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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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The Cutting Edge

Volume IX, Number 2, April 2002

News and Notes | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature | Season's Pick

Atwood, J. T. 2001. New Maxillaria from Panama. Selbyana 22: 131–134.

This article scarcely concerns us, but it does contain a key to the Maxillaria dendrobioides (Schltr.) L. O. Williams complex (Orchidaceae) for Costa Rica and western Panama, and another for the M. imbricata Lindl. complex in Central America.

Bauer, R. 2001. Eine neue Art aus Costa Rica: Weberocereus frohningiorum Ralf Bauer spec. nov. Kakteen Sukk. 52: 225–230.

Weberocereus frohningiorum Ralf Bauer sp. nov. (Cactaceae) is said to be most closely related to W. bradei (Britton & Rose) G. D. Rowley, from which it differs in its normally three-ribbed stems, areoles with longer spines and many hairs, and pink (rather than white) petals. Living material was purportedly obtained in March 1994 from the Palmengarten in Frankfurt, Germany, where it had arrived in some untold manner from an unknown locality, said to be in Costa Rica. “Cultural requirements“ magically narrow this locality to “somewhere in the western Costa Rican lowlands“ (and this is approximately correct). Cynicism aside, this article is reasonably well executed, with a key to the spp. of Weberocereus, a detailed, technical description of the new sp., seven color photographs of live material, and SEM micrographs of pollen and seed surfaces. If we seem resentful, it is because Francisco (AKA Chico) Morales “discovered“ this species less than one year ago (see under “News and Notes“), and Chico and Manual co-PI Barry Hammel had a manuscript prepared and literally on the eve of being submitted when this article came to our attention; no foul play suspected or implied—just an unfortunate coincidence.

Brummitt, R. K. 2001. Report of the Committee for Spermatophyta: 52. Taxon 50: 1179–1182.

Conservation of Scleria flagellum-nigrorum P. J. Bergius (Cyperaceae) with a new type is recommended, maintaining the traditional application of the name. Also recommended is conservation of the generic name Adenocalymma (Bignoniaceae), with that spelling (as opposed to Adenocalymna).

Cuénoud, P., V. Savolainen, L. W. Chatrou, M. Powell, R. J. Grayer & M. W. Chase. 2002. Molecular phylogenetics of Caryophyllales based on nuclear 18S rDNA and plastid rbcL, atpB, and matK DNA sequences. Amer. J. Bot. 89: 132–144.

These analyses lead to several broad conclusions, most foreshadowed in previous studies. Portulacaceae is described as paraphyletic, with Basellaceae, Cactaceae, and the Madagascan Didiereaceae embedded (or, from a different perspective, Portulacaceae is polyphyletic). Phytolaccaceae is polyphyletic, leading the authors to suggest that Petiveriaceae (including, in Costa Rica, Petiveria, Rivina, and Seguieria, plus the cultivated Ledenbergia) “should be given familial recognition.“ Microtea and Stegnosperma are evidently even more distantly related, which would leave Phytolacca as the only Costa Rican genus of Phytolaccaceae. The small family Molluginaceae is also polyphyletic, but the relationship between Glinus and Mollugo (the only genera occurring in Costa Rica) is unclear.

Diane, N., H. Förther & H. H. Hilger. 2002. A systematic analysis of Heliotropium, Tournefortia, and allied taxa of the Heliotropiaceae (Boraginales) based on ITS1 sequences and morphological data. Amer. J. Bot. 89: 287–295.

Heliotropiaceae? Well, as far as we can determine, the recognition of Heliotropiaceae, Cordiaceae, and Ehretiaceae is the splitters' response to the merger of Boraginaceae and Hydrophyllaceae, as proposed by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group [see The Cutting Edge 6(1): 5, Jan. 1999]. Anyway, this study suggests that Tournefortia is polyphyletic and Heliotropium paraphyletic and that, as a consequence, “taxonomic changes are inevitable.“ More specifically, Tournefortia sect. Cyphocyema I. M. Johnst. (with T. volubilis L. in Costa Rica) is sister to a clade that contains the remaining spp. of Tournefortia nested (though not as a single unit) within Heliotropium. The authors suggest that sect. Cyphocyema should receive generic ranking (under the name Myriopus Small), as should Heliotropium sect. Orthostachys R. Br. (under the name Schleidenia Endl.); at least one Costa Rican Heliotropium, H. procumbens Mill., belongs to sect. Orthostachys. As for the remainder of Heliotropium and Tournefortia, the authors “advocate a conservative approach,“ noting that “the exact relationships are still unclear and a reduction of all taxa under one genus name would be premature.“ And it will never happen, we predict, if these authors have anything to say about it.

Donoghue, M. J., T. Eriksson, P. A. Reeves & R. G. Olmstead. 2001. Phylogeny and phylogenetic taxonomy of Dipsacales, with special reference to Sinadoxa and Tetradoxa (Adoxaceae). Harvard Pap. Bot. 6: 459–479.

Cladistic analyses of rbcL sequences, alone and in combination with morphological data, support previous such studies in suggesting that Sambucus and Viburnum are aligned with Adoxa, in the family Adoxaceae, rather than Caprifoliaceae. This view is corroborated in a companion paper (Bell et. al., Harvard Pap. Bot. 6: 481–499. 2001) from other DNA sequences. Although the authors make no effort to impose Linnaean nomenclature on the remainder of Caprifoliaceae s. l. (exclusive of Adoxaceae), three options are evidently available: to fragment the group into several smaller families (Caprifoliaceae s. str., Diervillaceae, and Linnaeaceae); to enlarge it to include Dipsacaceae, Morinaceae, and Valerianaceae; or to enlarge it even further to include Adoxaceae. We vote for the last option, which throws Sambucus and Viburnum back into Caprifoliaceae, where they have always been; Dipsacaceae and Valerianaceae are certainly no great loss. A potential complication is the still unresolved position of Columelliaceae (including Desfontainia).

Dressler, R. L. 2002. New species and combinations in Costa Rican orchids. II. Lankesteriana 3: 25–29.

All of the three new spp. described here occur in Costa Rica, and two are endemic. Dichaea elliptica Dressler & Folsom is erected for the sp. previously known as D. brachypoda Rchb. f. (now restricted to its Costa Rican type, of unknown exact provenance). Although widespread in Panama, D. elliptica (treated as “Dichaea sp. A“ in our Manual draft) is known from just one Costa Rican collection, from Las Alturas de Coto Brus. The Costa Rican endemics are Govenia viaria Dressler and Palmorchis eidae Dressler, the former (“Govenia sp. A“ in our draft) found at ca. 1500–2000 m elevation in the Cordilleras de Tilarán, Central, and de Talamanca, the latter based on a single collection (by parataxonomist Eida Fletes) from near Golfito at 30 m elevation. Five new combinations are validated, including one that is correctly a nomen novum. The latter, Pleurothallis grammata Dressler, is based on Myoxanthus vittatus Pupulin & M. A. Blanco, described in the most recent issue of this same journal [see The Cutting Edge 9(1): 11, Jan. 2002]. Three of the new combinations reflect recent molecular work showing both Hexisea and Reichenbachanthus to be embedded within Scaphyglottis: Scaphyglottis bidentata (Lindl.) Dressler and S. imbricata (Lindl.) Dressler are erstwhile members of Hexisea, while S. cuniculata (Schltr.) Dressler has lately resided in Reichenbachanthus. The transfer of names from Hexisea to Scaphyglottis was made possible by the recent conservation of the latter name, spearheaded by the author [see The Cutting Edge 4(1): 4, Jan. 1997]. Finally, examination of the type of Chondrorhyncha endresii Schltr., until recently treated as an obscure probable synonym of Chondroscaphe bicolor (Rolfe) Dressler [see The Cutting Edge 9(1): 4, Jan. 2002], results in the combination Chondroscaphe endresii (Schltr.) Dressler. Now the shoe is on the other foot, as Chondroscaphe endresii proves to represent “the species most often identified as C. bicolor,“ while the type of Chondrorhyncha bicolor Rolfe “is poorly preserved and does not match any species“ known from Central America. Govenia viaria is depicted in a fine composite line-drawing, and Palmorchis eidae by a detailed floral illustration.

Gastony, G. J. & W. P. Johnson. 2001. Phylogenetic placements of Loxoscaphe thecifera (Aspleniaceae) and Actiniopteris radiata (Pteridaceae) based on analysis of rbcL nucleotide sequences. Amer. Fern J. 91: 197–213.

Though morphologically aberrant in its marginal, pouch-like indusia, the small genus Loxoscaphe—with L. thecifera (Kunth) T. Moore the only neotropical sp.—has often been included in the much larger Asplenium. That view is seconded by this analysis, which finds L. thecifera “robustly and surprisingly nested“ within a particular clade of Asplenium spp. Based on this evidence, Loxoscaphe could be maintained only by dividing Asplenium s. l. “into many small and probably ill-defined genera.“ The authors conclude that “there is presently no phylogenetic justification for accepting Loxoscaphe as a genus independent of Asplenium.“ The combination Asplenium theciferum (Kunth) Mett. is available for immediate deployment. Actiniopteris is an Old World genus.

Gómez-Laurito, J. & A. Estrada. 2002. Licaria leonis (Lauraceae), una nueva especie del Pacífico costarricense, y algunas notas sobre Licaria multinervis H. Kurz. Lankesteriana 3: 5–9.

Licaria leonis Gómez-Laur. & Estrada is known from just four collections, three from the type locality near Tinamaste in the northern Fila Costeña, and one from the northern Valle de El General. The latter is the earliest collection, made by William Burger in 1987. The new sp. is dedicated to eminent Costa Rican botanist Jorge León, presently on the INBio board of directors, who collected the type of the closely related L. multinervis Holger Kurz in 1943. The last-mentioned sp., still known only from the Turrialba region, is compared with L. leonis. The authors postulate that sterile collections from the Turrialba region of an unusual Lauraceae treated in Flora costaricensis (Burger & van der Werff, Fieldiana, Bot. n. s., 23: 46. 1990) as “Endlicheria sp.?“ actually derive from juvenile plants of Licaria multinervis. All of this sterile material has been collected in the vicinity of adult plants of L. multinervis, and a fruiting specimen cited in Flora costaricensis is said to correspond “sin duda alguna“ to the latter sp. DNA studies are underway to settle the issue. Both L. leonis and L. multinervis are illustrated with composite line-drawings.

-- & Ó. Valverde. 2002. Una nueva especie de Plinia (Myrtaceae) del Caribe sur de Costa Rica. Lankesteriana 3: 11–13.

Plinia cuspidata Gómez-Laur. & Valverde hails from Fila Carbón, in the Bribrí region of southeastern Costa Rica, where two collections have been made. The new sp. is distinguished by its prominently cuspidate leaves, small flowers, and oblate, strongly compressed fruits. This is the fourth Plinia sp. recorded from Costa Rica. Illustrated by a composite line-drawing.

Gottschling, M., H. H. Hilger, M. Wolf & N. Diane. 2001. Secondary structure of the ITS1 transcript and its application in a reconstruction of the phylogeny of Boraginales. Pl. Biol. 3: 629–636.

This study portrays Boraginaceae s. str. as sister to a monophyletic clade composed of Cordiaceae, Ehretiaceae, Heliotropaceae, Lennoaceae, and Hydrophyllaceae. From the single cladogram published, there appear to be three reasonable classificatory options: lump all six “families“ into one; maintain Boraginaceae and Hydrophyllaceae, and lump the remaining four “families“ into one; or recognize six separate families (which would be the only way to maintain Lennoaceae). Put us down as favoring one of the first two options.

Goyder, D. J. & A. Nicholas. 2001. A revision of Gomphocarpus R. Br. (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadeae). Kew Bull. 56: 769–836.

Gomphocarpus, sometimes included in Asclepias, is here circumscribed as a “putatively monophyletic group of 20 spp.“ This is an Old World taxon, native to Africa and the Arabian region, but represented in Costa Rica by the sparingly cultivated and naturalized Gomphocarpus physocarpus E. Mey., a shrubby herb with inflated fruits. Includes synonymy and descriptions at all levels, keys to all infrageneric taxa, selected specimen citations, distribution maps, and indices to scientific names and exsiccatae. Two spp. are illustrated with line drawings. No Costa Rican specimens are cited.

Greuter, W. 2001. . (1514) Proposal to conserve Manilkara nom. cons. (Sapotaceae), against an additional name, Sapota. Taxon 50: 1215–1216.

The generic name Sapota Mill. (1754), though the basis for the family name Sapotaceae, has not been used for nearly a century, and is considered an illegitimate renaming of Achras L. (1753). Nonetheless, Sapota would have to be used instead of Manilkara Adans. (1763), when the latter is defined to include Achras (as by Pennington in Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 52: 42–95. 1990), because, while Manilkara has been conserved against Achras, the same cannot be said with respect to Sapota. This proposal seeks to remedy that situation.

Huang, Y.-L. & S.-H. Shi. 2002. Phylogenetics of Lythraceae sensu lato: a preliminary analysis based on chloroplast rbcL gene, psaA-ycf3 spacer, and nuclear rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences. Int. J. Pl. Sci. 163: 215–225.

These analyses “strongly support the monophyly of the Lythraceae s. l.,“ including several satellite families such as Punicaceae (with Punica granatum L. sparingly cultivated in Costa Rica).

Kron, K. A., E. A. Powell & J. L. Luteyn. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships within the blueberry tribe (Vaccinieae, Ericaceae) based on sequence data from matK and nuclear ribosomal ITS regions, with comments on the placement of Satyria. Amer. J. Bot. 89: 327–336.

The prognosis looks grim for tribe Vaccinieae, “one of the largest clades within Ericaceae,“ and harboring most of the spp. occurring in Costa Rica. Vaccinium itself is not monophyletic, nor, indeed, are any of the 13 neotropical Andean genera with two or more spp. included in the analysis, with the exception of Anthopterus, Macleania, and Themistoclesia. Instead, “several well-supported clades“ were revealed “that generally do not correspond to current taxonomically recognized groups.“ Vaccinium as currently circumscribed is viewed as a grade, from which these various clades have evolved. Formal classificatory changes are eschewed, pending future work involving more sampling.

Lombardi, J. A. 2001. (1511) Proposal to reject the name Tontelea scandens (Celastraceae: Hippocrateoideae). Taxon 50: 1209–1210.

Tontelea scandens Aubl., seldom used and variously applied, is based on a collection of Elachyptera floribunda (Benth.) A. C. Sm. Although the latter name has been “widely used in a consistent manner“ (for a sp. occurring in Costa Rica), the former name has priority, prompting this proposal.

Luer, C. A. 2001. Miscellaneous new species in the Pleurothallidinae (Orchidaceae). Selbyana 22: 103–127.

Nineteen new spp. are described here, but just two occur in Costa Rica. Each belongs to the genus Stelis, and is known only from a single collection. Stelis chasei Luer, compared with S. parvula Lindl., was discovered by Kew molecular overlord Mark Chase at 650–700 m elevation near Pejibaye, on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca. Stelis hammelii, similar to (and previously determined as) S. cleistogama Schltr., was found at the Estación Biológica La Selva by Manual co-PI Barry Hammel. Stelis chasei was included in the Manual Orchidaceae treatment as “Stelis sp. A,“ but S. hammelii is a new addition, upping the country total for the genus to 53 spp. Both new spp. are illustrated with composite line-drawings.

Muasya, A. M., D. A. Simpson & M. W. Chase. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships in Cyperus L. s. l. (Cyperaceae) inferred from plastid DNA sequence data. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 138: 145–153.

Analyses involving 40 spp. and four DNA regions suggest that Cyperus s. str. is paraphyletic, with 10 segregate “cyperoid“ genera nested inside. These nested genera include (to mention only those occurring in or near Costa Rica): Ascolepis, Kyllinga, Lipocarpha, Oxycaryum, Pycreus, and Remirea. In more precise terms, Oxycaryum is embedded among the C3 (“eucyperoid“) Cyperus spp., while the remaining nested genera are associated with the C4 (“chlorocyperoid“) Cyperus spp. The authors refrain from implementing formal nomenclatural changes, but imply that the maintenance of Cyperus s. l. (to include all the above-mentioned segregates) would be the best option, given “the taxonomic difficulties of recognizing many of the [segregate] entities.“

Ossenbach Sauter, C. 2001. Guía bibliográfica de las orquídeas de Costa Rica. Vols. 1–4, 13, 14. C. Ossenbach Sauter, La Uruca, Costa Rica.

An ambitious though incomplete work that attempts to account for everything ever published relevant (even marginally) to Costa Rican orchids. Apparently this is only available in CD format, although it would be infinitely more useful as an Internet resource. The present six volumes are accommodated on two CD's, with Vols. 1–3 on one and Vols. 4, 13, and 14 on the other. Volume 1 contains a table of contents, introduction, instructions for use of the guide, a key to bibliographic references according to general themes (history, ecology, etc.), and a checklist (unvouchered) of all the orchid spp. allegedly present in Costa Rica. Also beginning in Vol. 1 is the main portion of the work, consisting of tabularized cross-references to literature sources, arranged alphabetically by genus, then sp. At the head of each genus are notes on etymology, classification (according to a scheme presented at the head of the sp. checklist), and habitat. Each literature reference is coded for content (e.g., as to whether it contains drawings, photos, descriptions, etc.). Illustrations from the literature (including both photos and line-drawings ) are appended to each genus entry; there are many illustrations, really a very valuable feature, but these slow down the system (including printing) considerably. This main section of the work extends through Vol. 4, where it terminates after Epidendrum. In his prologue, the author despairs of finishing the rest (i.e., Vols. 5–12) before the first half of 2003 (“aún siendo muy optimista“). Volume 13 comprises annotated citations of the literature itself, organized under 12 broad categories, while Vol. 14 contains various apendices (compendia of names, indices to authors, titles, and illustrations, and an index to important Internet addresses), closing remarks, acknowledgments, etc.

This is an extraordinary piece of work, with the potential to become the single main portal for information and illustrations on Costa Rican Orchidaceae. However, although the guide is very well organized, it is rather cumbersome to use in CD format. For example, having located a pertinent literature reference on (say) Aspidogyne in Vol. 1, a user must then remove the first CD and insert the second to find the bibliographic citation for said reference (in Vol. 13). If this were on the Internet, one could simply click on the code number for a given reference to bring up the bibliographic data. Many other linkages could be incorporated to streamline the whole system. Even more importantly, an Internet version would be vastly simpler to maintain in updated condition. In most respects (except bulk and cost), even hard-copy would be preferable to CD's.

Peterson, P. M., R. J. Soreng, G. Davidse, T. S. Filgueiras, F. O. Zuloaga & E. J. Judziewicz. 2001. Catalogue of New World grasses (Poaceae): II. Subfamily Chloridoideae. Contr. U. S. Natl. Herb. 41: 1–255.

The second installment of this series; see The Cutting Edge 7(2): 8 (Apr. 2000) for a brief description.

Pupulin, F. 2001. Contributions to a reassessment of Costa Rican Zygopetalinae (Orchidaceae). The genus Kefersteinia Rchb. f. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 103: 525–555.

Kefersteinia is a genus of “more than 50“ spp., best represented in the Andes but with a secondary center of diversity in Costa Rica. Ten Costa Rican spp. are treated here, two more than are presently included in Bob Dressler's Manual draft. The additions are Kefersteinia microcharis Schltr., liberated from synonymy under K. lactea (Rchb. f.) Schltr., and the newly described Kefersteinia endresii Pupulin, based on a single, old collection of unknown origin. Features a formal generic description, a key to spp., and synonymy, descriptions, comprehensive specimen citations, and discussions for each sp. All the spp. are illustrated with excellent line drawings, apparently by the author himself.

--. 2002. The Prosthechea prismatocarpa complex (Orchidaceae: Laeliinae) in Costa Rica, with a new species, P. tardiflora. Lankesteriana 3: 19–24.

The complex of Prosthechea prismatocarpa (Rchb. f.) W. E. Higgins is characterized by pyriform, 2(3)-leaved pseudobulbs and long, erect inflorescences of showy flowers with the labellum usually trilobed and the column with large lateral teeth and a fimbriate median tooth. The group is centered in Costa Rica, where five spp. occur: P. brassavolae (Rchb. f.) W. E. Higgins, P. ionocentra (Rchb. f.) W. E. Higgins, and P. neglecta Pupulin [see The Cutting Edge 9(1): 11, Jan. 2002], in addition to the two spp. mentioned in the title. The newly described Prosthechea tardiflora D. E. Mora ex Pupulin, known from the Península de Nicoya, the Valle Central, and near Puerto Quepos, was previously included in P. prismatocarpa, but differs in its shorter rhizomes and inflorescences produced from the pseudobulb of the previous year. Factoring in the three new spp. validated by Dressler, Luer's two new Stelis spp. (see above, this column), and Pupulin's new Kefersteinia (see foregoing entry), our running total of orchid spp. described from Costa Rica since 1993 is now up to 189. Includes a key to spp., synonymy, comprehensive specimen citations, an excellent composite line-drawing of the new sp., and drawings of the labella of all five spp.

--& C. Ossenbach S. 2002. Macradenia (Orchidaceae): a confirmed genus for Costa Rican flora. Lankesteriana 3: 15–17.

Macradenia has been variously attributed to Costa Rica, but no actual herbarium records have been invoked. Though included in the generic key for the Flora costaricensis account of subtribe Oncidiinae (Atwood & Mora de Retana, Fieldiana, Bot. n. s., 40: 88. 1999), Macradenia was not otherwise treated. The occurrence of the genus in Costa Rica is here vouchered with the citation of two collections of Macradenia brassavolae Rchb. f., one (Molina & Shank s. n., 23 oct. 1951, EAP) made more than 50 years ago. The sp. occurs at 15–60 m elevation on the Atlantic slope, in the Sarapiquí region and the Llanura de Santa Clara. The authors wonder that such a striking sp. managed to escape the notice of Costa Rican orquideophiles. Well, not everybody missed this: Manual Orchidaceae coordinator Bob Dressler was on top of the game, and M. brassavolae is already included in his manuscript, on the basis of the above-cited collection. Illustrated with a composite line-drawing.

Rojas-Alvarado, A. F. 2001. Informes en la familia Pteridaceae (Filicales) para el Neotrσpico. Revista Biol. Trop. 49: 429–434.

Former INBio pteriophyte curator Alexander Rojas, presently pursuing doctoral studies in Mexico, continues his discriminating work on New World ferns with this series of papers, long in gestation. Here we get no new taxa, but five spp. newly reported from Costa Rica. These are: the widespread Adiantum polyphyllum Willd., from 550–700 m along the Río Chirripó, on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca; A. trichochlaenum Mickel & Beitel, reaching its southern limit at Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio (near Puerto Quepos), where Jorge Gómez-Laurito (USJ) obtained it; A. villosissimum Mett. ex Kuhn, collected by Tom Croat (MO) near Bribrí (the northernmost station for the sp.); the otherwise South American Doryopteris nobilis (T. Moore) C. Chr., found by Gerardo Herrera at ca. 800 m near Ujarrás, on the eastern flanks of the Valle de El General; and Eriosorus hirtus (Kunth) Copel., based on an Alfonso Jiménez collection from 1600 m near Las Nubes de Coronado, the only station between Honduras and Colombia. A key is provided to separate the Mesoamerican spp. of Doryopteris, and leaf-shape variation within the genus is depicted.

--. 2001. Seis especies nuevas y dos nuevos registros de helechos (Pteridophyta) para Costa Rica. Revista Biol. Trop. 49: 435–452.

The six new spp. are: Dryopteris flaccisquama A. Rojas, a widespread entity segregated from D. patula (Sw.) Underw.; Hypolepis lellingeri A. Rojas, endemic to Isla del Coco and compared with the Samoan H. aspidioides H. Christ; H. moraniana A. Rojas, known from just two collections, both from ca. 2000 m on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca in the Coto Brus region; Melpomene alan-smithii A. Rojas, of Costa Rica and western Panama, a segregate of M. anfractuosa (Kunze ex Klotzsch) A. R. Sm. & R. C. Moran; Selaginella osaënsis A. Rojas, endemic to the Golfo Dulce region and compared with S. anceps (C. Presl) C. Presl; and Terpsichore esquiveliana A. Rojas, collected on Volcán Barva and at Parque Nacional Tapantí, compared with T. mollissima (Fée) A. R. Sm. and T. subtilis (Kunze ex Klotzsch) A. R. Sm. Newly reported from Costa Rica are Blechnum stoloniferum (Mett. ex E. Fourn.) C. Chr., from Volcán Barva and the Cordillera de Talamanca, and Trichomanes micayense Hieron., based on a Gerardo Herrera collection from 1600 m on Fila Matama that had previously been misidentified by Rojas as T. plumosum Kunze. Trichomanes micayense is otherwise known only from Colombia and Ecuador, Blechnum stoloniferum from Mexico to Honduras. The Costa Rican material of B. stoloniferum (including the type of B. microlomaria L. D. Gómez) had previously been misidentified as B. lherminieri (Bory) C. Chr., which also occurs in Costa Rica, though at lower elevations. All the new spp. are illustrated with composite line-drawings.

--. 2001. Nuevas especies, nombres nuevamente utilizados y nuevas distribuciones en los helechos arborescentes (Filicales: Cyatheaceae) para el Neotrópico. Revista Biol. Trop. 49: 453–466.

The two new spp. do not concern us, but everything else here does. Removed from synonymy under Cyathea multiflora Sm. (as according to, e.g., Flora mesoamericana) are the names Cyathea alfonsiana L. D. Gómez and C. squarrosa (Rosenst.) Domin, the former corresponding to an Isla del Coco endemic, the latter to another Costa Rican endemic restricted to the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca (at 200–900 m). Cyathea holdridgeana Nisman & L. D. Gómez, formerly believed to have been based on a hybrid, is resurrected as an older name for C. albomarginata R. C. Moran. Pursuant to the author's recent acquaintance with Cyathea fulva (M. Martens & Galeotti) Fée in the vicinity of its Mexican type locality, most if not all of the Costa Rican material previously identified by that name is rechristened as Cyathea onusta H. Christ. Four taxa are newly reported from Costa Rica, as follows: Cnemidaria cocleana Stolze, otherwise Panamanian, occurs at 550–1000 m in the Cordillera de Guanacaste; Cyathea andina (H. Karst.) Domin, ostensibly South American and closely related to C. multiflora, is reported for the first time from Panama and Costa Rica, where it is restricted to the Golfo Dulce region; Cyathea caracasana (Klotzsch) Domin var. meridensis (H. Karst.) R. M. Tryon, also formerly regarded as South American, is reported from Nicaragua and Costa Rica, where it occurs in the Monteverde region and near Moravia de Chirripó; Cyathea macrosora (Baker) Domin, another nominally South American entity, is now vouchered from Costa Rica by the author's collection representing var. reginae (P. G. Windisch) A. R. Sm. (said to be an intergeneric hybrid involving Cyathea multiflora and some sp. of Cnemidaria), from 400 m near Golfito; and Panama loses an endemic sp. in Cyathea pseudonanna (L. D. Gómez) Lellinger, twice collected from 750–850 m in Parque Nacional Barbilla, on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca. Although many of the conclusions here presented (including the two new spp.) stem from the breakup of Cyathea multiflora s. l., it is not clear whether C. multiflora s. str. is still attributable to Costa Rica.

--. 2001. Ocho nuevas especies y nuevos ámbitos geográficos de helechos de la familia Tectariaceae (Filicales) en el Neotrópico. Revista Biol. Trop. 49: 467–488.

Just three of the eight new spp. pertain to Costa Rica: Ctenitis sotoana A. Rojas, compared with C. interjecta (C. Chr.) Ching and C. melanosticta (Kunze) Copel., is known by a single collection (the author's) from near Parque Nacional Tapantí (and another from northern Nicaragua); Megalastrum ctenitoides A. Rojas, similar to M. biseriale (Baker) A. R. Sm., is based on a Gerardo Herrera collection from 1400 m on Fila Matama (and another from southwestern Colombia); and Tectaria faberiana A. Rojas, segregated from T. incisa Cav., is widepread from Costa Rica to Colombia. The new combination (not announced in the title) Megalastrum karstenianum (Klotzsch) A. Rojas, based on Polypodium karstenianum Klotzsch, is applied to a sp., heretofore confused with M. pulverulentum (Poir.) A. R. Sm. & R. C. Moran, known by two collections from Zona Protectora Las Tablas (plus three others from disparate sites in Colombia). Newly reported from Costa Rica are: the widespread Ctenitis submarginalis (Langsd. & Fisch.) Ching, from 650–1150 m on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca; Tectaria andina (Baker) C. Chr., common at 0–1500 m on the Pacific slope (south from Cerro Turrubares and Parque Nacional Carara), where it has been confused with T. lizarzaburui (Sodiro) C. Chr. (formerly T. vivipara Jermy & T. G. Walker); and Tectaria sodiroi (Baker) Maxon, from 1000–1650 m at Monteverde and near San Marcos de Tarrazú, previously misidentified as T. trifoliata (L.) Cav. Both Tectaria andina and T. sodiroi are ostensibly South American spp., here reported for the first time from Mesoamerica. All the new spp. are illustrated with mostly excellent line-drawings.

Rova, J. H. E., P. G. Delprete, L. Andersson & V. A. Albert. 2002. A trnL-F cpDNA sequence study of the Condamineeae-Rondeletieae-Sipaneeae complex with implications on the phylogeny of the Rubiaceae. Amer. J. Bot. 89: 145–159.

This study mainly addresses suprageneric classification in Rubiaceae, a subject beyond our scope. However, a few conclusions at the generic level are of interest. Rondeletia s. l., a widely distributed neotropical entity comprising more than 250 spp., is affirmed as polyphyletic, and the recognition of Arachnothryx and Rogiera (among others) as separate genera is supported. According to this view, one Costa Rican Rondeletia, R. amoena (Planch.) Hemsl., would belong to Rogiera, while most (if not all) of the others would be assigned to Arachnothryx. Also, Guettarda is described as paraphyletic, with Antirhea and Chomelia embedded (or, in other words, Guettarda is polyphyletic).

Schwarzbach, A. E. & L. A. McDade. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships of the mangrove family Avicenniaceae based on chloroplast and nuclear ribosomal DNA sequences. Syst. Bot. 27: 84–98.

The results of this study provide no support for the traditional alignment of Avicennia with Verbenaceae; instead, “a relationship with Acanthaceae s. l. is both consistently and strongly supported.“ More specifically, these analyses consistently showed Avicennia as sister to Acanthaceae subfam. Thunbergioideae, albeit with weak support; indeed “alternative placements of Avicennia near the base of Acanthaceae s. l. were not significantly less likely than the sister group relationship with Thunbergioideae.“ Thus, it seems that Avicennia will either end up as part of Acanthaceae, or continue to reside in its own family, depending on the results of future studies. Morphological evidence also favors a relationship with Acanthaceae, rather than Verbenaceae. These analyses also yielded certain other insights into the classification of Lamiales (for example, in confirming the placement in Lamiaceae of certain genera traditionally classed in Verbenaceae).

Simpson, D. A., A. M. Muasya & S. Cafferty. 2001. Typification of Scirpus fluitans and Scirpus setaceus (Cyperaceae). Kew Bull. 56: 1011–1012.

These are perfunctory lectotypifications that uphold the prevailing applications of these Linnaean names. Scirpus setaceus is the basionym of Isolepis setacea (L.) R. Br., which occurs in Costa Rica.

Spooner, D. M., R. Hoekstra & B. Vilchez. 2001. Solanum section Petota in Costa Rica: taxonomy and genetic resources. Amer. J. Potato Res. 78: 91–98.

This was a precursor to the paper by Spooner et al. (2001), featured in our last issue, on the taxonomy of the Mesoamerican members of Solanum sect. Petota Dumort. ser. Conicibaccata Bitter (Solanaceae). All wild potato populations in Costa Rica are here confirmed as belonging to Solanum longiconicum Bitter (ser. Conicibaccata), considered distinct from the more northern S. oxycarpum Schiede. Important differences include leaf pubescence and a purple seed spot in the former sp., absent in S. oxycarpum. All known Costa Rican collections of S. longiconicum (including recent ones by the authors and colleagues) are enumerated and mapped. The sp. occurs in 18 different “areas,“ at (1050–) 1400–3200 m in the Cordilleras de Tilarán, Central, and de Talamanca.

Taylor, C. M. 2002. Rubiacearum americanarum magna hama pars VI: new species of and morphological notes on Psychotria subg. Psychotria (Psychotrieae) from Mesoamerica and western South America. Novon 12: 120–132.

Eight new spp. are described, of which only two are attributed to Costa Rica. Psychotria jefensis Dwyer ex C. M. Taylor, most similar to P. laselvensis C. W. Ham. and P. orosiana Standl., occurs in the Cerro Jefe region of Panama and on Cerro Anguciana, in the southern Fila Costeña of Costa Rica (where the type was collected). Endemic to Costa Rica at 900–1400 m elevation in the Monteverde region is Psychotria orosioides C. M. Taylor, most similar to the sympatric P. orosiana, from which it differs in having longer calyx lobes (1.2–2 mm, vs. 0.5–0.8 mm). Stipule and inflorescence characters employed by previous workers on subgen. Psychotria are reevaluated. All of the new taxa are illustrated with detailed line-drawings.

Thiede, J. & U. Eggli. 2001. Einbeziehung von Manfreda Salisbury und Polianthes Linné in Agave Linné(Agavaceae): weitere Umbenennungen. Kakteen Sukk. 52: 166–167.

The commercial tuberose (cultivated in Costa Rica), known for a few centuries as Polianthes tuberosa L., suffers its second name-change in three years. The recent new combination Agave tuberosa (L.) Thiede & Eggli [see The Cutting Edge 6(3): 11, Jul. 1999] turns out to be illegitimate, preoccupied by A. tuberosa Mill. (1768), the basionym of Furcraea tuberosa (Mill.) W. T. Aiton. The epithets of two heterotypic synonyms of Polianthes tuberosa are also preoccupied in Agave, prompting the creation of a nomen novum, Agave polianthes Thiede & Eggli.

Ward, N. M. & R. A. Price. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships of Marcgraviaceae: insights from three chloroplast genes. Syst. Bot. 27: 149–160.

Analyses of sequence data from the ndhF, trnL-F, and rbcL genes support the monophyly of Marcgraviaceae, and suggest that it is most closely related to the families Pellicieraceae, Tetrameristaceae, and (more distantly) Balsaminaceae. Two major lineages within Marcgraviaceae are resolved, corresponding to the subfamilies Marcgravioideae (with the single genus Marcgravia) and Noranteoideae. However, the genera within the latter subfamily could not be resolved as monophyletic (in cases where more than one sp. was studied); rather, “the molecular phylogeny is more compatible with an expanded concept of the genus Norantea“ (i.e., to include Marcgraviastrum, Sarcopera, and Schwartzia). But even this enlarged Norantea would appear to be paraphyletic, with respect to the nested Ruyschia and Souroubea.

Warner, J. 2002. Joaquín Bernardo García Castro, 1944–2001. Lankesteriana 3: 1–2.

Joaquín García Castro, one of the leading Costa Rican orquidologists, died suddenly on 22 August, 2001, barely a month after the death of his colleague Dora Emilia Mora de Retana [see The Cutting Edge 8(3): 1, Jul. 2001]. Orchids were an avocation for Don Joaquín (“Quincho“ to his friends), who was also a highly distinguished medical doctor, long-time professor of medicine at two Costa Rican universities, and head of the emergency department at Hospital Calderón Guardia. This paper highlights his orchid work, while a companion paper by Eduardo Bitter (Lankesteriana 3: 3. 2002) provides more details about his professional life.

Zimmer, E. A., E. H. Roalson, L. E. Skog, J. K. Boggan & A. Idnurm. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships in the Gesnerioideae (Gesneriaceae) based on nrDNA ITS and cpDNA trnL-F and trnE-T spacer region sequences. Amer. J. Bot. 89: 296–311.

Gloxinia is apparently polyphyletic, but that can have no impact on Costa Rican floristics, as our only sp., G. perennis (L.) Fritsch, is effectively the generic type. The major conclusions of this paper concern the suprageneric classification of Gesneriaceae, and are thus of no concern to us.


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