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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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The Cutting Edge

Volume X, Number 2, April 2003

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

Andersson, L. 2002. Relationships and generic circumscriptions in the Psychotria complex (Rubiaceae, Psychotrieae). Syst. Geogr. Pl. 72: 167-202.

Rubiaceae tribe Psychotrieae is here accepted a priori as comprising two major clades, termed the “Psychotria complex“ and the “Palicourea complex.“ The latter includes the genera Carapichea [see The Cutting Edge 9(4): 4, Oct. 2002], Margaritopsis [see The Cutting Edge 8(4): 3, Oct. 2001], Geophila, Notopleura [see The Cutting Edge 8(4): 6, Oct. 2001], Palicourea s. l. [i.e., including Psychotria subg. Heteropsychotria Steyerm.; see The Cutting Edge 6(4): 7, Oct. 1999], and Rudgea. Nepokroeff et al. [1999; see The Cutting Edge 6(4): 7, Oct. 1999] treated the Psychotria complex as coextensive with Psychotria s. str., citing lack of preformed germination slits (PGS's) as a possible synapomorphy. The present study addresses relationships in the Psychotria complex via cladistic analysis of sequence variation in the rps16 intron of cpDNA for 111 spp. Based on his results, the author argues that Psychotria be further restricted to exclude a bloc of Indo-Pacific elements (his so-called “Pacific clade“), while maintaining that PGS's do indeed occur in the complex (even in the type sp. of Psychotria). The New World bloc of Psychotria s. str. (that is, sensu Nepokroeff et al.) remains intact, so perhaps the erosion has stopped and we can begin to relax.

Applequist, W. L. 2002. A reassessment of the nomenclature of Matricaria L. and Tripleurospermum Sch. Bip. (Asteraceae). Taxon 51: 757-761.

It is no small irony that those familiar, economic plant spp. for which stable binomials are most urgently needed frequently exhibit the most intractable nomenclatural problems. This paper tackles such a case in the common chamomile, widely sold and (we think) cultivated in Costa Rica under the Spanish name manzanilla. In recent years, three binomials have been in common use for this sp.: Chamomilla recutita (L.) Rauschert, Matricaria chamomilla L., and (as in Flora de Nicaragua) Matricaria recutita L. The author's argument is lengthy and technical, but the principal conclusions are as follows: Matricaria chamomilla and M. recutita are both legitimate names for chamomile, with equal priority, and the earliest published instance of a direct choice between the two favors the former. Furthermore, the basis for Rauschert's transfer of all spp. of Matricaria to Chamomilla is specious. Therefore, the name M. chamomilla (used in Standley's Flora of Costa Rica) is to be reinstated (and we hope this is the end of the story!).

Barker, N. P., H. P. Linder, C. M. Morton & M. Lyle. 2003. The paraphyly of Cortaderia (Danthonioideae; Poaceae): evidence from morphology and chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequence data. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 90: 1-24.

The New World and Australasian spp. of Cortaderia appear to correspond to two separate clades, but we don't care, because the type sp., C. selloana (Schult. & Schult. f.) Asch. & Graebn., is one of ours!

Barrie, F. R. 2003. Seven new species and one new variety of Valeriana (Valerianaceae) from Mexico. Acta Bot. Mex. 62: 31-64.

The description of a new var. of Valeriana urticifolia Kunth from Mexico and Guatemala automatically creates the varietal autonym for our material.

Bermúdez Mora, M. 2002. In memoriam: Dr. Luis Alberto Fournier Origgi; 16 de noviembre de 1935-5 de julio de 2002. Brenesia 57-58: 5-6.

An appreciative biographical sketch of the recently deceased Costa Rican plant biologist [see The Cutting Edge 9(3): 1, Jul. 2002].

Biju, S. D. 2002. Lectotypification of two Linnaean specific names in Convolvulaceae. Taxon 51: 755-756.

The names are Convolvulus batatas L. [= Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] and Ipomoea quamoclit L., both pertaining to spp. occurring in Costa Rica; prevailing usage is (we presume) unaffected.

Brummitt, R. K. 2002. Report of the Committee for Spermatophyta: 53. Taxon 51: 795-799.

Conservation of the name Wulffia (Asteraceae) over Tilesia is not recommended, leaving the latter as the correct name for a genus that may or may not occur in Costa Rica. Holcus saccharatus L. (Poaceae), a name that may or may not have threatened Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench, is rejected.

Christenson, E. A. 2003. The genus Cischweinfia; a charming group of miniature Oncidium relatives. Orchids 72: 120-129.

This “substantially reworked“ synoptic treatment of the neotropical genus Cischweinfia (Orchidaceae) accepts 15 spp., while alluding to three additional spp. that remain undescribed. Three spp. are here validated as new, of which one occurs in Costa Rica and another “may also.“ The former is Cischweinfia glicensteinii Christenson, which, according to its author, applies to the sp. that “has been consistently called Cisch. dasyandra in the literature and is without a doubt the most frequently cultivated species in the genus.“ Although the “new“ sp. is alleged to range from Costa Rica to Colombia, no paratypes are cited, and the holotype is a unicate collected at “Andy's Orchids,“ from a plant believed to be of Costa Rican origin. The “real“ Cischweinfia dasyandra (Rchb. f.) Dressler & N. H. Williams, said to differ in color and shape of the labellum, is indicated as a Costa Rican endemic; however, no specimens are cited to voucher the concept or distribution. The only other sp. attributed unequivocally (though without a voucher citation) to Costa Rica is Cischweinfia pusilla (C. Schweinf.) Dressler & N. H. Williams; but this entity also “has been rather consistently confused with“ another sp., C. sheehaniae Christenson sp. nov., differing in labellar details. True C. pusilla is characterized as “apparently quite rare“ in Costa Rican and Panama, the implication being that some Costa Rican collections may prove to represent C. sheehaniae, otherwise known only from Panama and Colombia. Includes synonymy, full descriptions of new spp., generous discussions, and (on the last page) a key to spp. The flowers of several spp. (including all of the new ones) are depicted in color photos from living subjects. With the addition of C. glicensteinii and Sobralia quinata (see under Dressler, this column), our running total of new orchid spp. described from Costa Rica since 1993 reaches 196.

--. 2003. Brassia brachiata; a showy Central American species usually confused with Brassia verrucosa. Orchids 72: 296-297.

Here the author alleges that the obscure name Brassia brachiata Lindl. (Orchidaceae), commonly (as in the Manual and Flora de Nicaragua) treated as a synonym of B. verrucosa Lindl., in fact applies to a distinct sp., with no other name. True B. verrucosa is said to range from Mexico to Nicaragua, B. brachiata from Guatemala to Panama; thus, according to this scheme, all Costa Rican material presently going under the name Brassia verrucosa should instead be called B. brachiata. While the morphological differences described by the author are indeed compelling, no voucher specimens are cited (except for the type of B. brachiata) in support of his hypothesis. Illustrated with color photographs of living material (also unvouchered).

Crow, G. E. 2002. Plantas acuáticas del Parque Nacional Palo Verde y el valle del río Tempisque/Aquatic plants of Palo Verde National Park and the Tempisque River Valley. Inst. Nac. de Biodiversidad, Sto. Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica. 296 pp.

This handsome opus, by Manual aquatic plants contributor Garrett E. Crow (NHA), is the latest installment in INBio's sharp field-guide series. Parque Nacional Palo Verde harbors one of the largest and most important wetlands in Costa Rica; indeed, the 134 spp. treated in this guide comprise ca. 42% of the estimated total of 320 spp. of aquatic vascular plants occurring in Costa Rica. Thus, this work should prove to be broadly useful, especially in the Guanacaste region. The bulk of the fully bilingual text consists of formalized sp. descriptions, each incorporating a “diagnostic description,“ together with information on life form, phenology, habitat, general distribution, and distribution in Costa Rica. In every case, the text is paired with one or (usually) more color illustrations, mostly photographs taken in the field. This section is preceded by dichotomous, indented identification keys, with one master key (based mainly on habit and habitat features) accessing seven subsidiary keys. The “Introduction“ discusses classification and adaptations of aquatic plants, pollination, and habit and habitat types of aquatic plants at Palo Verde, with one color map and numerous color photos. This section is followed by two (unvouchered) lists, one organized taxonomically and the other by habit/habitat, accounting for all the aquatic vascular plant spp. of the study region (including some marginal ones not otherwise treated). An illustrated glossary, bibliography, and index terminate the volume. This contribution will be indispensable to anyone wishing to identify plants in the Río Tempisque Valley, where aquatic vegetation is difficult to ignore, and should serve as a valuable reference throughout the Mesoamerican region.

Dressler, R. L. 2003. Sobralia quinata, a new species in section Globosae. Lankesteriana 6: 27-28.

Based on the author's first examination of flowering plants in life, Costa Rican material lately (e.g., in early drafts of the author's Manual treatment) called Sobralia lancea Garay becomes our latest endemic sp. of Orchidaceae. The name Sobralia quinata Dressler alludes to the presence of five labellar keels, as opposed to (apparently) just two in the real S. lancea, now restricted to Colombia and Ecuador. The new sp. occurs at elevations of ca. 1050-1400 m, on the Atlantic slope of the Cordilleras de Tilarán and Central, and in the north portion of the Cordillera de Talamanca. A dichotomous key distinguishes the five spp. of Sobralia sect. Globosae Brieger, and the new sp. is illustrated with a fine composite line drawing. It is questionable whether this change can be accommodated in the Manual (now in the page-proof stage).

Faisthuber, W. 2002. Oncidium in Monteverde/Costa Rica-Feldbeobachtungen an den fünf håufigsten Arten. Orchidee (Hamburg) 53: 462-465.

The five most common Oncidium (Orchidaceae) spp. in the Monteverde cloud forest are alleged to be O. bracteatum Warsz. ex Rchb. f., O. bryolophotum Rchb. f., O. cheirophorum Rchb. f., O. globuliferum Kunth, and O. obryzatoides Kraenzl. These are illustrated and briefly characterized, with some information on distribution, ecology, and culture. In German.

Gómez-Laurito, J. & Q. Jiménez. 2003. Una nueva especie costarricense del género Amyris P. Browne (Rutaceae). Lankesteriana 6: 5-7.

The new sp., Amyris magnifolia Gómez-Laur. & Q. Jiménez, has been long been misidentified as A. brenesii Standl. (or its synonym, A. costaricensis Standl.), but differs in its 3-4-paripinnate (as opposed to trifoliolate) leaves and somewhat smaller, globose (rather than ellipsoidal), green to whitish (not purple) fruits. Except for a single sterile collection from Parque Nacional Carara, A. magnifolia is known only from the Golfo Dulce region, whereas A. brenesii occurs mainly on the Atlantic slope. This new Costa Rican endemic is the fifth Amyris sp. for the country. Illustrated with a composite line drawing.

Gustafsson, C. & C. Persson. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships among species of the neotropical genus Randia (Rubiaceae, Gardenieae) inferred from molecular and morphological data. Taxon 51: 661-674.

Several cladograms and lots of speculation all boil down to the following lukewarm residue: “The present analyses show that contemporary circumscription of Randia...is uncertain. There is no jackknife support for Randia as a monophyletic group from the data used here. But on the other hand, there is no evidence to suggest that it is not a monophyletic group. The genus is clearly comprised of several quite distinct groups, and relationships among these are by no means clear.“ The principal contribution of this paper would appear to be the circumscription of these “more or less strongly supported groups,“ one being the so-called “Central American Randia clade.“ Because the last-mentioned group includes the generic type (R. aculeata L.), the potential nomenclatural consequences for our region would figure to be minimal; however, some members of the “South American Randia clade“ also extend to Central America [e.g., R. altiscandens (Ducke) C. M. Taylor and R. armata (Sw.) DC.].

Hammel, B. E. 2003. New species of Cyclanthaceae from southern Central America and northern South America. Novon 13: 52-63.

Of the five new spp. that are described here, all but one occur in Costa Rica. Asplundia albicarpa Hammel, ranging from Costa Rica to coastal Ecuador, is most similar to A. stenophylla (Standl.) Harling. The latter sp., known to previous authors only by sterile specimens, is here redescribed on the basis of the abundant fertile material that is now available. Asplundia brunneistigma Hammel, of Costa Rica and Panama, is compared to A. guianensis Harling, A. peruviana Harling, and related spp. The remaining two novelties are dedicated to esteemed Costa Rican colleagues: Asplundia ceci Hammel (Costa Rica to northwestern Colombia), honoring long-time Manual co-editor Cecilia Herrera, and the endemic Dicranopygium tatica Hammel, the epithet of which is a nickname for legendary field botanist Gerardo Herrera (who also happens to be Cecilia's cousin). The former sp. is most similar to Asplundia aurantiaca Harling and A. sanctae-ritae Galeano & Bernal, the latter to Dicranopygium venezuelanum Harling. Three putatively hybrid populations are vouchered: Asplundia albicarpa × A. euryspatha Harling, A. albicarpa × A. stenophylla, and A. euryspatha × A. stenophylla. The difficulty of counting chromosomes of Cyclanthaceae is briefly noted. All the new spp. are illustrated with superb drawings by Manual artist Silvia Troyo, including her prize-winning depiction of Asplundia allenii Hammel (we got it wrong in our last issue!), the only sp. described here that is not known from Costa Rica.

Haynes, R. R. & L. B. Holm-Nielsen. 2003. Potamogetonaceae. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 85: 1-52.

The family circumscription adopted by these authors accepts three genera, Groenlandia (not present in the Neotropics), Potamogeton, and the recently resurrected Stuckenia; Ruppia is excluded. Stuckenia (the former Potamogeton subg. Coleogeton Rchb.) is not recorded from Costa Rica, but the following five Potamogeton spp. are: P. crispus L., P. foliosus Raf., P. illinoensis Morong, P. paramoanus R. R. Haynes & Holm-Niels., and P. pusillus L. None of these is endemic, and P. crispus is a naturalized Eurasian native. Potamogeton foliosus was not attributed to Costa Rica in Flora mesoamericana (6: 13-15. 1994), nor in Garrett Crow's Manual account of Potamogetonaceae (both of which include Ruppia); the former work also omitted P. paramoanus. Just two Costa Rican specimens of P. foliosus are cited, both at F: Echeverría 2 (locality not given) and Echeverría 341, from San Antonio de Belén (near Alajuela); disturbingly, the latter specimen is also cited under P. pusillus (a very similar sp., from which P. foliosus differs principally in its undulate-keeled fruits). This is the deluxe treatment, with descriptions and keys at all levels, full synonymy and typology, comprehensive specimen citations, discussions, indices to exsiccatae and scientific names, and illustrations (line drawings) and distribution maps for all spp. and subspp. The introduction touches on all the standard topics, including morphology, anatomy, embryology, palynology, reproductive biology, chemistry, karyology, relationships, and distribution.

Jiménez Madrigal, Q. & M. H. Grayum. 2002. Vegetación del Parque Nacional Carara, Costa Rica. Brenesia 57-58: 25-66.

Parque Nacional (formerly Reserva Biológica) Carara, on the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica, is notable as a transitional area between Tropical Dry and Moist Forests, extending southward from the Guanacaste region, and Tropical Wet Forests, prevailing southward to the Golfo Dulce region. The body of this work is a (mostly) vouchered checklist accounting for 1166 spp. of vascular plants in 632 genera and 150 families. The most sp.-rich families are Fabaceae, Araceae, and Rubiaceae, with 79, 59, and 58 spp., respectively; at the genus level, Piper (23 spp.), Anthurium (16 spp.), Inga (16 spp.), Philodendron (16 spp.), Miconia (15 spp.), and Psychotria (14 spp.) predominate. The sp. total includes 14 country records, and the following four genera are also newly reported from Costa Rica: Allosanthus (Sapindaceae), Itzaea (Convolvulaceae), Seguieria (Phytolaccaceae), and Steriphoma (Capparaceae). The introductory section includes discussions of the history of the park and the major vegetation types. Features a color map of the park and environs.

Liede, S. & H. Kunze. 2002. Cynanchum and the Cynanchinae (Apocynaceae-Asclepiadoideae): a molecular, anatomical and latex triterpenoid study. Organisms Diversity & Evol. 2: 239-269.

This study corroborates a recently published paper from the same lab [see The Cutting Edge 10(1): 7, Jan. 2003] in suggesting that most New World elements that have been assigned to Cynanchum form a separate, unrelated clade; excepting C. subg. Mellichampia (A. Gray ex S. Watson) Sundell [with only C. rensonii (Pittier) Woodson occurring in Costa Rica], all must be excluded from the genus. Like its predecessor, this paper sheds no further light on the correct generic placement of these banished New World spp. (although several important classificatory changes affect Old World members of subtribe Cynanchinae).

Little, D. P. & D. S. Barrington. 2003. Major evolutionary events in the origin and diversification of the fern genus Polystichum (Dryopteridaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 90: 508-514.

Analyses of rbcL sequences and morphological data show that Polystichum, as currently accepted, is paraphyletic-but not in a manner that portends nomenclatural changes for the Costa Rican flora. Phanerophlebia is reaffirmed as distinct from Cyrtomium, with the latter more closely related to Polystichum.

Lobo C., S. 2002. Colección tipo del Herbario Nacional de Costa Rica (CR). III. Revisión y actualización de las monocotiledóneas. Brenesia 57-58: 135-150.

This revision of type material for 14 major monocot families (comprising ca. 50% of the monocot types at CR) supplements an earlier contribution covering the entire group [see The Cutting Edge 4(2): 7, Apr. 1997]. See under Ruiz-Boyer & González-Ball (this column) for further details on the series.

--. 2003. Los hospederos de las plantas hemiparásitas de la familia Loranthaceae (s. l.) en Costa Rica. Lankesteriana 6: 17-20.

An interesting (though unvouchered) compilation of the host plants of Costa Rican mistletoes (Eremolepidaceae, Loranthaceae s str., and Viscaceae), based on a survey of 1273 specimens at the CR herbarium. Of these, 32% bore information concerning the identity of the host, most frequently to genus rank, but sometimes also to sp. or just family; occasionally (on 40 specimens), the host was identified only by a common name. Just 16% of the host identifications were verifiable, e.g., by material from the host included on the sheet or collected separately and cited on the label. That said, 58 angiosperm families (including Loranthaceae s. str. and Viscaceae themselves) play host, in Costa Rica, to the 35 mistletoe spp. for which this information was available, with Quercus (33 specimens), Citrus (32 specimens), and Ficus (13 specimens) the most frequently mentioned host genera (among 123 total). Of the 74 hosts identified to sp. level, best represented are Guazuma ulmifolia Lam. (Sterculiaceae; 13 specimens), Theobroma cacao L. (Sterculiaceae; 9 specimens), and (stunningly) the rare Matudaea trinervia Lundell (Hamamelidaceae; 9 specimens). For 12 additional mistletoe spp. occurring in Costa Rica, no host data could be found on the labels of CR material.

Maslin, B. R., J. T. Miller & D. S. Seigler. 2003. Overview of the generic status of Acacia (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae). Austral. Syst. Bot. 16: 1-18.

This contribution synthesizes numerous recent molecular investigations of the colossal (>1350 spp.) Acacia s. l. [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 7(3): 8, Jul. 2000; 8(2): 11, Apr. 2001; 8(3): 8, Jul. 2001], including some published in this very issue. Previous studies have concurred that Acacia in the conventional broad sense is polyphyletic, with three distinct lineages; however, one of these three has itself now decayed into three separate monophyletic groups, yielding a total of five such entities. For classification purposes, the usual two alternatives present themselves: either to enlarge Acacia s. l. even more, with the addition of “hundreds of species“ traditionally classed in other genera; or to split Acacia s. l. into several (i.e., at least five) smaller genera. Noting that the former option “would require the amalgamation of the entire [tribe] Ingeae into Acacia, or into part of Acacia,“ the authors advocate splitting.

The following arrangement is tentatively suggested (pending the incorporation of heretofore unstudied sp. groups in the analyses, which could result in the recognition of additional genera):

The largest segregate genus would correspond to the former Acacia subg. Phyllodineae (DC.) Seringe, with at least 960 spp., mainly Australian and absent (except in cultivation) from the New World. This taxon, with leaves commonly modified as phyllodes, would bear the generic name Racosperma Mart. (unless the Aussies get their way; see below). The generic name Acacia, not surprisingly, would become restricted to the former Acacia subg. Acacia, with ca. 161 spp., about 60 of which occur in the New World [including the A. farnesiana sp. group and the ant acacias]. However, a proposal to conserve the name Acacia with a new type, selected from subg. Phyllodineae, is currently under preparation in the Aussie camp. If successful, this stratagem would result in the application of Acacia to by far the largest (though predominantly Australian) bloc of spp., thereby minimizing the name changes that would have to be made, but removing this familiar name from the roster of indigenous New World taxa. Under this scenario, the genus based on the former Acacia subg. Acacia would have to be called Vachellia Wight & Arn. Pending consideration of the conservation proposal, the authors suggest that no new combinations should be made using any of these generic names.

The three remaining segregate genera result from the resolution of the former Acacia subg. Aculeiferum Vassal into three separate lineages. Vastly the largest of these, with ca. 203 spp., is subg. Aculeiferum s. str., which at generic rank would be known as Senegalia Raf. The ca. 115 New World spp. in this group [including Acacia hayesii Kunth, A. riparia Kunth and A. tenuifolia (L.) Willd. in Costa Rica] are often scandent. The two, much smaller, clades that have emerged as evolutionarily distinct from subg. Aculeiferum are the former sect. Filicinae (Benth.) Pedley and the so-called “Acacia coulteri group,“ with 15 and 13 spp., respectively, all essentially spineless trees or shrubs restricted to the New World. The former entity, for which the generic name Acaciella Britton & Rose is available, is represented by Acacia angustissima (Mill.) Kuntze and A. villosa (Sw.) Willd. in Costa Rica, the latter (presently undescribed) only by A. centralis (Britton & Rose) Lundell [see The Cutting Edge 8(2): 9, Apr. 2001].

Features schematic cladograms, plus distribution maps and brief characterizations of the five proposed segregate genera.

Morales, J. F. 2002. Una nueva especie de Cupania Sw. (Sapindaceae) para Costa Rica. Polibotánica 14: 51-55.

Cupania grandiflora J. F. Morales is endemic to Costa Rica, where it occurs at elevations of 1300-2500 m on the Atlantic slope (and near the Continental Divide) of the Cordilleras de Tilarán and Central. The new sp. is considered closest to C. cubensis M. Gómez & Molinet (here called C. macrophylla A. Rich.) and C. largifolia Radlk., but differs from both in having longitudinally grooved stems, usually larger leaflets, and larger, conspicuously stipitate fruits. A key is provided to the nine Cupania spp. now known from Costa Rica (including one that is still undescribed). Illustrated.

Muasya, A. M., D. A. Simpson & M. W. Chase. 2001. Generic relationships and character evolution in Cyperus s. l. (Cyperaceae). Syst. Geogr. Pl. 71: 539-544.

Cladistic analysis of a combined data matrix composed of both morphological and DNA sequence data suggests that the tribe Cypereae “forms a strongly supported clade,“ but that Cyperus s. str. is paraphyletic. This result “lends support to a broad classification of Cyperus“ that would incorporate all the embedded genera, including Ascolepis, Kyllinga, Lipocarpha, Oxycaryum, Pycreus, and Remirea (to name only those occurring in southern Central America), although the authors admit that sinking some of these genera (particularly Ascolepis and Lipocarpha) would be “highly contentious.“ Tribe Cypereae resolves into two principal clades, one characterized by “eucyperoid“ anatomy (associated with C3 photosynthesis), the other by “chlorocyperoid“ anatomy (associated with C4 photosynthesis). In a general way, this study corroborates other contributions from the same lab [see The Cutting Edge 6(1): 9, Jan. 1999; 9(2): 7, Apr. 2002].

Obando, Y. 2002. Descubriendo la biodiversidad del Pacífico Central. Museo 10(4): 5.

A brief summary of the results, to date, of a joint effort (involving CR and INB) to characterize the vegetation of the Área de Conservación del Pacífico Central (ACOPAC), an area of ca. 550,000 ha. This project [see The Cutting Edge 5(4): 1, Oct. 1998; 8(2): 1, Apr. 2001], initiated in 1995, has documented the presence of 5161 spp. of plants, representing 260 families and 1593 genera; 31 spp. are believed endemic to ACOPAC. The premontane forests (500-1200 m) are richest in spp., and receive the highest priority for protection. This bulletin can now be accessed via the Museo's web site, as follows:


Ormerod, P. 2002. Taxonomic changes in Goodyerinae (Orchidaceae: Orchidoideae). Lindleyana 17: 189-238.

Most of these changes affect Old World members of subtribe Goodyerinae, however the resurrection of the New World Microchilus (with ca. 45 spp.) from “the Old World genus“ Erythrodes concerns us. The two taxa are distinguished (allegedly unequivocally) by technical characters of the column and pollinia. Thirty-four new combinations are here validated, together with one nomen novum and one new sp. name (cleverly, the new sp. name preempts a potential new combination, permitting the nomen novum). Preexisting names in Microchilus are also listed, and synonymy is indicated throughout, with bibliographic details and (for accepted names) typology. New combinations for spp. occurring in Costa Rica are: Microchilus calophyllus (Rchb. f.) Ormerod; M. epiphyticus (Dressler) Ormerod; M. killipii (Ames) Ormerod; M. lunifer (Schltr.) Ormerod [as “luniferus,“ but that is wrong]; M. tridax (Rchb. f.) Ormerod; and M. vesicifer (Rchb. f.) Ormerod. Even granting the distinctness of Erythrodes s. str. and Microchilus, we wonder why these couldn't just as well be recognized at subgeneric rank. The Manual circumscription of Erythrodes is even more inclusive, encompassing Aspidogyne, Kreodanthus, Ligeophila, and Platythelys, all implicitly accepted as distinct genera a priori by Ormerod (fueling his rationalization that “New World Goodyerinae can often only be identified at the generic level after a dissection of the flowers“).

Ortiz Ortiz, F. 2002. Perfil de Don Alberto Brenes Mora. Brenesia 57-58: 19-24.

This issue of Brenesia includes two separate biographies of Brenes, though the occasion for this is unclear. This account dates from 1984, but is published here apparently to supplement the companion piece (see under Sánchez Porras, this column).

Pacheco, L. 2002. Trichomanes ribae (Hymenophyllaceae), a new filmy fern from Costa Rica and Panama. Amer. Fern J. 92: 294-295.

Trichomanes ribae L. Pach. is based on two specimens, the Panamanian holotype and a Costa Rican gathering made by the legendary Gerardo Herrera at ca. 800 m elevation during one of his excursions to the mystical Cerro Tigre, on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca. The new sp. is nearest to Trichomanes rupestre (Raddi) Bosch, from which it differs in its shorter leaves, apically flaring involucres, and epiphytic (rather than terrestrial or epilithic) habit. Illustrated with a composite line drawing.

Pasquet, R. S. 2002. (1567) Proposal to conserve Vigna nom. cons. (Leguminosae) against an additional name, Cadelium. Taxon 51: 819.

A well established generic name for a commercially significant group of plants is threatened by an earlier name that “has been virtually ignored.“ This is about as rote as it gets.

Peñailillo, P. 2002. El género Jarava Ruiz et Pav. (Stipeae-Poaceae): delimitación y nuevas combinaciones/The genus Jarava Ruiz et Pav. (Stipeae-Poaceae): delimitation and new combinations. Gayana, Bot. 59: 27-34.

Based mainly on morphological studies, Jarava-for most of its history a section or subgenus of Stipa-is here restored to generic rank. The “new“ genus, comprising all the South American spp. generally classed in Stipa, is characterized by non-plumose aristas, long hairs on the upper portion of the lemma, and the palea much shorter than the lemma. Jarava is reestablished with full synonymy, a formal description, and 42 new combinations (41 at sp. rank and one at varietal rank). No new combination is needed for Jarava ichu Ruiz & Pav. [AKA Stipa ichu (Ruiz & Pav.) Kunth], the generic type, and the only sp. in the group to reach Costa Rica.

Pennington, R. T. 2003. A monograph of Andira (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae). Syst. Bot. Monogr. 64: 1-143.

The 29 spp. of Andira accepted here are all neotropical (and heavily concentrated in eastern Brazil), with the exception of A. inermis (W. Wright) DC., represented in tropical West Africa by two of its three subspp. (one of which is endemic there). The only taxon occurring in Costa Rica is the most widespread one in the genus, Andira inermis subsp. inermis, which ranges throughout the Neotropics and extends (somehow) to West Africa. Five new spp. and one new subspp. are validated, none pertinent to us. Replete with all the standard features of this fine series, including synonymy, typology, and descriptions at all levels, keys to spp. (one emphasizing vegetative features, another flowers and fruits) and subspp., summaries of phenology and distribution for each sp., vernacular names, specimen citations, discussions, a section on “Doubtful and Excluded Names,“ plus indices to exsiccatae and scientific names. This information is supplemented by distribution maps, as well as composite line drawings of all the new spp. and selected others. The introductory part includes sections on taxonomic history, classification, morphology (with various photos and drawings), pollination biology, dispersal syndromes, chromosome numbers, hybridization, cladistics and character evolution, and biogeography. The radiation of Andira spp. in eastern Brazil is believed relatively recent (perhaps Pleistocene).

Rodríguez G., A. 2002. A new species of Faramea (Rubiaceae) from Costa Rica. Novon 12: 536-538.

Our man Popeye secures immortality in Kew's Authors of plant names with the publication of Faramea zamorensis Alex. Rodr., dedicated to INBio Botany head (and Manual co-PI) Nelson Zamora. The new sp., so far known only from the Boca Tapada region of the Llanura de San Carlos in the northern Atlantic lowlands, resembles F. permagnifolia Dwyer ex C. M. Taylor (among other spp.), but has much longer calyx lobes, differently shaped corollas, and ribbed (rather than terete) fruits. The unconventional spelling of the new sp. epithet (suggested by a misguided reviewer) occasioned a brief but intense flurry of e-mail correspondence at the loftiest echelons of the nomenclatural hierarchy. The issue was whether to invoke Art. 60.11 of the Code, which mandates corrected spelling for epithets embodying ‥the use of a termination...contrary to Rec. 60C.1.“ According to Rec. 60C.1, the correct substantival epithet in this case is zamorae (Alex's original choice), while the correct adjectival epithet is zamorana. Nonetheless, the experts concluded that the spelling zamorensis should stand uncorrected, because (as we understand it) the termination -ensis is not “contrary to Rec. 60C.1“ (which governs only substantival and adjectival epithets)-it is simply a different kind of termination altogether. That's good enough for us! The new sp. is characterized by a fine composite line drawing, as well as a tabular comparison with the three most similar congeners.

Rudall, P. J., R. M. Bateman, M. F. Fay & A. Eastman. 2002. Floral anatomy and systematics of Alliaceae with particular reference to Gilliesia, a presumed insect mimic with strongly zygomorphic flowers. Amer. J. Bot. 89: 1867-1883.

Solid styles and tenuicellate ovules are shown to be “highly consistent synapomorphies“ for Alliaceae, supporting the exclusion of Agapanthus (cultivated in Costa Rica). The last-mentioned genus has hollow styles and crassinucellate ovules, like Amaryllidaceae and most other related groups.

Ruiz-Boyer, A. & R. González-Ball. 2002. Colección tipo del Herbario Nacional de Costa Rica (CR). II. Fungi, Lichenes, Bryophyta y Pteridophyta. Brenesia 57-58: 113-134.

This list, current to the year 2000, totals 344 type specimens, including 283 of Pteridophyta (the only group of interest to us). Holotypes, isotypes, isosyntypes, isolectotypes, phototypes, and even paratypes are accounted for. Synonymy is indicated where necessary.

Sánchez Porras, R. 2002. Pionero de la biología en Costa Rica: Manuel Alberto Brenes Brenes. Brenesia 57-58: 7­-18.

This paper is one of two in the latest Brenesia (see under Ortiz Ortiz, this column) profiling the late oracle of Costa Rican botany better known to us as Alberto Manuel Brenes Mora (but also as Alberto Brenes Brenes). The confusion (or profusion) of names traces to the fact that Brenes was an “hijo natural“ (that is, he was born out of wedlock), as noted in the companion article. This paper is the more recent and more complete of the two, featuring a rarely seen photo of Brenes, as well as compilations of new spp. and country records collected by him (the former list being rather longer than the latter, due in part to the inclusion of many synonyms, especially in Piperaceae).

Schug, W. 2002. Mormodes flavida Klotzsch, eine seltene Art aus Costa Rica. Orchidee (Hamburg) 53: 584-585.

Some personal observations on this rare Costa Rican endemic, with color photos of living material. The author only knows it from a single site, at 600 m elevation in a seasonally dry portion of Prov. Alajuela; beyond that he does not specify, but these details would accord more or less with the Montes de Aguacate, a known locality for M. flavida. Flowering is said to occur in March (our records are from November and December). In German.

Stevens, P. F. 2002. A website for all angiosperm families-http://www.mobot.org/mobot/research/apweb/. Fl. Males. Bull. 13: 157-160.

A brief description of and guide to the author's web site, which presents hierarchically organized information characterizing all angiosperm families (as well as some infrafamilial groups and most orders). This is the place to go for authors (and editors) who may be toying with the notion of replacing dated taxonomic concepts with new ones based largely on molecular and cladistic analyses. Desperate to cobble together a description of Laxmanniaceae, or Lamiaceae sensu Cantino et al.? Start here. The system used is “very largely“ that of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group [see The Cutting Edge 6(1): 5, Jan. 1999], of which the author is a charter member. We especially like the common-sense views on nomenclatural stability (in this paper): “any tree can support many different classifications,“ but “if relationships do not change, the names should not“ (the latter remark being attributed to the late C. G. G. J. van Steenis). N.B.: we were unable to access the site using the URL as cited (without regard to case sensitivity) in the above title, and suggest the following variation:


Stevens, W. D. & O. M. Montiel. 2002. A new species of Gonolobus (Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae) from Mesoamerica. Novon 12: 551-554.

Gonolobus taylorianus W. D. Stevens & Montiel ranges from Guatemala to Costa Rica, where it is known from just two collections from the seasonally dry northwestern part of the country. The new sp. (treated as “Gonolobus sp. D“ in the Flora de Nicaragua) is most similar to Gonolobus niger (Cav.) R. Br. ex Schult. and G. roeanus L. O. Williams, neither of which occurs south of Guatemala. The epithet honors Jack Crawford Taylor, of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, an “influential patron of the arts and sciences“ [see The Cutting Edge 9(4): 1, Oct. 2002]. Illustrated with an excellent composite drawing.

Taylor, C. M. 2002. Rubiacearum americanarum magna hama pars IX. New species and a new combination in Hippotis and Pentagonia (Hippotideae) from Central and western South America. Novon 12: 555-562.

Five new spp. and one new combination are here validated, with one of each relevant to Costa Rica. The name Hippotis panamensis (Dwyer) C. M. Taylor (based on Duroia panamensis Dwyer) is applied to the spp. that we have heretofore called (following the Flora of Panama) H. albiflora H. Karst., a name properly restricted to a sp. of Colombia and Venezuela. A full description and representative specimen citations are provided. The new sp. Pentagonia monocaulis C. M. Taylor is based on material that has previously gone under the name P. donnell-smithii (Standl.) Standl. (e.g., at the Estación Biológica La Selva), from which it differs in its unbranched habit, densely strigillose (as opposed to glabrous) calyx limbs, and externally velutinous-tomentose, cream to yellow corollas (externally glabrous and white to pink in P. donnell-smithii). The new sp. is restricted to the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica and southeastern Nicaragua, at elevations of 0-900 m; the real P. donnell-smithii must also occur in Costa Rica (the type is from the Llanura de Santa Clara), but its distribution is not given here. A composite line drawing includes floral and fruit details of P. monocaulis. The big bucket tips, and having tipped, moves on...

--. 2002. Rubiacearum americanarum magna hama pars X. New species and a new subspecies of Faramea (Rubiaceae) from Central and South America. Novon 12: 563-570.

There are four new spp. and one new subsp., of which only the latter concerns us. The new subsp. embodies a change in status for the taxon we have known as Faramea sessifolia P. H. Allen, hereafter to be called F. tamberlikiana Müll. Arg. subsp. sessifolia (P. H. Allen) C. M. Taylor. The nominate subsp. (found in the Amazon basin and central and eastern Colombia) is similar in most reproductive features, but differs in its distinctly petiolate, basally acute to rounded or truncate leaves and calyx limbs ca. 0.2 mm long (vs. subsessile, larger, basally cordate and markedly amplexicaul leaves and calyx limbs 0.5-1.5 mm long in subsp. sessifolia). Though previously regarded as endemic to the Golfo Dulce region of Costa Rica, F. t. subsp. sessifolia is here vouchered as ranging southward to the Chocó region of Colombia.

--. 2002. Rubiacearum americanarum magna hama pars XI. A new species of Alseis (Calycophylleae) from Central America and notes on the morphology of this Neotropical genus. Novon 12: 571-574.

Alseis costaricensis C. M. Taylor is endemic to Tiquicia, where it occurs at ca. 50-700 m elevation on the northern Atlantic slope (Cordillera de Guanacaste and Llanura de San Carlos) and southern Pacific slope (south from Parque Nacional Carara). The new sp. was formerly called A. blackiana Hemsl. or (in Flora costaricensis) “Alseis sp. aff. A. hondurensis Standl.,“ but differs from the former in its branched, mostly terminal inflorescences, and from A. hondurensis in its flowers produced immediately before the leaves (rather than apparently after) and with shorter calyx lobes. The three spp. are also allopatric, with A. blackiana restricted to central Panama and northewestern Colombiana and A. hondurensis to southern Mexico through Honduras. The genus Alseis is unusual in Rubiaceae by virtue of its typically deciduous habit and protogynous flowers that are produced just before or simultaneously with the new leaves. Illustrated with an excellent composite line drawing.

Werff, H. van der. 2002. A synopsis of Persea (Lauraceae) in Central America. Novon 12: 575-586.

In another very useful Flora mesoamericana precursor [see The Cutting Edge 9(4): 12, Oct. 2002], the author enumerates the 22 spp. of Persea to be accepted in that work, of which 15 are recorded from Costa Rica (including the mainly cultivated P. americana Mill.). These totals include three spp. here newly described, two of which occur in Costa Rica: Persea albiramea van der Werff, known from the Osa region and eastern Panama, and the endemic P. laevifolia van der Werff, collected just five times in the vicinity of Chilamate de Sarapiquí. The two aforementioned spp. are most similar to one another and share numerous unusual features, e.g., leaves clustered at the branch tips, with the lower surface glaucous, and small tepals (not exceeding 3 mm). These features are also shared with the Asian genus Alseodaphne, in which “these two species would very likely be included...had they been collected in tropical Asia.“ Nonetheless, “it would be very difficult to separate the new species from Persea,“ thus the author “prefer[s] to include them in Persea while realizing that a modern study might well radically change generic concepts in Persea s. l.“ Persea laevifolia is still incompletely known, lacking flowers as well as mature fruits (some floral details were appreciable from basal remnants on young fruits). Of the remaining Mesoamerican Persea spp., just two (P. brenesii Standl. and P. silvatica van der Werff) qualify as Costa Rican endemics. Apart from the two new spp., changes from the 1990 Flora costaricensis Lauraceae treatment (W. Burger & H. van der Werff, Fieldiana, Bot. n. s., 23: 1-138) are as follows: Persea americana Mill. var. nubigena (L. O. Williams) L. E. Kopp is no longer recognized; the otherwise South American P. pseudofasciculata L. E. Kopp is added to the Costa Rican flora on the basis of a single collection [see The Cutting Edge 3(4): 4, Oct. 1996]; and Costa Rican material previously identified as P. vesticula Standl. & Steyerm. is now accommodated in P. obtusifolia L. E. Kopp (resulting in the net loss of a sp. from the flora). Features a brief generic description, characterization (both narrative and tabular) of four Mesoamerican sp.-groups, and a dichotomous (but non-indented) key to all the spp. in the region. The three new spp. are depicted by black-and-white photos of their holotypes.


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