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The Cutting Edge
Volume XII, Number 2, April 2005
News and Notes | Recent Treatments |
Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature |
Albach, D. C., H. M. Meudt & B. Oxelman. 2005. Piecing together the “new” Plantaginaceae.
Amer. J. Bot. 92: 297-315.
As most of our readers will now be aware, the “new” Plantaginaceae harbors the lion’s share
of the “old” Scrophulariaceae, at least where genera occurring in Costa Rica are concerned [see, e.g.,
The Cutting Edge 8(2): 12–13, April
2001], with the addition of Plantago and Callitriche. Excluded from this alliance, on the
basis of previous studies, are Alonsoa and Buddleja (to the “new” Scrophulariaceae),
Calceolaria (to Calceolariaceae), Hemichaena, Leucocarpus, and Mazus (to
Phrymaceae), and hemiparasitic genera such as Buchnera, Castilleja, and Lamourouxia
(to Orobanchaceae). Focusing on what remains, this investigation involves 47 putative members of the
“new” Plantaginaceae (representing 45 genera) and four DNA regions. The most significant conclusion
is that tribe Lindernieae is “well removed” from Plantaginaceae, and is not related to tribe
Gratioleae (here retained in Plantaginaceae), as has been generally supposed (see also under Rahmanzadeh et al.,
this column). Tribe Lindernieae is represented in Costa Rica by Lindernia, Torenia, and perhaps
Micranthemum, here shown (for the first time) to have a sister-group relationship to the aforementioned
genera. As presently cirscumscribed, Plantaginaceae (for which support is “unambiguous”) comprises
ca. 92 genera and 2000 spp. An informal but detailed description of the family is provided, but no classificatory
adjustments are ventured.
Bao, Y. & S. Ge. 2004. Origin and phylogeny of Oryza species with the CD genome based on
multiple-gene sequence data. Pl. Syst. Evol. 249: 55-66.
Oryza alta Swallen, O. grandiglumis (Döll) Prodoehl, and O. latifolia Desv.
comprise the so-called “CD-genome” group of Oryza (Poaceae), endemic to the Neotropics.
These data show that O. alta and O. grandiglumis (either or both arguably present in Costa
Rica) “are very closely related genetically” to one another, but more distantly so to O.
latifolia. On this basis, the authors tentatively endorse the treatment of O. alta and O.
grandiglumis as a single sp. (under the latter name), separate from O. latifolia.
Barfuss, M. H. J., R. Samuel, W. Till & T. F. Stuessy. 2005. Phylogenetic relationships in
subfamily Tillandsioideae (Bromeliaceae) based on DNA sequence data from seven plastid regions. Amer. J.
Bot. 92: 337-351.
A report on a preliminary version of this analysis was already summarized in these pages [see
The Cutting Edge 11(3) 5, Jul.
2004]; this constitutes the “final analysis” promised in the initial report, incorporating
one additional DNA region (for a total of seven). There are no significant new developments, although the
authors now seem to be leaning in the direction of returning Alcantarea and Werauhia to
Vriesea, along with miscellaneous spp. including Tillandsia insignis (Mez) L. B. Sm.
& Pittendr. and T. singularis Mez & Wercklé. If so, the authors’ validation
(in their initial report) of a new combination in Werauhia for the former spp. would indeed have
been premature, as we suspected. The authors unveil a four-tribe classification of subfam. Tillandsioideae
(with one tribe described as new); however, pending more extensive sampling, “a generic
classification…causing taxonomic and nomenclatural changes” is withheld.
Braem, G. J. & S. Ohlund. 2004. Una trampa lingüística—Phragmipedium
caudatum, Phrag. warszewiczianum, Phrag. humboldtii/A language trap—
Phragmipedium caudatum, Phrag. warszewiczianum, Prag. humboldtii.
Orquideológia 23: 137-152.
Busted! This marks the third time these authors have published the identical article [see
The Cutting Edge 12(1): 4–5, Jan.
2005]—or the fourth, if one considers that the entire text is reproduced here in two idioms.
-- , -- & R.-J. Quené. 2004. El verdadero Phragmipedium warszewiczianum. Una
clarificación del complejo de Phragmipedium caudatum (Phragmipedium sección
Phragmipedium)/The real Phragmipedium warszewiczianum. A clarification of the
Phragmipedium caudatum complex (Phragmipedium section Phragmipedium).
Orquideológia 23: 87-136.
-- , -- & -- . 2005. Will the real Phragmipedium warszewiczianum please stand up? A
clarification of the Phragmipedium caudatum complex (Phragmipedium section
Phragmipedium). Austral. Orchid Rev. 69(6): 4-15.
Want to get added mileage from your research? Simply divide your paper in half and publish each half
in at least three different journals (see previous entry)! This same article previously appeared in
Richardiana (see our last issue). Evidently horticulturists live by a different set of rules.
One mystery: why has the third author’s surname, spelled “Quéné” in the
Richardiana paper, suddenly morphed into “Quené” in the two latest versions?
Bridson, G. D. R. (compiler). 2004. BPH-2 . 2 vols. Hunt Inst. Bot. Doc., Pittsburgh,
PA. 1470 pp.
“Constituting a second edition of Botanico-Periodicum-Huntianum,” as according to its subtitle,
this updates and corrects one of the cornerstone reference works of taxonomic botany. Unlike B-P-H/S
(1991), BPH-2 is entirely self-contained, requiring no consultation of the original B-P-H
(1968). Of course, journals too recent to have been included in B-P-H/S are accounted for here (e.g.,
Lankesteriana), but there are also some changes (thankfully, relatively few!) to earlier
“standard” abbreviations (the complicated Field Museum series are notably affected). For the
purposes of future Manual volumes, as well as this newsletter, BPH-2 immediately supersedes
B-P-H and B-P-H/S.
Cristóbal, C. L. 2004. Una novedad en Byttneria (Sterculiaceae). Lankesteriana 4:
In our inaugural issue, we reported the discovery on the Península de Osa of Byttneria
pescapriifolia Britton, a sp. previously known only from the Amazon basin [see
The Cutting Edge 1(1): 10, Jan. 1994]. Turns out it was something different after all, but even more
significant: another endemic sp. for the Golfo Dulce region, here described as Byttneria
osaënsis Cristóbal. Our new sp. differs from the real B. pescapriifolia
(which is indeed restricted to Amazonia) in several aspects, most notably its much larger (about twice
as large) fruits. The two spp. are distinguished in a small key, together with two other related spp.
in Byttneria sect. Vahihara Arènes, one of which (B. catalpifolia Jacq.)
also occurs in Costa Rica. Both Byttneria osaënsis and B. pescapriifolia are
depicted in composite line drawings of high quality.
Daniel, T. F. 2005. Catalog of Honduran Acanthaceae with taxonomic and phytogeographic notes.
Contr. Univ. Michigan Herb. 24: 51–108.
Most noteworthy for us is the validation of the combination Stenostephanus sessilifolius
(Oerst.) T. F. Daniel, applicable to the sp. most recently known as Hansteinia sessilifolia
(Oerst.) Durkee in Costa Rica. Also worth mentioning is the author’s provisional acceptance of the
name Justicia ramosa (Oerst.) V. A. W. Graham for Mesoamerican material that has generally been
called J. sessilis Jacq. Finally, we are intrigued by the mention of the rejected name
Ruellia campestris (Oerst.) Hemsl., “based on a fragmentary collection from Costa Rica
[Parque Nacional Santa Rosa!] and not treated by Durkee (1986)” [i.e., in the latter’s
Flora costaricensis account of Acanthaceae].
Ehlers, R. 2004. Tillandsia ×van-den-bergii Ehlers & Hase hybr.
nov. Bromelie 2004: 75-77.
The new entity referenced in the title is surmised to represent a (natural) hybrid between
Tillandsia incurva Griseb. and T. variabilis Schltdl. The type collection hails
from ca. 1100 m elevation near Piedades (de Santa Ana), in the Valle Central west of San José
(within the range of both putative parents). Tillandsia incurva is treated as Vriesea
incurva (Griseb.) Read in Francisco Morales’s Manual account of Bromeliaceae,
from which perspective this would qualify as an intergeneric hybrid. Illustrated with color photos of a
Entwisle, T. J. & P. H. Weston. 2005. Majority rules, when systematists disagree. Austral.
Syst. Bot. 18: 1-6.
This paper communicates a set of guidelines developed by Australian botanists for deciding between
competing taxonomies. Most of these are fairly obvious, e.g., taxa should be monophyletic and taxonomic
change should be minimized (in addition to the view expressed in the title). Somewhat more abstruse is
the plea to avoid epithets already in use in closely related genera (i.e., that might be merged). The
rejected guidelines are more interesting than the accepted ones: ease of recognition of taxa, taxon size,
and biological criteria (e.g., hybridization) are all deemed “inappropriate,” and although we
might have been inclined to disagree with at least the first of these, we believe we have seen the light.
This paper is part of a special issue of Australian Systematic Botany entitled Generic
concepts and modern taxonomy (see also under Pfeil & Crisp, this column].
Evrard, C. & C. Van Hove. 2004. Taxonomy of the American Azolla species
(Azollaceae): a critical review. Syst. & Geogr. Pl. 74: 301-318.
The New World spp. of Azolla, a pantropical and -subtropical genus of diminutive,
floating-aquatic ferns generally classed in Salviniaceae, were last completely been revised by
Svenson in 1944. That work recognized four spp. in the region, Azolla caroliniana Willd.,
A. filiculoides Lam., A. mexicana C. Presl, and A. microphylla Kaulf.,
all of which were accepted in Robbin Moran’s (1995) Flora mesoamericana
account (albeit with considerable skepticism). The last-mentioned work attributed both A.
mexicana and A. microphylla to Costa Rica. This careful and highly analytical study,
involving critical type material, makes liberal use of data gleaned via electron microscopy. However,
while professing to champion the interests of field scientists, it is based exclusively on literature,
cultivated specimens, and exsiccatae (in any case, Azolla is not a taxon that is easily
comprehended in the field). The authors reject Svenson’s taxonomy (rather contentiously) in favor
of one proposed by Mettenius in 1867, concluding that only two spp. occur naturally in the New World.
These must be called Azolla cristata Kaulf. (with A. mexicana as a synonym) and
A. filiculoides Lam. (with A. caroliniana and A. microphylla as synonyms).
The situation is much confused by the fact that the names A. caroliniana and A.
microphylla have long been applied contrary to their types (i.e., to the sp. here called A.
cristata) by most authors, including Mettenius. The taxonomic treatment includes full, annotated
synonymy and typology for both spp., but only brief lists of “diagnostic characters” (in
lieu of a key and sp. descriptions) and selected specimen citations. No Costa Rican specimens are cited
under either sp.; however, A. filiculoides appears restricted to the United States and the
subtropical portions of South America, so we’re guessing that A. cristata (with specimens
cited from as nearby as Honduras and Ecuador) must be our guy. The familial disposition of Azolla
is not discussed. There are no illustrations.
Gale, S. W. & T. D. Pennington. 2004. Lysiloma (Leguminosae:
Mimosoideae) in Mesoamerica. Kew Bull. 59: 453-467.
Lysiloma, with four spp. in Mesoamerica, is distinguished by its unique fruit dehiscence,
termed “craspedial,” in which the valves separate “as a complete unit from the intact
sutural frame or replum, which often persists on the parent branch.” We are surprised to learn
that only two spp., L. auritum (Schltdl.) Benth. and L. divaricatum (Jacq.) J. F.
Macbr., reach Costa Rica (both in the Guanacaste region), as various other names [especially L.
acapulcense (Kunth) Benth.] have been tossed around. Features a genus description, separate sp.
keys for flowering and fruiting material, full synonymy and typology, detailed sp. descriptions,
vernacular names, distribution summaries, representative specimen citations, notes (mainly dealing
with identification), distribution maps, and superb composite line drawings of each sp. There are no
indices. For some reason unclear to us, the authors did not or could not borrow material from MO;
furthermore, despite collaboration with “partners in Costa Rica” (nowhere explicitly
acknowledged), no specimens are cited from any Costa Rican herbaria. Thus, this work is of limited
immediate utility for us (e.g., no Costa Rican specimens of L. auritum are actually cited,
and just two of L. divaricatum), although the keys look very straightforward and easy to use.
One other incidental observation: as far as we can determine, the terminal element of Lysiloma
is derived from one of those Greek words which, though ending in “a,” is neuter (like
-phragma, -soma, -stemma, etc.); despite this, all the sp. epithets in this
paper are feminine—except for acapulcense!
Goldblatt, P., J. Manning & G. Dunlop. 2004. Crocosmia and Chasmanthe. Timber
Press, Portland, OR. 219 pp.
Lavishly illustrated with 15 mostly color composite paintings by Auriol Batten, this
horticultural monograph of two oligotypic, African genera of Iridaceae is one of those rare works that is
at once taxonomically authoritative and appealing to a general audience. The taxonomic part features full
synonymy and typology at all levels, generous genus and sp. descriptions, keys to spp. for each genus, and
extensive discussions. In the case of the hybrid Crocosmia ×crocosmiiflora (Lemoine)
N. E. Br., naturalized in the mountains of Costa Rica, special attention is directed to the authorship of
the name (correct as given above), and a neotype is designated. Supplementary chapters address early exploration
and discovery, morphology, ecology, cultivation, and cultivars. A glossary is provided in the back.
González Arce, L. & L. Póveda Álvarez. 2004. Hoffmannia stephaniae
(Rubiaceae), una nueva especie de Costa Rica. Lankesteriana 4: 183-185.
Hoffmannia stephaniae L. A. González & Poveda is uniquely distinguished within this
large (ca. 150 spp.) genus by its completely glabrous foliage and linear (0.5–1.5 cm wide), subsessile
leaves. The new sp. is known only from the type collection, gathered at ca. 1000 m elevation in Parque
Nacional La Cangreja, on the central Pacific slope of Costa Rica in the Puriscal region. The epithet honors
the first author’s daughter, Stephanía González Murillo. Illustrated
with a composite line drawing by Claudia Aragón (INB).
Hágsater, E. 2004. The genus Epidendrum. Part 4. A fourth century of new species
in Epidendrum. Icon. Orchid. 7: pl. 701-800.
Anyone who believes that we are close to fathoming the full extent of vascular plant diversity in the
Neotropics should ponder this fact: since 1993, Manual Epidendrum (and Oerstedella)
contributor Eric Hágsater (AMO) and colleagues have described 400 new spp., in a
single, exclusively neotropical orchid genus, in this series alone. And the engine is still humming! Most
of the 100 new Epidendrum spp. featured in this installment are Andean, but Costa Rica can claim
two, both endemic. Epidendrum muricatisepalum Hágsater is known by just two specimens,
from 2050–2600 m elevation in the Cordilleras Central (Volcán Barva) and de Talamanca
(Estación Cuericí). Best recognized by the “densely muricate-strigous ovary and dorsal
surface of the sepals,” it is compared with E. myodes Rchb. f. and E. pergameneum
Rchb. f.; all these spp. belong to a complex that had previously passed in Costa Rica under the misapplied
name Epidendrum polyanthum Lindl. (which, in the sense of its type, is absent from the country).
The other new Costa Rican endemic is Epidendrum synchronum Hágsater, known only by the
author’s type collection from the classic La Palma locality, at ca. 1450 m elevation in the divide
between Volcán Barva and Volcán Irazú. The epithet alludes to the successive
production of flowers (with up to five open simultaneously), in contrast to the otherwise similar
Epidendrum allochronum Hágsater (which produces just one flower at a time). Other
similar spp. occurring in Costa Rica are Epidendrum palmense Ames and E. summerhayesii
Hágsater. The format and presentation of this offering are identical to previous installments [as
described, e.g., in The Cutting
Edge 7(2): 8, Apr. 2000].
Harmon, P. 2004. Árboles del Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio /Costa
Rica/Trees of Manuel Antonio National Park. Edit. INBio, Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa
Rica. 400 pp.
The appearance of this volume on the new acquisitions shelves of the MO library reminds us that we
never got around to reviewing it for the Edge (even though we managed to cite it in Vol. I of the
Manual). Patrick Harmon is a former United States Peace Corps volunteer who had the
good fortune to be stationed at Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, on the Pacific coast near Puerto Quepos.
Clearly he made excellent use of his time, acquiring an intimate and unparalleled knowledge of the local
forests and their woody flora that is preserved in this, his magnum opus. In the main section of this
guide, information on 141 of “the most common and/or important” tree spp. in the park is
presented in a format that provides, for each spp., paragraphs summarizing morphological details, natural
history, uses, and distribution, together with several pencil drawings of critical features. For some
reason (that is nowhere explained), the spp. are broken into two blocs: the main one, accounting for ca.
60% of the total, and a supplementary section (“Annex 1”) headed “Additional
species.” Not all of the “additional species” are trees or even shrubs (e.g.,
Aristolochia gigantea Mart. & Zucc.), and at least one (Pseudima costaricense
L. O. Williams & P. H. Allen) is featured in both blocs. The two blocs of sp. descriptions are
independently ordered alphabetically, according to Latin binomials, and interrupted by a section of
color photos of living plants (or at least fresh material) of selected spp. (including a few not
represented in the text). Because the author worked in close association with INBio botanists, his
nomenclature and taxonomy are relatively current and authoritative; we did, however, note one glaring
misidentification: the palm that is called Astrocaryum confertum H. Wendl. ex Burret
is actually A. standleyanum L. H. Bailey.
The introductory portion of this volume, also illustrated with color photos, addresses local climate,
geography, and history, ecological importance, vegetation types (“ecosystems”), structural
and behavioral adaptations of plants, growth cycles and phenology (“graphics”), and the
organization of the text. A color-coded table groups the spp. treated according to conspicuous
morphological, habital, and ecological attributes. At the end are found a glossary, a combined index
to common and scientific names, and a “Plant species list” for the park (Annex 2) that
includes little beyond the woody spp. already featured (what, no Asteraceae, Cyperaceae, or Poaceae?).
Although no woody plants are known to be endemic to Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, a few may be
effectively so, in that they have essentially been eliminated from other parts of their range;
Cynometra hemitomophylla (Donn. Sm.) Rose (Fabaceae/Caesalpinioideae) and Pseudima
costaricense (Sapindaceae) are two such examples, the latter known from a single population along
a creek in the park. The author’s collections have revealed at least two spp. new to science,
viz., Buchenavia costaricensis Stace (Combretaceae) and Krugiodendron acuminatum Gonz.
Ram. & Poveda (Rhamnaceae), both since found to range more widely. This fully bilingual
(Spanish/English) field guide should be purchased by anyone planning a trip to Parque Nacional Manuel
Antonio, one of the most heavily visited parks in Costa Rica.
Henderson, A. 2004. Hyospathe. Palms (1999+) 48: 161-166.
This is a popular condensation of the author’s recent [see
The Cutting Edge 11(3): 8, Jul.
2004] synoptic revision of Hyospathe (Arecaceae), touting his reliance on multivariate
statistical analysis interpreted according to the phylogenetic species concept. Features several fine
color photographs of living material.
--. 2005. A multivariate study of Calyptrogyne (Palmae). Syst. Bot. 30: 60-83.
Here palm maestro Andrew Henderson (NY) applies the techniques mentioned in the
preceding entry to Calyptrogyne, a smallish genus nearly restricted to the Mesoamerican
region. For whatever it may be worth, the new algorithm has converted the author, once somewhat of
a lumper, into an enthusiastic splitter. We think this is probably a good thing. The sp. total for
Calyptrogyne has now swelled from eight to 18, including 13 subspp.; eight spp. and seven
subspp. are described as new, and two new combinations (both at the subsp. level) are validated.
Costa Rica is relatively little affected by these innovations, as all but one of the new taxa are
restricted to other countries (mainly Panama). The one new taxon that does concern us is
Calyptrogyne osensis Andrew Hend., endemic to the southern Pacific lowlands of Costa Rica.
In co-PI Mike Grayum’s Manual treatment of Arecaceae, the entity here
distinguished as C. osensis was swept up in an inclusive concept of Calyptrogyne
ghiesbreghtiana (Linden & H. Wendl.) H. Wendl., together with the upland C.
brachystachys H. Wendl. ex Burret, also recognized as distinct by Henderson (and
another addition to the roster of Costa Rican endemic spp.). Henderson was able to separate these
spp. from C. ghiesbreghtiana on the basis of a character that we overlooked (and have yet
to evaluate): the nature of the proximal lip of the floral pits (“collapsing into pit after
anthesis” in C. ghiesbreghtiana, “remaining erect” in C.
brachystachys and C. osensis). In any event, Costa Rica now boasts six
Calyptrogyne spp., rather than the four treated in the Manual. Moreover, the resolution
of C. ghiesbreghtiana into four subspp. mandates the use of the name C.
ghiesbreghtiana subsp. glauca (Oerst.) Andrew Hend. (comb. nov.) for all material
from Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Features full synonymy and typology at all ranks, a lengthy genus
description, dichotomous and indented keys to spp. and subspp., detailed sp. and (less detailed)
subsp. descriptions, summaries of distribution and phenology, and representative specimen citations
(even for new taxa!), but no discussions or illustrations in the formal taxonomic treatment. The
introductory pages do contain a single, composite line drawing, together with a “phenogram”
and numerous distribution maps and “scatterplots.” The maps and account of the results
address “character groups,” effectively (as far as we can tell) the a priori designation
One minor quibble: we question the authority designation “L. Linden” (rather than simply
“Linden”) for Geonoma ghiesbreghtiana, and combinations based thereon. While the
original publication provides no indication of which Linden was involved, Lucien would have been just
five years old at the time, according to the information available to us, while dad Jean Jules was a
Kappelle, M. & A. M. Cleef. 2004. Adelaida Chaverri-Polini. May 21, 1947-September 20,
2003. Revista Biol. Trop. 52: XIII-XVI.
More on the late Costa Rican phytosociologist, earlier eulogized by the same authors [in reverse
order; see The Cutting Edge 11(3):
7, Jul. 2004]. Or perhaps it is a republication of the identical paper; we have not checked.
Kellogg, E. A., K. M. Hiser & A. N. Doust. 2004. Taxonomy, phylogeny, and inflorescence
development of the genus Ixophorus (Panicoideae: Poaceae). Int. J. Pl. Sci. 165: 1089-1105.
This is the meat of the second author’s master’s thesis, which was utilized for and duly
cited in the Manual. Analysis of DNA sequence data for the gene ndhF confirms the membership of
Ixophorus in the so-called “bristle grass” clade (including also Cenchrus,
Paspalidium, Pennisetum, Setaria, and Stenotaphrum), as has generally
(though not universally) been supposed. The authors consider their data insufficient for an exact
resolution of the position of Ixophorus within this clade (although their cladogram depicts it
as nested within one clade of a diphyletic Setaria). A morphometric analysis of 40 specimens
results in the recognition of a single sp., Ixophorus unisetus (J. Presl) Schltdl., indicated as
ranging naturally from central Mexico to Costa Rica (but widely cultivated and escaping elsewhere). The
formal taxonomic treatment includes full synonymy and typology, a combined genus/sp. description, a
distribution map and summary of distribution and phenology, and a section on excluded names.
Kirkbride, J. H., Jr. & J. H. Wiersema. 2005. (1681) Proposal to conserve the name
Centrosema pubescens (Fabaceae) with a conserved type. Taxon 54: 209-210.
Okay, so what is going on here? Apparently (as we are just now learning), the widespread, often
cultivated sp. that we have all long known as Centrosema pubescens Benth. (Fabaceae/Faboideae)
was recently resolved into two distinct spp., in a paper by Paul R. Fantz (NCSC) that
was overlooked by us (Sida 17: 321–332. 1996); moreover, as always seems to be the case,
the name C. pubescens properly applies to the more obscure entity, an upland taxon endemic to
the Mesoamerican region that is seldom cultivated. The correct name for the ubiquitous lowland sp. is
Centrosema molle Mart. ex Benth. To date, the only major floristic work to have
employed these two names sensu Fantz is Flora de Nicaragua (we were wondering what in blazes
C. molle was!). The intent of the present paper is revealed by its title; if this proposal
succeeds, then Centrosema pubescens would apply to the better-known lowland sp., while the
correct name for the upland taxon would become Centrosema schiedeanum (Schltdl.) R. J. Williams
& R. J. Clem. We are completely in the dark as to how, or even if, these machinations will impact
Costa Rican floristics. To judge from the distribution summaries in Flora de Nicaragua, both
spp. involved almost certainly occur in Costa Rica, even though we have failed to distinguish them. Yet
we find just one post-1996 determination of a Costa Rican specimen in this group by Fantz (as C.
Koopman, M. M. & T. J. Ayers. 2005. Nectar spur evolution in the Mexican lobelias
(Campanulaceae: Lobelioideae). Amer. J. Bot. 92: 558-562.
Combined sequence analyses of both nuclear and chloroplast DNA regions from 14 Mexican spp. of
Lobelia and related genera have consequences for two spp., of rare occurrence in Costa Rica,
that have often been referred to the geus Heterotoma. The latter genus has most recently been
conceived as monospecific, including only H. lobelioides Zucc.; numerous spp. that had
previously been included in Heterotoma were shunted to a new genus, Calcaratolobelia,
in a 1997 paper (Sida 17: 555–564) by Manual contributor Robert L. Wilbur (DUKE)
that was evidently overlooked for this column. The results of the present study portray
Calcaratolobelia as paraphyletic, in excluding the nested H. lobelioides, so the
authors conclude that it should not be recognized. Heterotoma in its original, broader sense
is monophyletic after all, but renders Lobelia paraphyletic and thus could only be salvaged in
a scenario involving “the total dismantling of Lobelia,” with the latter name
restricted to the type section. Therefore, the authors opt to return Heterotoma to
Lobelia, together with Calcaratolobelia. This action necessitates a new combination,
Lobelia lobelioides (Zucc.) Koopman & T. J. Ayers (here validated), for one of the two
former Heterotoma spp. occurring in Costa Rica. The other, H. cordifolia (Hook. &
Arn.) McVaugh [lately Calcaratolobelia cordifolia (Hook. & Arn.) Wilbur], simply reverts to
its basionym, Lobelia cordifolia Hook. & Arn. So we shed a cumbersome binomial, but gain a
quasi-tautonym. Implicit in these analyses is the notion that complex nectar spurs have evolved just one
time in Campanulaceae, and thus have significant taxonomic value.
Krapovickas, A. & P. A. Fryxell. 2004. Las especies sudamericanas de Hibiscus secc.
Furcaria DC. (Malvaceae-Hibisceae). Bonplandia (Corrientes) 13: 35-115.
Despite its title, this revision does cite specimens from outside South America. But although several
native and cultivated spp. of the group occur in Costa Rica, only Hibiscus furcellatus Lam. is
vouchered from there.
Kress, W. J., A.-Z. Liu, M. Newman & Q.-J. Li. 2005. The molecular phylogeny of
Alpinia (Zingiberaceae): a complex and polyphyletic genus of gingers. Amer. J. Bot. 92:
Alpinia, a large (ca. 230 spp.) and familiar Asian genus of considerable economic importance,
is highly polyphyletic, according to these DNA sequence analyses involving nearly 100 spp. and two separate
genes. Six major clades were identified, most of which were more closely related to other genera in tribe
Alpinieae than to one another. Because the relationships among these clades are not yet clearly resolved,
the authors refrain from proposing a new classification. However, they do suggest that the name
Alpinia may eventually have to be restricted to the relatively small sp.-group harboring the
generic type, A. galanga (L.) Willd. This portends eventual name changes for the two
Alpinia spp. widely grown in Costa Rica, A. purpurata (Vieill.) K. Schum. and
A. zerumbet (Pers.) Burtt & R. M. Sm., which occur in different clades (from one another,
as well as from A. galanga). Both Renealmia (native in the Neotropics) and
Etlingera (cultivated in Costa Rica) “appear to be monophyletic,” but this is a
rather empty statement, as just two spp. of each genus were included in the study.
Kriebel, R. 2005. A new species of Columnea and range extension in the Gesneriaceae
from Costa Rica. Brittonia 57: 39-42.
Columnea lariensis Kriebel sp. nov. is known by just three collections from remote sites at
1300–1550 m elevation, in the basin of the Río Lari, on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera
de Talamanca in easternmost Costa Rica. The new sp. is most similar to Columnea canarina Wiehler,
of western Panama (La Fortuna region) and Colombia, from which it is carefully distinguished. Additionally,
Alloplectus weirii (Kuntze) Wiehler is reported from Costa Rica for the first time in a
self-respecting publication [but see
The Cutting Edge 11(1): 2, Jan. 2004]. Both spp. are illustrated in outstanding composite line drawings
by INBio/Manual artist Silvia Troyo.
-- & N. Zamora. 2004. Symplocos striata (Symplocaceae), una especie nueva de la
vertiente caribe de Costa Rica. Lankesteriana 4: 171-174.
At last we have a name for a well-known and conspicuous sp. at the Estación Biológica
La Selva that has gone without one since it was first collected over 30 years ago. Symplocos
striata Kriebel & N. Zamora, distinctive by virtue of its densely hirsute twigs, serrate leaf
margins, and white flowers, is compared with the rather similar S. povedae Almeda, a
pink-flowered sp. of higher elevations. Presently considered a Costa Rican endemic, S. striata
is also known from various locales on the Llanuras de San Carlos and de Tortuguero. Illustrated with a
fine composite line drawing by INBio’s Claudia Aragón.
Lammers, T. G. 2004. Revision of Lobelia sect. Homochilus (Campanulaceae:
Lobelioideae). Sida 21: 591-623.
Lobelia is a nearly cosmopolitan genus of more than 400 spp., which have traditionally been
divided among three subgenera. Lobelia sect. Homochilus A. DC., one of six sections
of subg. Tupa (G. Don) E. Wimm., comprises robust, perennial herbs or shrubs with racemose
inflorescences of relatively large fls. with a hemispheric hypanthium and mostly bilabiate, yellow to
red, pink, or purple corollas. This treatment recognizes six spp. in sect. Homochilus, ranging
from the southwestern United States to Peru, with two spp. divided into coordinate subspp. Just one of
the eight taxa involved is attributed to Costa Rica: Lobelia laxiflora Kunth subsp.
laxiflora, which ranges from Mexico to Pacific Colombia [with L. l. subsp.
angustifolia ( A. DC.) Eakes & Lammers filling in from southern Arizona to central Mexico].
Features extensive synonymy and typology, exhaustive descriptions at all levels, a combined key
(dichotomous and indented) to spp. and subspp., distribution and phenology summaries, compilations of
vernacular names and ethnobotanical uses, lengthy discussions, and representative specimen citations.
The introductory part addresses taxonomic history and the circumscription of the section and its spp.
and subspp. Just one taxonomic novelty is validated, which alone is illustrated.
Liede-Schumann, S., A. Rapini, D. J. Goyder & M. W. Chase. 2005. Phylogenetics of the
New World subtribes of Asclepiadaceae (Apocynaceae-Asclepiadoideae): Metastelmatinae, Oxypetalinae,
and Gonolobinae. Syst. Bot. 30: 184-195.
The results of this study are highly preliminary and the discussion is rambling, difficult to digest,
and full of speculation and tentative conclusions of a clearly ephemeral nature. In short, this appears
to be a snapshot of a work in progress, one that still has a long way to go. What can we extract that
may be relevant to Costa Rican floristics? Only that Blepharadon is not monophyletic, and that
its type, B. lineare (Decne.) Decne., is unrelated to the rest of the genus, including
B. mucronatum (Schltdl.) Decne. (the only Costa Rican member). Oh, and both Funastrum
and Tassadia are monophyletic (indeed, they are the only genera studied about which that can
Molina, A. M. & Z. E. Rúgolo de Agrasar. 2004. Revisión taxonómica
de las especies del género Chloris (Poaceae: Chloridoideae) en Sudamérica.
Candollea 59: 347-428.
We note in passing the authors’ reinstatement of the name Chloris inflata Link for the
sp. that was called C. barbata Sw. in the Manual. While we must admire their temerity in taking
on the likes of Gandhi and Kartesz, we are unable to follow their argument and will stick by our guns.
Morales, C. O. & N. Villalobos T. 2004. Tipos de plantas vasculares en el herbario de la
Universidad de Costa Rica (USJ). Lankesteriana 4: 187-208.
This is a very useful compendium of information on a smallish herbarium that is often overlooked, but
which nonetheless harbors much important material. Most of the 224 type specimens at USJ are isotypes or
paratypes, but there are also several holotypes, including a few that are uniquely represented here. Full
bibliographic and typological data are provided for each name, and all names are presented alphabetically
(within major groups) according to family, genus, and sp. Orchidaceae is the family with the most types
(103), in part reflecting the close association of USJ with the Jardín Botánico Lankester.
The new combination Echinosepala vittata (Pupulin & M. A. Blanco) C. O. Morales & N.
Villalobos, buried on p. 203, is based on Myoxanthus vittatus Pupulin & M. A. Blanco
(treated as Pleurothallis grammata Dressler in the Manual); the basionym was overlooked by
Pridgeon & Chase [see The Cutting Edge
9(4): 10, Oct. 2002], and later by Luer in transferring all the spp. of this group to Brenesia
[see The Cutting Edge 11(3):
10–11, Jul. 2004]. Two “lectotypes” are also here designated, for Myoxanthus
vittatus and Trichocentrum costaricense D. E. Mora & Pupulin; however, from the looks of
things, they are actually neotypes.
Motley, T. J., K. J. Wurdack & P. G. Delprete. 2005. Molecular systematics of the
Catesbaeeae-Chiococceae complex (Rubiaceae): flower and fruit evolution and biogeographic implications.
Amer. J. Bot. 92: 316-329.
This study, involving 61 in-group spp. and two DNA regions, is of only marginal interest to us. We are
mainly concerned about the status of Exostema, here portrayed as polyphyletic. Exostema
caribaeum (Jacq.) Roem. & Schult., the better-known of the two spp. occurring in Costa Rica, is the
generic type, hence probably safe; but the future is less certain for our other spp., E. mexicanum
A. Gray, which may occur in a different clade. Moreover, E. mexicanum has sometimes (as here) been
segregated in a different genus, Solenandra, which itself appears polyphyletic in these cladograms.
Neyland, R. & M. K. Hennigan. 2004. A cladistic analysis of Monotropa uniflora
(Ericaceae) inferred from large ribosomal subunit (26S) rRNA gene sequences. Castanea 69: 265-271.
The achlorophyllous, saprophytic herb Monotropa uniflora L., previously classed in
Monotropaceae, occurs disjunctly in three distinct regions: North America; the Mesoamerican region
into northwestern Colombia; and East and Central Asia. This study demonstrates high levels of molecular
divergence (hence phylogenetic distinctness) between North and Mesoamerican plants, and even higher
levels between New World and Asian plants. The suggestion is made that “some level of interspecific
or intraspecific taxonomic distinction eventually may be justified,” pending the customary
“more evidence.” It should be noted that the sample size for this study was rather unusually
small; while six North American accessions were sequenced, Mesoamerica and Asia were represented by just
one accession each (although the Mesoamerican plant was from Costa Rica!). N.B.: in the event of future
sp.-level recognition for the Mesoamerican plants, the oldest available name seems to be Monotropa
Paton, A. J., D. Springate, S. Suddee, D. Otieno, R. J. Grayer, M. M. Harley, F. Willis, M. S. J.
Simmonds, M. P. Powell & V. Savolainen. 2004. Phylogeny and evolution of basils and allies
(Ocimeae, Labiatae) based on three plastid DNA regions. Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 31: 277-299.
Tribe Ocimeae (Lamiaceae) is well supported as monophyletic, “with a morphological synapomorphy
of dorsifixed, synthecous anthers.” Some of its constituent genera are not so lucky. Ocimum
is polyphyletic, according to one of these analyses; however, O. campechianum Mill., the only sp.
occurring naturally in Costa Rica, was not studied. Plectranthus, as currently recognized (i.e.,
so as to include Coleus), is paraphyletic, with the type sp. of Coleus and many other spp.
formerly assigned to that genus occurring in a separate clade from numerous other spp. of
Plectranthus (including the generic type). Unfortunately, neither of these clades “can be
diagnosed by non-molecular synapomorphies” (known to the authors). Hyptis also appears
paraphyletic (with respect to Hypenia), but this result is considered inconclusive due to the
small sample size.
Pfeil, B. E. & M. D. Crisp. 2005. What do do with Hibiscus? A proposed nomenclatural
resolution for a large and well known genus of Malvaceae and comments on paraphyly. Austral. Syst. Bot. 18:
Hibiscus, a cosmopolitan genus of perhaps 300–350 spp., has been circumscribed in a variety
of different ways by Malvaceae specialists. The authors blame this on “a lack of characters to define
Hibiscus, whether broadly or narrowly conceived, as clearly distinct from other malvaceous
genera.” Citing previously published DNA sequence analyses [see, e.g.,
The Cutting Edge 9(3): 5, Jul. 2002],
they establish that Hibiscus is paraphyletic in including other traditionally recognized genera in
three different tribes. Befitting the nature of the volume in which their paper appears (see under Entwisle
& Weston, above), the authors provide, as a prelude to their “nomenclatural resolution,” a
lengthy philosophical discussion of “issues that impinge upon the classification of Hibiscus
in a general sense, including the genus concept, monophyletic and paraphyletic taxa, the use of characters
and phylogenies to define taxa,” and the pros and cons of the PhyloCode. This material, if not always
revelatory, is interesting and eloquently written (“there is no objective fixed and discoverable rank
for any taxon”), and should be “must” reading for all plant taxonomists. Most absorbing is
their coolly reasoned and (we think) definitive refutation of Brummitt’s infamous paraphyly harangue.
After all is said and done, they settle on a “procedure for recognising genera in Hibisceae”
that embraces such common-sense values as monophyly (but not paraphyly) and the maximization of nomenclatural
stability. Despite this, their proposed new system swells Hibiscus by over 200 spp. and promises
devastating nomenclatural consequences for Costa Rican Malvaceae: for us, it is essentially the worst-case
scenario, with virtually every genus that has ever been included in Hibiscus to be returned there,
along with a few others. Marked for eventual conscription by the new Hibiscus are
Abelmoschus, Kosteletzkya, Malachra, Malvaviscus, Pavonia
(the monophyly of which is itself “not firmly established”), Peltaea, Talipariti,
and Urena. The status of Wercklea, not part of the study, is unclear, though at one point
the authors imply that it may lie outside their Hibiscus clade. Though the authors reject the
PhyloCode for general use, elements of it are incorporated in their classification as a means of dealing
with unresolved situations.
More trouble may be on the horizon for Malvaceae, as the major genus Sida (with about 150 spp.)
is also “probably not monophyletic.” The authors suggest, somewhat ominously, that the ultimate
realignment of that genus “may not be trivial.” Although we use negative words in this
review--"devastating", "trouble,", "ominously"--our fleeting knowledge of the
Malvaceae confirms that realignments of the sort mentioned here do make sense.
Pupulin, F. 2005. 521. Trichocentrum dianthum, Orchidaceae. Bot. Mag. 22:
Trichocentrum dianthum Pupulin & D. E. Mora, endemic to the Pacific slope of southern
Costa Rica (where it occurs as high as 2000 m), is monographed with a description, illustrations (a
composite line drawing by the author, plus a color painting), and extensive notes. Ecology, pollination
biology, phylogeny, and cultural requirements are all discussed in some detail.
Rahmanzadeh, R., K. Müller, E. Fischer, D. Bartels & T. Borsch. 2005. The
Linderniaceae and Gratiolaceae are further lineages distinct from the Scrophulariaceae (Lamiales). Pl.
Biol. ( Stuttgart) 7: 67-78.
Oddly, this study appears to have been done in isolation from the closely related work of Albach et
al. (see this column), even though both utilized plant materials from the botanical gardens in Bonn;
neither paper cites or mentions the other. The two papers agree in removing tribe Lindernieae from the
“new” Plantaginaceae, but this one goes a step further in formalizing familial status for
the former group. It proceeds yet another step in also removing tribe Gratioleae, which likewise is
accorded family ranking. Which of the two papers to believe? Well, since this study involved just 20
spp. of Plantaginaceae representing 13 genera and only two DNA regions, we’d tend to follow Albach
et al. (who looked at 47 spp. in 45 genera and four DNA regions) and retain tribe Gratioleae in
Plantaginaceae, at least for the time being. For the record, the following members of tribe Gratioleae
occur in Costa Rica: Bacopa, Benjaminia, Capraria, Darcya,
Limosella, Mecardonia, Schistophragma, Scoparia, and
Stemodia. The family name Linderniaceae (Rchb.) Borsch, K. Müll. bis & Eb. Fisch.
is newly validated. Features color photos of living plants.
Rocha, A. E. S. da & R. de S. Secco. 2004. Uma sinopse de Lacunaria Ducke.
Acta Amazon. 34: 425-433.
Lacunaria (Quiinaceae), not revised since the 1930s, is a neotropical genus of eight spp.,
centered in Amazonian Brazil. Lacunaria panamensis (Standl.) Standl. remains the accepted
name for the only sp. reaching Mesoamerica ( Nicaragua to Panama), so there is nothing new here for us.
Although the introductory section is very brief (dealing exclusively with taxonomic history), this
boasts most of the features of a standard revision, including full synonymy and typology, generic and
sp. descriptions, a dichotomous key to spp., specimen citations, discussions, and line drawings
depicting important details (especially stipules and sepals) of all spp. Two names are segregated at
the end under “Espécies pouco conhecidas,” with formal treatment withheld pending
additional study. There are no taxonomic novelties here, but we count six new synonymies (12 spp.
were attributed to Lacunaria in the latest edition of The plant-book). In Portuguese
(with English abstract).
Rolleri, C. H. 2004. Revisión del género Danaea
(Marattiaceae–Pteridophyta). Darwiniana 42: 217-301.
Rutkowski, P., J. Mytnik & D. L. Szlachetko. 2004. New taxa and new combinations in
Mesoamerican Stenorrhynchidinae (Orchidaceae, Spirantheae). Ann. Bot. Fenn. 41: 479-489.
According to this revision, the exclusively neotropical Danaea is a genus of 17 spp., eight
of which occur in Costa Rica. There are only three mild surprises for us. First, Danaea alata
Sm., a sp. unknown to us, is attributed to Costa Rica on the basis of two Luis Diego
Gómez collections from the Reserva Forestal Río Pacuare, near Siquirres;
otherwise, D. alata is recorded from Venezuela, Trinidad, and the Lesser Antilles. Second, the
name Danaea cuspidata Liebm., long applied to Costa Rican material, is synonymized under D.
moritziana C. Presl; and third, Danaea grandifolia Underw. is maintained as a synonym of
D. nodosa (L.) Sm., of which the holotype and isotypes of the former name are regarded as
merely “ejemplares bien desarrollados” (we have not seen the type of D. grandifolia,
but have applied the name to Costa Rican material that we believe represents a distinct entity; see
Grayum & Churchill, Selbyana 11: 67–68. 1989). Features full synonymy and typology at all levels,
lengthy genus and sp. descriptions, a dichotomous (but non-indented) key to spp., distribution summaries,
apparently comprehensive specimen citations (revealing that far too little material was studied),
discussions of variable extent, a section on dubious and excluded names, an index to exsiccatae, and
composite line drawings representing all spp. The extensive introductory part expounds on taxonomic
history, development, anatomy, distribution and cytology. Special (and undue?) attention is given to
petiolar anatomy, indument, leaf venation, internal leaf (mesophyll) anatomy, epidermis (especially
stomate) types, and spores; all of these aspects are copiously illustrated (mesophyll anatomy and
spores—all looking more or less alike—with SEM micrographs). Frustratingly, there is no
index to scientific names.
One new subgenus (of Oestlundorchis), six new spp. (in Coccineorchis,
Schiedeella, and Svenkoeltzia), and one new combination (in Stenorrhynchos)
are validated here; however, we are interested only in the three new Coccineorchis spp., all
of which occur in Costa Rica (though none exclusively). The most widespread of these is
Coccineorchis warszewicziana Szlach., Rutk. & Mytnik, ranging from northern Nicaragua
to Central Panama, and compared to C. cernua (Lindl.) Garay. Both Coccineorchis
cristata Szlach., Rutk. & Mytnik and C. dressleri Szlach., Rutk. & Mytnik are
restricted to Costa Rica and Panama and compared with C. warszewicziana. Coccineorchis
cristata is recorded from ca. 1250–3000 m in the Cordilleras Central (La Hondura) and de
Talamanca (La Georgina); C. dressleri from 1100–2000+ m in the Cordillera Central
(Cerro de Las Caricias) and the southern Fila Costeña (Cañas Gordas); and C.
warszewicziana from 1300–2700+ m in the Cordilleras de Tilarán (Monteverde region
and San Ramón), Central (between Volcán Barva and Volcán Irazú), and de
Talamanca (Cerros de La Muerte and de Las Vueltas). Floral details of all three new spp. are
illustrated in a single composite line drawing. According to these authors, Coccineorchis
now harbors a total of seven spp.; these are distinguished in a dichotomous key, in which C.
bracteosa (Ames & C. Schweinf.) Garay and C. navarrensis (Ames) Garay—combined
under the former name in our Manual account—are separated.
We’ve gotten a little lax with our “running total” feature, partly because the
rate of description of new Costa Rican orchid spp. has slowed since the publication of the Manual
Orchidaceae treatment in late 2003. Including the five new spp. reported in this issue of the Edge
(see also under Hágsater, this column), together with four missed in other recent issues,
214 new spp. of Orchidaceae have been described from Costa Rica since the inception
of this bulletin in 1993.
Samuel, R., H. Kathriarachchi, P. Hoffmann, M. H. J. Barfuss, K. J. Wurdack, C. C. Davis &
M. W. Chase. 2005. Molecular phylogenetics of Phyllanthaceae: evidence from plastid matK
and nuclear PHYC sequences. Amer. J. Bot. 92: 132-141.
The results of DNA sequence analyses of two different genes correspond with one another—and
(reasonably well) with those of a separate analysis by the same lab [see
The Cutting Edge 12(1): 14,
Jan. 2005]—in portraying Phyllanthus as paraphyletic with respect to several other
genera including Breynia and Sauropus (but not, in this case,
Sánchez-Vindas, P. E. 2004. Una nueva especie de Eugenia L. (Myrtaceae) de
las selvas húmedas costarricenses. Lankesteriana 4: 179-181.
Eugenia earthiana P. E. Sánchez is described as a new sp. endemic to Costa Rica,
where it is known from elevations of 50–250+ m on the Atlantic slope of the Cordilleras Central
and de Talamanca, as well as the Llanuras de San Carlos and de Santa Clara. Easily distinguished from
its many congeners by its leaves with two marginal veins and ribbed, reticulate fruits, E.
earthiana is most similar to Eugenia matagalpensis P. E. Sánchez, of much higher
elevations. The unusual epithet honors the Escuela de Agricultura de la Región Tropical
Húmedo (EARTH), near Guápiles, proprietor of the reserve in which the type collection
was made. Illustrated with black-and-white photos, apparently of herbarium material.
Skog, J. E., J. T. Mickel, R. C. Moran, M. Volovsek & E. A. Zimmer. 2004. Molecular
studies of representative species in the fern genus Elaphoglossum (Dryopteridaceae) based
on cpDNA sequences rbcL, trnL-F, and rps4-TRNS. Int. J. Pl. Sci.
Smith, J. F., S. B. Draper, L. C. Hileman & D. A. Baum. 2004. A phylogenetic analysis
within tribes Gloxinieae and Gesnerieae (Gesnerioideae: Gesneriaceae). Syst. Bot. 29: 947-958.
The huge genus Elaphoglossum (with over 600 spp.) is well-supported as monophyletic,
with five major clades. Here is yet another nail in the coffin for Peltapteris, securely
nested within one of these five clades, as previously indicated [see
The Cutting Edge 12(1): 12,
Jan. 2005]. Indeed, it seems that the only single sp. that could defensibly be removed from
Elaphoglossum is the long-rhizomatous E. amygdalifolium (Mett.) H. Christ
(occurring in Costa Rica), alone in a clade that is sister to the rest of the genus.
The only result of this molecular study of potential relevance to Costa Rican floristics is the
elucidation of Phinaea as polyphyletic, two spp. (including the generic type) pairing with
Monopyle and two others with the oligotypic South American genus Pearcea.
Unfortunately, neither of the two Phinaea spp. recorded from Costa Rica (P.
albiflora Rusby and P. lacerata C. V. Morton) was included in the analysis.
Strong, M. T. 2004. (1644) Proposal to reject the name Scirpus miliaceus
(Cyperaceae). Taxon 53: 1069-1070.
Here it is, back atcha: the Spermatophyte Committee literally asked for this one. Scirpus
miliaceus L. is the basionym of Fimbristylis miliacea (L.) Vahl, a name that was
formerly used (and sometimes still is, e.g., in Flora de Nicaragua) for the sp. called
F. littoralis Gaudich. in the Manual (as well as in Flora mesoamericana).
According to the earliest (1954) lectotypification of S. miliaceus, the Manual usage is
correct (which is to say that the name F. miliacea properly applies to a sp. not occurring
in Mesoamerica). In 1999, this author formally proposed conservation of the last-mentioned name
with a new type, that would have restored the pre-1954 application of F. miliacea to the
New World taxon (as per Flora de Nicaragua). The Committee rejected this proposal [see
The Cutting Edge 8(2): 7,
Apr. 2001], but invited a second proposal (this one) to reject the name Scirpus
miliaceus altogether. Contrary to our initial impressions, this latest proposal is no threat
to us; should it succeed (as seems likely, since the Committee begged it), Fimbristylis
littoralis would prevail as the accepted name for our Mesoamerican taxon, although the other
(Old World) sp., now correctly F. miliacea, would revert to Fimbristylis
quinquangularis (Vahl) Kunth.
Tejero-Díez, J. D. & L. Pacheco. 2004. Notas taxonómicas y de
distribución en Polypodium plesiosorum y P. rhodopleuron (Polypodiaceae:
Pteridophyta). Anales Inst. Biol. Univ. Nac. Autón. México, Bot. 75: 11-37.
Polypodium plesiosorum Kunze and P. rhodopleuron Kunze are very similar entities
that have been much confused and sometimes even united, and the former is highly variable; previous
analyses of DNA sequence data have established them as sister spp. This ambitious herbarium study of
about 1500 specimens seeks to document the variation in each sp., articulate the differences between
them, and describe their geographic distributions. Although numerous characters may be used in
combination to separate the two spp., just one suffices alone: the presence (P. plesiosorum)
or absence (P. rhodopleuron) of trichomes on the midrib and main veins of the leaf segments
on the adaxial surface. The remaining results are presented in a conventional taxonomic format, with
P. plesiosorum resolved into three vars., two of which are newly described. Here is the shocker
for us: Polypodium rhodopleuron ranges only from northern Mexico to Honduras (and possibly
Nicaragua), falling well short of Costa Rica, where the name has long been used. Twelve Costa Rican
specimens are presently so determined in TROPICOS, but these instead must represent P.
plesiosorum, usually P. p. var. rubicundum Tejero var. nov. (ranging from
southern Mexico to western Panama), which has generally been misidentified as P. rhodopleuron
because of “los tintes rojizos de la lámina y al estado glabrescente que presentan la
costa y venas.” Also represented (at its southernmost extension) in Costa Rica is the autonymic
var. of P. plesiosorum, ranging from northern Mexico. Features full synonymy and typology,
generous descriptions, and representative (though extensive) specimen citations at all levels,
together with distribution summaries and discussions. Illustrated with photos of exsiccatae and a
composite line drawing of rhizome scales. Several lectotypes are designated (we count six).
Turland, N. J. 2004. (1647) Proposal to conserve the name Chrysanthemum coronarium
(Compositae) with a conserved type. Taxon 53: 1072-1074.
Chrysanthemum coronarium L., a Mediterranean sp. that has been cultivated in Costa Rica,
was recently transferred (along with some of its weedy allies) to the segregate genus
Glebionis, as G. coronaria (L.) Cass. ex Spach. Unfortunately, according
to a recent (1981) lectotypification by Mike Dillon (F) that cannot be overturned,
C. coronarium is a taxonomic synonym of Chrysanthemum segetum L. [now Glebionis
segetum (L.) Fourr.], an equally familiar and widely disseminated sp. Should this proposal fail,
the former C. coronarium would have to be known by a new combination in Glebionis
based on Pyrethrum indicum Sims (emphatically notChrysanthemum
indicum L., which further confuses the situation). This seems relatively benign, as conservation
proposals go; still, it seems to us that, compared to the substitution of Glebionis for
Chrysanthemum, the change from coronarium to indicum should be easily
Whitson, M. & P. S. Manos. 2005. Untangling Physalis (Solanaceae) from the
physaloids: a two-gene phylogeny of the Physalinae. Syst. Bot. 30: 216-230.
Sequence data from two nuclear DNA regions show that Physalis is paraphyletic, and suggest
that inflated fruiting calyces have arisen independently, on numerous occasious, within and without
subtribe Physalinae. This work confirms earlier indications [see
The Cutting Edge 3(2): 6, Apr.
1996] that the generic type of Physalis, the horticultural sp. P. alkekengi L.,
is phylogenetically extraneous to the rest of the group (in addition to being the only Old World member).
The authors consider three classificatory options in dealing with this: restrict Physalis to
P. alkekengi, and rename the ca. 75 New World spp.; unite all the genera of subtribe Physalinae
into a single genus; or retypify Physalis on one of the New World spp. Citing the last-mentioned
option as “the least taxonomically disruptive,” they announce that “a proposal to
re-typify Physalis is currently in progress.” Witheringia and its segregate
Brachistus fall into a clade at the base of Physalinae, but the results were inconclusive as
to whether the latter merits separate generic status. Previous work is cited excluding Jaltomata,
Larnax, and Nicandra from the Physalis alliance, though they have sometimes
been referred there. Cuatresia, with several spp. formerly included in Witheringia, is