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Volume XI, Number 2, April 2004
News and Notes | Recent Treatments | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature | Season's Pick | Annotate your copy
PLANTAS VASCULARES. This is indeed an embarrassment! In response to our
invitation to report any subtantive errors in published Manual volumes (see
this column, last issue), Manual contributor and colleague Jorge
Gómez-Laurito (USJ) has called our attention to a major translation
error in (horror of horrors) the first couplet of the very first key (to
"grupos mayores de plantas vasculares"), in Vol. 2: 1-2. Here,
pteridophytes are distinguished from spermatophytes as "Plantas que se
disimulan por medio de esporas unicelulares" (as opposed to
"Plantas que disimulan por medio de semillas multicelulares").
The original English text employed the verb "disseminate" and, as
Jorge points out, "diseminar" is its appropriate Spanish
counterpart. We dimly recall having balked at these words as being
etymologically related to "semilla," on the grounds that
pteridophytes do not have seeds. Nonetheless, Jorge notes that Font
Quer’s Diccionario de botánica (1953), our acknowledged arbiter
on such matters, does in fact permit the usage of "diseminar" for
spores and various other propagules. How we ended up with
"disimular" is another matter; it is not merely a poor
alternative, but the wrong word altogether, equivalent to the English
"to dissemble." We cringe at the prospects for Jorge’s continued
investigations and predict that, in time, the Manual will ultimately be
revealed as 100% erroneous down to the last period and comma, while spawning
a cottage industry of minor publications dedicated to the endeavor. Meanwhile,
we forge ahead mindlessly, and in a weak attempt to save face, declare
(through our authority as editors) that henceforth we will not report any
purely grammatical errors unless of taxonomic or nomenclatural consequence.
ARECACEAE. According to Manual policy, the voucher (Grayum et al.
4476) cited for Bactris militaris H. E. Moore ought to correspond
to the autonymic subsp.; instead, it represents B. m. subsp.
neomilitaris (de Nevers & Andrew Hend.) Grayum. This is another one
of those errors resulting from a last-minute change of heart, in this case,
the decision to resurrect the name Bactris militaris de Nevers &
Andrew Hend. from abject synonymy and accept it for a taxon of infraspecific
rank; in implementing this revision, we neglected to rectify the voucher
situation. As a suitable voucher for B. m. subsp. militaris
(much rarer, and restricted to the Pacific slope), Aguilar 4222 (INB)
will serve quite nicely.
CYPERACEAE. As if their names were not already confusing enough, we
somehow contrived to cite the same voucher (Herrera 3572) for both
Bulbostylis junciformis (Kunth) C. B. Clarke and B. juncoides
(Vahl) Kük. ex Osten. This specimen is properly associated with the
latter sp. For Bulbostylis junciformis, an appropriate replacement
is Marlon Valerio 55 (CR).
ERRATUM: In our last issue, under "Leaps and Bounds," we
stated that the application of the name Alloplectus weirii (Kuntze)
Wiehler (Gesneriaceae) to Costa Rican material was decided (by INB curator
Ricardo Kriebel) "with the assistance of Alloplectus
specialist John R. Clark (SEL)." Clark’s middle initial and
institutional affiliation were supplied by the editors, from the by-line of
a paper reviewed under "Germane Literature" in the same issue.
It turns out that, by a truly preposterous coincidence, there are apparently
two John Clark’s that are associated in some way with Gesneriaceae
and/or the late Hans Wiehler. And it naturally follows that we got the
wrong one! According to Ricardo, his Alloplectus work involved
consultation with John L. Clark (US). Our apologies once again.