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Volume XIX, Number 2, April 2012
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Archila Morales, F. L. 2009. Reconsideration of the genus Amparoa Schltr. (oncidinae [sic] Bentham / Orchidaceae Jussieu) a genus with the center of diversification in the Mayan Mesoamerica. Revista Guatemal. 12(2): 3–29.
The oddysey continues for a small group of spp., mostly rare and poorly known in Costa Rica, treated under the generic name Rhynchostele in the Manual. These spp. were originally included in a broad circumscription of Odontoglossum, a taxon later restricted to South America and ultimately synonymized under Oncidium [see this column under “Chase” et al. in The Cutting Edge 17(2), Apr. 2010]. Meanwhile, our guys were briefly shunted into Lemboglossum before coming to rest in Rhynchostele. The last-mentioned genus was subsequently enlarged to include the (arguably) monospecific Amparoa, with a combination in Rhynchostele validated for A. beloglossa (Rchb. f.) Schltr. [see The Cutting Edge 12(1): 8–9, Jan. 2005], widespread in Mesoamerica (including Costa Rica). But the author of the present paper turns the table on Rhynchostele, restricting it (on the sole basis of morphological features) to the type sp., R. pygmaea (Lindl.) Rchb. f. (of northern Mesoamerica) and resurrecting Amparoa for the remaining 21 spp. that he accepts in the group. One of these is Amparoa costaricensis Schltr., which name was cited as a synonym of A. beloglossa in the Manual and implicitly accepted as such by subsequent authors (it was never combined in Rhynchostele); this author does not address that issue. For the 19 spp. that did not have names in Amparoa, combinations in that genus are here published in the name of the author, affecting the following binomials used in the Manual: Rhynchostele bictoniensis (Bateman) Soto Arenas & Salazar, R. cordata (Lindl.) Soto Arenas & Salazar, R. maculata (Lex.) Soto Arenas & Salazar, and R. stellata (Lindl.) Soto Arenas & Salazar. The author apparently has overlooked Rhynchostele hortensiae (R. L. Rodr.) Soto Arenas & Salazar, which we do not find mentioned anywhere in his paper. Combinations are also published for two subspp., not occurring in Costa Rica. At least one of the new combinations at sp. rank (not involving a Costa Rican taxon) is invalid and another (that of Rhynchostele bictoniensis) is rendered in the wrong gender in this poorly edited paper, which is also written in execrable English (see the title for examples of both transgressions). The morphological distinctions between Amparoa and Rhynchostele s. str. are presented in a pair of tables. The conclusions of this paper receive zero support from the most recent molecular data [see Fig. 10 in “Neubig” et al. (2012), this column], which show Rhynchostele pygmaea deeply nested among various other spp. here segregated in Amparoa.
——. 2010. Selbyana Archila un nuevo género en la Lycastinae Schltr. Revista Guatemal. 13(1): 61–129.
The new genus of the title is created to accommodate 16 spp., seven of which were formerly included in Lycaste and nine that are described as new. Actually, the taxon itself is not new; it already exsited as Lycaste subgen. Selbyana Archila, here elevated to generic rank; therefore, it would seem that the correct authority citation for the new genus name ought to be “(Archila) Archila.” This proposition, however, calls into question the validity of the genus name, because only the issue number in which the basionym was published is indicated, not the “page or pages on which the basionym…was validly published or on which the protologue is printed,” as required by ICBN Art. 33.4 (see Note 1). But if the name cannot be accepted as a new combination, as fittingly it should be, then it does appear to meet all the qualifications for a new taxon name. Full circle! One might also question whether the adjectival name Selbyana violates ICBN Art. 20.1, which stipulates that “the name of a genus is a noun in the nominative singular.”
But getting back to the nitty-gritty, the genus Selbyana is contrasted with Lycaste s. str. in two tables, employing 20 “macro” characters and 12 “micro” ones (with all but four of the 32 characters being floral). The new genus ranges from Mexico to Costa Rica, with only Selbyana cochleata (Lindl.) Archila, comb. nov. (based on Lycaste cochleata Lindl.) occurring naturally in the latter country. If the binomial Lycaste cochleata is unfamiliar to Manual users, that is because Lycaste bradeorum Schltr., accepted in the Manual, is here consigned to synonymy under Selbyana cochleata. On a final note, the author remarks that Selbyana javieri Archila, sp. nov., though native only in Guatemala, “se ha traficado abundantemente a Costa Rica.” All 16 Selbyana spp. are illustrated at the end of the paper with primitive line drawings of floral parts.
Batista, J. A. N., L. B. Bianchetti, R. González-Tamayo, X. M. C. Figueroa & P. J. Cribb. 2011. A synopsis of New World Habenaria (Orchidaceae) II. Harvard Pap. Bot. 16: 233–273.
The final installment of this two-part series, covering sp. names in the M–Z alphabetical range, continues in the same vein as its predecessor and with identical attributes [as described in this column under “Batista” et al. in The Cutting Edge 18(4), Oct. 2011]. In our estimation, this hardly qualifies as a synopsis, being rather more in the nature of an annotated checklist. Several deviations from the Manual treatment (2003) by Robert L. Dressler (JBL) are noteworthy (bearing in my mind that the authors give no indication of actually having seen the last-mentioned work). Three spp. included with vouchers in the Manual are not attributed to Costa Rica here: Habenaria mesodactyla Griseb. (“Trinidad”), H. rodeiensis Barb. Rodr. (“Brazil...Paraguay and Peru”), and H. strictissima Rchb. f. (“Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua”); the first of these involves a taxonomic problem (the authors speculate that “about four distinct taxa” have masqueraded as H. mesodactyla in Central and South America) and the last is probably an oversight, but we can offer no explanation for the case of H. rodeiensis. On the flip side, three spp. attributed to Costa Rica by these authors were omitted from the Manual: Habenaria novemfida Lindl., H. platantheroides Schltr., and H. quinqueseta (Michx.) Eaton. We suspect that all of these examples involve misapplication, by one author or another. The names Habenaria novemfida and H. quinqueseta both appear as “sensu” synonyms in the Manual, the former as having been misapplied to H. costaricensis Schltr., the latter to H. macroceratitis Willd. The authors of this paper acknowledge considerable taxonomic confusion between H. macroceratitis and H. quinqueseta, and present composite geographic ranges for both. Their inclusion of Costa Rica in the geographical range of H. novemfida probably reflects past literature reports actually involving H. costaricensis (the latter name having been synonymized under H. cryptophila Barb. Rodr. in the first installment of this “synopsis”). The name Habenaria platantheroides was omitted altogether from the Manual treatment, despite being based on a Costa Rican type, due to its long-standing acceptance as a synonym of H. alata Hook. (going back at least as far as Standley’s Flora of Costa Rica). Indeed, even these authors admit that “probably it is an extreme form of H. alata.”
Bogarín, D. 2011. How many orchid species in Costa Rica? A review of the latest discoveries. Lankesteriana 11: 185–205.
This paper, along with several others reviewed in this column, appears in a volume of Lankesteriana edited by Alec M. Pridgeon (K) and Hugo Guillermo Navarrete Zambrano (QCA) and dedicated to the Proceedings of the Third Scientific Conference on Andean Orchids. The answer to the question posed in the title is presently 1519 (201 more than were accounted for in the 2003 Manual Orchidaceae treatment), though it is unclear whether this represents an exact count or an estimate. The author presents a detailed review of the 82 “latest” orchid discoveries from Costa Rica, although we could find no indication of a cut-off date; it must be considerably more recent than the one for our celebrated “running count” (ca. 1993), however, which has now reached 311 (gathering loose ends from this and our previous two issues) and includes only spp. new to science. The vast majority of the records reported here have already been discussed in these pages, but it is certainly convenient to have them summarized in one place (alphabetically by genus and vouchered, in a single table, with additional information in the text, alphabetically by tribe and subtribe). At least six country records are new even to us: Encyclia gravida (Lindl.) Schltr. [but see this column under “Pupulin” (2011) in our current issue], Kefersteinia alata Pupulin (from along the Río Yorkín), Lepanthes droseroides Luer, L. mariposa Luer, and L. pexa Luer (unvouchered to date), the last four all previously considered endemic to Panama, and Pleurothallis duplooyi Luer & Sayers (also with combinations in Panmorphia and Specklinia), an erstwhile Belizean endemic that can now be reported from the Caribbean slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca in Costa Rica. Many (perhaps even all) of the featured 82 spp. are illustrated with color photos of living material or composite line drawings. These illustrations are nice, but not essential to the purpose at hand (the original references being duly cited for consultation by interested parties) and severely disruptive to the flow of the text.
Brown, J. E., J. M. Bauman, J. F. Lawrie, O. J. Rocha & R. C. Moore. 2011. The structure of morphological and genetic diversity in natural populations of Carica papaya (Caricaceae) in Costa Rica. Biotropica 44: 179–188.
The subject of this article may be out of our bailiwick, but we are mildly intrigued by the notion of widespread “natural populations” of Carica papaya L. (the papaya of commerce) “in disturbed areas and within secondary lowland forests” throughout Costa Rica. We wonder whether at least some of the 10 populations evaluated for this project may instead represent Carica cauliflora Jacq. [AKA Vasconcellea cauliflora (Jacq.) A. DC.], an indigenous sp. closely resembling the cultivated one and known from several of the authors’ study sites. The name C. cauliflora is nowhere mentioned in this paper, nor do find any indication that herbarium specimens were prepared to voucher the populations in question.
Cáceres González, D. A., K. Schulte, M. Schmidt & G. Zizka. 2011. A synopsis of the Bromeliaceae of Panama, including new records for the country. Willdenowia 41: 357–369.
As in the case of the paper by Batista et al. (see this column in our current issue), this is by no means a “synopsis,” by our standards, rather an annotated checklist. Not that it is any of our business, this contribution being principally concerned with Panama. Nonetheless, our interest is piqued by the authors’ enumeration of 20 spp. newly reported from Panama, a list that must inevitably entail the loss of several putative Costa Rican endemics (endemicity being always “putative”!). The victims are as follows: Aechmea pittieri Mez, Pitcairnia halophila L. B. Sm., Tillandsia dexteri H. Luther, Werauhia bracteosa (Mez & Wercklé) J. R. Grant, W. kathyae (Utley) J. R. Grant, W. macrantha (Méz & Wercklé) J. R. Grant (for which we got the authority citation wrong in the Manual), W. macrochlamys (Mez & Wercklé) J. F. Morales, W. notata (L. B. Sm. & Pittendr.) J. R. Grant, W. paniculata (Mez & Wercklé) J. R. Grant, and W. viridis (Mez & Wercklé) J. R. Grant. These number 10, though for some reason (not clear to us) the authors dock 11 spp. from the Costa Rican total of endemic bromeliads (now 32, by their count). We had hoped that some compensation might be provided by the authors’ list of six spp. that had been erroneously reported from Panama but, alas, such was not to be. As might have been expected, most (though not all) of our lost endemics popped up in the montane regions of westernmost Panama.
Davidse, G., M. Sousa S., S. Knapp & F. Chiang (editores generales). 2012. Flora mesoamericana. Vol. 4, Parte 2. Rubiaceae a Verbenaceae. Univ. Nac. Autón. México, Mexico City/Missouri Bot. Gard., St. Louis/Nat. Hist. Mus. (London). 533 pp.
This latest installment of Flora mesoamericana (henceforth FM) completes Vol. 4, treating 1417 spp. of dicots in 202 genera and 11 families. Rubiaceae is the big cheese here, accounting for the majority (852) of the spp. For our warped purposes, we will break down Parte 2 of Vol. 4 just as we did its counterpart [see this column under “Davidse” et al. in The Cutting Edge 17(2), Apr. 2010]: in terms of the relevance of family treatments to our continuing work on the Manual. In that regard, the families dispatched in the present “Parte” may be grouped into the following three categories, in ascending order of urgency: families already published in Manual Vols. 5 or 6, i.e., Convolvulaceae, Hydrophyllaceae, Lamiaceae, and Lennoaceae; families to be published a few years down the road, in Manual Vol. 4, in this case only Boraginaceae s. l. (here divided into Boraginaceae s. str., Cordiaceae, Ehretiaceae, and Heliotropiaceae); and lastly, and of most immediate relevance to us, families to appear in Manual Vol. 7, currently in the final stages of production, i.e., Rubiaceae and Verbenaceae s. l. The remainder of this review will address mainly the first of these categories, prefaced by one overarching observation: beginning with the present “Parte,” the editors of FM have decided to adopt the most recent family classification of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG) [see this column under “Angiosperm Phylogeny Group” in The Cutting Edge 17(1), Jan. 2010]—a changeover that is easily accommodated, in most cases, by their phylogenetic sequencing. This signals a parting of ways with the Manual project, since our alphabetical ordering of families generally precludes such radical rearrangements; for example, with the Manual volumes that would have contained Cordiaceae, Ehretiaceae, and Heliotropiaceae already published, we can no longer contemplate fragmenting traditional Boraginaceae in the manner indicated above. In addition to Boraginaceae, family circumscriptions in this “Parte” of FM differing from the ones used (or to be used) in the Manual are those of Hydrophyllaceae (from which Hydroleaceae has been spun off), Lamiaceae, and Verbenaceae (with numerous genera of traditional Verbenaceae now included in Lamiaceae). But having said all of that, this latest “Parte” of FM features one significant divergence from APG: the genus Cuscuta is deliberately omitted from the Convolvulaceae treatment. Curiously, one of the papers cited in defense of that decision is the same one that was cited in co-PI Barry Hammel’s Manual account of Convolvulaceae as the rationale for including Cuscuta! It is also peculiar that Cuscutaceae (we assume that is where the genus will be placed) is not included elsewhere in this same “Parte” of FM, given the phylogenetic circumscription of the work.
At lower taxonomic levels, some additional discrepancies may be noted. The following taxa of Convolvulaceae, though included (or at least mentioned) with Costa Rican vouchers in the Manual, are not attributed to Costa Rica in this “Parte” of FM: Bonamia trichantha Hallier f., Ipomoea cairica (L.) Sweet, I. carnea Jacq. subsp. carnea, I. eremnobrocha D. F. Austin, I. suaveolens (M. Martens & Galeotti) Hemsl., I. variabilis (Schltdl. & Cham.) Choisy, I. wrightii A. Gray, Itzaea sericea (Standl.) Standl. & Steyerm., Jacquemontia agrestis (Mart. ex Choisy) Meisn., and Turbina corymbosa (L.) Raf. We cannot say whether these omissions represent oversights or taxonomic differences of opinion. In a few other cases, infraspecific taxa invoked in the Manual are not mentioned in FM, e.g., for Aniseia martinicensis (Jacq.) Choisy, Merremia dissecta (Jacq.) Hallier f., and M. umbellata (L.) Hallier f. And on a more minor note, the Manual voucher for Ipomoea cholulensis Kunth somehow got cited under I. clavata (G. Don) Ooststr. ex J. F. Macbr. in FM (we double-checked; the Manual is correct on this). There are a few revelations here for us as well, suggesting changes to the Manual treatment: our Ipomoea “caraica” must be corrected to I. cairica (how did we bungle that?), and Jacquemontia “pentantha” (so misspelled in every major flora up till now) to J. penthanthos. Furthermore, we learn that the name Ipomoea calantha Griseb., accepted in the Manual, is to be considered a synonym of I. jalapa (L.) Pursh.
Apart from the splitting off of Hydroleaceae, the FM treatments of Hydrophyllaceae and Lennoaceae are largely in line with the published Manual accounts of those families, although FM dispenses with the use of vars. for Wigandia urens (Ruiz & Pav.) Kunth. There are greater discrepancies in Lamiaceae (s. l.), however, particularly involving the genus Salvia. The following spp. of Lamiaceae, included (or at least mentioned) in the Manual with Costa Rican vouchers, are not attributed to Costa Rica in this “Parte” of FM: Clinopodium brownei (Sw.) Kuntze, Hyptis atrorubens Poit. (a late addition to the Manual treatment), the weedy and common Marsypianthes chamaedrys (Vahl) Kuntze, Mentha aquatica L., Salvia hispanica L., S. coccinea Buc’hoz ex Etl., S. holwayi S. F. Blake, and S. pauciserrata Benth. (which name appears nowhere). Again, we are ignorant of the basis for most of these omissions. On the other side of the ledger, FM cites a Costa Rican voucher for the cultivated Salvia leucantha Cav., mentioned in the Manual but without a specimen citation. Furthermore, three spp. of Lamiaceae s. l., all in Salvia, must apparently be added to the Costa Rican flora, based on the FM account of that genus by Bente B. Klitgaard (K). These are: Salvia comayaguana Standl., which name we believed to have been misapplied in Costa Rica to S. colonica Standl. & L. O. Williams ex Klitg., but with both spp. now alleged to be present in the country (the former, based on current determinations, at 900–1950 m, vert. Pac. Cord. de Guanacaste, Cerro Caraigres; fl. ene., feb.); Salvia iodochroa Briq., cited in the Manual as a synonym of S. carnea Kunth, but with both spp. now indicated as occurring in Costa Rica (the former, based on current determinations, at 2600–3000 m, vert. Pac. y cerca de la División Continental, Cord. de Talamanca; fl. feb.); and Salvia purpurea Cav., mentioned in the Manual treatment (p. 69) as having been previously reported from Costa Rica (by Standley, on the basis of a “very doubtful” record), but now vouchered by a recent collection (which we have not seen, and for which no locality data are readily available to us). We also suffer two name changes in Salvia: Salvia drymocharis Epling falls into synonymy under S. albiflora M. Martens & Galeotti (costing us a Costa Rican endemic!), and S. micrantha Vahl under S. serotina L. Finally, it is worth noting that, while not attributing the sp. to Costa Rica, FM accepts two vars. of Salvia holwayi (vars. having been ignored for this sp. in the Manual).
Dressler, R. L. 2011. ¿Las sobralias se pueden clasificar? — El complejo de Sobralia warszewiczii. Lankesteriana 11: 239–243.
Although the name Sobralia warszewiczii Rchb. f. (Orchidaceae) was used for an accepted sp. attributed to Costa Rica in the 2003 Manual Orchidaceae treatment (by the author of this paper), it turns out that the sp. to which the name properly applies “is not definitely known from Costa Rica” (quoting from the English-language abstract), being strictly Panamanian (though some populations are so near the border with Costa Rica that the eventual appearance of the sp. in the latter country is considered “muy probable”). The Costa Rican populations that were referred to this predominantly lilac-flowered sp. in the Manual may belong to at least three other spp., those in the Guanacaste region being perhaps conspecific with material (apparently unnamed) from southern Mexico (Chiapas) and Guatemala. More southerly populations in Costa Rica (e.g., from the Cordillera de Talamanca) may represent at least two other distinct spp., to which the names Sobralia amparoae Schltr. and/or S. bradeorum Schltr. (indicated as synonyms of S. warszewiczii in the Manual) may (or may not) apply. The author also describes two populations in disturbed sites (in the northern Cordillera de Talamanca) that have the appearance of hybrid swarms. Illustrated with color photos of flowers (in life) representing all of these various populations (including true Sobralia warszewiczii from Panama).
Fernández, M. & D. Bogarín. 2011. A new Trichosalpinx (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) from the northern Pacific lowlands of Costa Rica. Phytotaxa 38: 41–48.
Trichosalpinx reflexa Mel. Fernández & Bogarín, the new sp. of the title, is endemic to the relatively dry northeastern portion of Costa Rica (indeed, the type locality, Parque Nacional Barra Honda, is in “bosque seco” and one of the most arid sites in the country). It is compared in tabular fashion to Trichosalpinx ciliaris (Lindl.) Luer and T. memor (Rchb. f.) Luer, both restricted to “bosque muy húmedo” and differing mainly (but not exclusively) in floral details; the reflexed synsepal of T. reflexa, unique within this trio of spp., inspired the epithet. Seven specimens (including the type) of Trichosalpinx reflexa are cited, one of which is actually “historical,” by the standards of Costa Rican orchidology (i.e., collected before 2000 by someone not associated with JBL). The new sp. and both of its putatively closest relatives are featured jointly on a distribution map, and each individually in a composite line drawing (two by the first author and one by the second); a photograph from life is provided for T. reflexa alone.
Fuentes-Bazan, S., G. Mansion & T. Borsch. 2012. Towards a species level tree of the globally diverse genus Chenopodium (Chenopodiaceae). Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 62: 359–374.
These molecular analyses reveal “that the highly paraphyletic genus Chenopodium comprises five lineages which could be recognized at generic level.” The lumping alternative “would dramatically underestimate the morphological diversity” in the group and “result in the inclusion of well-known genera, such as Atriplex or Spinacia, in Chenopodium.” We have little to fear from any of this, because just two spp. of Chenopodium (in the traditional sense) have been reported from Costa Rica. One of these, C. album L., is the generic type and thus not going anywhere; the other, C. ambrosioides L., has already been reassigned to the segregate genus Dysphania [see The Cutting Edge 15(4): 5–6, Oct. 2008], a position that is seconded in this paper. Rather more distressful for us is the continued acceptance of the family Chenopodiaceae by these authors [see also this column under “Schäferhoff” et al. in The Cutting Edge 17(2), Apr. 2010]. Numerous new combinations are validated, none relevant to Costa Rican floristics.
Hammel, B. E. 2012. Ipomoea diriadactylina (Convolvulaceae), a new species from the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. Phytoneuron 2012-27: 1–6.
Unleashed from the requirements for Latin and hard-copy publication (see under “Monro,” this column), Manual co-PI Barry Hammel runs wild! This is just the beginning, folks. Ipomoea diriadactylina Hammel, as it turns out, is something we already knew about: it was included in the author’s Manual treatment of Convolvulaceae (2010) as “Ipomoea sp. A.” So now it has a proper and colorful Latin epithet (if not a Latin diagnosis), compounded from the name of the type locality (Parque Nacional Diriá) and “‘dactylina’ meaning ‘divided into fingerlike structures’…in reference to its unusual fruiting calyx.” The last-mentioned morphological feature, in conjunction with several others that are duly enumerated, serves to distinguish the new sp. from the similar and locally sympatric Ipomoea batatoides Choisy and I. lindenii M. Martens & Galeotti. As far as is known, Ipomoea diriadactylina is endemic to the region about Cerro Vista al Mar, the second highest peak on the Península de Nicoya (see the first paragraph of “Annotate Your Copy,” in the present issue, for more on this), and is one of only two Ipomoea spp. endemic to Costa Rica. Features a fine composite line drawing by Claudia Aragón, as well as color photos of living material and the habitat.
Henderson, A. 2012. A revision of Pholidostachys (Arecaceae). Phytotaxa 43: 1–48.
There is little that is new for us here, with Pholidostachys pulchra H. Wendl. ex Burret still the only sp. of this smallish palm genus yet recorded from Costa Rica. The author discusses morphological variation among six geographically separate populations of P. pulchra across its total range (southeastern Nicaragua to western Colombia), but withholds “subspecific division,” at least for the time being (if this were to happen, along the lines suggested here, the Nicaraguan/Costa Rican population would comprise the autonymic subsp.). With regard to the Manual Arecaceae treatment (2003) by co-PI Mike Grayum, only the generic sp. total (“4”) and distribution (“SE Nic.–Perú”) require some adjustment: Pholidostachys now boasts seven spp. (four being described here as new), and extends into “O Bras.” Includes synonymy, typology, and technical descriptions (sometimes very brief) at all levels, dichotomous (though non-indented) keys to spp. and (for one sp.) subspp., distribution summaries, discussions, range maps, a section (appendix) on “Excluded names,” and an index to exsiccatae (though specimens are nowhere cited with full locality data, except in the case of types). The introductory portion deals mainly with taxonomic history, the author’s morphometric methodology, and morphological features. The last-mentioned section is illustrated with photographs, and photos of type specimens are compiled in an appendix.
Huang, Y.-Y., S. A. Mori & L. M. Kelly. 2011. A morphological cladistic analysis of Lecythidoideae with emphasis on Bertholletia, Corythophora, Eschweilera, and Lecythis. Brittonia 63: 396–417.
A cladistic analysis based on morphological as well as anatomical characters and involving 86 spp. shows both Eschweilera and Lecythis (Lecythidaceae; the only genera of the title represented in Costa Rica) to be non-monophyletic; or, from a different perspective, Eschweilera is diphyletic and “Lecythis is paraphyletic and all of the [other] genera…are potentially derived from within Lecythis.” Eschweilera could be made monophyletic by the removal of two South American spp. (not done here for want of “additional data”), but the problem with Lecythis is much more serious. As stated by the authors, their results make it “difficult to recognize a monophyletic Lecythis that does not contain—at minimum—almost all of Eschweilera.” We can speculate that the eventual taxonomic resolution of this dilemma might entail either the fragmentation or expansion of Lecythis, but the authors forgo such drastic measures pending “further study” (presumably involving a molecular component).
Jordaan, M., A. E. Van Wyk & O. Maurin. 2011. Generic status of Quisqualis (Combretaceae), with notes on the taxonomy and distribution of Q. parviflora. Bothalia 41: 161–169.
In a previous paper helmed by the third author of the present one [see this column under “Maurin” et al. in The Cutting Edge 17(3), Jul. 2010], molecular evidence appeared to confirm the notion that the spp. of Quisqualis are embedded within Combretum, and that the two genera should be merged under the latter name. We had already gone that route for the Manual (probably following Mabberley’s plant-book), where we used the name Combretum indicum (L.) Jongkind for the cultivated sp. (mentioned in our genus discussion of Combretum) that had long been known as Quisqualis indica L. That view is still held by Maurin, but his two coauthors prevail for the purposes of the present paper, wherein Quisqualis is restored on the basis of traditional distinctions and “the potentially misleading effects of poor taxon sampling” by molecular workers. Time will tell, one way or the other.
Kenfack, D. 2011. A synoptic revision of Carapa (Meliaceae). Harvard Pap. Bot. 16: 171–231.
This contribution is a product of the doctoral dissertation (2008) of its author, formerly associated with MO (and now with the Arnold Arboretum), whom we were fortunate to have been able to conscript for the Manual account of Carapa (2007). Thus there are no great surprises here for us, with Carapa guianensis Aubl. and C. nicaraguensis C. DC. comprising the Costa Rican representation of this genus. This revision, the first of Carapa to rely extensively on field studies, recognizes a total of 27 spp., vs. just “2–3” according to Mabberley’s plant-book (2008); 10 spp. are neotropical and the remainder African. The format rather exceeds the minimal requirements of a synoptic treatment, with synonymy and typology and technical descriptions of the genus and all its spp. (though the descriptions are sometimes rather brief), a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp., discussions of varying length, and distribution maps; distribution and phenology summaries and comprehensive specimen citations are presented for many (but not all) of the spp. The introductory part is very brief and dedicated almost exclusively to taxonomic history [a molecular phylogeny of Carapa having been published previously by the author; see this column under “Kenfack” in The Cutting Edge 18(2), Apr. 2011]. Most of the spp. (though not Carapa guianensis) are illustrated with composite line drawings or color photos of living (as C. nicaraguensis) or herbarium material. Eight new sp. names (including one from Panama) and one new combination are validated (and several other spp. were described by the author and colleagues in recent papers).
Lack, H. W. 2011. The discovery, naming and typification of Euphorbia pulcherrima (Euphorbiaceae). Willdenowia 41: 301–309.
This is interesting reading, but for the most part not critical from a taxonomic or nomenclatural standpoint. The name Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch is lectotypified, as is one of its synonyms (and another is neotypified). The author maintains that the name Euphorbia poinsettii Raf. is a validly published “alternative name” that “predates E. pulcherrima, making conservation of the latter well established name necessary.” However, based on the evidence presented in this paper, we would contend that E. poinsettii is invalid according to ICBN Art. 34.1 (see especially Ex. 4), as “not accepted by the author in the original publication” and/or having been “merely proposed in anticipation of the future acceptance of the taxon concerned, or of a particular circumscription, position, or rank of the taxon…” (the word “position” being especially germane, we think, in the present context). Rafinesque actually described the taxon as Pleuradenia coccinea Raf., adding: “If yet deemed an Euphorbia it may be called E. coccinea or E. poinseti Raf….” Pleuradenia coccinea was clearly the only name he accepted for the taxon in question at the time of publication (1833), and (unbeknownst to Rafinesque) its epithet was already preoccupied in Euphorbia by E. coccinea Roth (1821).
Luer, C. A. 2011. Miscellaneous new species in the Pleurothallidinae (Orchidaceae) excluding species from Brazil. Harvard Pap. Bot. 16: 311–360.
Only one of the 58 new spp. concerns us (apparently), that being Kraenzlinella rinkei Luer, “named for Bryon Rinke of Winfield, KS, who cultivates this species.” The holotype and only known specimen is “without collection data,” though for some unexplained reason it is attributed to Costa Rica. The new entity (which would have been included in Pleurothallis in the Manual) is not directly compared to any other sp. Also germane to Costa Rican floristics is the validation of a new genus name, Lalexia Luer, to replace the illegitimate Loddigesia Luer [see The Cutting Edge 13(4): 7, Oct. 2006]. The combination Lalexia quadrifida (Lex.) Luer is also validated for the sole sp. in the genus, which was treated as Pleurothallis quadrifida (Lex.) Lindl. in the Manual. This would apparently be assigned to the genus Anathallis in the alternative system of Pridgeon and Chase [see The Cutting Edge 9(1): 9–10, Jan. 2002].
Kraenzlinella rinkei is depicted in a composite line drawing.
Lye, K. A. 2011. New combinations in the genus Mapania (Cyperaceae) in America. Lidia 7: 99–100.
“Since Hypolytrum cannot be maintained as a genus by itself…15 new combinations are coined in Mapania.” The reasons given for the merger are “partly the lack of clear morphological separating characters between the two genera and partly the lack of genetic separation shown in molecular works” (the latter not cited here). Curiously, just one of the new combinations, Mapania ampla (Poepp. & Kunth) Lye, applies overtly to a taxon occurring (arguably) in Costa Rica (where it is known only from Isla del Coco). Missing in action are Hypolytrum amplissimum M. Alves & W. W. Thomas (consigned to synonymy under H. amplum Poepp. & Kunth in the Manual), H. longifolium (Rich.) Nees, and both subspp. of the latter [the autonymic one and H. l. subsp. nicaraguense (Liebm.) T. Koyama]. It is unclear whether these omissions involve oversights or taxonomic decisions on the part of the author. Hypolytrum longifolium, in any case, cannot be combined in Mapania due to the existence of M. longifolia (Boeck.) C. B. Clarke (1908); to that end, the new combination Mapania fusca (Nees) Lye, based on Hypolytrum fuscum Nees—generally considered a synonym of H. longifolium—might well fill the bill (although H. irriguum Nees, another ostensible synonym not yet transferred to Mapania, has equal priority). On the other hand, the combination Mapania schraderiana (Nees) Lye is validated, based on a name (Hypolytrum schraderianum Nees) that has often been misapplied (at least in the minds of other authors) to H. longifolium; so we do not know the author’s thinking along these lines, and we could not embrace his nomenclature, even if we wanted to, without additional information.
Monro, A. K. 2012.
Eight new species of Cestrum (Solanaceae) from Mesoamerica. PhytoKeys 8: 49–82.
The author’s continued work on the Solanaceae for Flora mesoamerica yields this cornucopia, including five spp. represented in Costa Rica (none of which is endemic). These are, as follows: Cestrum amistadense A. K. Monro (compared with C. langeanum D’Arcy and C. longiflorum Ruiz & Pav.), collected twice in Costa Rica at 900–1900 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca and in the southern Fila Costeña (Cerro Anguciana) on the Pacific slope, and extending into western Panama; Cestrum haberi A. K. Monro (which has been confused with C. poasanum Donn. Sm.), collected most frequently in the Cordillera de Tilarán, but also occurring in the Cordillera Central, the north Cordillera de Talamanca, and western Panama, generally at elevations of 900–2200 m; Cestrum knappiae A. K. Monro (previously confused with C. fragile Francey), known by one Costa Rican collection from Parque Nacional Tapantí (1600 m), but more common in western Panama; Cestrum lentii A. K. Monro (most similar to C. johnniegentryanum D’Arcy), also known in Costa Rica only from Parque Nacional Tapantí (two collections, from 1500–1600+ m) and again in western Panama; and Cestrum talamancaense A. K. Monro (compared with C. irazuense Kuntze and C. laxum Benth.), collected once in Costa Rica, at 3200 m on the Pacific slope of Cerro Chirripó, and thrice in western Panama. Of the remaining three new spp., one is from southern Mexico (Chiapas) and Guatemala and two from Cerro Pirre in easternmost Panama (Prov. Darién). All of the new spp. are depicted in fine composite line drawings and, in two cases (C. amistadense and C. talamancaense), photos of living material. Note that we have taken the liberty of correcting the spelling of the epithet haberi (originally haberii), as well as that of johnniegentryanum (originally johnniegentrianum).
As an interesting aside, all of these new taxon names, as well as several others in this same issue, are unaccompanied by Latin descriptions or diagnoses. As far as we can tell, these are the very first scientific plant names to be validated sans Latin in nearly 80 years—specifically, since 31 December 1934, when last it could be done. On with the show!
Neubig, K. M., W. M. Whitten, M. A. Blanco, L. Endara, N. H. Williams & S. Koehler. 2011. Preliminary molecular phylogenetics of Sobralia and relatives (Orchidaceae: Sobralieae). Lankesteriana 11: 307–317.
Elleanthus, Epilyna, and Sertifera, three of the four genera comprising Orchidaceae tribe Sobralieae, are shown to be monophyletic, but the fourth and largest, Sobralia, turns out to be “a polyphyletic assemblage traditionally placed together due to relatively large flower size.” Four of the Sobralia spp. included in this study are well removed from the rest of the genus, and the authors suggest characters (mainly involving details of inflorescence structure) “that can easily distinguish” the various clades. No taxonomic resolution is offered at the present time, pending “more data” that “will be the subject of future research.” A vexatious complication, already addressed by this group [see this column under “Dressler” et al. in The Cutting Edge 18(4), Oct. 2011], is that the type sp. of Sobralia, S. dichotoma Ruiz & Pav., is one of the extraneous elements. One intriguing detail not mentioned by these authors is that none of the cladograms in this paper reveals any cladistic necessity for separating the oligospecific Epilyna from Elleanthus; the (re)merger of those genera would suit us nicely, the sole Costa Rican representative of Epilyna having been treated as Elleanthus jimenezii (Schltr.) C. Schweinf. in the Manual.
——, ——, N. H. Williams, M. A. Blanco, L. Endara, J. G. Burleigh, K. Silvera, J. C. Cushman & M. W. Chase. 2012. Generic recircumscriptions of Oncidiinae (Orchidaceae: Cymbidieae) based on maximum likelihood analysis of combined DNA datasets. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 168: 117–146.
This study “presents well supported and highly resolved phylogenetic hypotheses of relationships of all major clades within [subtribe] Oncidiinae based on dense taxon sampling,” yielding “the first classification of Oncidiinae in which the genera are demonstrably monophyletic.” The 61 clades accepted at generic rank, all “strongly supported,” are considered “in order of appearance in the cladogram,” with changes in previously accepted taxonomies duly mentioned. Though all of these changes have already been implemented and reported in these pages (and some were even referenced in the Manual), we will take this opportunity to present a convenient summary of them for our readers (and ourselves!), in alphabetical order according to the genus names that were accepted in the 2003 Manual Orchidaceae treatment, coordinated by Robert L. Dressler (now of JBL): Ada and Mesospinidium have both been subsumed within Brassia [see this column under “Chase & Whitten” in The Cutting Edge 18(2), Apr. 2011]; Amparoa has been reduced to synonymy under Rhynchostele [see The Cutting Edge 12(1): 8–9, Jan. 2005; but also see under “Archila Morales” (2009), this column in our present issue]; Comparettia has been enlarged to accommodate Scelochilus [see this column under “Chase” et al. in The Cutting Edge 17(2), Apr. 2010; no mention is made in the present paper of the possibility of including Ionopsis in the newly circumscribed taxon]; Fernandezia now includes Pachyphyllum [see this column under “Chase & Whitten” in The Cutting Edge 18(2), Apr. 2011]; Hybochilus and Goniochilus have both been subordinated as synonyms of Leochilus [see this column under “Chase” et al. in The Cutting Edge 17(2), Apr. 2010]; Oncidium now includes both Odontoglossum (not used for any accepted sp. in the Manual, but widely used for Mesoamerican taxa in prior works) and Sigmatostalix [see this column under “Chase” et al. in The Cutting Edge 17(2), Apr. 2010], but sheds four spp. (two occurring in Costa Rica) to the recently named segregate genus Cyrtochiloides [see The Cutting Edge 9(1): 15, Jan. 2002]; Osmoglossum has been absorbed in Cuitlauzina [see The Cutting Edge 11(1): 4, Jan. 2004]; Otoglossum now accommodates the taxon previously called Oncidium sect. Serpentia (Kraenzl.) Garay and later elevated to genus rank under the name Brevilongium [see The Cutting Edge 13(2): 3, Apr. 2006], which has just one sp. (Oncidium globuliferum Kunth of the Manual) in Costa Rica [see The Cutting Edge 8(4): 7, Oct. 2001]; Psygmorchis in the sense of the Manual has been sunk into the genus Erycina [see The Cutting Edge 8(4): 7, Oct. 2001], together with Oncidium crista-galli Rchb. f. of the Manual, which has sometimes also been included in Psygmorchis [see The Cutting Edge 11(1): 4, Jan. 2004] or in the recently named segregate Stacyella [see The Cutting Edge 15(2): 11, Apr. 2008]; Rossioglossum now includes both Chelyorchis (synonymized under Oncidium in the Manual for purely pragmatic purposes) and Ticoglossum [see this column under “Chase” et al. in The Cutting Edge 17(2), Apr. 2010]; Stellilabium has been submerged in Telipogon [see The Cutting Edge 13(2): 16, Apr. 2006]; Trichocentrum is enlarged by the addition of various spp. treated or mentioned in the Manual under Oncidium [see The Cutting Edge 8(4): 7, Oct. 2001], or elsewhere under the generic names Cohniella, Lophiarella [see The Cutting Edge 15(2): 12, Apr. 2008], or Lophiaris; and Trichopilia now includes Leucohyle [see The Cutting Edge 8(4): 7, Oct. 2001]. No significant changes impacting Costa Rican floristics are evident for any of the other genera of subtribe Oncidiinae represented in Costa Rica, viz., Aspasia, Cischweinfia, Ionopsis, Lockhartia, Macradenia, Macroclinium, Miltoniopsis, Notylia, Ornithocephalus, Plectrophora, Psychopsis, Rodriguezia, Systeloglossum, Trizeuxis, and Warmingia.
Orchard, A. E. & A. J. G. Wilson. 2012. Lectotypification of the name Eleutheranthera ovata Poit. (Asteraceae: Ecliptinae). Taxon 61: 247.
Lectotypification is required because original material has been found, superseding a previous neotypification of the name. The result is that Eleutherantera ovata is no longer homotypic with Melampodium ruderale Sw., though their types are still regarded as conspecific. We should emphasize that none of this has any significant bearing on the recently approved conservation of M. ruderale [the basionym of Eleutheranthera ruderalis (Sw.) Sch. Bip.] over E. ovata [see The Cutting Edge 16(2): 3, Apr. 2009]
Peraza-Flores, L. N., G. Carnevali Fernández-Concha & G. A. Romero-González. 2011. Taxonomic notes in American Polystachya (Orchidaceae): the identity of P. foliosa (Hook.) Rchb. f. and the reestablishment of P. caracasana Rchb. f. J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 138: 366–380.
In our very last issue (see this column under “Mytnik-Ejsmont”), we reviewed a brand new monograph of Polystachya that recognized an astonishing seven spp. as occurring in Costa Rica (vs. just three according to the 2003 Manual treatment of the genus). That work is not cited in the present contribution, and one presumes that the two projects were undertaken in isolation from one another. The paper currently under review, while citing many more specimens per sp. and appearing significantly more authoritative, deals with a much smaller subset of the genus, comprising just two neotropical spp. The result for us is one major nomenclatural change: Polystachya foliosa, the name that has long been used for the most common sp. of its genus in our region, is applied more narrowly (according to its type) to a sp. known only from South America and the West Indies; “many populations formerly referred to P. foliosa”—including all of the Mesoamerican ones—will henceforth be denominated by Polystachya caracasana, “the oldest name that can be unambiguously applied to this particular entity.” The two spp. under discussion receive a formal taxonomic treatment here, including a dichotomous key, full synonymy, typology and iconography, extensive descriptions, distribution summaries, lengthy discussions, comprehensive specimen citations, and distribution maps. Both are illustrated rather crudely (the illustrations appearing on the maps). Just one of the four extra names attributed to Costa Rica in the recent monograph appears here in synonymy, that being Polystachya cingulata Rchb. f. ex Kraenzl. (under P. caracasana). So we remain in the dark as to the other three, at least until the publication of “forthcoming papers,” promised herein, dealing with “the taxonomy of other American groups of Polystachya.”
Pereira, A. L., M. Martins, M. M. Oliveira & F. Carrapiço. 2011. Morphological and genetic diversity of the family Azollaceae inferred from vegetative characters and RAPD markers. Pl. Syst. Evol. 297: 213–226.
The taxonomy of Azolla seems to get more and more confusing with each succeeding contribution. The most recent revision of the New World contingent of the genus, by Evrard & Van Hove [see The Cutting Edge 12(2): 6, Apr. 2005], recognized just two spp. for the region, in a seemingly authoritative manner, while alleging widespread misapplication of certain names (contrary to their types) by previous workers. The conclusions of that revision have, however, been largely ignored in subsequent papers dealing with Azolla [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 13(4): 8, Oct. 2006], including the present one. The paper under review purports to discriminate seven spp. of Azolla, including four in the New World, but the featured dendrogram could also be interpreted as supporting alternative taxonomies. More significantly, the application of names by these authors is highly suspect: were sp. names applied correctly according to their types (i.e., as supposedly by Evrard & Van Hove), or according to some more traditional (and ostensibly incorrect) notion? This paper raises far more questions than it answers, and the jury is still out (or out once again) on the issue of sp.-level taxonomy in Azolla.
Pupulin, F. & D. Bogarín. 2011. Of greenish Encyclia: natural variation, taxonomy, cleistogamy, and a comment on DNA barcoding. Lankesteriana 11: 325–336.
This relatively lengthy paper deals principally with two rather small issues. In the first case, the authors claim (in their abstract) to have reduced “the supposedly rare and variable” Encyclia amanda (Ames) Dressler (mentioned in the Manual as to be expected in Costa Rica) to synonymy under E. chloroleuca (Hook.) Neumann [also mentioned in the Manual, as having been reported from Costa Rica in Pupulin’s Catálogo revisado y anotado de las Orchidaceae de Costa Rica (2002) too late for formal inclusion in our work]; actually, however, they do not fully embrace the suggested synonymy, noting that, while Costa Rican material that has been identified as E. amanda “is not distinguishable from South American specimens of Encyclia chloroleuca” (including the type), “it is quite possible that the name E. amanda should be maintained for a distinct species from Panama and, perhaps, northern Colombia.” So all they are really saying is that the name Encyclia amanda (the type of which is Panamanian) has been misapplied to Costa Rican specimens of E. chloroleuca (which they characterize as “common in Costa Rica”). Even more nebulous is the case of Encyclia gravida (Lindl.) Schltr. (typified by a Mexican collection), a name that was cited in the Manual as having been misapplied in Costa Rican literature to E. stellata (Lindl.) Schltr. These authors confirm that notion, and “accept the concept of E. gravida with some reservation concerning the application of the name and the real identity of the taxon.” They suspect “that the few documented records of E. gravida my simply represent self-pollinating [i.e., cleistogamous] forms belonging to different taxa.” Nonetheless, E. gravida will apparently be included in “a revision of Encyclia for the flora of Costa Rica” said to be “in preparation” by the authors. But the evidence presented in this paper for the occurrence of E. gravida (whatever it may be) in Costa Rica is also unsatisfactory: “two cleistogamous specimens from plants growing in the living collections of Lankester Botanical Gardens,” with no indication of their provenance. A flower from one of these specimens is depicted in a line drawing, the voucher for which is the same as that cited by Bogarín (see this column in our current issue) for the first Costa Rican record of E. gravida. Thus, not only are the application of the name and the integrity of the taxon in doubt, so too is the natural occurrence in Costa Rica of the dubiously identified and ill-defined entity. A brief section at the end of the paper headed “A case for barcoding” reads more like a plea for the continuation of traditional, non-molecular approaches. Includes a list of “Described species of Encyclia with greenish flowers” (from which E. gravida is mysteriously missing) as well as numerous photos (mainly of flowers) and some line drawings.
—— & ——. 2012. Lepanthes novae tapantienses. Orchid Digest 76: 22–31.
Three new spp. of Lepanthes are described from within 10 m of a single tree growing near a gate that limits entry to an area reserved for scientific use at Parque Nacional Tapantí (one wonders why these authors, of all people, are apparently denied entry to said area). The collections were made in “one of the most visited spots in the Park” (which, in general, has been intensively botanized for more than 40 years). The new spp. are: Lepanthes kleinii Bogarín & Pupulin (dedicated to German gardener Bert Klein, who was along for the ride), compared with L. atrata Endres ex Luer; Lepanthes tapantiensis Pupulin & Bogarín, compared with L. johnsonii Ames; and Lepanthes tristis Bogarín & Pupulin (the epithet of which alludes to its “weak, dropping [sic] stems and linear revolute gray-green leaves that give a sad appearance to the plant”), compared with L. exasperata Ames & C. Schweinf. (indicated as a synonym of L. lindleyana Oerst. ex Rchb. f. in the Manual). Additionally, Lepanthes johnsonii subsp. costaricensis Pupulin, accepted in the Manual, is elevated to sp. rank under the name L. ruberrima Pupulin, effectively a nomen novum necessitated by the preexistence of Lepanthes costaricensis Schltr. (1923), and a neotype is designated for the replaced name (the holotype at USJ being “apparently lost”). The authors seem confused (or we are) as to the nomenclatural status (nomen novum or new taxon name) of L. ruberrima, appending the phrase “sp. nov.” to the name, including a Latin description, and citing a “paratype,” while elsewhere (p. 24) stating that “we are…promoting an earlier recognized subspecies to specific status.” We would contend that the statement “based on Lepanthes johnsonii subsp. costaricensis Pupulin” (followed by the requisite direct bibliographic reference) and the designation of no type specimen unique to L. ruberrima cements the status of the latter name as a nomen novum. The alleged “paratype” thus cannot be accepted as such, as any paratypes would have to have been cited in the protologue of the replaced name.
In their introductory paragraphs, the authors discuss the “highly specific” habitat preferences of Lepanthes spp. resulting in small and elusive populations and, consequently, a relative dearth of herbarium specimens. They estimate that, despite the already large size of the genus (93 spp. were accepted for Costa Rica in the Manual and at least 14 others have been described since), “half of the Lepanthes species from Costa Rica remain undescribed.” We would suggest that the process of describing them might be accelerated were the authors to venture into botanically unexplored (or more poorly explored) regions and find some way to interpret the wealth of Costa Rican material that has already accumulated in relevant herbaria and remains unidentified to sp.
Includes a map and color photos of the site, plus color photos (from life) and excellent composite line drawings of all four featured spp.
Razafimandimbison, S. G. & B. Bremer. 2011. Nomenclatural changes and taxonomic notes in the tribe Morindeae (Rubiaceae). Adansonia sér. 3, 33: 283–309.
In which the taxonomic conclusions of previous molecular studies by this same team [see this column under “Razafimandimbison” et al. in The Cutting Edge 17(2), Apr. 2010] are implemented nomenclaturally with the validation of 78 new combinations and three new names. None of these concerns us, as the only New World taxa involved—the genus Appunia and the neotropical members of traditional Morinda—are unaffected. We cite this paper mainly because it provides a revised (albeit rather brief) description of the latter genus, necessitated by its reduction from ca. 130 spp. to just 39.
Rojas Alvarado, A. F. & J. M. Chaves Fallas. 2010. Un nuevo híbrido de Asplenium (Polypodiales: Aspleniaceae) para Costa Rica. Revista Guatemal. 13(1): 44–53.
The new hybrid, Asplenium ×coto-brusense A. Rojas & J. M. Chaves, is based on a single specimen collected at 1200 m elevation on the grounds of the Jardín Botánico Wilson (on the Pacific slope, in the southern Fila Costeña), growing in a mixed population with both putative parent spp., Asplenium dissectum Sw. and A. serra Langsd. & Fisch. (which were also vouchered). The three taxa are compared in a tabular format, and depicted together in a photo taken in the field and separately in three composite line drawings. The epithet of the hybrid is spelled cotobrucense or coto-bruscense in all of the figure captions.
Romaschenko, K., P. M. Peterson, R. J. Soreng, N. Garcia-Jacas, O. Futorna & A. Susanna. 2012. Systematics and evolution of the needle grasses (Poaceae: Pooideae: Stipeae) based on analysis of multiple chloroplast loci, ITS, and lemma micromorphology. Taxon 61: 18–44.
The authors propose to recognize 33 genera (some as yet without names) in Poaceae tribe Stipeae. If we parse this correctly, the following genera in this group are to be attributed to Costa Rica (with sp. names accepted in the Manual indicated, where usage differs): Aciachne, Anatherostipa (including Stipa hans-meyeri Pilg.), Jarava [including Stipa ichu (Ruiz & Pav.) Kunth], Lorenzochloa [including Ortachne erectifolia (Swallen) Clayton], and Nassella. The only surprise for us here is the apparent restoration of Lorenzochloa erectifolia (Swallen) Reeder & C. Reeder, the name used in Richard W. Pohl’s Flora costaricensis treatment of Poaceae (1980).
Schneider, J. V. & G. Zizka. 2012. Taxonomic revision of the Neotropical genus Lacunaria (Quiinaceae / Ochnaceae s. l.). Syst. Bot. 37: 165–188.
When it rains, it pours: following a hiatus of 65 years, this is the second revision of Lacunaria to appear in the past decade. The first of this most recent tandem [see The Cutting Edge 12(2): 13–14, Apr. 2005], dismissed in this latest effort as “based on relatively few collections with a focus on Brazilian material,” recognized a total of eight spp., reduced by one in the present contribution. Only one Lacunaria sp. has ever been recorded from Costa Rica, a situation that has not changed; however, we will have to get used to a new name: Lacunaria panamensis (Standl.) Standl., which has reigned in southern Central America for the past 70 years, now becomes a synonym of L. crenata (Tul.) A. C. Sm. subsp. crenata. This means that we also lose a Mesoamerican endemic, as L. crenata subsp. crenata ranges to Colombia, the Guyanas, and northeastern Brazil (and a second subsp. extends the range of the sp. to Ecuador, Venezuela, and southeastern Brazil). Features synonymy and typology at all levels, technical descriptions of the genus and all spp. and subspp., dichotomous, indented keys to spp. and subspp. (and also to the genera of Quiinaceae), distribution and phenology summaries, comprehensive specimen citations, “remarks,” distribution maps, and a section on excluded taxa. The introductory section succinctly addresses taxonomic history, morphology, phylogeny and evolution, pollination and phenology, distribution and ecology, and uses. All of the accepted taxa are illustrated with composite line drawings. One new taxon name and one new combination are validated, both at subsp. rank (and neither directly relevant to us).
Silva, M. J., L. P. de Queiroz, A. M. G. A. Tozzi, G. P. Lewis & A. P. de Sousa. 2012. Phylogeny and biogeography of Lonchocarpus sensu lato and its allies in the tribe Millettieae (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae). Taxon 61: 93–108.
Several genera in tribe Millettieae, including Deguelia, Piscidia, and Tephrosia, are affirmed in this study as monophyletic, but such is not the case for Lonchocarpus, the second largest genus of Fabaceae in Costa Rica. Even Lonchocarpus s. str. [i.e., exclusive of the recently resegregated Deguelia; see this column under “Sousa” in The Cutting Edge 16(4), Oct. 2009] includes the genera Bergeronia, Dahlstedtia, Margaritolobium, and Muellera, largely South American entities entraining a total of just six spp. The interests of nomenclatural stability would best be served by lumping these four genera into Lonchocarpus, which would require only four new combinations (those for the Muellera spp. being already available, one courtesy of one of the authors of this very paper). However, on the grounds that this lumping option “would result in a morphologically poorly circumscribed genus,” these authors embrace the more nomenclaturally disruptive alternative of splitting Lonchocarpus s. str. into three genera. Their decision preserves Dahlstedtia and Muellera (albeit with drastically altered circumscriptions), but Bergeronia and Margaritolobium are still lost (both to the synonymy of Muellera). Dahlstedtia and Muellera, according to their new circumscriptions, are both largely South American taxa, the former comprising 16 spp. and the latter 26 spp. Dahlstedtia is characterized by spirally arranged leaves, paniculate inflorescences “with one or more rarely two to three flowers per node,” and “stamens with anthers and hairy filaments,” while Muellera is defined by its generally non-punctate leaves, pseudoracemose inflorescences with paired flowers, delicate petals, the standard with linear callosities above the claw on its inner surface, and mostly laterally compressed fruits with their upper margins neither winged nor keeled. Lonchocarpus, in its new, even more restricted sense, comprises ca. 100 spp., best represented in the Mesoamerican region, and is diagnosed by psedoracemose inflorescences with paired flowers “on the top of a short branch” and fruits with a keel along the upper margin. New synonymy and revised descriptions are provided for Dahlstedtia and Muellera (but not Lonchocarpus), and the necessary new combinations are validated. Given the geographic distributions already specified for the three new segregates of Lonchocarpus (in the sense of the Manual), one might expect minimal name changes for sp. occurring in Costa Rica, and in fact there is just one: the sp. treated as Lonchocarpus calcaratus F. J. Herm. in the Manual becomes Dahlstedtia calcarata (F. J. Herm.) M. J. Silva & A. M. G. Azevedo (comb. nov.). As per the Manual, the genus Muellera remains represented in Costa Rica by a single sp., M. frutescens (Aubl.) Standl.; however, these authors regard that name as a synonym of M. monilis (L.) M. J. Silva & A. M. G. Azevedo, here proposed as a new combination based on Coronilla monilis L. (published 23 June 1775). While the acceptance of the last-mentioned name as having priority over Coublandia frutescens Aubl. (the basionym of Muellera frutescens, published sometime between June and December 1775) may be defensible in terms of probability, it is less so from the standpoint of nomenclatural stability; indeed, this is one of the few cases in which we would support a conservation proposal (due to the involvement of ambiguous priority).
It is our assumption that the sp. treated in the Manual as Lonchocarpus densiflorus Benth. continues to be regarded by these authors as a member of the genus Deguelia, but because it was not included in this study, we cannot be certain.
Simmons, M. P., M. J. McKenna, C. D. Bacon, K. Yakobson, J. J. Cappa, R. H. Archer & A. J. Ford. 2012. Phylogeny of Celastraceae tribe Euonymeae inferred from morphological characters and nuclear and plastid benes. Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 62: 9–20.
Just one conclusion of this study seems relevant to us: that the segregation of the New World spp. of Microtropis s. l. under the genus name Quetzalia Lundell is cladistically tenable, and both genera are strongly supported as monophyletic. While the two taxa have a sister-group relationship and could thus defensibly be combined in a single genus, the authors “see no need to reduce Quetzalia to Microtropis.” They do not, however, discuss morphological differences. The only Costa Rican sp. in this group has been known generally as Quetzalia occidentalis (Loes. ex Donn. Sm.) Lundell. Several taxonomic novelties are proposed, but none of these concerns us
Teerawatananon, A., S. W. L. Jacobs & T. R. Hodkinson. 2011. Phylogenetics of Panicoideae (Poaceae) based on chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequences. Telopea 13: 115–142.
This paper (featured in an issue commemorating its recently deceased second author) appears to contain little in the way of revelatory new information, and casts doubt upon some previous conclusions of other workers. Several traditional genera are supported as monophyletic, including Arthraxon, Coix, Hyparrhenia, Isachne, and Sacciolepis. Pennisetum is also shown to be monophyletic, despite recent investigations portraying it as paraphyletic with respect to Cenchrus [see this column under “Chemisquy” et al. in The Cutting Edge 17(4), Oct. 2010]; indeed, Cenchrus s. str. (represented only by C. incertus M. A. Curtis) does not even group with the clade harboring Pennisetum in the present study, prompting the authors to suggest that the former taxon “may be polyphyletic.” And so it goes. It bears mentioning that the sampling (number of spp. per genus) for this study was, in general, very meager.
Trusty, J. L., H. C. Kesler, J. Rodríguez & J. Francisco-Ortega. 2011. Conservation status of endemic plants on Isla del Coco, Costa Rica: applying IUCN Red List criteria on a small island. Pp. 452–473 in, D. Bramwell & J. Caujapé-Castells (eds.), The biology of island floras. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK. 522 pp.
Why do biologists like to work on islands? Because islands are considered exotic and enviable destinations? There is a more urgent reason, as these authors drive home in their opening sentence: “One in six plant species grows on oceanic islands, yet one in every three endangered plants is an insular endemic.” The only oceanic island to which Costa Rica can lay claim is the essentially uninhabited Isla del Coco, about 500 km to the southwest of the Costa Rican mainland in the Pacific Ocean. The entire island (including the marine ecosystems that surround it) enjoys national park status and membership on the IUCN World Natural Heritage List. Previous work by members of this crew [see The Cutting Edge 13(4): 11–12, Oct. 2006] has established a total of 263 vascular plant spp. for Isla del Coco, 192 of which are native. These figures would be considered modest compared with the corresponding ones for any mainland tropical region of similar size (24 km2), however, the proportion of endemic plant taxa on the island (32 spp. and four subspp.) is relatively high. These endemics are enumerated in a table that marshals estimates of population sizes in conjunction with standard IUCN parameters in an effort to evaluate extinction risk assessments; three taxa—Acalypha pittieri Pax & K. Hoffm. (Euphorbiaceae), Epidendrum jimenezii Hágsater (Orchidaeae), and Huperzia brachiata (Maxon) Holub (Lycopodiaceae)—are judged to be already extinct, while all the rest qualify as “critically endangered.” Fourteen of the rarer taxa are considered individually in an appendix, in which each is provided with a brief morphological description, an explanation of the current extinction threat, a distribution summary, and conservation recommendations. A crude map of the island is included, as well as photos of four selected endemic plant spp.
A few gratuitous observations on the list of endemics: several of the taxa are not universally accepted by taxonomists as distinct, including Acalypha pittieri (synonymized under A. macrostachya Jacq. in the Manual treatment of Euphorbiaceae), Epidendrum jimenezii (a possible hybrid involving two other island endemics, as acknowledged in this chapter), and Huperzia pittieri (Christ) Holub [sometimes considered a synonym of the widespread H. linifolia (L.) Trevis.]. And the jury is still out on many of the more recently described taxa. As we have already pointed out in our review cited previously, Bertiera angustifolia Benth. (Rubiaceae) is by no means endemic to Isla del Coco; TROPICOS records 72 collections ranging from southeastern Nicaragua to Peru, of which just six (including the type) are from Isla del Coco. We note two names on the list that, as far as we can determine, have never been published: “Micona acanthotheca” (Melastomataceae) and Saccoloma elegans Kaulf. “var. cuneata” (Dennstaedtiaceae); possibly these are “in press” (in which case, we trust someone will correct “cuneata” to “cuneatum”). And conversely, at least five new plant spp. endemic to Isla del Coco (as well as six other new additions to the island flora) have been documented in papers that appeared too recently for the purposes of this book chapter (see the two entries under “Rojas,” in this column, in our last issue).
Van der Weide, J. C. & R. W. J. M. van der Ham. 2012. Pollen morphology and phylogeny of the tribe Tabernaemontaneae (Apocynaceae, subfamily Rauvolfioideae). Taxon 61: 131–145.
The inclusion of the genus Stemmadenia within Tabernaemontana, already proposed by other workers [see this column under “Simões” et al. in The Cutting Edge 17(3): Jul., 2010], is “fully supported” by palynological evidence (as is the inclusion of other, more occasional segregates such as Bonafousia and Stenosolen).
Wilmot-Dear, C. M. & I. Friis. 2011. New World Pouzolzia and Boehmeria (Urticaceae): a new species and new generic record for Paraguay, Pouzolzia amambaiensis, and additional observations on already described species of both genera. Nordic J. Bot. 29: 691–695.
Only the “additional observations” are of interest to us, and just the ones involving Boehmeria: a widely disjunct record of Boehmeria bullata Kunth subsp. coriacea (Killip) Friis & Wilmot-Dear from western Mexico represents the first report of that subsp. (as well as “the species as a whole”) from north of Costa Rica (of this we were ignorant), while the enigmatic B. burgeriana Wilmot-Dear, Friis & Kravtsova, formerly believed endemic to Costa Rica, is reported from Ecuador (we were already onto this).
Wörz, A. 2011. Revision of Eryngium L. (Apiaceae-Saniculoideae): general part and Palaearctic species. Biblioth. Bot. 159: 1–493.
The author’s 12-year (to date!) study of Eryngium, the largest genus in Apiaceae with about 220 spp., culminates in a monumental revision, of which this weighty tome is merely the first of a projected three parts (the second two of which he “hopes to have…published in a few years”). We will have to wait our turn, as the 61 spp. treated formally (and lavishly!) in this installment are all Eurasian and North African. We reference this volume mainly for the “general part”—comprising just shy of 100 pp.—which features more or less extensive accounts of taxonomic history, reproductive biology, morphological and anatomical characters, chemical, cytological, and ecological characteristics, and classification and evolution (including brief, formal descriptions of the six subgenera and a cladistic analysis of morphological characters), as well as dichotomous (though non-indented) keys to subgenera and sects. (with brief descriptions of the latter intercalated). The attributes of the “special part” (i.e., the systematic treatment) will be duly lauded upon the publication of a volume that includes at least one sp. represented in Costa Rica (where only Eryngium spp. occur, as far as we know). We have one minor complaint with respect to the present volume: it seems to lack a condensed, formalized description of the genus itself; descriptive information is, of course, available in great abundance in the “general part,” but it would have been nice to have the salient details conveniently summarized.
Zuloaga, F. O., O. Morrone & M. A. Scataglini. 2011. Monograph of Trichanthecium (Poaceae, Paniceae). Syst. Bot. Monogr. 94: 1–101.
The reclassification of the so-called “incertae sedis” spp. formerly assigned to Panicum s. l. forges ahead with the establishment of a new genus, Trichanthecium Zuloaga & Morrone, to accommodate 38 spp. previously placed in Panicum sects. Parvifolia (Hitchc. & Chase) Pilg. and Verruculosa Stapf. A new molecular analysis presented in this monograph corroborates the original study portraying Panicum s. l. as polyphyletic [see The Cutting Edge 10(3): 4, Jul. 2003] and provides the foundation for the establishment of the new genus which, in the interests of monophyly, excludes four spp. of sect. Parvifolia. Trichanthecium, differing from Panicum s. str. in the nervation of its spikelet bracts and pubescence of the upper anthecium, is widespread in the Neotropics and Africa. Just two of the spp. are recorded from Costa Rica: the former Panicum parvifolium Lam. and P. schwackeanum Mez; however, two others, the former P. cyanescens Nees ex Trin. and P. pyrularium Hitchc. & Chase., have been collected in Nicaragua and Panama (respectively). All of the new combinations are validated in the names of “Zuloaga & Morrone.” Includes synonymy and typology and technical descriptions for the genus and all of its spp., a dichotomous and indented key to spp., distribution and phenology summaries, representative (mostly) specimen citations, discussions, distribution maps, a section on “Excluded names,” and indices to exsiccatae and scientific names. The introductory section addresses taxonomic history, morphology and anatomy, chromosome numbers, distribution, and phylogeny. Many of the spp. (including both of those occurring in Costa Rica) are depicted in excellent composite line drawings, and three South American ones are featured in a composite frontispiece of color photos of living plants in the field. No new taxa (below the rank of genus) are described.
Incidentally, among the four spp. of the former Panicum sect. Parvifolia excluded from Trichanthecium is one, Panicum trichanthum Nees, represented in Costa Rica. This apparently remains in the “incertae sedis” category, still awaiting formal generic reassignment.