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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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The Cutting Edge

Volume XX, Number 2, April 2013

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

Armstrong, K. E. 2013. A revision of the Asian-Pacific species of Manilkara (Sapotaceae). Edinburgh J. Bot. 70: 7–56.

The Mesoamerican Manilkara zapota (L.) P. Royen, cultivated in the Old World, is included in the key to spp., but not formally treated, and this contribution is otherwise not germane to New World floristics.

Barrabé, L., S. Buerki, A. Mouly, A. P. Davis, J. Munzinger & L. Maggia. 2012. Delimitation of the genus Margaritopsis (Rubiaceae) in the Asian, Australasian and Pacific region, based on molecular phylogenetic inference and morphology. Taxon 61: 1251–1268.

Margaritopsis rose like a phoenix from the ashes of Psychotria slightly more than a decade ago [see The Cutting Edge 8(4): 3, Oct. 2001], and has been spreading like wildfire ever since. Based on both molecular and morphological data, these authors have identified “a minimum of 47” Old World spp. (mainly in Southeast Asia, Australasia, and Melanesia) that “have strong affinities with the Neotropical Margaritopsis and should be merged with it when adequate nomenclatural work has been done.” Factoring in the 27 New World spp. already assigned to the genus [see The Cutting Edge 13(2): 15, Apr. 2006], the minimal generic total for Margaritopsis can now be pegged confidently at 74. The Old World spp. (most of them, anyway) are enumerated in tabular form (with distributional information), as are the morphological characteristics of the various genera and clades involved in the analyses.

Bogarín, D. & A. P. Karremans. 2013. Trichocentrum pupulinianum (Orchidaceae). A new species from Costa Rica and Panama honors Lankester Botanical Garden’s head of research. Orchids (West Palm Beach) 82: 106–110.

The author’s reason, partly on the basis of circumstantial evidence, that the name Trichocentrum caloceras Endrés & Rchb. f. was misapplied by their boss, Franco Pupulin (JBL), in the most recent revision of Trichocentrum [see The Cutting Edge 3(1): 12, Jan. 1996]. In that work (as well as in the Manual), T. caloceras designated a sp. of the Pacific slope of Costa Rica and western Panama. However, these authors have concluded that it applies instead to a sp. endemic to the Atlantic slope of Costa Rica, namely, the one heretofore known as Trichocentrum costaricense Mora-Ret. & Pupulin. The latter name thus falls into synonymy under T. caloceras, with new lectotypes designated for each (both of the prior ones having conflicted with their respective protologues). As a consequence, the Pacific slope sp. is left without a name, which is where Trichocentrum pupulinianum Bogarín & Karremans comes into play (okay, he’s their boss, but he also deserves to be honored for his voluminous contributions to the taxonomy of Central American orchids and Trichocentrum in particular). To sum it all up, these machinations yield two name changes, but no net gain in sp. totals. Features a distribution map, composite line drawings of both T. caloceras and T. pupulinianum, a color plate of the latter sp., and a color photo of the new lectotype of T. caloceras.

——, C. M. Smith & D. Jiménez. 2012. Illustrations and studies in Neotropical Orchidaceae. 5. The Lepanthes ovalis group (Pleurothallidinae) with three new species from Costa Rica. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 6: 361–373.

The sp. group named for the Jamaican endemic Lepanthes ovalis (Sw.) Fawc. & Rendle (effectively the generic type) is characterized inter alia by ramicauls with long-ciliate sheaths, coriaceous, light green, unmarked leaves, inflorescences generally shorter than the leaves, and flowers with ovate sepals, the upper lobes of the petals larger than the lower lobes, and a triangular, cordate or subcordate labellum with the sides strongly folded and embracing the column. Up to now, six spp. have been recognized in the L. ovalis group, ranging (in addition to Jamaica) from Costa Rica to Ecuador, with L. erinacea Rchb. f. and L. viridis Pupulin & Bogarín (see under “Pupulin” and Bogarín, this column) being the only Costa Rican representatives. This paper adds three new endemic Costa Rican spp. to these totals: Lepanthes dikoensis Bogarín & C. M. Sm., from 1000–1200 m elevation on the Caribbean slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca in the Cantón de Pejibaye of Prov. Cartago [with “Dikö” cited as a Bribri name for the Pejibaye, i.e., Bactris gasipaes Kunth (Arecaceae)]; Lepanthes expansilabia Bogarín & C. M. Sm., known only from the type, a cultivated specimen said to have originated from the Valle de Coto Brus at ca. 800 m elevation; and Lepanthes tarrazuensis Bogarín & D. Jiménez, likewise known only from a cultivated specimen, allegedly having been field-collected at 1615 m elevation on the Pacific slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca. All nine spp. in the group are distinguished in a dichotomous, indented key, and the five Costa Rican spp. are compared in a tabular format. Four of the Costa Rican spp. (all except L. viridis) are depicted in color photos (of flowers in life) and composite line drawings.

Böker, A., D. Butcher, W. Till & R. Ehlers. 2013. Zum Tode von Harry E. Luther (1952–2012)/Obituary for Harry E. Luther (1952–2012). Bromelie 2013: 41–45.

Separate, bilingual remembrances are presented by each author in response to the recent passing of Bromeliaceae authority Harry Luther [see under “News and Notes” in The Cutting Edge 19(4), Oct. 2012]. Surely there will be many more to come. Harry “was a night worker” and “cat lover” who “did not drive a car.” He dedicated his life to botany and horticulture.

Cabaña Fader, A. A., R. M. Salas & E. L. Cabral. 2012. (2114–2115) Proposals to reject the names Hexasepalum and H. angustifolium (Rubiaceae). Taxon 61: 1333–1334.

The authors’ examination of the holotype of Hexasepalum angustifolium Bartl. ex DC. has revealed that it “falls within the circumscription of the species currently treated as Diodella Small…” Because H. angustifolium is the type and (to date) only sp. of Hexasepalum Bartl. ex DC., this means that the “long-established and widely used legitimate name Diodella…cannot continue to be used because Hexasepalum (1830) was validly published before Diodella (1913),” and consequently “all 16 species described in Diodella would require transfer to Hexasepalum.” Hence the present proposal. Tellingly, the authors’ list of bibliographic citations in support of their contention that Diodella has been “widely used,” while extensive, dates back only to 2002 (and includes several of their own papers). Indeed, with the exception of two combinations validated by Small in 1913 (and largely ignored for the next century or so), all the rest (14 in all) have been published since 2004, mostly by the authors and their colleagues. We submit that Diodella is the antithesis of a well-established name; furthermore, it is badly spelled (should have been “Diodiella”) and easily confused with Diodia (from which it was segregated), and the generic concept is not universally accepted. Thus, our vote (if we had one!) would go to Hexasepalum. Rejection of the sp. name, H. angustifolium, is also proposed, in order to thwart its rightful replacement of Diodella crassifolia (Benth.) Borhidi, which applies to a locally endemic Mexican sp. By the way, four spp. of Diodella occur in Costa Rica, though they will be treated in Diodia for the Manual.

Calvo, J., A. Quintanar & C. Aedo. 2012. Typification of four species names of Bellis (Compositae). Nordic J. Bot. 30: 668–670.

Bellis perennis L. (Asteraceae), the accepted name for a sp. that is adventive in Costa Rica, is lectotypified in accordance with traditional usage. The rest does not concern us. This paper was published on-line on 6 November 2012.

Carnevali, G., W. Cetzal-Ix, R. Balam, C. Leopardi & G. A. Romero-González. 2013. A combined evidence phylogenetic re-circumscription and a taxonomic revision of Lophiarella (Orchidaceae: Oncidiinae). Syst. Bot. 38: 46–63.

This study marshals molecular, morphological, and biogeographical evidence to make the case that the genus Lophiarella, as according to its original circumscription [see The Cutting Edge 15(2): 12, Apr. 2008], is diphyletic. One of its two spp., L. pumila (Lindl.) Szlach., Mytnik & Romowicz, is sister to a sp. of Lophiaris, and is accordingly transferred to the latter genus (a combination therein being already available). However, the type sp. of Lophiarella is sister to two spp. included most recently in Trichocentrum, both of which are thus transferred to the former genus (with new combinations validated). Lophiarella, now with three spp. ranging from central Mexico to Nicaragua, is formally revised, but none of this is relevant to Costa Rican floristics. In fact, we cite this paper only because the sp. that these authors would now have us call Lophiaris pumila (Lindl.) Braem was mentioned in the Manual (under the name Oncidium pumilum Lindl.) as having been reported from Costa Rica on dubious grounds. A dichotomous and indented key to the four genera of the so-called “Trichocentrum-clade” is included as an appendix. It is worth noting that all of these (Cohniella, Lophiarella, Lophiaris, and Trichocentrum) are lumped together (under the name Trichocentrum) in an alternative classification of subtribe Oncidiinae [see the second entry under “Neubig,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(2), Apr. 2012] that is probably more widely accepted.

Chen, C.-H., J.-F. Veldkamp & C.-S. Kuoh. 2012. Taxonomic revision of Microstegium s. str. (Andropogoneae, Poaceae). Blumea 57: 160–189.

We cite this revision of a paleotropical genus only because of the recently reported discovery of Microstegium vimineum (Trin.) A. Camus growing adventively in Costa Rica [see The Cutting Edge 16(1): 2–3, Jan. 2009]—even though that report was subsequently called into question [see Poaceae, under “Leaps and Bounds,” in The Cutting Edge 17(1), Jan. 2010]. The 16 accepted spp. are distinguished in a dichotomous (though non-indented) key supplemented by full synonymy and typology, detailed descriptions, distribution summaries, distribution maps, and numerous line drawings. There are no specimen citations (apart from types). Costa Rica is not included in the enumeration of countries to which M. vimineum has been introduced (the United States being the only New World country mentioned in that regard).

Chiron, G. R. & C. van den Berg. 2013. (2117) Proposal to conserve the name Pabstiella against Phloeophila (Orchidaceae). Taxon 62: 176–177.

These conservation proposals get more and more ludicrous with each new issue of Taxon. Pabstiella? Give us a break! This is a name that was validated only in 1976, then was virtually ignored until 2002 [see The Cutting Edge 9(3): 4, Jul. 2002], and has been applied inconsistently for the past decade. The last criticism also applies to Phloeophila, but at least it has priority by a half century. Why don’t we all just step back and let the time-honored principle of priority work its simple magic? The original proponents of conservation could not have had in mind names of obscure orchid genera in use for scarcely a decade.

Daru, B. H., J. C. Manning, J. S. Boatwright, O. Maurin, N. Maclean, H. Schaefer, M. Kuzmina & M. van der Bank. 2013. Molecular and morphological analysis of subfamilhy Alooideae (Asphodelaceae) and the inclusion of Chortolirion in Aloe. Taxon 62: 62–76.

The genus Aloe, with several spp. cultivated (at least potentially) in Costa Rica, is both para- and polyphyletic, but in trivial ways that portend no changes for our representatives. Gasteria is monophyletic, but Haworthia is triphyletic (to mention two other genera that are widely cultivated, conceivably though not demonstrably in Costa Rica). A nomen novum and two new combinations are validated, none of apparent relevance to us.

Delprete, P. G. & C. Persson. 2012. Octavia sessiliflora DC. and Mussaenda glomerulata Lam. ex Poir., two obscure taxa from French Guiana synonymous with members of the Alibertia group (Rubiaceae, Gardenieae). Adansonia sér. 3, 34: 353–363.

The authors’ sleuthing resulted in the discovery of type material of Mussaenda glomerulata, which had apparently not been studied by specialists in the past. They conclude that this material is conspecific with a widespread neotropical sp. (occurring in Costa Rica) now going under the name Amaioua corymbosa Kunth. However, because M. glomerulata has priority over A. corymbosa by more than 20 years, a combination in Amaioua based on the former name, and validated here in the names of “Delprete & C. H. Perss.,” becomes the accepted name for the sp. Photos of the type specimen of Mussaenda glomerulata are included. The case of Octavia sessiliflora does not concern us.

Fernández, M. & D. Bogarín. 2013. A new species of Trichosalpinx (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) from Costa Rica. Brittonia 65: 96–101.

Trichosalpinx sanctuarii Mel. Fernández & Bogarín, sp. nov., is named for the Santuario Católico de la Divina Misericordia, on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Guanacaste north of Lago Arenal. There it was found, apparently by a resident clergyman, at 650 m elevation. Despite a search of several Costa Rican herbaria, the authors were unable to find any additional specimens of the new sp. or, for that matter, of Trichosapinx ringens Luer, to which it is “closely allied” and compared. From the latter, T. sanctuarii is distinguished by its smaller habit, smaller flowers differing in coloration, labellar morphology, and pollinarium features, and distinct distribution (T. ringens occurring on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca, at higher elevations, in Costa Rica and western Panama). Both spp. are depicted in composite line drawings and photos of living material.

Goldenberg, R. & M. K. Caddah. 2013. Taxonomic notes on South American Miconia (Melastomataceae). III. Phytotaxa 94: 13–22.

Nine new synonymies and five lectotypifications are effected here, but just one of the former has a direct impact on Costa Rican floristics: Miconia pileata DC., used as an accepted name in Frank Almeda’s (CAS) Manual treatment of Miconia, is synonymized under M. ciliata (Rich.) DC. However, the status of the Central American populations that have been referred to M. pileata var. latifolia Cogn. “remain[s] to be evaluated,” so we are in limbo. One other indirect impact for us: the synonymization of Miconia maximiliana DC. under M. ibaguensis (Bonpl.) Triana requires the deletion of the “S” prior to “Bras.” in the Manual distribution statement of the latter sp.

Hardion, L., R. Verlaque, A. Baumel, M. Juin & B. Vila. 2012. Revised systematics of Mediterranean Arundo (Poaceae) based on AFLP fingerprints and morphology. Taxon 61: 1217–1226.

It’s mostly Greek to us (“AFLP fingerprints”?), but if the results of this study can be taken at face value, the sp. total for Arundo in Francisco Morales’s (2003) Manual treatment of Poaceae should be increased from three to five. One new combination, of no interest to us, is validated. As far as we can tell, the sparingly introduced Arundo donax L. remains the only representative of this Eurasian genus in the Costa Rican flora.

Iamonico, D. 2012. (2107) Proposal to reject the name Gomphrena polygonoides (Amaranthaceae). Taxon 61: 1326–1327.

Gomphrena polygonoides L. (1753) is based upon early images that appear to represent a mixture of several spp., and no lectotype has been effectively designated. It is the basionym of Alternanthera polygonoides (L.) R. Br. ex Sweet, which has occasionally been used as an accepted sp. name (e.g., in Standley’s Flora of Costa Rica, the Flora of Guatemala, and the Flora of Panama), apparently for the sp. now generally known as A. paronychioides A. St.-Hil. Indeed, depending upon its lectotypification, G. polygonoides could threaten such well-established names as A. paronychioides or A. tenella Colla (both used for spp. occurring in Costa Rica), prompting the present proposal.

——. 2013. About the circumscription of Celosia argentea (Amaranthaceae) and the related Linnaean taxa. Phytotaxa 90: 61–64.

The author cites molecular and other evidence “clearly” showing that Celosia argentea L. (sparingly cultivated in Costa Rica) and C. cristata L. (a synonym of C. argentea according to William Burger’s Flora costaricensis treatment of Amaranthaceae and many other sources) “can be separated at species level, with the first taxon being the direct progenitor of the second one.” He treats these as separate spp., despite the paraphyly implied by the alleged “progenitor” relationship.

Karremans, A. P., F. T. Bakker, F. Pupulin, R. Solano-Gómez & M. J. M. Smulders. 2013. Phylogenetics of Stelis and closely related genera (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae). Pl. Syst. Evol. 299: 151–176.

Stelis is one of the largest angiosperm genera, with anywhere from 900–1100 spp., depending upon the circumscription adopted. The larger concept was espoused by Pridgeon & Chase [see The Cutting Edge 9(1): 9–10, Jan. 2002], who, based on molecular data, enhanced traditional Stelis with several subgenera of Pleurothallis and a couple of oligotypic genera (including Salpistele). Manuel contributor Carlyle Luer responded shortly thereafter [see The Cutting Edge 11(3): 10–11, Jul. 2004; 13(4): 6–7, Oct. 2006] with the splitting alternative, elevating various subgenera of Pleurothallis to generic rank and recognizing several smallish genera on morphological grounds, yielding a narrower concept of Stelis. The present study, including more than 100 spp. representing all the proposed groupings within Stelis, attempts to arbitrate these differences using molecular and cladistic analyses. But after all is said and done, the effort falls short, and the authors are forced to acknowledge that “on the basis of DNA alone it is not possible to establish whether genus Stelis should include all species of clade Stelis s.l. or only those of Stelis s str. (or for that matter any other clade along the way).” Some interesting results can inevitably be reported; for example, the genera Anathallis, Pabstiella, Pleurothallis, and Stelis “as circumscribed by Pridgeon and Chase” are non-monophyletic, as are Elongatia and Effusiella of Luer. Nonetheless, the authors conclude that “it is premature at this point to establish new schemes of classification for this group as a whole.”

Lai Y., Wang X., Chen G., Wang C., Su Y. & Liao W. 2012. The systematic status of Muntingia and phylogenetic relationship among some relative families or genera based on chloroplast trnL-trnF sequences. Acta Sci. Nat. Univ. Sunyatseni 51(3): 98–107.

Most of this is in Chinese and thus impenetrable to us, but according to the English abstract, “Muntingia calabura formed an independent clade with high support values,” and therefore “the foundation of Muntingiaceae was rational.” However, according to the authors’ cladograms, that conclusion seems precipitous. Muntingia calabura L. is basal to a clade comprising Sterculiaceae and Tiliaceae, but no other representatives of Malvaceae s. l. were included in the study—with the exception of Thespesia populnea (L.) Sol. ex Corrêa, which is not only assigned to Sterculiaceae, for whatever reason, but appears nested among spp. belonging to that taxon! Perhaps more significantly, Dicraspidia was not included in the study nor, needless to say, were Neotessmannia or Petenaea (i.e., the other members, or putative members, of Muntingiaceae).

Liu, X.-Q., S. M. Ickert-Bond, L.-Q. Chen & J. Wen. 2013. Molecular phylogeny of Cissus L. of Vitaceae (the grape family) and evolution of its pantropical intercontinental disjunctions. Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 66: 43–53.

Previous molecular studies had shown Cissus to be polyphyletic (see, e.g., under “Trias-Blasi,” this column, in our last issue), but we were under the impression that all the Costa Rican representatives of the genus belonged to the “core” or “true” Cissus clade (i.e., the one harboring the type sp.) and were thus safe. According to this study, however, such is not the case: it turns out that Cissus trianae Planch., widespread in the Neotropics (including montane Costa Rica), is an integral member of “the Australian-Neotropical disjunct Cissus antarctica - C. trianae clade,” one of two clades that “need to be removed from Cissus to maintain the monophyly of the genus.” These authors take no taxonomic action, which would evidently necessitate the creation of a new genus to harbor C. trianae and its allies (said to be characterized inter alia by their 4-merous flowers and nearly entire leaflets). As far as we can tell, no other Costa Rican spp. are threatened by the proposed scenario (but we’ve already been fooled once!).

Lodé, J. 2013. Leuenbergeria, a new genus in Cactaceae. Cact.-Avent. Int. 97: 25–27.

Citing various recent molecular studes [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 13(2): 3, Apr. 2006] portraying Pereskia as paraphyletic (with respect to the remainder of Cactaceae), this author (who was not involved in any of them) leaps into the fray to coin a new genus name for the so-called “Northern clade” and baptize all the necessary new combinations in his own name. Leuenbergeria Lodé gen. nov. honors the late Beat Ernst Leuenberger (1946–2010), monographer of Pereskia in its traditional circumscription. As we had indicated in our reviews of previous papers, Pereskia lychnidiflora DC., the only sp. of the group native to Costa Rica, belongs to the clade not including the generic type (i.e., the “Northern clade”), hence becomes Leuenbergeria lychnidiflora (DC.) Lodé. Likewise transferred to the new genus is the erstwhile Pereskia bleo (Kunth) DC., sparingly cultivated in Costa Rica, while P. aculeata Mill. and P. grandifolia Haw., also conceivably or (P. grandifolia) definitely cultivated in Tiquicia, remain in Pereskia s. str. Morphologically speaking, Leuenbergeria is characterized by “making bark (periderm) very early,” hence “does not have stomata on the stem,” whereas Pereskia s. str. “has a delayed bark formation and a persistent epidermis with stomata on the stem.” Seems like a weak distinction, but there’s no arguing with molecules!

Lu-Irving, P., & R. G. Olmstead. 2013. Investigating the evolution of Lantaneae (Verbenaceae) using multiple loci. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 171: 103–119.

Here is the sad truth, brought into bold relief by this study: “none of the genera of Lantaneae represented here by more than one species is monophyletic.” This will probably come as no surprise to any botanist familiar with the likes of Lantana, Lippia, and their on-again-off-again segregates. In the words of the authors, “species of Lantana and Lippia are interspersed throughout the Lantana-Lippia clade,” and Phyla and one lineage of Aloysia are nested among them. At least two of the three Aloysia spp. [A. citrodora Paláu and A. virgata (Ruiz & Pav.) Pers.] recorded (in cultivation) from Costa Rica lie outside the Lantana-Lippia clade and are perhaps safe (A. citrodora being the generic type); however, all other Costa Rican representatives of the group are in dangerous territory because, for monophyly to be achieved, “Lantana and Lippia will need to be fragmented or lumped together with the smaller genera which nest in the Lantana-Lippia clade.” The authors warn that, “in either scenario, genera will not be easy to define morphologically,” as there appear to be “no morphological characteristics that have not undergone multiple, parallel shifts among the major clades of Lantaneae.” A prime example is fruits, emphasized in traditional classifications of Verbenaceae that have “assigned species with fleshy drupes to Lantana and species with dry schizocarps to Lippia.” However, this study documents “at least five origins of a fleshy or leathery outer layer on the fruit in Lantaneae, four of them in the Lantana-Lippia clade.” Fleshy fruits have apparently arisen separately in the Lantana camara L. and L. trifolia L. clades (both represented in Costa Rica), which are “not immediately related” (L. camara being the generic type). No taxonomic resolutions for any of this are ventured here, pending future phylogenetic studies “using denser sampling and additional loci.” This paper appears in an issue dedicated to Neotropical plant evolution: assembling the big picture (edited by A. Antonelli, C. E. Hughes, R. T. Pennington & M. F. Fay), containing numerous other articles that are sure to be of interest to some of our readers (see also under “Michelangeli” and “Trovó,” this column).

Luteyn, J. L. & P. Pedraza-Peñalosa. 2013. Nomenclature, taxonomy, and conservation of the neotropical genus Sphyrospermum (Ericaceae: Vaccinieae), including five new species for Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Phytotaxa 79: 1–29.

And then there were three! That is the big story for us here, as the names Sphyrospermum cordifolium Benth., S. ellipticum Sleumer, and S. standleyi A. C. Sm.—all employed for accepted spp. in the Manual Ericaceae treatment helmed by the first author of this paper—are all summarily synonymized under a “very plastic” Sphyrospermum buxifolium Poepp. & Endl. The generic sp. total for this neotropical genus in Costa Rica is thereby halved, leaving just the last-mentioned sp., along with S. dissimile (S. F. Blake) Luteyn and S. linearifolium Al. Rodr. & J. F. Morales. This contribution, characterized by its authors as synoptic (“a full systematic revision…is still years away”), omits descriptions (except for the genus and new spp.), although these are said to be available on a Web site that is duly referenced. Otherwise, it delivers synonymy and typology (for the genus and each of the 21 recognized spp.), a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp., distribution and phenology summaries, observations (of varying length), specimen citations (generally representative), and a section on excluded names. The last-mentioned feature is revelatory, as the authors’ synonymization of the Colombian Sphyrospermum distichum Luteyn under Themistoclesia cuatrecasasii A. C. Sm. sucks T. costaricensis Luteyn & Wilbur into the same vortex, yielding a sp. (bearing the penultimate name) that ranges from Costa Rica to Ecuador. The brief introductory section addresses mainly phylogenetic placement (the genus appears most closely related to Disterigma, and there seems to be no cladistic basis for merging it with Vaccinium, as has often been done) and conservation. Several spp. (including S. buxifolium and S. dissimile) are depicted in a color plate of living material, and five spp. described as new (none of which occurs in Costa Rica) in excellent composite line drawings.

Michelangeli, F. A., P. J. F. Guimaraes, D. S. Penneys, F. Almeda & R. Kriebel. 2013. Phylogenetic relationships and distribution of New World Melastomeae (Melastomataceae). Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 171: 38–60.

Phylogenetic analysis of molecular data, involving “more than 14 times the number of species of Melastomeae and three times the number of genera included in any previous published molecular study of Melastomataceae,” recovers several genera in the focus group as monophyletic, including Centradenia, Chaetolepis, Heterocentron, Monochaetum, and Pilocosta (to mention only those represented in Costa Rica); however, all of the latter are nested within Tibouchina, the largest genus in the group, which is thus paraphyletic. Two potential resolutions are discussed: either “Tibouchina could be recognized as a much expanded genus” (though with “no clear morphological synapomorphies”), or else “all the other genera could be maintained and Tibouchina divided into smaller and diagnosable units.” Although their wording suggests a predisposition toward the second alternative, the authors conclude that “it is premature to propose any overhaul of the taxonomy,” due to inadequate sampling of certain taxa. Features a color plate of living material.

Morales, C. O. 2012. El Herbario USJ de Costa Rica: trayectoria y contribuciones. Revista Biol. Trop. 60: 1641–1648.

The USJ herbarium, housed (since 1940) at the Universidad de Costa Rica in San Pedro, recently surpassed the surprising milestone of 100,000 specimens, about two-thirds of which are Costa Rican vascular plants. That seems to be the primary occasion for this paper, which reprises much of the same information presented in a prior contribution by the same author [see The Cutting Edge 14(1): 8, Jan. 2007] celebrating the 75th anniversary of USJ. Here the story is updated with details of the great flood of 2007 [see The Cutting Edge 15(1): 1, Jan. 2008], caused by a ruptured water pipe, that affected half the herbarium and damaged many specimens (especially dicots), most of which were ultimately salvaged in a laborious, costly, and protracted effort on the part of the herbarium staff (the author of this paper included). This herbarium has endured more than its share of bad fortune (much of it was lost to fire in 1965), and we wish everyone involved much better luck as they head into the future!

Øllgaard, B. 2012. Nomenclatural changes in Brazilian Lycopodiaceae/Mudanças nomenclaturais em Lycopodiaceae do Brasil. Rodriguésia 63: 479–482.

Chalk up another 39 new combinations, in the author’s name, under the genus name Phlegmariurus [see also under “Øllgaard,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(3), Jul. 2012], a segregate of Huperzia (itself a relatively recent segregate of Lycopodium). We count seven that apply to taxa (six spp. and one var.) represented in Costa Rica.

Pastore, J. F. B. & J. R. Abbott. 2012. Taxonomic notes and new combinations for Asemeia (Polygalaceae). Kew Bull. 67: 801–813.

The sad “disintegration” of yet another major taxon, the genus Polygala, previously announced in these pages [see under “Abbott,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(4), Oct. 2011], now has consequences for Costa Rican floristics. The genus Asemeia Raf., segregated on the basis of molecular evidence, comprises 28 neotropical spp. that were most recently included in Polygala subgen. Hebeclada (Chodat) S. F. Blake. At the outset, Asemeia is itself divided into two subgenera, with a new combination required for the non-autonymic one. Twenty-nine additional new combinations, at the ranks of sp. and var., are validated, all in the names of “J. F. B. Pastore & J. R. Abbott.” Of these, just two clearly apply to taxa accepted in the Manual Polygalaceae treatment [see The Cutting Edge 16(3): 1, Jul. 2009] by Francisco Morales (INB): Polygala floribunda Benth., merely cultivated in Costa Rica, and P. violacea Aubl. However, the authrors emphasize that they have not undertaken “a complete revisionary treatment for Asemeia,” and it is clear that certain taxonomic issues remain to be resolved; for example, new combinations in Asemeia are here provided for Polygala monticola Kunth and P. grandiflora Walter, both included by Chico in synonymy under P. violacea, as well as for P. securidaca Chodat, synonymized by Chico under P. floribunda. Also, a new combination based on Polygala ovata Poir. is applied to a sp. said to range “from the south-east of Brazil…to Nicaragua,” the identity of which is unclear to us; our only clue is the inclusion in synonymy of P. nicaraguensis Chodat—another synonym of P. violacea, fide Flora de Nicaragua.

Pederneiras, L. C. & S. Romaniuc-Neto. 2013. (2126) Proposal to conserve the name Ficus insipida (Moraceae) with a conserved type. Taxon 62: 184–185.

Contemporary specialists concur in applying the names Ficus insipida Willd. and F. yoponensis Desv. to two distinct taxa (both of which occur in Costa Rica), and in referring F. glabrata Kunth to synonymy under F. insipida. However, based upon their analyses of protologues and exsiccatae, these authors deduce that both F. insipida and F. yoponensis properly apply to the same sp., i.e., the one currently known by the latter name. This means that Ficus insipida ought to be the correct name for the sp. now known as F. yoponensis, while F. glabrata should assume the present role of F. insipida, a scenario the authors seek to avert by means of this proposal. On the face of it, their proposal seems reasonable, but it has one fatal weakness: although the authors have studied a range of herbarium specimens, including at least one topotype, they give no indication of having examined the actual holotypes of any of the names involved. It would seem irresponsible to allow conservation with a conserved type under such circumstances (and we wonder why this paper was even accepted for publication).

Penneys, D. S. & W. S. Judd. 2013. A revised circumscription for the Blakeeae (Melastomataceae) with associated nomenclatural adjustments. PhytoKeys 20: 17–32.

Based upon their own morphological [see under “Penneys,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(2), April 2011] and (as yet unpublished) molecular analyses, the authors formally restructure the taxonomy of Melastomataceae tribe Blakeeae Benth. & Hook. f. and implement the consequent nomenclatural adjustments. The big deal for Costa Rican floristics, as we have already noted in these pages (see the aforecited review), is the absorption of Topobea into Blakea. That is accomplished here by means of 62 new combinations and three nomina nova (we are surprised that so few of the latter were required!). Just one of the nomina nova applies to a sp. occurring in Costa Rica: Blakea henripittieri Penneys & Almeda, which replaces Topobea pittieri Cogn. (the nomen novum is confusingly saddled with a parenthetical authority and qualified as “comb. et nom. nov.”). Three additional spp. (of the 12 treated under Topobea in the Manual Melastomataceae account) already own combinations in Blakea: Topobea crassifolia (Almeda) Almeda and T. multiflora (D. Don) Triana, both with basionyms in Blakea, and T. parasitica Aubl., with Blakea parasitica (Aubl.) D. Don. The remaining eight Costa Rican exiles from Topobea receive straightforward new combinations in Blakea in the names of “Penneys & Almeda.” The authors also provide a lengthy description of tribe Blakeeae, a key to its two genera (Blakea and the South American Chalybea), and synonymy and typology for the tribe and each genus (but no revised descriptions for the latter).

Pupulin, F. 2012. The Orchidaceae of Ruiz & Pavón’s “Flora peruviana et chilensis”. A taxonomic study. II. Anales Jard. Bot. Madrid 69: 143–186.

This study is concluded with a consideration of the genera from Oncidium through Zygopetalum. Four new combinations are proposed and three names are lectotypified, though none of these appears directly relevant to Costa Rica floristics. Indirectly, Sauvetrea uniflora (Ruiz & Pav.) Pupulin, comb. nov. (based on Bletia uniflora Ruiz & Pav.) may concern us, at least eventually, if the author’s suspicion that it may include the Costa Rican Maxillaria piestopus Schltr. (with no combination yet available in Sauvetrea) is borne out.

—— & D. Bogarín. 2011. Two new Lepanthes from Costa Rica: describing taxa in the Pleurothallidinae: Orchidaceae. Orchids (West Palm Beach) 80: 178–181.

This article somehow eluded us, but now we have caught up with it. The new spp. are Lepanthes falx-bellica Pupulin & Bogarín, based on a single specimen from 1700 m elevation in the Monteverde region (whence Bill Haber and his associates have probably collected it a dozen times); and L. viridis Pupulin & Bogarín, collected (also just once) at ca. 950 m elevation on the Caribbean slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca. The former is compared with Lepanthes monteverdensis Luer & R. Escobar and allies, while L. viridis is compared with the Ecuadorean Lepanthes pan Luer & Dalström. Both new spp. are illustrated with excellent composite line drawings and color photos of living material. Oddly (given the title of the article), a name is also validated for an Ecuadorean sp. For more on Lepanthes viridis, see under “Bogarín” et al. (this column).

—— & ——. 2013. Species from the dry side: looking for orchids where you least expect them. Orchids (West Palm Beach) 82: 18–27.

The study site, where orchids ought least to be expected, is Parque Nacional Barra Honda, comprised principally of limestone hills in the Río Tempisque basin of northwestern Costa Rica. In addition to being edaphically dry, this is one of the driest parts of the country climatologically, in an area of “bosque seco” that receives an average of about 2200 mm of rain per year (at the nearest weather station) in markedly seasonal fashion (still, that is more than five times the annual average rainfall of Los Angeles, which also experiences a protracted dry season). The authors’ diligent field work at Barra Honda, part of an effort by the Lankester Botanical Garden to inventory the Orchidaceae of all protected areas in Costa Rica, has so far (after six years) yielded a surprising total of 34 orchid spp., 25 of which are epiphytic. Included in this total is one sp., Trichosalpinx reflexa Mel. Fernández & Bogarín, that was new to science [see under “Fernández,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(2), Apr. 2012], as well as at least two new country records: Sarcoglottis sceptrodes (Rchb. f.) Schltr. and Tropidia polystachya (Sw.) Ames, both of which had appeared to “skip” Costa Rica (and the second of which was mentioned in the Manual Orchidaceae treatment, under Corymborkis, as a sp. to be expected in the country). Illustrated with a map and numerous color photos taken in the field.

Robson, N. K. B. 2012. Studies in the genus Hypericum L. (Hypericaceae) 9. Addenda, corrigenda, keys, lists and general discussion. Phytotaxa 72: 1–111.

We had thought this series was effectively concluded [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 13(3): 12, Jul. 2006], but its author fires one final(?) salvo, with a major repercussion for Costa Rica. That comes in the form of a new sp., Hypericum monroi N. Robson, restricted to the high Talamancas (2300–3300 m) of easternmost Costa Rica and westernmost Panama. The new sp. is a member of Hypericum sect. Brathys (Mutis ex L. f.) Choisy and most similar (among Costa Rican spp.) to H. costaricense N. Robson, with which it had been confused and with which it is compared in a table and an excellent composite line drawing. Briefly, H. monroi comprises larger plants than H. costaricense with larger leaves, but smaller flowers; it is also said to favor “damper or even marshy areas.” The distinctness of the two entities was brought to the author’s attention by Alex Monro (BM), who collected the type and to whom the sp. is dedicated. Among other things, this paper also features an annotated enumeration of the sections of Hypericum and a revised key thereto, a numerical list of Hypericum taxa, and reconsiderations of morphology, cytology and genetics, chemotaxonomy, evolutionary trends, relationships, distribution, dispersal, and evolution.

Rolleri, C. H., C. Prada, L. Passarelli, J. M. Gabriel y Galán & M. M. Ciciarelli. 2012. Revisión de especies monomorfas y subdimorfas del género Blechnum (Blechnaceae-Pteridophyta). Bot. Complut. 36: 51–77.

This contribution, the second major one in this series of which we are aware [see also The Cutting Edge 14(3): 10, Jul. 2007], effectively comprises a revision of the “Blechnum occidentale Group” of Tryon and Tryon (1982: 672; Ferns and allied plants with special reference to tropical America, Springer-Verlag, New York); however, in view of the authors’ statement that “twelve taxa…were selected to study,” we are uncertain whether it should be deemed a comprehensive revision. The group in question is characterized by its smallish sporophytes with short rhizomes and (as suggested by the title) monomorphic or subdimorphic fronds. Though cosmopolitan, it is best represented in the Southern Hemisphere. There seems little difference between the taxonomy promoted in this paper and that espoused by Robbin C. Moran (NY) in his Flora mesomericana treatment of Blechnum (1995): the same five spp. are recognized for the Mesoamerican region, viz., Blechnum glandulosum Kaulf. ex Link, B. gracile Kaulf., B. meridense Klotzsch, B. occidentale L., and B. polypodioides Raddi. We note just one minor innovation, the recognition of a new (South American) subsp. of B. glandulosum, establishing the autonymic subsp. to include (among other things) all the Mesoamerican material. Also, we could find no mention in this work of two hybrids, Blechnum ×caudatum Cav. (= B. gracile × B. occidentale) and B. glandulosum × B. gracile, that were both treated formally in Flora mesoamericana. Two new developments impact Costa Rican floristics: first, Blechnum flaccisquama A. Rojas, a regional endemic described a year after the publication of the Flora mesoamericana pteridophyte volume, is synonymized under B. occidentale; and a Costa Rican voucher (Mickel 3348, LP; 600 m, near Turrialba) is cited for Blechnum meridense, a sp. that has not previously been attributed to to the country (though, confusingly, Costa Rica is omitted from the distribution summary for B. meridense). Features a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp. (and nested keys to subspp.), synonymy and typology, generous descriptions, distribution summaries, observations, and (in an appendix) representative (and sparse, for the Mesoamerican region) specimen citations. The rather long and abundantly illustrated introductory part addresses taxonomic history and (especially) morphology and anatomy. There are no indices.

Romoleroux, K. & D. F. Morales-Briones. 2012. Lachemilla jaramilloi and L. talamanquensis spp. nov. (Rosaceae). Nordic J. Bot. 30: 732–736.

The first new sp. named in the title is Ecuadorean, but Lachemilla talamanquensis Romol. & D. F. Morales-B. is, as implied by its epithet, restricted to the Cordillera de Talamanca and (excepting one “unusual” Panamanian specimen) endemic to Costa Rica. The authors claim that L. talamanquensis “has usually been identified as” L. ocreata (Donn. Sm.) Rydb., but in fact, all the cited specimens available to us were previously determined as L. standleyi (L. M. Perry) Rothm. The new sp. is contrasted with both of the latter two, but the distinctions seem rather trivial, and we expect that L. talamanquensis will appear as a synonym of Alchemilla standleyi L. M. Perry in the forthcoming Manual Rosaceae treatment by Francisco Morales (INB), which follows a recent molecular paper (involving the first author of this one!) in rejecting the segregate genus Lachemilla. Illustrated with a rather primitive drawing. This article was published on-line on 6 July 2012.

Solis-Montero, L., T. Terrazas & M. Ishiki-Ishihara. 2013. Leaf architecture and anatomy of eleven species of Mortoniodendron (Malvaceae s.l.). Pl. Syst. Evol. 299: 553–566.

The authors adduce numerous morphological and anatomical leaf features purportedly distinguishing 11 spp. of this mainly Mesoamerican genus of ca. 18 spp., and present separate (morphological and anatomical), dichotomous and indented keys to the assemblage. We cite this even though the study omitted six of the eight Costa Rican members of the genus; of our contingent, only Mortoniodendron anisophyllum (Standl.) Standl. & Steyerm. and M. guatemalense Standl. & Steyerm. were represented—well, and M. costaricense Standl. & L. O. Williams, considered a synonym of M. anisophyllum in Alexánder Rodríguez’s soon-to-be-published Manual treatment of Tiliaceae. Vouchers are cited for all the “spp.” studied, but we are still unable to determine what sp. was studied under the name M. costaricense.

Sylvester, O., G. Avalos & N. Chávez Fernández. 2012. Notes on the ethnobotany of Costa Rica’s palms. Palms (1999+) 57: 190–201.

Based on their survey of 37 individuals in 18 communities throughout Costa Rica, the authors document uses for 32 palm species in 21 genera. Previously undescribed uses are reported for five spp. The uses are described in narrative form and not tabularized, but a quick perusal suggests that heart-of-palm, thatching, and ornament are among the most frequent. The nomenclature is based on the Manual Arecaceae treatment (2003) and is thus relatively current, but we did note one more recent development that was not heeded: the recent demotion of Geonoma edulis H. Wendl. ex Spruce to G. undata Klotzsch subsp. edulis (H. Wendl. ex Spruce) A. J. Hend. [see under “Henderson,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(2), Apr. 2011].

Szlachetko, D. 2012. Rhinorchis (Orchidaceae, Orchidoideae), a new neotropical genus highlighted from Habenaria. Richardiana 13: 71–79.

More of the usual fare from this author: a cluster of spp. (21) is segregated from a large orchid genus (Habenaria) on the basis of a single character (labellar) and granted instantaneous generic standing with zero phylogenetic evidence or argument, all the new combinations being summarily dispatched in the author’s name. Rhinorchis is largely South American, and we were nearly off the hook on this one, only to be snared by the last name on the list, R. trifida (Kunth) Szlach. (based on Habenaria trifida Kunth, the most widespread sp. in the group, and the only one recorded from Costa Rica).

——, M. Sitko, P. Tukałło & J. Mytnik-Ejsmont. 2012. Taxonomy of the subtribe Maxillariinae (Orchidaceae, Vandoideae) revised. Biodivers. Res. Conservation 25: 13–38.

There are just too many loose cannons in the orchid community for any semblance of nomenclatural stability to endure. A molecular-based generic realignment of Orchidaceae subtribe Maxillariinae published just six years ago [see The Cutting Edge 15(2): 3–4, Apr. 2008] recognized 17 genera in the group, of which 14 were represented in Costa Rica. At the time, we noted that the lumping alternative (i.e., sinking Cryptocentrum, Mormolyca, and Trigonidium into Maxillaria) would have been far less disruptive nomenclaturally. Let it now be said that the lumping alternative is looking better than ever. The authors of the present paper, while basing their conclusions on the earlier molecular results augmented by similar data of their own, opt for an even more finely divided and (at least in their minds) more morphologically defensible system of 36 genera, at least 24 of which may be attributed to Costa Rica. The additions for Costa Rica derive mainly from the fragmentation of Camaridium, which yields the following splinter genera: Adamanthus Szlach., with 12 spp. in Costa Rica; Camaridium s. str., about 13 spp.; Chaseopsis Szlach. & Sitko, gen. nov., five spp.; Chelyella Szlach. & Sitko, gen. nov., five spp.; Pseudomaxillaria Hoehne, six spp.; Psittacoglossum Lex., eight spp.; and Viracocha Szlach. & Sitko, gen. nov., six spp. The remaining new generic concepts for Costa Rica are: Calawaya Szlach. & Sitko, gen. nov., and Pseudocymbidium Szlach. & Sitko, gen. nov. (both segregated from Maxillaria s. str.), with two spp. and one spp. (respectively) in Costa Rica; Laricorchis Szlach. (segregated from Ornithidium), with two spp. in Costa Rica; and Xanthoxerampellia Szlach. & Sitko, gen. nov. (segregated from Mormolyca), with three spp. in Costa Rica. It is possible that Chrysocycnis Linden & Rchb. f. and Marsupiaria Hoehne, in the sense of this paper, may also occur in Costa Rica, but it is difficult to be certain from the evidence presented. With the exception of Xanthoxerampellia hedwigiae (Hamer & Dodson) Szlach. & Śmiszek (probably unintended), all the new combinations relevant to Costa Rica are validated in the names of “Szlach. & Sitko.” The combinations were evidently dispatched in great haste, as several illegitimate names and at least one isonym were created, and numerous cases of incorrect gender can be detected. Judging from their commentary, these authors have no problem accepting paraphyletic taxa, preferring to emphasize morphology over phylogeny in their classification scheme; for example, both Calawaya and Pseudocymbidium are “nested in the Maxillaria s. str. clade,” while Psittacoglossum “is a paraphyletic taxon.” We will not be surprised if the “infrageneric classification of Maxillaria [s. str.]” slated to be published by this group “in the ongoing paper” yields even more splinter genera. All things considered, we doubt that many New World orchidologists will be hopping aboard this bandwagon in the near future. Includes a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to all the genera in the subtribe.

Tripp, E. A. & L. A. McDade. 2012. New synonymies for Ruellia (Acanthaceae) of Costa Rica and notes on other neotropical species. Brittonia 64: 305–317.

The names Ruellia barbillana Cufod. and R. metallica Leonard, both used for accepted spp. in L. H. Durkee’s (1986) Flora costaricensis treatment of Acanthaceae, are here regarded as synonyms, a move anticipated in a previous paper by this same duo [see The Cutting Edge 15(1): 8–9, Jan. 2008]. However, in a new twist, both are now subordinated to Ruellia terminalis (Nees) Wassh., extending the range of the sp. southward to Ecuador and western Brazil. Even more surprising is the authors’ synonymization of Ruellia standleyi Leonard (applied to a Central American sp. rarely collected in Costa Rica) under R. ochroleuca Mart., resulting in a sp. that occurs disjunctly in eastern Brazil. Another, less extreme, Central America/South America disjunction is created by a new synonymy involving Ruellia jussieuoides Schltdl. & Cham. (which entails no name change for Costa Rican material that has gone under that name). All of these new synonymies are supported (or at least, not refuted) by molecular data. Includes a dichotomous key to Ruellia terminalis and related spp., synonymy and typology, selected specimen citations, and black-and-white photos of living material.

Trovó, M., M. J. G. Andrade, P. T. Sano, P. L. Ribeiro & C. van den Berg. 2013. Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of neotropical Paepalanthoideae with emphasis on Brazilian Paepalanthus (Eriocaulaceae). Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 171: 225–243.

This paper confuses more than it illuminates; us, anyway. We are especially perplexed by the authors’ interpretations of their own cladograms. Syngonanthus is stated to be “either monophyletic or paraphyletic with the recognition of Philodice”; yet it appears to us that it is monophyletic, whether or not Philodice is recognized. “The segregation of Comanthera from Syngonanthus” is characterized as “supported, but not required”; but it is required, if Philodice is to be accepted! Tonina appears nested in Paepalanthus (as sister to one of its two major clades), but the implications of this are not adequately addressed (i.e., that Tonina may have to be combined with Paepalanthus, or else absorb many spp. currently assigned to the latter genus and some of its segregates). We are also confused by the frequent textual references to the genus Lachnocaulon, a name that does not appear in any of the cladograms. In any case, apart from the potential consequences for the presently monospecific Tonina (a substantially older name than Paepalanthus, by the way), the results of this study have scant relevance to Costa Rican floristics.

Turner, I. M. 2013. Robinson a century on: the nomenclatural relevance of Roxburgh’s Hortus Bengalensis. Taxon 62: 152–172.

Hortus Bengalensis (1814), a list of Indian plants compiled by Scottish naturalist William Roxburgh (1751–1815), has often been disregarded because it contains no descriptions. However, some names and combinations were validated by means of footnoted references to previously published descriptions, as was established in a 1912 analysis of the work by C. B. Robinson (1871–1913). The present reanalysis, in accordance with the most recent Code, results in several nomenclatural changes, including one that impacts Costa Rican floristics (even if it is related only incidentally to Roxburgh): the sp. that has been known as Diospyros digyna Jacq., native in the Mesoamerican region and cultivated elsewhere in the tropics, must now be called D. nigra (J. F. Gmel.) Perr. (the last abbreviation designating George Samuel Perrottet, confusingly referred to in this paper as “Perrier” or “Perrotet”).

Zamora, N. A. 2013. Una nueva especie de Schnella (Leguminosae, Caesalpinioideae: Cercideae) para Costa Rica. Phytoneuron 2013-12: 1–6.

In concordance with a recently suggested generic reclassification based (partly) on molecular evidence [see under “Wunderlin,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(1), Jan. 2011], Manual co-PI Nelson Zamora validates the name Schnella bahiachalensis N. Zamora for a lianescent sp. that was included in his Manual Fabaceae treatment (2010) as “Bauhinia sp. A.” The new sp., endemic to the Golfo Dulce region of Costa Rica, is compared to the Brazilian Schnella alata (Ducke) Wunderlin and the mainly Panamanian S. hymenaeifolia (Triana ex Hemsl.) Britton & Rose. Features a distribution map and a composite line drawing (by INBio associate Claudia Aragón) and color photo (in life) of the new sp.

——. 2013. A new species of Licania (Chrysobalanaceae) from northeastern Costa Rica. Phytoneuron 2013-26: 1–6.

Licania arachicarpa N. Zamora, sp. nov., known exclusively from the Estación Biológica La Selva and near vicinity, was first collected by former OTS director Gary Hartshorn back in 1977. Early collections were determined by Chrysobalanaceae specialist Ghillean T. Prance as L. glabriflora Prance, a sp. previously reported only from South America, even though Prance was aware (as evidenced by his observations in Flora Neotropica Monographs Vol. 9S, 1989) that the Costa Rican material was anomalous in certain floral details. It turns out that it also differs strikingly in fruit morphology (fruits of L. glabriflora having been unknown to Prance in 1989), tipping the scales in favor of taxonomic recognition at sp. rank for the Costa Rican entity. The epithet arachicarpa alludes to the oblong or cylindrical, ridged and rugulose fruits of the new sp., i.e., like those of the peanut (Arachis hypogaea L., Fabaceae), contrasting with the smooth fruits of L. glabriflora. A few other minor differences (leaf morphology, inflorescence pubescence) separating L. arachicarpa from L. glabriflora are mentioned. The description of Licania arachicarpa does not expunge L. glabriflora from the Costa Rican flora, as several collections from the Península de Osa “agree very well…with the type and original description” of the latter sp. and are retained therein. However, numerous additional collections from the same peninsula that have been determined as L. glabriflora would appear to represent yet a third sp., the identity of which remains unresolved. Features a distribution map, composite line drawing, and color photographic plate of living material.

Zhang, L.-B. & L. Zhang. 2012. The inclusion of Acrophorus, Diacalpe, Nothoperanema, and Peranema in Dryopteris: the molecular phylogeny, systematics, and nomenclature of Dryopteris subg. Nothoperanema (Dryopteridaceae). Taxon 1199–1216.

The major cosmopolitan genus Dryopteris is shown to be paraphyletic with respect to the four oligotypic paleotropical genera of the title, which are consequently subsumed therein, as sections of the titular subgenus. Numerous new combinations are validated (including four at sectional rank), but these (as well as most of the other taxonomic and nomenclatural features of this paper) have no relevance to Costa Rican floristics. We cite this paper only because of its bearing on the generic sp. total, which apparently now hovers at “about 300 or more.”

Zimmer, E. A., Y. Suh & K. G. Karol. 2012. Phylogenetic placement of a recently described taxon of the genus Pleodendron (Canellaceae). Phytologia 94: 404–412.

The taxon in question is our very own Pleodendron costaricense N. Zamora, Hammel & Aguilar, an extremely rare endemic [see The Cutting Edge 13(1): 7, Jan. 2006]. According to the results of this study, P. costaricense groups in a clade with two Antillean spp., Cinnamodendron ekmanii Sleumer and Pleodendron macranthum (Baill.) Tiegh. (the latter being the only other member of its genus). This accords with previous studies showing the Antillean Cinnamodendron spp. to be more closely allied with Pleodendron than their South American ostensible congeners. The authors recommend that Cinnamodendron ekmanii, Pleodendron costaricense, and P. macranthum “should be combined into a single genus, presumably as Cinnamodendron, which has taxonomic priority.” They overlook the fact that the type sp. of Cinnamodendron is the South American C. axillare (Nees) Endl. ex Walp., in view of which their results might better be interpreted as suggesting that C. ekmanii (and presumably all the Antillean Cinnamodendron spp.) should be transferred to Pleodendron.

The issue of Phytologia in which this article appears is the last to be distributed in printed form. The journal will soldier on, however, as a digital-only publication.


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