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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

Main | Family List (MO) | Family List (INBio) | Cutting Edge
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The Cutting Edge

Volume XV, Number 2, April 2008

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

Abarca Jiménez, C. 2004. Alexander Skutch: la voz de la naturaleza. Edit. INBio, Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica. 156 pp.

This handsome new edition, which we have just now encountered, was to be presented to Alexander Skutch during the celebration of his 100th birthday in 2004, but of course, the great man passed away just eight days shy of the event. One first thinks of Skutch as a naturalist, a bird-watcher extraordinaire, and of course he was both. But the Baltimore native was also a credentialed, professional biologist, with a Ph.D. in Botany from Johns Hopkins University. This he obtained in 1928, at just 24 years of age, with a study of the anatomy and developmental morphology of banana leaves. Some of his earliest publications, though, were on crustaceans, presaging a lifetime of dedication to all facets of the natural world. Skutch first visited Costa Rica in 1935, before Standley’s Flora of Costa Rica had been published, and the rest is history. Most of his life is chronicled in this volume, from his apparently privileged childhood to his latter-day immersion in philosophy and religion (when he published in journals like the Rosicrucian Digest and the Aryan Path). Included are a list of all the plant spp. that have been named for Skutch and a comprehensive bibliography of his publications, with brief summaries of the books. A generous selection of photographs, many in color, portray Skutch as a baby, a grad student, and on many subsequent occasions up to his 99th birthday gathering. The narrative text, however, was completed in 1987 (and the original edition was published in 1997).

Acevedo, C. & C. van den Berg. 2007. Lectotypifications in Prescottia (Orchidaceae-Orchidoideae). Kew Bull. 62: 651–655.

Eleven names are lectotypified, including the basionyms of both Prescottia spp. recorded from Costa Rica [P. oligantha (Sw.) Lindl. and P. stachyodes (Sw.) Lindl.]. At least for our spp., there are no taxonomic repercussions.

Berg, C. C. 2007. New species of Ficus (Moraceae) from South America. Blumea 52: 569–594.

The new combination Ficus popenoei Standl. subsp. malacocarpa (Standl.) C. C. Berg (based on Ficus malacocarpa Standl.), for a taxon of northern South America, resticts F. popenoei in the sense of the Manual to the autonymic subsp.

Blanco, M. A., G. Carnevali, W. M. Whitten, R. B. Singer, S. Koehler, N. H. Williams, I. Ojeda, K. M. Neubig & L. Endara. 2007. Generic realignments in Maxillariinae (Orchidaceae). Lankesteriana 7: 515–537.

These guys work fast! In this paper, most of the taxonomic changes arising from the recent molecular-phylogenetic analyses of Maxillaria by this same team (Whitten et al., 2007) are formally implemented. For a better grasp of the overall picture, consult our review of the initial article [see The Cutting Edge 15(1): 15–16, Jan. 2008]. There we discussed the authors’ decision to fragment the eight genera of “core Maxillariinae” into 17 genera, all of which are here briefly characterized, with all of their spp. enumerated (as far as possible). Five of these genera apparently do not occur in Costa Rica: Brasiliorchis, Cyrtidiorchis, Mapinguari Carnevali & R. B. Singer gen. nov., Pityphyllum, and Sauvetrea. Of the 12 genera represented in Costa Rica, just four carry names that were accepted in the Manual: Cryptocentrum, enlarged to include the oligotypic, South American Anthosiphon (here newly demoted to subgeneric rank); Maxillaria, which “remains by far the largest genus in subtribe Maxillariinae,” but is reduced from 107 to just 19 or 20 spp. in Costa Rica; Mormolyca, expanded by the transfer of 16 spp. from Maxillaria (including three in Costa Rica), new combinations for which are validated under the name “M. A. Blanco”; and Trigonidium, which is unchanged.

That leaves eight genera for Costa Rica, four of which have available names. Camaridium is the largest of these, with ca. 80 spp. total, including 45 in Costa Rica; 12 Costa Rican spp. already have names in Camaridium, but 30 new combinations and three nomina nova are validated for the others (all in the name of “M. A. Blanco”). The recently described Christensonella has just one sp. in Costa Rica (see under Szlachetko et al., this column), while the recently resurrected Heterotaxis has three [see The Cutting Edge 13(1): 10, Jan. 2006]. Another five Costa Rican spp. are here referred to Ornithidium, with two new combinations validated by “M. A. Blanco & Ojeda.”

The remaining four genera of “core Maxillariinae” in Costa Rica lack names, and three of these are described in this paper: Inti M. A. Blanco, apparently with just two spp. (both in Costa Rica); Maxillariella M. A. Blanco & Carnevali, harboring 46 spp. (15 in Costa Rica) plus one hybrid; and Rhetinantha M. A. Blanco, with 15 spp. (four in Costa Rica). All of the necessary new combinations are validated by the author(s) of each genus name. We still lack a valid name for one genus in this group, but “Nitidibulbon Ojeda, Carnevali & G. A. Romero” is alleged to be in press; three spp. will bear that moniker, but just one (still officially Maxillaria nasuta Rchb. f.) occurs in Costa Rica.

The amazing thing is that, when all is said and done, just five names treated under Maxillaria in the Manual are apparently unaccounted for in this new system (though we could easily have overlooked some): Maxillaria cacaoensis J. T. Atwood (presumably a Camaridium, and perhaps considered a synonym of M. mombachoensis A. H. Heller ex J. T. Atwood by the authors); M. longipetiolata Ames & C. Schweinf. (we haven’t a clue to its disposition); M. muscoides J. T. Atwood (probably a Camaridium); M. piestopus Schltr. (perhaps a Maxillaria s. str.); and M. quadrata Ames & Correll (likely a Camaridium). Most of these spp. are rare or poorly known. For the rest of the “core Maxillariinae,” workers on Costa Rican orchids will now have to relearn 79 binomials, entailing 60 brand-new combinations or nomina nova (and four other very recent ones), whereas just 10 binomials would have changed (for Costa Rica) had these authors pursued the lumping alternative (i.e., sinking Cryptocentrum, Mormolyca, and Trigonidium into Maxillaria). Then again, we suspect that orchidologists rather like bandying new names about!

Bogarín, D. 2007. A new Lycaste (Orchidaceae: Maxillariinae) from Costa Rica. Lankesteriana 7: 543–549.

Lycaste bruncana Bogarín is (for a change!) known by numerous collections but (as usual) all by the author and his close associates. The new sp. is restricted to the Pacific slope of Costa Rica, where it occurs at ca. 100–1000 m elevation in the northern Cordillera de Talamanca (Tarrazú region), northern Fila Costeña, and near Golfito. It is most similar to L. tricolor (Klotzsch) Rchb. f., from which it is distinguished by floral details. The Costa Rican ranges of both spp. are mapped, and flowers of each are compared photographically. Lycaste bruncana (the name derived from the “Brunca” or “Brunka” people indigenous to the region in which the spp. is distributed) is also depicted in a line drawing by the author (who is nearly as good an artist as Franco Pupulin!). Counting Elleanthus ligularis and Restrepiella lueri (see under Dressler & Bogarín and Pupulin & Bogarín, respectively), our running total of orchid spp. (not including hybrids!) described from Costa Rica since 1993 now stands at 254.

Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2007. Two new epitypes in Danaea (Marattiaceae, Pteridophyta) selected from original historical collections in Paris. Candollea 62: 221–230.

The names Danaea alata Sm. and D. nodosa (L.) Sm., both of which have been used in Costa Rica, were lectotypified on plates that lack the requisite detail for positive identification. Their correct application (especially that of D. nodosa) has been contended for many years. Here these names are epitypified on actual specimens, facilitating the revisionary work of the author. We have no idea what the new epitype portends for D. alata which, in any event, probably does not occur in Costa Rica; for D. nodosa, however, it is the worst-case scenario, at least for Costa Rica: it becomes the correct name for the sp. that has always been called D. elliptica Sm., here relegated to synonymy. This author has used the name Danaea media Liebm. for the sp. we formerly knew as D. nodosa [see The Cutting Edge 13(3): 4, Jul. 2006]. Of course, epitypes are not binding, and future workers will be free to interpret the lectotypes as they see fit!

---. 2007. Dracoglossum, a new Neotropical fern genus (Pteridophyta). Thaiszia 17: 1–10.

Dracoglossum Christenh. is segregated from Tectaria, because “during field studies...it has become evident that [it] constitutes a morphologically isolated taxon deserving generic rank.” That seems like a pretty shady deal, but the author also cites unpublished molecular data in support of his decision. The new genus, which differs from Tectaria “primarily by the spore morphology,” ranges from southern Mexico to Bolivia and Venezuela, the Guayanas, northern Brazil, and the Antilles. From a traditional perspective, just one sp. is affected: the simple-leaved Tectaria plantaginea (Jacq.) Maxon, now Dracoglossum plantagineum (Jacq.) Christenh. However, the author seizes the opportunity to partition this into two spp., with the former T. p. var. macrocarpa C. V. Morton (distinguished primarily by its consisently indusiate sori) elevated to sp. rank as Dracoglossum sinuatum (Fée) Christenh. The last-mentioned taxon occurs in the Guayanas and Brazil, and disjunctly in Ecuador, while D. plantagineum (comprising the autonymic var. of the former Tectaria plantaginea) occupies the rest of the geographic range, including Costa Rica. Includes genus and sp. descriptions, a key to spp., synonymy and typology for both spp., specimen citations, and a distribution map. Illustrated with a photograph of living material of D. plantagineum, plus comparative SEM micrographs of spores.

Christenson, E. 2007. Bemerkungen zum Sobralia macrantha Komplex. OrchideenJ. 4(4): 158–169.

Here the author maintains (among many other things) that Sobralia purpurea Dressler, an accepted name in the Manual for a Costa Rican endemic, is a synonym of S. sanderiana Rolfe (or is it Cogn.?), the latter not to be confused with S. sanderae Rolfe. This conclusion is based mainly on the author’s identification of the lectotype of S. sanderiana, which is here designated. The name Sobralia sanderae, cited as a synonym of S. wilsoniana Rolfe in the Manual, is here presumed to apply to a hybrid of two other spp.

Darbyshire, S. J. 2007. Contributions to the genus Festuca (Poaceae: Poeae) in Mexico and a key to the Central American species. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 1: 827–840.

We cite this mainly for the key (dichotomous, indented) mentioned in the title. The Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, while seemingly new, is really a continuation of Sida, long sorely in need of a renaming.

Dressler, R. L. & D. Bogarín. 2007. Elleanthus ligularis, a name for a relatively common “new” species of Elleanthus sect. Chloidelyna. Lankesteriana 7: 539–542

Now we have a name, Elleanthus ligularis Dressler & Bogarín, for the taxon designated “Elleanthus sp. A” in the first author’s Manual contribution. The “new” sp. occurs in Costa Rica mainly at 450–900 m elevation on the Atlantic slope. Although the overall geographic range was specified in the Manual as “CR–Col., Antillas,” just one collection from outside Costa Rica (Panama) is cited here. Elleanthus ligularis is most similar to E. graminifolius ( Barb. Rodr.) Løjtnant, with which it was also contrasted in the Manual. A dichotomous key distinguishes the seven spp. comprising Elleanthus sect. Chloidelyna. The new sp. is depicted in a superb composite line drawing by the second author.

Duno de Stefano, R., P. R. Fantz, G. Carnevali Fernández-Concha & L. L. Can Itza. 2008. Centrosema and Clitoria (Leguminosae: Papilionidae: Phaseoleae: Clitoriinae) in the Mexican Yucatán Peninsula, including three lectotypifications. Vulpia 7: 1–15.

Our sole premise for citing this paper is the authors’ perfunctory lectotypification of Centrosema molle Mart. ex Benth., which name applies to “the most widespread tropical species of Centrosema” [at least, for the time being; see The Cutting Edge 12(2): 9, Apr. 2005]. Vulpia is an on-line journal that can supposedly be accessed at:

http://vulpia.nesu.edu

However, that hasn’t worked for us, even with the insertion of a “www.”

Fougère-Danezan, M., S. Maumont & A. Bruneau. 2007. Relationships among resin-producing Detarieae s.l. (Leguminosae) as inferred by molecular data. Syst. Bot. 32: 748–761.

We glean just one item of passing interest to us: this concerns the genus Prioria, long regarded as monospecific and neotropical, but recently expanded to accommodate several Old World genera [see The Cutting Edge 7(2): 6, Apr. 2000]. These molecular data are consistent with either viewpoint, and the authors consider this “more an issue of taxonomic rank.”

Ganem, M. A., G. E. Giudice, M. L. Luna & E. R. de la Sota. 2007. Revisión del grupo «Asplenium squamosum» (Aspleniaceae) en América. Candollea 62: 149–156.

Not much of interest here for us. The group in question comprises just two spp., and only A. squamosum L. occurs in Costa Rica (a fact acknowledged by the authors in the abstract, though they cite no Costa Rican specimens). Features synonymy and typology, a dichotomous (non-indented) key to spp. (including one excluded from the group), descriptions, distribution summaries, and lists of exsiccatae. Asplenium squamosum is depicted in a composite photographic plate showing a herbarium specimen and anatomical details.

Gargiullo, M. B., B. Magnuson & L. Kimball. 2008. A field guide to plants of Costa Rica. Oxford Univ. Press, New York, NY. 494 pp.

This impressive guide, long in gestation, is the culmination of a labor of love for author Margaret B. Gargiullo and photographers Barbara Magnuson and Larry Kimball. It is the second important plant field guide to be published for Costa Rica, complementing the likewise excellent work by biologist Willow Zuchowski, resident in Costa Rica [see The Cutting Edge 14(3): 12–13, Jul. 2007]. In general aspect, the two books are comparable: roughly the same size and heft, similarly priced ($35–$40), both color-coded and with illustrated glossaries (the illustrations being widely separated from the glossary in Margaret’s book), extensive bibliographies, and, of course, an abundance of color photos. But in terms of overall organization and emphasis, they diverge: while Willow’s book is organized primarily by habitat, and her sp. accounts are lush and richly informed by her personal field experience with the plants, Margaret’s book is organized by habit, and her sp. entries are crisp and mainly descriptive, largely devoid of intimate revelations. The authors of the book currently under review freely admit their major shortcoming, viz., the fact that they do not reside in Costa Rica, and never have. However, it might be argued that the perspective of a newcomer confers certain advantages in compiling a field guide. In any case, the authors have compensated for their greenhorn status by proactively engaging a very wide range of experts and professionals (your editors included), just as Willow had done before them. If this book has a leg up on Willow’s in any category, it would have to be in the number of spp. treated: 850 (almost 10% of the flora), nearly twice as many as were covered by Willow (430). Inevitably, this emphasis on quantity comes somewhat at the expense of quality; Barbara and Larry’s photos, while uniformly excellent, sometimes suffer for the reduction. The photos in Willow’s book (by Turid Forsyth) are generally reproduced on a larger scale. That said, the spp. in Margaret’s book are well chosen, the sp. entries accurate and informative, and the identifications and nomenclature beyond reproach throughout (attributes shared by Willow’s book). The introduction, illustrated with colored maps and photos, provides brief summaries of Costa Rican geography and climate, notes for photographers (by Barbara and Larry), tropical ecology, and the authors’ methodology (with comments on taxonomy, nomenclature, and botanical terminology).

Costa Rican residents and ecotourists alike (those able to read English!) are suddenly blessed to have two highly authoritative and copiously illustrated field guides to the local flora, both of which include conspicuous exotics as well as native spp. Choosing between these will not be an easy task, and will come down to personal taste; budget permitting, we would recommend purchasing both of these superb volumes! Even professional users of works such as the Manual and Flora costaricensis will find these guides indispensable for the wealth of correctly identified color photos.

Khan, S. A., S. G. Razafimandimbison, B. Bremer & S. Liede-Schumann. 2008. Sabiceeae and Virectarieae (Rubiaceae, Ixoroideae): one or two tribes? New tribal and generic circumscriptions of Sabiceeae and biogeography of Sabicea s.l. Taxon 57: 7–23.

Sabicea is not monophyletic unless it includes four oligotypic Old World genera. The new combinations are accordingly validated. The repercussions for us are negligible.

Maas, P. J. M., L. Y. T. Westra & M. Vermeer. 2007. Revision of the Neotropical genera Bocageopsis, Onychopetalum, and Unonopsis (Annonaceae). Blumea 52: 413–554.

We care only about the last-named genus of the title, the other two being exclusively South American. Unonopsis, widespread throughout the Neotropics, comprises 49 spp., according to this revision, including two appended as “insufficiently known” (one of the latter being provisionally named). Twenty-two spp. are here described as new (and one new combination is validated for a sp. elevated from subsp. rank), and several others were recently described elsewhere by some of these same authors. Costa Rica boasts nine spp., including four of the new ones (two of which have been pending for more than 20 years). Five spp. are endemic to Costa Rica: the poorly known Unonopsis costaricensis R. E. Fr. (800–1400 m, Atlantic slope of the Cordilleras Central and de Talamanca); U. osae Maas & Westra sp. nov. (long misidentified by us as U. panamensis R. E. Fr.; 0–550, Golfo Dulce region); U. penduliflora G. E. Schatz & Maas sp. nov. (600–950 m, Atlantic slope of the Cordilleras Central and de Talamanca); U. stevensii G. E. Schatz (0–200 m, Llanura de Tortuguero); and U. theobromifolia N. Zamora & Poveda (0–700 m, very wet forests of the Pacific slope). Three others, Unonopsis bullata Maas & G. E. Schatz sp. nov., U. hammelii G. E. Schatz & Maas sp. nov., and U. storkii Standl. & L. O. Williams, extend just into Panama, while only U. pittieri Saff. ex Standl. is relatively widespread (Guatemala to Panama and, perhaps, Colombia). Under U. costaricensis, the authors discuss some anomalous specimens that may prove to represent an additional sp., as yet undescribed.

The Unonopsis portion of this revision features complete synonymy and typology, detailed genus and sp. descriptions, a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp. (with a separate key to Central American spp.), distribution summaries and maps, generally brief discussions, specimen citations (at least for most of the new spp., and often representative), and a section on excluded spp. It is generously illustrated with black-and-white photos of herbarium specimens, as well as a few line drawings, plus five color plates of living material. An index to exsiccatae (compensating somewhat for the dearth of formal specimen citations) and indices to vernacular and scientific names serve for the entire paper.

Marks, K. 2007. Rara Avis Part 2. J. Bromeliad Soc. 57: 278–283.

We typically ignore these touristy travelogues, and accordingly skipped the first installment of this one. But here the author proffers a tantalizing tidbit: a color photo of a bromeliad, taken at the private Rara Avis reserve (at about 680 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of Volcán Barva), that has been determined by family specialist Harry Luther (SEL) as depicting Guzmania hollinensis H. Luther. The latter being a South American sp. never found in Costa Rica, we eagerly await the herbarium voucher that the author is “currently trying to arrange.”

Morales, J. F. 2005. Orquídeas de Costa Rica/Orchids of Costa Rica. Vol. 1. Edit. INBio, Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica. 180 pp.

---. 2005. Orquídeas de Costa Rica/Orchids of Costa Rica. Vol. 2. Edit. INBio, Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica. 166 pp.

These colorful guides, just now hitting our shelves, are the first in a series of unspecified length (we assume others are out by now). In essence, they serve as vehicles for the author’s color photos of orchids, most of which are very good, and some of which depict rare spp. not likely to be illustrated elsewhere. Although the photos are ordered alphabetically by sp. in each volume, the selection is apparently random; indeed, in several cases, different spp. of the same genus are featured in both volumes. Two facing pages, and at least two photos, are devoted to each spp., including a bilingual (Spanish/English) textual entry specifying very briefly the habit, habitat, and geographical and elevational distribution. The likewise bilingual introductory portions of each volume include sections on the organization of the guide and plants that resemble orchids (with Utricularia featured in Vol. 1 and Halenia in Vol. 2), as well as a tabular account of the spp. treated; Vol. 1 also addresses orchid cultivation, illegal trade, and identification, while Vol. 2 discusses the correct usage of terms such as “variety,” “species,” and “hybrid.” Both volumes terminate with an index to spp. Those with only a casual interest in orchids may find these guides to be all they need, while users of more technical works, such as the Manual, will cherish this series as an invaluable companion.

---. 2007. Estudios en las Apocynaceae neotropicales XXXI: el complejo de Mandevilla hirsuta y cuatro nuevas especies. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 1: 859–869.

The new spp., all South American, are of no interest to us; we cite this paper mainly for the comprehensive, dichotomous key to the complex (comprising those members of Mandevilla subgen. Exothostemon with foliaceous floral bracts), which includes two spp. represented in Costa Rica: Mandevilla hirsuta (Rich.) K. Schum. and M. villosa (Miers) Woodson.

Mort, M. E., C. P. Randle, R. T. Kimball, Mesfin Tadesse & D. J. Crawford. 2008. Phylogeny of Coreopsideae (Asteraceae) inferred from nuclear and plastid DNA sequences. Taxon 57: 109–120.

Bidens and Coreopsis are reaffirmed as “not monophyletic.” The problem is not resolved. Cosmos and Dahlia appear to be monophyletic.

Prance, G. T., V. Plana, K. S. Edwards & R. T. Pennington. 2007. Proteaceae. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 100: 1–218.

It’s back to the drawing board yet again with Proteaceae. William C. Burger’s (1983) Flora costaricensis contribution (Fieldiana, Bot. n. s., 13: 8–14) treated just four native spp. in Costa Rica, Panopsis suaveolens (Klotzsch & H. Karst.) Rusby and three spp. of Roupala. A subsequent (2000) paper by Alfredo Cascante (CR) and Jorge Gómez-Laurito (USJ) added a recently discovered spp. of Panopsis, P. cinnamomea Pittier, and resurrected the names P. costaricensis Standl. and P. mucronata Cuatrec. for Costa Rican material that Burger had swept into an inclusive P. suaveolens [see The Cutting Edge 8(4): 3–4, Oct. 2001], restricting the last-mentioned sp. to Venezuela. The unpublished Manual draft in our possession, by Francisco Morales (INB), follows Cascante & Gómez-Laurito where Panopsis is concerned, but adds two Roupala spp., provisionally treated as sp. A and sp. B. Since submitting his manuscript, Chico has described two new spp. of Proteaceae from Costa Rica: Panopsis acostana J. F. Morales [see The Cutting Edge 14(4): 11, Oct. 2007] and Roupala sessiliflora J. F. Morales [see The Cutting Edge 14(1): 8, Jan. 2007], the latter corresponding to his earlier sp. B. With those, the Costa Rican sp. total for Proteaceae had reached nine: four of Panopsis, and five of Roupala.

The present monograph accepts eight genera and 85 native spp. of Proteaceae for the neotropical region (somewhat loosely circumscribed, as several taxa are restricted to temperate portions of South America). As according previous accounts, just Panopsis and Roupala are attributed to Costa Rica, the former with four spp., but the latter with only three. These totals are deceptive, however, as Panopsis acostana and Roupala sessiliflora did not make the cut, and neither is mentioned anywhere in the volume. Accepting those as good spp., and adding in Roupala sp. A (as Chico’s voucher is not accounted for here), the net result is that we now have ten spp. of Proteaceae, having gained a Panopsis. Surprisingly, our new Panopsis is none other than P. suaveolens s. str., restored to Costa Rica together with P. costaricensis and P. mucronata. Among t he Costa Rican specimens identified as P. suaveolens in the “List of Exsiccatae” is J. F. Morales 6438, which happens to be the type of P. acostana; thus it is possible that Chico’s new sp. is a short-lived synonym of P. suaveolens, which would put us back to nine spp. o f Proteaceae for Costa Rica (although it is worth noting that the paratypes of P. acostana are here variously identified as P. costaricensis, P. mucronata, or P. suaveolens). A similar fate could be in store for Chico’s Roupala sessiliflora, the type of which (Zamora 2204) is identified in the “List of Exsiccatae” as Roupala percoriacea A. H. Gentry. Curiously, the latter sp. is characterized in the text as “known only from Cerro Jefe and El Llanó-Cartí road Panama,” and no Costa Rican specimens are cited there.

A few other details are of interest to us. Costa Rican material that has been called Panopsis cinnamomea by recent authors is here referred instead to P. yolombo (Posada-Ar.) Killip, which “it matches much more closely.” Brenes 400 (F, NY), a sterile Panopsis collection from 1050 in Prov. Alajuela, is discussed as an “interesting” specimen with a peculiar type of indumentum most like that of the South American P. sessilifolia (Rich.) Sandwith; the authors appear to regard this as a new sp., but aver that “fertile specimens will be needed to name and describe” it. The creation of three new South American vars. of Roupala montana Aubl. consigns Mesomerican populations to the autonymic var. The Australasian genus Grevillea, with two spp. sparingly cultivated in the Neotropics, gets full treatment here, with Costa Rican specimens cited for G. robusta A. Cunn. ex R. Br.; oddly, though, Macadamia integrifolia Maiden & Betche (the famed nut) is left out, even though it has been grown on a much larger scale than either Grevillea sp. (at least in Costa Rica).

Features complete synonymy and typology, dichotomous, indented keys and detailed descriptions at all levels, distribution and phenology summaries, specimen citations (representative in some cases), sometimes extensive discussions, distribution maps, and indices to exsiccatae and scientific names. The introductory portion addresses some important morphological and anatomical characters, pollination, seed dispersal, relationships, biogeography, and taxonomic history. In all cases, the authorship of individual genera differs from that of the overall work (e.g., Edwards & Prance, for Panopsis; Edwards, Plana & Prance, for Roupala).

Pupulin, F. 2007. × Bensteinia ramonensis, a new natural hybrid in the Zygopetalinae (Orchidaceae). Selbyana 28: 112–116.

The new nothosp. × Bensteinia ramonensis Pupulin is described from a single specimen, collected at 900–1000 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Tilarán (Reserva Biológica Alberto Manuel Brenes). Based solely on morphological evidence, this plant is assumed to be the product of intergeneric hybridization between Benzingia and Kefersteinia (whence the nothogeneric name, already available). As far as we can tell, Benzingia is represented in Costa Rica only by B. reichenbachiana (Schltr.) Dressler, recently transferred from Chondrorhyncha in a paper that we seem to have missed. That is one putative parent sp. of this hybrid, while the other is speculated to be Kefersteinia excentrica Dressler & Mora-Ret., also present in the same region. We cannot help but wonder whether the prevalence of “intergeneric” hybridization in Orchidaceae has more to do with taxonomy than reproductive biology. Illustrated with a photograph of living material, plus one of the author’s consistently excellent composite line drawings.

-- & D. Bogarín. 2007. A second species of Restrepiella (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae). Willdenowia 37: 323–329.

Restrepiella, formerly monospecific with just R. ophiocephala (Lindl.) Garay & Dunst., is doubled in size with the description of Restrepiella lueri Pupulin & Bogarín. The new sp., depicted (and contrasted with R. ophiocephala) in excellent composite line drawings, is known only by the type specimen. This was collected, by the second author, near the Continental Divide in the Cordillera de Tilarán, in the vicinity of San Ramón. Restrepiella lueri is characterized by its cleistogamous flowers, and differs additionally from R. ophiocephala (including a cleistogamous form of the latter) in various floral details that are enumerated in a dichotomous key.

Reveal, J. L. 2008. (1800–1802) Proposals to conserve the name Viburnaceae (Magnoliophyta), the name Adoxaceae against Viburnaceae, a “superconservation” proposal, and, as an alternative, the name Sambucaceae. Taxon 57: 303.

The instigation for this flurry of proposals seems to have been the belated realization that the wholly obscure name Tinaceae (based on Tinus Mill., a synonym of Viburnum) has priority over all the other family names mentioned in the title. Anticipating every conceivable scenario, the author proposes conserving Viburnaceae, for a family comprising only Viburnum; however, conservation of Viburnaceae would cause it to replace the more recent Adoxaceae (already conserved) for the small family including Adoxa, Sambucus, Viburnum, and two small, Asian genera, so the author also proposes conserving Adoxaceae over Viburnaceae. Finally, in the event the last-mentioned stratagem should fail, conservation of the name Sambucaceae is advocated, as (for some reason not obvious to us) the author evidently prefers that to Viburnaceae, for the family presently called Adoxaceae. Hey, why not just relax and allow priority to work its subtle magic? Tinaceae is a fine name! And since all of these family names are more or less equally obscure to horticulturists and other laymen (ostensibly the folks we are groveling to please), who still lump most of these taxa under Caprifoliaceae, what’s the difference anyway?

-- & A. Doweld. 2008. (1799) Proposal to conserve the name Aizoaceae against Mesembryanthemaceae, a “superconservation” proposal. Taxon 57: 302.

Mesembryanthemaceae has priority over Aizoaceae (apparently a recent discovery), and, since both names are conserved, must be used by workers (most) who would unite these families. A sudden flash of insight informs us that this mysterious term “superconservation” must refer to the conservation of one conserved name over another. Duh!

Ribeiro, R. A., M. Lavin, J. P. Lemos-Filho, C. V. Mendonça Filho, F. Rodrigues dos Santos & M. B. Lovato. 2007. The genus Machaerium (Leguminosae) is more closely related to Aeschynomene sect. Ochopodium than to Dalbergia: inferences from combined sequence data. Syst. Bot. 32: 762–771.

Perhaps the title should have been reworded to emphasize that Aeschynomene sect. Ochopodium (comprising spp. with basifixed stipules) is more closely related to Machaerium than to the rest of Aeschynomene, which seems the most salient result of this study. The clear implication is that sect. Ochopodium “perhaps should be ranked as a distinct genus.” Nevertheless, the group is “not diagnosed by any unique morphology,” and “additional sampling...and morphological data are needed to resolve the exact relationship.” Aeschynomene spp. with basifixed stipules in Costa Rica include A. brasiliana (Poir.) DC., A. elegans Schltdl. & Cham., A. fascicularis Schltdl. & Cham., A. histrix Poir., and A. standleyi Ant. Molina.

Rojas Alvarado, A. F. 2007. Una especie nueva de Lellingeria (Filicales: Polypodiaceae) para Costa Rica, Panamá y Colombia. Lankesteriana 7: 553–556.

In Costa Rica, Lellingeria brenesii A. Rojas occurs at ca. 800–1200 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Tilarán (Reserva Biológica Alberto Manuel Brenes), whence it is known by just two collections. The new sp. is compared especially with L. suprasculpta (Christ) A. R. Sm. & R. C. Moran, from which it differs in various details of the rhizome scales and fronds. Illustrated (and contrasted with various other spp.) in two line drawings. This and the following paper are oddly segregated at the end of this issue of Lankesteriana, and we sense that these are the probably last non-orchid papers that will be published in that journal [see The Cutting Edge 14(2): 1–2, Apr. 2007].

---. 2007. Novedades en Polybotrya (Filicales: Dryopteridaceae) para Costa Rica. Lankesteriana 7: 557–562.

Two spp. of Polybotrya are described as new from Costa Rica, and a third is newly reported from the country. The new spp. are Polybotrya aureisquama A. Rojas, widespread and much collected in Costa Rica (and apparently endemic there), and P. insularis A. Rojas, endemic to Isla del Coco. The former spp., basically montane (700–1600 m) in very wet and pluvial forests, is segregated from Polybotrya alfredii Brade on the basis of numerous differences involving the rhizome scales and fronds. The “real” P. alfredii must also occur in Costa Rica, where the type specimen was collected, but its distribution is not specified. Polybotrya insularis is most similar to P. caudata Kunze. Both of the new spp. are illustrated by photographic images from herbarium specimens. The range extension involves Polybotrya lourteigiana Lellinger, formerly considered a Colombian endemic. From a Costa Rican perspective, this is another segregate from P. alfredii, as which it has generally been misidentified. Polybotrya lourteigiana is rather widespread in Costa Rica, mainly at 100–550 m elevation on the Atlantic slope, and must surely occur in Panama as well.

Romowicz, A. & D. L. Szachetko. 2006. Genera et species orchidalium. 12. Oncidieae. Polish Bot. J. 51: 43–47.

Based mainly on floral-morphological details, with some lip-service paid to previous molecular work, the authors segregate three new genera from the residue of Oncidium. Just one concerns us, Vitekorchis Romowicz & Szlach., characterized as “closely related to Oncidium”(!). Twelve new combinations are validated at sp. rank, including two pertinent to Costa Rica: Vitekorchis klotzschiana (Rchb. f.) Romowicz & Szlach. (based on Oncidium klotzschianum Rchb. f.) and V. obryzata (Rchb. f.) Romowicz & Szlach. (based on Oncidium obryzatum Rchb. f.). These were treated in the Manual as a single sp., under the name Oncidium klotzschianum (with O. obryzatum in synonymy). Incidentally, the epithets of both of the foregoing new combinations (and most of the other 10) are incorrectly given in masculine gender.

Rosen, D. J., S. L. Hatch & R. Carter. 2007. Infraspecific taxonomy and nomenclature of Eleocharis acutangula (Cyperaceae). J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 1: 875–888.

With the aid of statistical analyses, three subspp. are circumscribed in this pantropical taxon. Two of these occur in both the New and Old World, while Eleocharis acutangula (Roxb.) Schult. subsp. neotropica D. J. Rosen subsp. nov. is restricted to Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Costa Rican specimens are cited only for the autonymic subsp., but E. a. subsp. breviseta D. J. Rosen subsp. nov. occurs in southern Mexico and Panama. Features a dichotomous, indented key to subspp., full synonymy and typology, lengthy descriptions and discussions, specimen citations (representative for the autonymic subsp.), a distribution map, and distribution summaries. All three subspp. are illustrated in a single composite line drawing.

Szlachetko, D. L. 2006. Genera et species orchidalium. 11. Oncidieae. Polish Bot. J. 51: 39–41.

Here we get three more new genera, but we need heed only one of these: the monospecific Stacyella Szlach., accommodating the errant sp. known originally as Oncidium crista-galli Rchb. f., and bounced more recently to Psygmorchis then Erycina [see The Cutting Edge 8(4): 7, Oct. 2001]. Like all of these things, it still looks just like an Oncidium to us!

--, J. Mytnik-Ejsmont, M. Górniak & M. Śmiszek. 2006. Genera et species orchidalium. 15. Maxillarieae. Polish Bot. J. 51: 57–59.

Turning to Maxillaria, Dariusz Szlachetko and colleagues validate new combinations for 16 spp. under the genus name Christensonella Szlach., Mytnik, Górniak & Śmiszek (honoring orchidologist Eric A. Christenson, formerly of SEL). This time they may be onto something (see under Blanco et al., this column). Just one Costa Rican sp. gets swept up in this, the former Maxillaria uncata Lindl

--, --- & A. Romowicz. 2006. Genera et species orchidalium. 14. Oncidieae. Polish Bot. J. 51: 53–55.

And on it goes: two more new genera are carved out of Oncidium, and this time both marginally concern us (or appear to). Lophiarella Szlach., Mytnik & Romowicz harbors two spp., one of which, the former Oncidium pumilum Lindl., was merely mentioned in the Manual as dubiously recorded from Costa Rica. Heteranthocidium Szlach., Mytnik & Romowicz subsumes another 15 spp.; actually, none of these occur in Costa Rica, we believe, notwithstanding the authors’ claim that the former Oncidium heteranthum Poepp. & Endl. “has been found” there. They’ve overlooked the fact that the last-mentioned name was long misapplied in Central America to the sp. correctly known as O. bryolophotum Rchb. f. (which apparently does not even belong to Heteranthocidium, as no combination is validated for it here).

Téllez-Valdés, O. & R. Geeta. 2007. Dioscorea howardiana, a new species in Dioscorea section Trigonobasis (Dioscoreaceae). Brittonia 59: 370–373.

Dioscorea howardiana O. Téllez, B. G. Schub. & Geeta, striking by virtue of its trilobed leaves, is segregated from material previously included in D. liebmannii Uline. Although the new sp. (named for the late Howard Scott Gentry) is not recorded from Costa Rica, we mention it because it is widespread in Mesoamerica and has been found in both Nicaragua and Panama. Illustrated with a fine composite line drawing.

Winkworth, R. C., J. Lundberg & M. J. Donoghue. 2008. Toward a resolution of campanulid phylogeny, with special reference to the placement of Dipsacales. Taxon 57: 53–65.

In which we learn that Valerianaceae, though still accepted by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, is now included by some authors in Caprifoliaceae s. str. (exclusive of Adoxaceae).

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