and a tabular "rapid identifier" for subgenera and sections. The 103 (by our count) spp. of subgen. Polyantha are grouped in two sections, each with two subsections. The sections are treated separately, with their own indices to binomials and keys to subsections and spp. The strictly South American sect. Alaticaules Kraenzl. accounts for the bulk of the subgenus (87 spp.). All four Costa Rican representatives of subgen. Polyantha belong to the much smaller sect. Polyanthae Rchb. f. (16 spp.): Masdevallia cupularis Rchb. f. (endemic), M. lata Rchb. f. and M. striatella Rchb. f. (both shared with western Panama), and M. thienii Dodson (extending to coastal Ecuador). This leaves ca. 26 Costa Rican Masdevallia spp. in other subgenera.

Features a subgeneric description, a key to sections and subsections, synonymy, sp. descriptions, discussions, and composite line-drawings and range maps for all spp. Oddly, there are no formal descriptions for the sections and subsections. The name Masdevallia subgen. Polyantha and two of its subsections are here newly validated, as are the names of six subgenera, two sections, and three subsections to be treated in subsequent installments. No new spp. are described. A glossary and combined index to all four parts are promised for the final installment (however, part one does boast a morphological atlas, as well as its own index to scientific names). This is series said to be available in both bound and loose-leaf editions.

Martínez, M. M., J. A. Sánchez, S. Cafferty & E. Rico. 2000. (1442) Proposal to conserve the name Veronica agrestis L. (Scrophulariaceae) with a conserved type. Taxon 49: 99-100.
Veronica agrestis L. and V. arvensis L., described simultaneously and both long in use for spp. universally accepted as different, have recently been rendered homotypic through lectotypification. Thus, "one or [the] other name is...threatened subject to the names being combined and one of the epithets being formally adopted over the other." This proposal seeks to avert that scenario. Veronica arvensis occurs adventively in Costa Rica.
McDade, L. A., S. E. Masta, M. L. Moody & E. Waters. 2000. Phylogenetic relationships among Acanthaceae: evidence from two genomes. Syst. Bot. 25: 106-121.
Phylogenetic hypotheses based on separate and combined analyses of sequence data from the nuclear ribosomal ITS region and the chloroplast trnL-trnF region were "largely congruent." Acanthaceae s. str. is strongly supported as monophyletic, while Mendoncia and Thunbergia are sister taxa and, together, form the sister froup of Acanthaceae s. str. However, Elytraria (representing subfam. Nelsonioideae) is basal to all of the above, suggesting that anyone wishing to recognize Mendonciaceae would also have to pull off Nelsonioideae as a separate family.
Moran, R. C. 2000. Monograph of the neotropical species of Lomariopsis (Lomariopsidaceae). Brittonia 52: 55--111.
The pantropical fern genus Lomariopsis comprises "about 45 species," of which the New World complement of 15 is here revised. Three spp. (none endemic) are recognized from Costa Rica: Lomariopsis japurensis (Mart.) J. Sm., L. maxonii (Underw.) Holttum, and L. vestita E. Fourn.--the last rather tenuously separated from the South American L. fendleri D. C. Eaton, in which it has often been included. We actually lose a sp., from the author's Flora mesoamericana (1995) treatment of the genus, in which material from the Golfo Dulce region here included (without explicit comment) under L. vestita was assigned to L. fendleri s. str. We have a hard time believing that these Golfo Dulce populations are conspecific with L. vestita as represented in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica, e.g., at the Estación Biológica La Selva; however, it must be admitted that this is a very difficult group, and we have not studied a wide range of collections. Replete with all of the requisite keys and descriptions, comprehensive specimen citations, range maps and tabular summaries of distribution by country, excellent illustrations (by the author) of all 15 spp., and an index to exsiccatae. As always, a solid and professional piece of work.
Nadkarni, N. M. & N. T. Wheelwright (eds.). 2000. Monteverde: ecology and conservation of a tropical cloud forest. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. 573 pp.
The "Monteverde book," as this is destined to be known, takes its place on the shelves as the companion volume to the "La Selva book" [McDade et al., 1994; see The Cutting Edge 1(2): 9-10, Apr. 1994]. As the latter volume, the "Monteverde book" is edited and written by biologists and other workers with an intimate field knowledge of the site. But the emphasis here is somewhat different, as reflected by the replacement in the (otherwise similar) title of "natural history" by "conservation." Three of the 12 chapters are devoted to conservation and sustainable agriculture; the remaining nine deal with the following topics: general introduction, the physical environment, plants and vegetation, major animal groups (with separate chapters on insects and spiders, herptiles, birds, and mammals), plant-animal interactions, and ecosystem ecology and forest dynamics. Each chapter features a series of brief sidebar articles, following the main text. Ten appendices mainly comprise regional checklists of selected taxa.

The chapter on "Plants and Vegetation" is a tour de force analysis of vegetation types, species richness and diversity, seasonality, and biogeography, by resident sage and MO colleague William A. Haber. It doesn't come any more authoritative than this. Of particular interest to us is Table 3.8, which reveals that the Monteverde area above 700 m elevation has more spp. of vascular plants than Manú National Park in Peru. Even when restricted to elevations above 1200 m, Monteverde has more such spp. than La Selva; indeed, according to Figure 3.5, vascular plant sp. diversity in all major taxonomic groups (dicots, monocots, ferns) is highest at Monteverde in the montane zone (above 1200 m), as opposed to the Atlantic or Pacific zones (700-1200 m). As one would expect, montane Monteverde exceeds La Selva in spp. of ferns and orchids, but more surprisingly, also in tree spp. Sidebars for the plant chapter include vignettes on epiphytes (by Stephan W. Ingram), bromeliads (by Harry E. Luther, SEL), orchids (by John T. Atwood, SEL), and ferns (by Seth Bigelow and Peter Kukle). Associated appendices include vouchered checklists of vascular plants (by Haber; excluding orchids) and of Orchidaceae (by Atwood). A checklist of bromeliads (by Luther) is peculiar in being both redundant and incomplete (with respect to Haber's main checklist), as well as unvouchered.

As the "La Selva book" is to La Selva, the "Monteverde book" will be a required item for anyone with even a passing interest in the ecology or natural history of the site. It is not particularly rich in illustrations, which (together with the $130.00 price tag!) may reduce sales to the ecotourism crowd. Some of the reproductions are subpar (as, for example, the maps, Figs. 1.4-1.8). "Insects and Spiders," the subject of a single chapter, have been given short shrift, considering their numbers and diversity. But plant and vertebrate enthusiasts should be very pleased with this volume. The sidebars offer welcome respites from the obligatory technical stuff, with succinct, often informal discourses on disparate topics. Check out the first-person account by Jay M. Savage of the 1963 discovery of the endemic golden toad (pp. 171-172)-extinct as of 1987!

Nelson Sutherland, C. H. 2000. Myrcianthes montana, nombre correcto de M. fragrans (Myrtaceae). Anales Jard. Bot. Madrid 57: 406.
The name Myrcianthes montana (Aubl.) C. Nelson comb. nov., based on Eugenia montana Aubl. (1775), replaces Myrcianthes fragrans (Sw.) McVaugh, based on Myrtus fragrans Sw. (1788). Oddly, McVaugh was apparently aware of the earlier name at the time he published his new combination (1963), but opted for the better-known epithet. The name Myrcianthes fragrans has never been proposed for conservation.
Poveda-Alvarez, L. J. & P. E. Sánchez-Vindas. 1999. Arboles, palmas y cactáceas arborescentes del Pacífico Norte de Costa Rica (claves dendrológicas). Edit. Guayacán, San José. 186 pp.
This concise, comprehensive, well-organized, and practical volume has much in common with the authors' (in reverse order) 1997 companion work Claves dendrológicas para la identificación de los principales árboles y palmas de la zona norte y atlántica de Costa Rica (Overseas Development Administration, San José), previously reviewed in these pages [The Cutting Edge 5(1): 7-8, Jan. 1998]. Like the earlier book, this one suffers from the absence of any illustrations for the spp. treated. Otherwise, it is difficult to find fault with this handsome and valuable contribution. The area covered (mapped on p. xvii) includes most of Prov. Guanacaste and some adjacent portions of Prov. Puntarenas, from sea level to ca. 400 m elevation-i.e., the driest portion of the country. A master key leads directly to 13 subsidiary keys, ranging in length from one to 125 couplets. All keys are largely artificial. With very few exceptions, the couplets are succinct and elegant, and deal exclusively (according to our cursory examination) with mostly obvious, vegetative characters. The main portion of the book consists of brief, diagnostic paragraphs for each of the 422 spp. treated, arranged alphabetically by genus and sp., without regard for (or mention of) family names. Family affiliations are indicated in a subsequent table, which also records vernacular names and estimations of abundance. Additional tables document occurrences in three major regional national (Cabo Blanco, Palo Verde, and Santa Rosa), and economic uses. As the earlier work, this one comes with a color, schematic "clave arborescente," presented as a loose, folded insert, as well as an illustrated glossary, an index to scientific and common names, and rare photographs of Costa Rican botanical divinities (this time we get Les Holdridge, Alfonso Jiménez, and Jorge León). There is no formal provision for indicating synonymy, but some misapplied or alternative names are mentioned in the diagnostic paragraphs. A crisp, authoritative guide.
Pupulin, F. 1998. Orchid florula of Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Quepos, Costa Rica. Revista Biol. Trop. 46: 961-1031.
Treats 39 orchid spp. in 25 genera, based on the author's collections (first set at USJ), during a three-month period, from 91 plots in and just outside the boundaries of the 683 ha park. This contribution fills a real gap, as the author was unable to find any previous orchid specimens collected at the park in CR, INB, or USJ. Best represented are Epidendrum (6 spp.), Maxillaria (4 spp.), and Oncidium and Scaphyglottis (3 spp. each). The most common spp. (occurring in at least 25 plots) are (in descending order) Epidendrum amparoanum Schltr., Catasetum maculatum Kunth, Scaphyglottis stellata Lindl., and Brassavola nodosa (L.) Lindl. Not surprisingly, 50% of the spp. are classed as "rare" (occurring in just one plot, or outside the park area). One new sp. is described, Lockhartia pandurata Pupulin, a local endemic previously confused with L. micrantha Rchb. f. Features a key to spp. (neither indented nor bracketed), brief generic descriptions, comprehensive synonymy for each sp., ample sp. descriptions, information on phenology and distribution in and beyond the park, a section on excluded spp., maps of the park (showing vegetation types and plot locations), and excellent analytical drawings of 35 taxa. No specimens are cited. Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio is on the central Pacific coast.
Stevens, W. D. 1999. Two new combinations in Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae from Mesoamerica. Novon 9: 564.
Here is another item that eluded us last quarter: the commonly used Matelea grandiflora (Standl.) Woodson is based on the illegitimate Vincetoxicum grandiflorum Standl., and therefore correctly M. grandiflora Woodson. However, the last-mentioned name is slightly predated by Gonolobus fulvidus F. Ballard, here applied to the same sp. The new combination Matelea fulvida (F. Ballard) W. D. Stevens is duly validated, and M. grandiflora is relegated to synonymy.
Wilkin, P. 1999. A morphological cladistic analysis of the Ipomoeeae (Convolvulaceae). Kew Bull. 54: 853-876.
A cladistic analysis of all 10 genera of tribe Ipomoeeae, based on 45 morphological and palynological characters, suggests that, although the tribe itself is monophyletic, all of its smaller genera (including Stictocardia and Turbina) are nested within the largest genus, Ipomoea. Based on his own cladograms, the author advocates sinking the nine smaller genera into Ipomoea, rather than dividing the tribe into novel monophyletic genera. Pending additional (ideally, molecular) investigations, the author takes no formal action at this time.


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