Family List (MO) |
Family List (INBio) | Cutting Edge
Draft Treatments |
The Cutting Edge
Volume XIV, Number 2, April 2007
News and Notes |
Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature |
FABACEAE/FABOIDEAE. During his recent stint at MO [see
The Cutting Edge 14(1): 1,
Jan. 2007], Manual co-PI and Fabaceae specialist Nelson Zamora inevitably
made several interesting herbarium discoveries, two of which were reported in this column in our
last issue. Here are two others, both resulting from our National Geographic Society-funded
explorations of the Península de Santa Elena [see, e.g.,
The Cutting Edge 12(1):
1–2, Jan. 2005]: Chaetocalyx scandens (L.) Urb., a yellow-flowered vine
widespread in the Neotropics, was collected several times on the Península, from nearly
sea level to 600 m elevation on the summit ridge. Our material, comprising the first Costa
Rican records of this sp., matches C. s. var. pubescens (DC.) Rudd, as characterized
in the Flora de Nicaragua. The only other Chaetocalyx sp. occurring in Costa
Rica, C. latisiliqua (Poir.) Benth. ex Hemsl., is found mainly in tropical wet
forest in the southern Pacific region. Nelson’s other find was Crotalaria
pilosa Mill., not a country record, but a northward range extension. This sp., also
wide-ranging in the Neotropics, had never been found north of the Acosta region in the northern
Cordillera de Talamanca.
POACEAE. Walter Bien (Drexel University), Ted Gordon
(Philadelphia Botanical Club), and Gerry Moore (BKL) discovered a population of
the adventive Asian grass Microstegium vimineum (Trin.) A. Camus in Parque Nacional Arenal
during a visit there last month. Several patches were found growing along the disturbed edges
of one of the hiking trails. According to our best sources, this would be a new record for
both the sp. and genus, not only for Costa Rica, but for the entire Mesoamerican region.
Microstegium was not mentioned in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 6, and is vouchered
for the Neotropics at MO by a single specimen (undetermined to sp.), that being from Puerto Rico.
Gerry (who communicated this news) characterizes M. vimineum as “one of our worst
invasive plants” in much of the eastern United States, but this must also be a fairly recent
development, as it was omitted from Gray’s manual (1950). We are reminded that
discoveries of this sort are most likely to be made by individuals already familiar with the sp.
in question. But not always! A year ago, INBio wunderkind Daniel
Santamaría twice collected an unfamiliar dwarf, bambusoid grass that has just now
been identified as Raddiella esenbeckii (Steud.) C. E. Calderón & Soderstr.,
new to Costa Rica (as to both the sp. and genus). Though widespread in South America, R.
esenbeckii had been unknown in Mesoamerica beyond central Panama. Daniel found it growing
in savannas at 900–1250 m elevation on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca above
Potrero Grande (Valle de Coto Brus). The initial determination was by INBio volunteer
Ted Bradley, confirmed by MO specialist Gerrit Davidse from a
SIPARUNACEAE. Two collections by former parataxonomist Edgar Mora
(#’s 843 and 936) appear to represent the first Costa Rican records for
Siparuna cristata (Poepp. & Endl.) A. DC., previously reported from Panama to Peru,
the Guianas, and Brazil. Both specimens hail from 300–500 m elevation in Parque Nacional
Barbilla, on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca. According to Manual
Siparunaceae contributor Jorge Gómez-Laurito (USJ), whom we thank for this
report, the Costa Rican material is somewhat unusual in having just six or seven stamens per flower
(vs. 10–18 elsewhere).
TURNERACEAE. While collaborating in routine identifications of Turnera specimens
at INB, Manual co-PI Barry Hammel encountered two unusual collections, both from
savannas at ca. 1500 m elevation on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca. This
material turns out to be a good match for Turnera curassavica Urb., a sp. otherwise known
from southern Mexico to Nicaragua, as well as Colombia, Venezuela, and Curaçao.