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The Cutting Edge
Volume XXI, Number 2, April 2014
News and Notes | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature |
Affonso, R., A. C. Araujo & A. Zanin. 2013. Lectotypifications in Scleria P. J. Bergius (Cyperaceae) from South America. J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 140: 256–258.
One of the names lectotypified, Scleria microcarpa Nees ex Kunth, applies (and by all indications continues to apply) to a widespread sp. represented in Costa Rica. Enough said.
Anderson, W. R. & C. C. Davis. 2013. Combination of Mascagnia and Triopterys (Malpighiaceae). Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 108: 191–203.
These authors [see this column in The Cutting Edge 20(1), Jan. 2013] already provided advance warning of this development in a note proposing the conservation of the genus name Mascagnia over the older but much lesser known Triopterys. Assuming that proposal is accepted, there will be no repercussions for Costa Rican floristics (Triopterys being restricted to the West Indies). This paper and the one by Daniel (this column) are part of a volume entitled "Harmony and grit: papers celebrating the Holmgren's completion of Intermountain Flora," edited by William R. Buck and Robert F. C. Naczi (NY).
Applequist, W. L. 2013. Report of the Nomenclature Committee for Vascular Plants: 65. Taxon 62: 1315–1326.
The family name Viburnaceae is recommended for conservation over the obscure Tinaceae, for those who prefer to fragment Adoxaceae sensu APG into three families (based on the genera Adoxa, Sambucus, and Viburnum). However, a simultaneous proposal [see The Cutting Edge 15(2): 10, Apr. 2008] to "superconserve" Adoxaceae over Viburnaceae is "neither recommended nor rejected," meaning that, at this point in time, Viburnaceae is apparently the correct name for the family we have all come to know, in recent years, as Adoxaceae (with Sambucus and Viburnum in Costa Rica). If this situation prevails, it's bad news for the Manual, because we have committed ourselves irrevocably to the inclusion of said family in our final volume, covering dicot families in the alphabetical sequence Acanthaceae–Clethraceae. Reliance upon a simple, automatic, inexpensive, and non-political principle called "priority," easily interpreted and implemented by anyone, anywhere, would have averted this quandary, and many others like it. But on we go: conservation of Ageratum conyzoides L. (Asteraceae) with a conserved type is recommended, the name (applied to a weedy sp. that is common in Costa Rica) having been lectotypified (inadvertently, it seems) with a specimen identifiable as Eclipta prostrata (L.) L.; this bungle had threatened the very application of the two genus names involved [see under "Reveal," this column, in The Cutting Edge 16(4), Oct. 2009]. A proposal to conserve Solanum torvum Sw. (Solanaceae) with a conserved type [see under "Knapp," this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(1), Jan. 2012] is deemed superfluous and not recommended. Conservation of the name Polygala longicaulis Kunth (Polygalaceae) against P. brachistachyos Poir. is recommended, even though the sp. involved is of no particular consequence [see under "Pastore," this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(3), Jul. 2012]. The names Spermacoce hyssopifolia Sm. and S. strigosa L., both of which threatened Diodia apiculata (Willd.) K. Schum. AKA Diodella apiculata (Willd.) Delprete (a sp. occurring in Costa Rica, but otherwise of little consequence), are recommended for rejection. The most obvious effect of the recommendation for conservation of Hedysarum incanum Sw. (Fabaceae) against H. incanum Thunb. is that the former name may now be accepted as the basionym of Desmodium incanum (Sw.) DC., which had been cited as "Desmodium incanum DC." in the Manual; more significantly, its new status as a combination based on Hedysarum incanum Sw. (1788), rather than a nomen novum (1825), evidently protects D. incanum from replacement by Desmodium canum (J. F. Gmel.) Schinz & Thell. (we had omitted the parenthetical authority in the Manual), with priority dating to 1792. As if that would be a big deal. Forging ahead, the long-dubious but extremely early name Gomphrena polygonoides L. [see under "Iamonico," this column, in The Cutting Edge 20(2), Apr. 2013] is mercifully recommended for rejection. Rather shockingly, a proposal [see under "Cabaña Fader" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 20(2), Apr. 2013] to reject Hexasepalum Bartl. ex DC. (Rubiaceae) is not recommended, so it becomes the operative name for the genus lately known as Diodella (for those who would recognize that entity as separate from Diodia). In their comments regarding a related proposal, the Committee states ominously that "maintenance of the Principle of Priority requires that less familiar older synonyms sometimes be allowed to supplant names in current use" (emphasis ours). So there you have it, straight from the pages of Taxon: priority has now become the exception, conservation the rule! But in another divergence from that trend, the Committee recommends rejection of a proposal to conserve Pabstiella Brieger & Senghas (Orchidaceae) against Phloeophila [see under "Chiron," this column, in The Cutting Edge 20(2), Apr. 2013], noting the tendency of orchidologists to constantly tinker with generic circumscriptions and opining that "another change of genus is only 'business as usual' for this group." Truer words have seldom been spoken! Conservation of the familiar name Ficus insipida Willd. (Moraceae) with a conserved type is recommend, sidestepping a debacle that threatened the prevailing application of both F. insipida and F. yoponensis Desv. [see under "Pederneiras," this column, in The Cutting Edge 20(2), Apr. 2013]; there was some concern that the proposers had not seen the relevant types (or at least gave no indication of having done so), but this problem seems to have been resolved behind the scenes. And finally, the Committee recommends that Ferdinanda Lag. (Asteraceae) and Ferdinandea Pohl (Rubiaceae) be regarded as confusable, i.e., effective homonyms; these genus names may be unfamiliar to workers on the Costa Rican flora, but had this proposal failed, then Ferdinandusa (Rubiaceae)—which was published as a replacement name for Ferdinandea—would have to yield to the last-mentioned name.
Archila, F., G. R. Chiron & D. Szlachetko. 2013. Javieria, un nouveau genre d'Orchidaceae néotropicales. Richardiana 14: 91–101.
Based on their "meticulous" cladistic analysis of morphological characters, the authors conclude that the orchid genus Rhyncholaelia is nested within Brassavola. Notwithstanding the fact that the former entity comprises just two spp., both already with names in Brassavola, and that their analysis involved only six spp., the authors opt to split Brassavola in twain rather than scuttle Rhyncholaelia. That decision results in the recognition of a third genus within the complex and the establishment of a new genus name, Javieria Archila, Chiron & Szlach., dedicated (perhaps not inconsequentially) to the first author's son. Caught up in all of this, as luck would have it, are both Brassavola acaulis Lindl. & Paxton and B. nodosa (L.) Lindl., the only members of Brassavola s. l. occurring in Costa Rica. New combinations in Javieria are validated, as per the genus name, for these and the four other spp. in the newly exiled group (corresponding to a former section of Brassavola).
Bauters, K., I. Larridon, M. Reynders, P. Asselman, A. Vrijdaghs, A. M. Muasya, D. A. Simpson & P. Goetghebeur. 2014. A new classification for Lipocarpha and Volkiella as infrageneric taxa of Cyperus s.l. (Cypereae, Cyperoideae, Cyperaceae): insights from species tree reconstruction supplemented with morphological and floral developmental data. Phytotaxa 166: 1–32.
What this all boils down to for us, eight authors and a verbose title notwithstanding, is new names in Cyperus for the three spp. that were segregated in Lipocarpha for the Manual Cyperaceae treatment (2003). Lipocarpha salzmanniana Steud. becomes Cyperus salzmanniana (Steud.) Bauters, but the situation is less straightforward for L. humboldtiana Nees and L. micrantha (Vahl) G. C. Tucker, the epithets of which are, inevitably, preoccupied in the huge genus Cyperus. The former sp. must therefore be called Cyperus sellowianus (Kunth) T. Koyama, the latter C. subsquarrosus (Muhl.) Bauters. For more information, see under "Larridon" et al., this column.
Bedigian, D. 2014.
A new combination for the Indian progenitor of sesame, Sesamum indicum (Pedaliaceae). Novon 23: 5–13.
It behooves us to mention that the validation here of a new combination at subsp. rank, for the entity described in the title, would mandate (for those inclined to accept this taxonomy) that material of Sesamum indicum L. from Costa Rica—where sesame is sparingly cultivated and (even more sparingly) adventive—be qualified as belonging to the autonymic subsp.
Berry, P. E., R. Rabeler & A. Reznicek. 2014. William Russell Anderson (1942–2013). Taxon 63: 217.
The first remembrances of Bill Anderson have begun to trickle in (see also under "Gónzalez Elizondo," this column), with many others sure to follow. Here is revealed much more about the late Malpighiaceae authority than we were able to offer in our brief obituary [see under "News and Notes" in our last issue]. Who knew that Bill was an Arizona native? Life is so terribly short.
Blanco, M. A. 2014. Four new species of Lockhartia (Orchidaceae, Oncidiinae). Phytotaxa 162: 134–146.
Three of the new spp. are strictly South American, but Lockhartia endresiana M. A. Blanco is endemic (based on existing collections) to Costa Rica, where it has been confused with L. amoena Endrés & Rchb. f. The new sp. is unique in the genus in having "a callus composed of thin, raised (up to 1.5 mm), gill-like keels." It is deemed most similar to Lockhartia grandibractea Kraenzl., which name was consigned to synonymy (erroneously as "L. grandibracteata") under L. amoena in the Manual treatment (2003) of Lockhartia by Robert L. Dressler. Thus, it seems that Lockhartia amoena, in the sense of the Manual, has decayed into (at least) three spp.: L. amoena s. str. and L. grandibractea (both themselves based on Costa Rican types), plus L. endresiana. These are separated exclusively on the basis of floral characters; according to the author, specimens [of L. endresiana] without flowers would be impossible to distinguish from L. amoena...and L. grandibractea." The new sp., which has been collected in all the main Costa Rican cordilleras, is depicted in a composite line drawing by the author.
Bogarín, D. & Y. Kisel. 2014. A new Lepanthes from Costa Rica. Orchid Rev. 122: 28–31.
Lepanthes castilloae Bogarín & Kisel (Orchidaceae) is known only from the type specimen, collected at 751 m elevation in the private Rara Avis Rainforest Reserve, on the Atlantic slope of Volcán Barva (Cordillera Central). The new sp. is judged most similar to Lepanthes selliana Endrés ex Luer, from which it differs in leaf coloration and shape, inflorescence length, and various details of floral color and morphology. The epithet honors one Kath Castillo (BM), a co-collector of the type. Illustrated with a color photo from life and an excellent composite line drawing by the first author.
Burt-Utley, K. & J. F. Utley. 2014. New species of Begonia (Begoniaceae) from Mexico and Central America. Phytoneuron 2014-37: 1–8.
Three new spp. are described in this paper, but only Begonia skutchii Burt-Utley & Utley need concern us. Said sp. is endemic to Costa Rica, where it has been found at elevations of ca. 200–1000 m on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca, as well as on the Pacific slope in the north Fila Costeña, the northern Valle de General, and the Península de Osa. Along with the recently described Begonia turrialbae Burt-Utley & Utley [see The Cutting Edge 7(1): 5, Jan. 2000], B. skutchii is a member of sect. Weilbachia (Klotzsch & Oerst.) A. DC. and closely related to B. carletonii Standl. The last-mentioned sp. (type from Prov. Bocas del Toro, Panama) had also been attributed to Costa Rica, but we wonder whether that still holds true (one of the paratypes of B. skutchii happens to be the voucher for B. carletonii in the Manual Begoniaceae draft treatment by Alexánder Rodríguez). Illustrated with a photo of the holotype.
Carrillo-Reyes, P., E. Sahagún-Godínez & G. Ibarra-Manríquez. 2013. The genus Disciphania (Menispermaceae: Tinosporoideae, Tinosporeae) in Mexico. Brittonia 65: 439–451.
The four Disciphania spp. recorded from Mexico include both of the two that were attributed to Costa Rica in the Manual Menispermaceae treatment (2007) by Quírico Jiménez [but not the subsequently discovered third sp.; see "Menispermaceae," under "Leaps and Bounds," in The Cutting Edge 20(3): Jul. 2013]. We might have mentioned this paper on that basis alone (for the key and descriptions), but there is a bit more to report: in the first place, Disciphania spadicea Barneby is now well documented to occur in "S Méx.," a northward range extension from the distribution indicated in the Manual for that sp. And additionally, the authors report a single monoecious collection of D. spadicea, which is significant as the entire family was characterized as dioecious (with respect to its Costa Rican representatives) in the Manual. The suggestion is made that "monoecy or subdioecy...might go unnoticed by collectors, and might thus be more common than expected" in Disciphania. We'll be keeping our eyes peeled!
Chautems, A. & M. Perret. 2013. Redefinition of the Neotropical genera Codonanthe (Mart.) Hanst. and Codonanthopsis Mansf. (Gesneriaceae). Selbyana 31: 143–156.
The writing was already on the wall for Codonanthe [see, e.g., under "Clark" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 20(1), Jan. 2013]. The only question was, what would be the taxonomic resolution of its evident diphyly? These authors offer a proposal that is relatively simple, sensible, and straightforward, but has dire consequences for us ticocentric types. The type sp. of Codonanthe, entraining the genus name, belongs to a clade that is endemic to the Brazilian Atlantic forest and sister to the genus Nematanthus. The members of that clade continue to be distinguished as Codonanthe. All the other spp. traditionally assigned to Codonanthe belong to a separate clade, in which they occur commingled with the dispecific, South American Codonanthopsis and one South American sp. of Paradrymonia. All of these elements are merged in a single genus under the name Codonanthopsis Mansf., with the necessary new combinations (11 in all) validated in this paper in the names of the authors. Thus swept up into the new Codonanthopsis are all three spp. treated under the name Codonanthe in the Manual Gesneriaceae account (2010) by Ricadro Kriebel (NY). A synoptical treatment of the revamped Codonanthe (now with eight spp.) and Codonanthopsis (with 13 spp.) includes revised descriptions of each genus, full synonymy and typology, and a distribution summary for each sp. The two genera are compared in a table and distinguished in a dichotomous key. In addition to the new combinations, nine lectotypifications are effected.
The issue of Selbyana in which this paper appears contains the "Proceedings of the World Gesneriad Research Conference 2010," edited by John R. Clark (PTBG). Some of our readers may be interested in other articles, especially one in which a new infrageneric classification of Gesneriaceae is proposed.
Christenhusz, M. J. M. & M. W. Chase. 2014. Trends and concepts in fern classification. Ann. Bot. (Oxford) 113: 571–594.
Hark, what have we here? The return of common sense to fern classification? It's been a long time coming! May the same philosophy now extend itself to Orchidaceae and other taxa! But we're getting ahead of ourselves, as usual. The bulk of this paper comprises a historical review of fern classification, while the last part (of greatest interest to us) presents a new, heavily footnoted classification being promoted by the authors. Several landmark papers unveiling new systems of fern classification have appeared during the last decade, including (most recently) one helmed by the first author of the present paper [see under "Christenhusz" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(3), Jul. 2012]. The trend has been toward a finer division of both families and genera into smaller, more technical units, which seems inevitable where specialists are involved. But this latest system reverses that trend, repeatedly invoking the need to accommodate "general users," "non-specialist users," "researchers not intimately familiar with the details of fern taxonomy," "students," etc. We are completely on board with this thinking and, after all, everyone is a generalist, with respect to most groups of plants. So the broad view is mostly taken here, when it is possible to do so, sometimes in an innovative way, at other times reviving classifications that were abandoned decades ago. The big changes at family rank are: the expansion of Aspleniaceae to include the likes of Athyriaceae, Blechnaceae, Cystopteridaceae, Hemidictyaceae, Thelypteridaceae, and Woodsiaceae; an enlarged Cyatheaceae, now coextensive with Cyatheales and including Culcitaceae, Dicksoniaceae, Loxsomataceae, Metaxyaceae, and Plagiogyriaceae; the enlargement of Polypodiaceae to engulf Davalliaceae, Dryopteridaceae, Hypodematiaceae, Lomariopsidaceae, Nephrolepidaceae, Oleandraceae, and Tectariaceae (well, that's a start); and the reexpansion of Schizaeaceae to again include Anemiaceae and Lygodiaceae (a separation that never made sense from any perspective). At the genus level, the authors also advocate (but do not rigorously implement) broad taxonomic concepts, including: the restriction of Lycopodiaceae to just three genera (Huperzia, Lycopodiella, and Lycopodium); the recognition of only Hymenophyllum and Trichomanes in the Hymenophyllaceae; the acceptance of Thelypteris in the traditional broad sense (but excluding Macrothelypteris) and (provisionally) of Blechnum to include Salpichlaena; a return to Grammitis in the broadest sense (hallelujah!), e.g., of Stolze's Ferns and fern allies of Guatemala (1981), to include all the myriad and sundry splinter genera proposed in recent years that nobody can tell apart; and the combination of Campyloneurum and Niphidium under the former (older) name. The possibilities of other daring mergers (e.g., of "the entire Cheilanthoideae in the single genus Hemionitis") are alluded to, but some relationships are not yet well enough understood to permit across-the-board pronouncements. The following statement seems best to encapsulate the authors' philosophy on classification: "...one large family that is difficult to define morphologically is preferable to many smaller families that are equally problematic to define morpologically and differ only in relatively trivial characters that are typically difficult to observe." Substitute "genus" for "family," and the same holds true. We'll say it yet again: relationships are more important than differences. Fern systematists continue to rock the boat, and it will be interesting to see how the fern community reacts, down the line, to these new proposals, and whether any semblance of stability will ever take hold.
Cochrane, T. S. & H. H. Iltis. 2014. Studies in the Cleomaceae VII: five new combinations in Corynandra, an earlier name for Arivela. Novon 23: 21–26.
The impending fragmentation of the genus Cleome s. l. was heralded in a previous paper by these same authors [see The Cutting Edge 15(1): 7, Jan. 2008] dealing with North American taxa. From that source, we gleaned that at least five segregate genera would result, including Cleome s. str., native only in the Old World, and Tarenaya Raf., harboring the majority of the New World spp. The authors indicated, at that time, that Cleome viscosa L., an Old World native widely adventive in the Mesoamerican region (including Costa Rica), would remain in Cleome s. str. But that has turned out not to be the case as, unbeknownst to us, C. viscosa has been treated in several recent floristic works under the genus name Arivela Raf. The present authors, however, have found an older name, Corynandra Schrad. ex Spreng., under which they validate new combinations for several taxa, including the former Cleome viscosa and one of its subspp. For more on the fate of Cleome, see under "Iltis," this column.
Daniel, T. F. 2013. Taxonomic, distributional, and nomenclatural notes on North American Acanthaceae. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 108: 85–114.
Ruellia nudiflora (Engelm. & A. Gray) Urb., of North and Central America and the West Indies, has long been recognized as closely similar to the South American R. ciliatiflora Hook. This author takes the leap and combines them under the latter name, which wields priority by five years; the result is a name-change for botanists working on the Costa Rican flora. The rest of this paper is concerned only with North America proper (exclusive of Central America).
Eserman, L. A., G. P. Tiley, R. L. Jarret, J. H. Leebens-Mack & R. E. Miller. 2014. Phylogenetics and diversification of morning glories (tribe Ipomoeeae, Convolvulaceae) based on whole plastome sequences. Amer. J. Bot. 101: 92–103.
The results of this study support the monophyly of tribe Ipomoeeae, but not that of its largest genus, Ipomoea, characterized as paraphyletic with respect to nine other genera. These apparently include Argyreia, Rivea, Stictocardia, and Turbina (to mention the names familiar to us), the last of which is itself branded (on the basis of previous studies) as "not monophyletic." The authors stop well short of proposing a new classification, however, due to poor sampling (only "ca. 15% of Ipomoeeae diversity" having been represented in phylogenetic studies).
Filipowicz, N., H. Schaefer & S. S. Renner. 2014. Revisiting Luffa (Cucurbitaceae) 25 years after C. Heiser: species boundaries and application of names tested with plastid and nuclear DNA sequences. Syst. Bot. 39: 205–215.
This paper proposes both taxonomic and nomenclatural changes for Luffa, a smallish, pantropical genus with three spp. (according to these authors) indigenous in the New World. Only the nomenclatural conclusions impact Costa Rican floristics. The Manual Cucurbitaceae treatment (2010) by José González (LSCR) and Luis J. Poveda (JVR), in agreement with the Flora mesoamericana Luffa account (2009) by R. J. Hampshire (BM), employed the name Luffa operculata (L.) Cogn. for a sp. ranging discontinuously from Mexico to Panama, relegating L. quinquefida (Hook. & Arn.) Seem. to synonymy thereunder. However, reinterpretation of the type illustration of Momordica operculata L. by the present authors reveals it to be conspecific with the largely South American entity named Luffa sepium (G. Mey.) C. Jeffrey in Flora mesoamericana. Thus, Luffa sepium becomes a synonym of L. operculata, while Luffa quinquefida is restored as the operative name for the Mesoamerican entity, in accordance with views previously espoused by late Cucurbitaceae specialist Charles Heiser (IND). We had thought that Luffa aegyptiaca Mill. (1768) vs. L. cylindrica M. Roem. (1846) was the more significant nomenclatural issue in this genus, the former name having been used in the Manual and the latter, for the same sp., in Flora mesoamericana. These authors accept L. aegyptiaca, without discussion, but confusingly cite "L. cylindrica (L.) M. J. Roem." in synonymy; this is contradictory because, if L. cylindrica is considered to have been based on Momordica cylindrica L. (1753), it obviously cannot be a synonym of L. aegyptiaca (Flora mesoamericana was at least consistent in this regard). So this particular controversy remains unsettled.
Fischer, E., B. Schäferhoff & K. Müller. 2013. The phylogeny of Linderniaceae – the new genus Linderniella, and new combinations within Bonnaya, Craterostigma, Lindernia, Micranthemum, Torenia and Vandellia. Willdenowia 43: 209–238.
The authors' analyses of plastid DNA sequence data unmask Lindernia (Scrophulariaceae for Manual purposes) as polyphyletic. As a result, two generic names, Bonnaya and Vandellia, are resurrected, and Linderniella Eb. Fisch., Schäferh. & Kai Müll. is described as new. All three apply strictly to Old World spp., though a few of these have been introduced in the New World, including the former Lindernia diffusa (L.) Wettst. in Costa Rica. The last-mentioned sp. is here referred to Vandellia, where its basionym resides. The only other Costa Rican member of Linderniaceae affected so far by these developments is the former Lindernia crustacea (L.) F. Muell., which is transferred to Torenia (where it already has a name). It turns out that Lindernia s. str. and Torenia are surprisingly well separated, cladistically speaking. Torenia thouarsii (Cham. & Schltdl.) Kuntze is maintained as such (it has often been classed in Lindernia), though it was not included in the study. Somewhat in limbo are two other taxa occurring in Costa Rica, viz., Lindernia dubia (L.) Pennell and the genus Micranthemum. These are sister to one another in both the authors' published cladograms, so it follows that L. dubia could eventually be transferred to Micranthemum, or else Micranthemum could be submerged in Lindernia. The authors seem inclined toward the latter option, but take no action because just one sp. of Micranthemum was studied. Seventy-seven new combinations are validated in this paper, but amazingly, none is germane to Costa Rican floristics.
Gagnon, E., G. P. Lewis, J. S. Sotuyo, C. E. Hughes & A. Bruneau. 2013. A molecular phylogeny of Caesalpinia sensu lato: increased sampling reveals new insights and more genera than expected. S. African J. Bot. 89: 111–127.
Recent work, spearheaded especially by the second author of this paper [see The Cutting Edge 12(4): 8, Oct. 2005], led to the fragmentation of Caesalpinia in its traditional, broad sense into eight smaller genera, "greatly reducing the number of species remaining in Caesalpinia sensu stricto" (we hope that was not the principal objective!). The new classification was embraced in good faith by Manual co-PI Nelson Zamora (INB) for his epochal Fabaceae treatment, in which the segregate genera Coulteria, Guilandina, Libidibia, and Poincianella were accepted, in addition to Caesalpinia s. str. However, these genera had not been "thoroughly tested using molecular data" (i.e., the cart came before the horse), a deficiency that is partly remedied by the present contribution. Now it is confirmed that Caesalpinia s. l. is non-monophyletic, and that five of the eight splinter genera indeed form monophyletic groups. Vindicated, among the genera treated by Nelson, are Coulteria, Guilandina, and Libidibia, while Caesalpinia s. str. and Poincianella do not pass muster. The members of Caesalpinia s. str. fall into three distinct clades, for which separate generic recognition is suggested; however, C. pulcherrima (L.) Sw., the sole Costa Rican representative, belongs to Caesalpinia "sensu strictissimo"—i.e., it occurs in the same clade as the type sp.—and ought to be safe. Poincianella is another matter: while P. exostemma (DC.) Britton & Rose groups with the generic type and should be okay, P. eriostachys (Benth.) Britton & Rose, the only other sp. found in Costa Rica, is well separated in a clade shared with (among other elements) spp. of the South American genus Cenostigma—to which it could conceivably be transferred pending "better phylogenetic resolution and more morphological studies." The same caveat is attached to a suggestion that Poincianella (in the strict sense, i.e., minus the Cenostigma clade) be enlarged to include Erythrostemon, another of the original eight segregates (though not represented in Costa Rica).
This paper and that of Klitgård et al. (see below) are part of a special issue, edited by Ben-Erik van Wyk (JRAU) and James Boatwright, entitled "Towards a new classification system for legumes." Some of our readers will surely find additional papers to be of interest.
García G., J. E. 2014. Jorge León Arguedas (9 diciembre 1916 - 5 junio 2013). Revista Biol. Trop. 62: 1–8.
This is the place to turn for anyone who wants to know more about the recently departed dean of Costa Rican systematic botanists than was revealed in our brief obituary [see under "News and Notes" in The Cutting Edge 20(3), Jul. 2013]. We learn, among other things, that Don Jorge and his wife had three children, that he counted Juvenal Valerio as his botanical mentor, and that he once lived in Rome (in addition to Peru and the United States). From humble beginnings, Don Jorge rose to worldly prominence not through guile, but on the basis of bedrock virtues such as ability, integrity, and erudition. His legacy will long endure.
Gómez-Laurito, J. 2013. A new species of Zea (Poaceae) from the Murciélago Islands, Santa Elena Peninsula, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Brenesia 80: 36–39.
Our recently departed colleague Jorge Gómez-Laurito leaves us with one final bombshell: there is not much in the plant world that detonates more resoundingly than a new sp. of Zea! The epithet of Zea vespertilio Gómez-Laur. is the Latin word for "bat," reflecting the occurrence of the sp. on the Islas Murciélago, off the southern coast of the Península de Santa Elena in northwestern Costa Rica. There it was evidently first found in 1999 by Costa Rican botanist Silvana Martén (XAL), whose collection lay unnoticed among the Olyra indets. in the USJ herbarium until 2011. At that time, it was recognized as misplaced by Carlos O. Morales (USJ), and ultimately determined as a Zea by Jorge and agrostologist Mayra Montiel (USJ). Jorge's efforts to recollect the sp. in fertile condition were thwarted by "the drastic and sudden seasonal changes typical" in the region, but finally proved successful on 5 October 2012, leading to the present paper. We believe that we flirted with discovering this sp. ourselves in the course of our botanical inventories of the Península de Santa Elena in 2003–2004. Upon our first visit to Isla San Pedrito [see The Cutting Edge 10(4): 1, Oct. 2003]—the smallest and westernmost of the named islands in the Murciélago chain—on 3 September 2003, we noted a few individuals of an unrecognized, comparatively broad-leaved grass bearing one or two dried, empty, spathe-like structures. No collections were made, merely a mental note to be on the lookout for better material on our return visit, planned for the following year. When we excitedly described the potential novelty to Área de Conservación Guanacaste Scientific Liaison Officer María Marta Chavarría, along with us for the ride, she mentioned that Silvana Martén had once studied a curious grass on that island. A few months later, while rummaging about in the MO herbarium, we chanced to view specimens of the Mexican Zea diploperennis Iltis, Doebley & R. Guzmán, several of which bore spathe-like organs highly reminiscent of what we had seen on Isla San Pedrito. But our fantasies of finding a native or naturalized population of Zea in Costa Rica were dashed when no evidence of the mystery grass could be found during our return visit to Isla San Pedrito on 12 November 2004 [see The Cutting Edge 12(1): 1–2, Jan. 2005]. With no prospects of getting back to the island in the foreseeable future, we diverted our thoughts to other matters until sometime in 2011, when we received the intriguing news that Jorge Gómez was working up the description of a new Zea sp. from Costa Rica. Although Jorge did not immediately reveal the provenance of his new sp. or the name of the collector, we hazarded a guess that it had been collected on the Islas Murciélago by Silvana Marten. Taken aback, Jorge conceded that we were correct—and suddenly all the ducks seemed to be lined up in a row. Imagine our surprise, then, when we saw this paper and learned that Silvana's original collection, as well as Jorge's more recent ones, all came from Isla San José (the largest island of the archipelago, on which the park ranger station is located), not Isla San Pedrito! Barring an outlandish coincidence—that we imagined seeing a wild Zea a stone's throw from where the real deal turned up a few years later—it seems probable that Zea vespertilio must be present on both islands, not to mention the two intervening ones (Islas Catalina and Las Golondrinas), deepening the mystery of why we (and numerous others) had failed to find it. After all, we collected at least twice on every island of the Murciélago chain (with the exception of the precipitous and shoal-girded Isla Colorada), and were based for days at a time on Isla San José, quite near the type locality of Z. vespertilio. Indeed, we certainly collected on the very site, focusing particularly on grasses, which were the dominant plant family and mostly fertile at the time. The only explanation that makes sense to us is the one suggested by Jorge, i.e., that the flowering period of the new sp. is very brief and ends abruptly; according to all the evidence, it appears restricted to the interval 3 September–12 November or thereabouts, the precise timing being no doubt variable from one year to the next. Despite our presence on both cusps of the propitious period, we did not get lucky. How ironic that we spent so much time and money to thoroughly inventory these islands and the adjacent mainland, yet just missed the most exciting thing there! And how fortunate that the combined efforts of Silvana, Carlos, and Jorge brought it to light against all odds! Zea vespertilio, the southernmost sp. of its genus, is classed in Zea sect. Luxuriantes Doebley & Iltis by Jorge. It seems well distinguished from the other members of the section—Z. luxurians (Durieu & Asch.) R. M. Bird, of southern Mexico to Honduras, and the Nicaraguan Z. nicaraguensis Iltis & B. F. Benz—by its cespitose habit, smaller size, narrower leaves, and masculine inflorescences with fewer branches and fewer spikelets per branch, the spikelets with larger, scabrous glumes. The three spp. are separated by means of a dichotomous key. The new sp. is depicted photographically, the main photo of Lauro standing in the center of the population being one for the ages. Jorge, we are missing you!
González Elizondo, M. S. 2014. William R. Anderson (25 de septiembre de 1942 - 2 de noviembre de 2013). Bot. Sci. 92: 153–154.
This tribute (see also under "Berry" et al., this column) understandly focuses on the contributions of Bill Anderson to Mexican botany, most notably, his role as general editor of the late Rogers McVaugh's Flora novo-galiciana, comprising eight volumes. It also so happens that Bill's most recent publication (2013) addressed the "Origins of Mexican Malpighiaceae." The following quote captures the essence of the man: "Carismático, culto y brillante, apasionado amante de la ópera, Bill Anderson fue un personaje complejo. Era perfeccionista y muy exigente, tanto con su propio trabajo como con el de los demás. Genuino, directo y claro sin tapujos, a veces irónico, llegaba a ser incómodo y hasta intimidante para algunos, pero su personalidad destacaba por su lucidez deslumbrante, su conocimiento enciclopédico, su agudo sentido del humor y su risa fácil." We couldn't have said it better! Botany has lost one of its strongest personalities.
Grande Allende, J. R. 2014. Novitates agrostologicae, IV. Additional segregates from Panicum incertae sedis. Phytoneuron 2014-22: 1–6.
This marks the latest installment in the ongoing atomization of Panicum, in its traditional, broad sense (see also under "Scataglini," this column). Here, technical characters are marshaled to discriminate three new monospecific genera. We will mention just one of these, Aconisia J. R. Grande, which alone is represented in Costa Rica, by the former Panicum grande Hitchc. & Chase. Of somewhat greater impact to Costa Rican floristics is the author's transferral of 10 spp. of traditional Panicum (including nine from tropical America) to the genus Dallwatsonia B. K. Simon, hitherto comprising a single Australian sp. Four spp. occurring in Costa Rica are involved in this reshuffling: the former Panicum hylaeicum Mez, P. pilosum Sw., P. polygonatum Schrad., and P. stagnatile Hitch. & Chase, for all of which new combinations in Dallwatsonia are validated in the name of "J. R. Grande." For whatever reason, no new combination was ventured for Panicum pilosum var. lancifolium (Griseb.) R. W. Pohl, a taxon that was accepted (along with the autonymic var.) in the Manual Poaceae treatment (2003) by Francisco Morales. A few other new twists debuted in this paper are of no relevance to us.
——. 2014. Additional notes: segregates from Panicum incertae sedis. Phytoneuron 2014-29: 1.
Having presumably been assailed by his colleagues following the publication of the foregoing paper, the author responds by correcting the gender of Aconisia to feminine (he had retained the neuter ending of the epithet grande) and qualifying his proposed circumscription of Dallwatsonia as "provisional." We doubt this admission invalidates his new combinations, but perhaps it should. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out down the line.
Grimm, D. & F. Almeda. 2013. Systematics, phylogeny, and biogeography of Chaetolepis (Melastomataceae). J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 7: 217–263.
Chaetolepis is an intriguing genus: as portrayed in the Manual treatment (2007) by Ricardo Kriebel and Gina Umaña, it comprises some 11 spp., with C. cufodontisii Standl. endemic to Costa Rica and the others distributed in disparate fashion across northern South America and in Cuba and west Africa. Cladistic analyses based on morphological characters carried out by these authors uphold the genus as monophyletic, with one exception: Chaetolepis cubensis (A. Rich.) Triana groups with spp. of Tibouchina, and is summarily transferred to that genus (in which it already has a name). Stunningly, the African C. gentianoides (Naudin) Jacq.-Fél. appears truly congeneric with the Central and South American spp., which would make Chaetolepis "the only genus of Melastomataceae with a trans-Atlantic distribution." However, the authors caution that molecular confirmation is still on the horizon. Other than the elimination of "Cuba" from the geographic range of the genus, no significant changes appear to be in order for the Manual account. This is a formal revision, with synonymy, typology, and technical descriptions at all ranks, a dichotomous, indented key to spp., distribution maps and, for each sp., phenology and distribution summaries, a discussion of variable length, and exhaustive specimen citations. There are no indices. The lengthy introductory part is devoted mainly to the cladistic analyses, with a section on karyology. The spp. are depicted in composite line drawings.
Gutiérrez, H. F. 2014. (2259) Proposal to conserve the name Pennisetum clandestinum (Cenchrus clandestinus) against P. longistylum (Poaceae). Taxon 63: 189–190.
The familiar grass long known universally as Pennisetum clandestinum Hochst. ex Chiov. was recently reassigned (along with all other erstwhile Pennisetum spp.) to the genus Cenchrus [see under "Chemisquy" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 17(4), Oct. 2010]. However, it turns out that the correct name for the sp. ought to be a combination (as yet unpublished) in Cenchrus based on Pennisetum longistylum Hochst. ex A. Rich., which has priority over P. clandestinum by more than 50 years. The author of this paper has independently confirmed, by examination of type material, that the two names involved refer to a single sp. Previous authors had come to the same conclusion, but for reasons that are not made clear, treated P. longistylum in synonymy under P. clandestinum. This proposal seeks to retain the much better-known epithet, which on the surface seems reasonable; but on the other hand, since we must already habituate ourselves to a new genus name, this may be a good time to also make the switch to the appropriate (by priority) sp. name.
Iamonico, D. & L. Peruzzi. 2014. Typification of Linnaean names in Malvaceae for the Italian flora. Taxon 63: 161–166.
One of the names lectotypified is Gossypium hirsutum L., currently accepted for a sp. occurring in Costa Rica. End of story.
Iltis, H. H. & T. S. Cochrane. 2014. Studies in the Cleomaceae VI: a new genus and sixteen new combinations for the Flora Mesoamericana. Novon 23: 51–58.
The ongoing fragmentation of the genus Cleome s. l., continued [see under "Cochrane," this column]: here, an additional genus, Andinocleome Iltis & Cochrane, is described as new, comprising 13 spp. mainly restricted (as suggested by the genus name) to Andean South America; three new combinations are published in the names of the authors including one based on Cleome pilosa Benth., the only member of the group represented in Costa Rica. New combinations are also validated in Tarenaya, in the name of Iltis alone, for the former Cleome costaricensis Iltis, C. longipes DC., and C. parviflora Kunth, all of which occur in Costa Rica. So the big picture is slowly coming into view. We also learn that change lies ahead for the genus Podandrogyne, long considered as having but a single sp. in Costa Rica, known variously as P. chiriquensis (Standl.) Woodson or P. decipiens (Triana & Planch.) Woodson. However, those two names are now regarded as applying to distinct spp. by the second author of this paper, who also validates the combination Podandrogyne pulcherrima (Standl.) Cochrane. Both P. decipiens and P. pulcherrima are explicitly attributed to Costa Rica, with the latter (based on a Costa Rican type) said to be "extremely similar to the allopatric P. chiriquensis"; whether P. chiriquensis also occurs in Costa Rica is not made clear.
Kaplan, Z. & J. L. Reveal. 2013. Taxonomic identity and typification of selected names of North American Potamogetonaceae. Brittonia 65: 452–468.
At least two of the 72 names dealt with in this paper apply to (and are the accepted names for) taxa occurring (at least ostensibly) in Costa Rica: Potamogeton foliosus Raf. [see The Cutting Edge 10(2) 8:, Apr. 2003] and P. illinoensis Morong. No changes are in order, as far as we can tell.
Klitgård, B. B., F. Forest, T. J. Booth & C. H. Saslis-Lagoudakis. 2013. A detailed investigation of the Pterocarpus clade (Leguminosae: Dalbergieae): Etaballia with radially symmetrical flowers is nested within papilionoid-flowered Pterocarpus. S. African J. Bot. 89: 128–142.
The results of this molecular study "strongly support" the important pantropical genus Pterocarpus as paraphyletic with respect to both the monospecific, Amazonian Etaballia and the oligospecific, somewhat more widely distributed Paramachaerium. Etaballia is nested among Old World members of Pterocarpus, while Paramachaerium is sister to the clade including the neotropical spp. The authors formally propose the synonymization of Etaballia under Pterocarpus (where the one sp. already has an available name), but demur from similar action involving Paramachaerium, citing a desire for "more complete...sampling." But a change is no doubt forthcoming for Paramachaerium gruberi Brizicky, the only affected sp. that reaches Costa Rica (and which was not included in the study). An unexpected result of this study has Pterocarpus acapulcensis Rose (not known from Costa Rica) grouping in a separate lineage from the remainder of the genus, with genera such as Platypodium and Tipuana. However, the authors consider that this clade is "weakly supported and requires further investigation."
Königer, W. 2013. Die Gattung Scelochilus Klotzsch Teil 3. OrchideenJ. 20: 144–150.
This rather mysterious contribution treats five spp. of Scelochilus (Orchidaceae), a genus of some 35 spp., in alphabetical order from o to v. Because we missed the first two parts of the series, we have no idea if it is being promoted as a formal revision, or simply one of those coffee-table style enumerations of which amateur orchidophiles are so fond. The matter is of some significance to us because this segment happens to include the sole Costa Rican representative of Scelochilus, which was treated under the name S. tuerckheimii Schltr. in Robert L. Dressler's Manual account (2003) of the genus. Later, Costa Rican and Panamanian material was critically distinguished from S. tuerckheimii (based on a Guatemalan type) under the name Scelochilus aureus Schltr. [see The Cutting Edge 12(4): 11, Oct. 2005], which had been synonymized in the Manual. Now we suffer yet another name change, as this author folds both S. aureus and S. tuerckheimii into a liberal concept of Scelochilus ottonis Klotzsch, a name previously relegated to South American material. And we still have not mentioned a recent proposal to sink Scelochilus into Comparettia [see under "Chase" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 17(2), Apr. 2010], which, for reasons unexplained (in this "Teil"), is not accepted by the present author. All things considered, depending on one's point of view, there are now at least six names (three each in Comparettia and Scelochilus) in more or less current use for Costa Rican material representing what all parties agree to be a single sp. Gun to the head, at this point in time, we would be inclined toward Comparettia aurea (Schltr.) M. W. Chase & N. H. Williams, for whatever our opinion may be worth. The sp. accounts in this paper include full synonymy, detailed descriptions, diagnostic statements, discussions, cultural requirements, and distribution summaries (though without specimen citations). Each sp. is depicted in a composite line drawing.
Kuijt, J. 2013. A brief taxonomic history of neotropical mistletoe genera, with a key to genera. Blumea 58: 263–266.
The historical account makes for absorbing reading, and includes a couple of intriguing observations: the genus Passovia [i.e., Phthirusa in the sense of the Manual Loranthaceae treatment; see under "Kuijt," this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(4), Oct. 2011] "as now circumscribed is known to have a baffling amount of anther diversity that cannot preclude further segregates." Also, the "admittedly difficult distinction between Dendrophthora and Phoradendron" may have a simple explantation, as "it appears that Dendrophthora occupies a nested position in Phoradendron." Nonetheless, the author continues to recognize both as distinct (which will not happen in the Manual). The dichotomous (though unindented) key to genera is most useful, and includes the genus Misodendrum (Misodendraceae) as well as all New World genera of Eremolepidaceae, Loranthaceae, and Viscaceae, all of which the author continues to accept (Eremolepidaceae and Viscaceae will be merged with Santalaceae in the impending Manual treatment of the last-mentioned family). One red flag for us in the key: the genus Maracanthus is alleged to occur in "Costa Rica (Osa Peninsula)," which is news to us. We can only assume that the author has, at least in his mind, decided to go ahead and resegregate Maracanthus from Oryctina [see The Cutting Edge 15(1): 8, Jan. 2008], in which case O. costaricensis Kuijt, an Osa endemic, would belong in Maracanthus (though the indicated new combination has yet to be validated, as far as we can determine). Tellingly, the distribution of Oryctina is limited to "Eastern Brazil (one species in Guyana)."
Labiak, P. H. 2013. Grammitid ferns (Polypodiaceae). I. Lellingeria. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 111: 1–130.
Lellingeria, originally conceived as a pantropical genus of some 60 spp., has since been reduced in size (mainly as a result of molecular studies) and become exclusively neotropical. But even its revised total of 49 spp. (as according to this monograph) qualifies it as "one of the largest genera of grammitid ferns in the Neotropics." The total of 13 Lellingeria spp. now attributed to Costa Rica represents a slight reduction from the 14 spp. documented for the country in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1 (1995): three spp. are newly recorded from Costa Rica, while four have been lost to even more recent segregate genera, viz., two each to Leucotrichum [see under "Labiak" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(1), Jan. 2011] and Stenogrammitis [see under "Labiak," this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(3), Jul. 2011]. The three additions to the Costa Rican flora, vis-à-vis Flora mesoamericana, are: Lellngeria hombersleyi (Maxon) A. R. Sm., rather tenuously separated (it seems to us) from L. randallii (Maxon) A. R. Sm. & R. C. Moran and otherwise known only from Trinidad and Tobago; the recently described Lellingeria pinnata A. Rojas [see The Cutting Edge 14(2): 10–11, Apr. 2007]; and Lellingeria randallii, which incorporates the newly synonymized L. brenesii A. Rojas [see The Cutting Edge 15(2): 10, Apr. 2008], as well as certain specimens that had been misdetermined as L. barbensis (Lelllinger) A. R. Sm. & R. C. Moran (including both vouchers cited under the last-mentioned name in Flora mesoamericana). In fact, the concept of Lellingeria barbensis is here restricted to the Costa Rican type specimen, which the author tentatively maintains as distinct from the Venezuelan L. pendulina A. R. Sm. & R. C. Moran (so we gain an endemic, at least for the time being). Three other, developments are of at least passing interest to us: the name Lellingeria hirsuta A. R. Sm. & R. C. Moran, accepted in Flora mesoamericana, is here synonymized (without comment) under L. subimpressa (Copel.) Labiak (comb. nov.), based on Peruvian material; Lellingeria melanotrichia (Baker) A. R. Sm. & R. C. Moran is restricted to South America, with Mesoamerican material that had gone by that name (e.g., in Flora mesoamericana) segregated as Lellingeria micula (Lellinger) Labiak (comb. nov.); and use of the autonymic var. of Lellingeria phlegmaria (J. Sm.) A. R. Sm. & R. C. Moran, which never really existed in the first place (though such a name was used in Flora mesoamericana), can be dispensed with for Mesoamerican material, the mythical Antillean var. being now recognized at sp. rank.
This monograph is bound in the same volume with similar contributions for two other "grammitid" genera (see under "Lehnert" and "Moguel Velázquez," this column), all of which achieve the high standards we have come to associate with this excellent series. Full synonymy and typology and technical descriptions are provided at all ranks, as well as a dichtomous and indented key to spp., distribution maps, a section on "Excluded taxa," and indices to exsiccatae and scientific names. Each sp. entry features a distribution summary, specimen citations (usually "selected"), and a discussion of variable length. The introductory section addresses taxonomic history, phylogenetic relationships, morphology and anatomy, karyology, distribution and diversity, and conservation. All spp. are illustrated with fine composite line drawings. Eleven new spp. are described and three new combinations validated, however, none of these pertains to Costa Rica, except as previously indicated. Finally, 23 new lectotypifications are effected. If we have one criticism of this contribution (and the other two with which it is bound), it would be the relative paucity of specimen citations; while the index to exsiccatae does include more specimens than are cited in full in the sp. entries, we have good reason to doubt that it includes all the material that was examined. A more comprehensive accounting would enable us to better understand the author's sp. concepts and the distributions of the various taxa.
Larridon, I., K. Bauters, M. Reynders, W. Huygh & P. Goetghebeur. 2014. Taxonomic changes in C4 Cyperus (Cypereae, Cyperoideae, Cyperaceae): combining the sedge genera Ascolepis, Kyllinga and Pycreus into Cyperus s.l. Phytotaxa 166: 33–48.
At last! Molecular studies began to sound the death knell for the Cyperus satellite genera mentioned in the title at least 15 years ago [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 6(1): 9, Jan. 1999], and the subject has been belabored in a host of papers since that time, but for whatever reason workers on the genus have been hesitant to take the big nomenclatural leap. Finally, they have done so (see also "Bauters" et al., this column) by validating all the necessary new combinations and nomina nova in Cyperus for spp. traditionally segregated in genera now solidly established as nested therein. In this paper, only the changes for Kyllinga are of interest to us, since Ascolepis does not occur in Costa Rica and Pycreus was already subsumed within Cyperus in the Manual Cyperaceae account (2003). Foreseeing this development, we included as synonyms the appropriate names in Cyperus for five of the six Kyllinga spp. treated in the Manual, excepting only K. vaginata Vahl. We also cannot find a name in Cyperus cited anywhere in this paper that would be applicable to K. vaginata; however, rummaging around in TROPICOS a bit, we suspect that the existing Cyperus obtusatus (J. Presl & C. Presl) Mattf. & Kük. is the name that must be used.
Lehnert, M. 2013. Grammitid ferns (Polypodiaceae). II. Melpomene. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 112: 1–121.
Melpomene is here construed as comprising 29 spp. with 10 vars. (the author seeming to be inordinately enamored of infraspecific taxa). The genus is nearly restricted to the Neotropics, with just one sp. extending to Africa, Madagascar, and the Mascarenes. Eight spp. are attributed to Costa Rica, vs. seven in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1, the net gain of one sp. being the result of two spp. added to the Costa Rican flora and one lost to a different segregate genus. The two additions at sp. rank are the recently described Melpomene personata Lehnert [see The Cutting Edge 16(3): 7, Jul. 2009] and the resurrected M. vernicosa (Copel.) A. R. Sm. & R. C. Moran, which name had been synonymized in Flora mesoamericana under M. xiphopteroides (Liebm.) A. R. Sm. & R. C. Moran. Answered in the affirmative are our earlier question as to whether the real Melpomene pilosissima (M. Martens & Galeotti) A. R. Sm. & R. C. Moran (from which M. personata was segregated) remains attributable to Costa Rica, and a similar new question regarding the real M. xiphopteroides (with respect to M. vernicosa). The author's new infraspecific taxa of Melpomene were debuted in a previous paper [for further details see under "Lehnert," this column, in The Cutting Edge 17(3), Jul. 2010]. Now removed from Melpomene is the former M. anfractuosa (Kunze ex Klotzsch) A. R. Sm. & R. C. Moran which, together with the recently described [see The Cutting Edge 9(2): 9, Apr. 2002] M. alan-smithii A. Rojas (here treated under "Doubtful and excluded taxa"), is relegated to Terpsichore. The author seems curiously unaware that both Melpomene anfractuosa and M. alan-smithii were recently assigned to yet another new segregate genus, Ascogrammitis [see under "Sundue," this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(2), Apr. 2011]. So we needn't feel so bad, even these specialists cannot keep track of what their buddies are up to! See under "Labiak," this column, for a brief description of the general features of this series.
——. 2014. Do you know Cyathea divergens (Cyatheaceae-Polypodiopsida)? Phytotaxa 161: 1–42.
Turns out we pretty much do, at least where Costa Rica is concerned. So there isn't much here that is new for us. A taxon of northern Mesoamerica accepted in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1 (1995) as a var. of Cyathea divergens Kunze is here restored to sp. rank as Cyathea tuerckheimii Maxon; but at the same time, a new, South American var. of C. divergens is described, maintaining the autonymic varietal denominator for material from Costa Rica and Panama. The complex as a whole (encompassing "all species that have been erroneously determined as C. divergens at one time") is essentially revised, with one South American sp. described as new. We count a total of 19 spp. (plus one hybrid) that are treated here, including four represented in Costa Rica: Cyathea divergens, C. gracilis Griseb., C. nodulifera R. C. Moran, and C. traillii (Baker) Domin. These spp. "all agree in having large triangular long-stalked penultimate [leaf] segments." Features separate sp. keys (non-indented) for sterile and fertile material, synonymy and typology, technical descriptions, distribution summaries, specimen citations, and "remarks." Most spp. are illustrated with photos and/or line drawings.
——. 2014. (2255) Proposal to conserve the name Cyathea mucilagina against C. ecuadorensis (Cyatheaceae, Pteridophyta). Taxon 63: 185.
The author has concluded that the name Cyathea ecuadorensis Domin (1929) is based on material belonging to a sp. described much more recently as C. mucilagina R. C. Moran (1991), and now seeks to conserve the latter name. Seriously? This is a rather uncommon tree-fern, insignificant economically and quite unknown to the general public, and the name proposed for conservation is just 23 years old. Is Taxon obliged to accept and publish every proposal of this nature? What is the incentive nowadays, for a botanist who has found a putatively new sp., to bother looking for an existing name that may have been overlooked?
Lu, P.-L. & C. W. Morden. 2014. Phylogenetic relationships among dracaenoid genera (Asparagaceae: Nolinoideae) inferred from chloroplast DNA loci. Syst. Bot. 39: 90–104.
The most significant conclusion (though it does not concern us) of this study is that the six Hawaiian spp. of the Old World genus Pleomele are not closely related to their ostensible congeners, but instead are basal to the entire dracaenoid clade (comprising Dracaena, Pleomele, and Sansevieria). A new genus is created for this Hawaiian element, and the appropriate combinations validated. The same treatment could conceivably be accorded Dracaena americana Donn. Sm. (which occurs in Costa Rica) and D. cubensis Vict., the only native Dracaena spp. in the New World, at least on cladistic grounds, as they are isolated in a clade that is basal to the rest of the dracaenoids (minus the Hawaiian group). However, these neotropical spp. are retained without comment in Dracaena, which also absorbs the rest of Pleomele and the entirety of Sansevieria. Though largely monophyletic, Sansevieria (with one sp. cultivated and naturalized in Costa Rica) is deeply nested within Dracaena, as has long been suspected; Pleomele (already lumped into Dracaena in the lastest edition of Mabberley's plant-book) is not only nested in Dracaena, but rampantly polyphyletic as well. Perhaps significantly, the small Asian contingent of the mainly African Sansevieria was not represented in the study. No new combinations in Dracaena are ventured for non-Hawaiian spp. included traditionally in Pleomele or Sansevieria.
Manning, J., J. S. Boatwright, B. H. Daru, O. Maurin & M. van der Bank. 2014. A molecular phylogeny and generic classification of Asphodelaceae subfamily Alooidae: a final resolution of the prickly issue of polyphyly in the alooids? Syst. Bot. 39: 55–74.
Continued phylogenetic research by this group [see also under "Daru" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 20(2), Apr. 2013] has resulted in a new generic classification of the titular subfamily. This may be of passing interest to some of our readers, as certain representatives of genera such as Aloe, Haworthia, and Gasteria (only the last of which remains intact) are widely cultivated, including occasionally in Costa Rica (see the discussion under Liliaceae in Manual Vol. 2).
Massoni, J., F. Forest & H. Sauquet. 2014. Increased sampling of both genes and taxa improves resolution of phylogenetic relationships within Magnoliidae, a large and early-diverging clade of angiosperms. Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 70: 84–93.
Phylogenetic analyses of plastid, mitochondrial, and nuclear genomes for 199 spp. (representing ca. 75% of Magnoliidae) yield a few results that are novel, at least to us. Most notably, the parasitic family Hydnoraceae (with one sp. in Costa Rica) is shown to be "nested within Aristolochiaceae with high support," and its inclusion therein is advocated. The same is true of Lactoris, a monospecific genus of the isolated Juan Fernández Islands that was long consigned to its own family; however, though unbeknownst to us, the absorption of Lactoris by Aristolochiaceae is apparently nothing new (we find that Peter Stevens's Web site has already gone that route).
Miller, J. S. 2013. A revision of Cordia section Gerascanthus (Boraginales: Cordiaceae). J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 7: 55–83.
First of all, let us take this opportunity to welcome Jim Miller back to MO, where he returned on 31 December to take the reins as Director of Research, a position he held at NY from 2007–2013. Jim also happens to be the Manual contributor for Boraginaceae, which will be published in Vol. 4 (our final volume, chronologically speaking) according to its old, Cronquistian circumscription. The constraints of our alphabetical presentation preclude any other option, but that needn't prevent Jim from embracing the future in his other publications. And the future for Boraginales, as summarized in the introduction to this revision, is clearly trending toward the recognition of smaller families (e.g., Cordiaceae, Ehretiaceae, and Heliotropiaceae) rather than wholesale lumping into a single, all-encompassing family (including Hydrophyllaceae, Lennoaceae, etc.), as was espoused in the most recent printed APG classification [see under "Angiosperm Phylogeny Group," this column, in The Cutting Edge 17(1), Jan. 2010]. That said, Cordia sect. Gerascanthus (P. Browne) G. Don, the subject of this paper, comprises 23 neotropical spp. characterized inter alia by tubular, usually distinctly 10-ribbed, persistent calyces, marcescent and persistent corollas, and ellipsoid, thin-walled fruits, capped by the discoid base of the style and enclosed within the persistent calyx and corolla (by means of which they are wind-dispersed). The group is concentrated in Mexico, but extends to South America and the West Indies, with three spp. reaching Costa Rica: the well-known Cordia alliodora (Ruiz & Pav.) Oken (sometimes cultivated for its timber), C. gerascanthus L., and C. megalantha S. F. Blake (the tallest sp. in the genus). As far as we can tell, there are no substantive changes to report for Costa Rica. Features synonymy, typology, technical descriptions, and distribution summaries for the section and all of its spp., a dichotomous, indented key to spp., distribution summaries, representative (though sometimes extensive) specimen citations and discussions of variable length for each sp., and distribution maps. There are no indices. The introduction briefly addresses taxonomic history, classification, and morphology. Apart from maps, there are no illustrations.
Moguel Velázquez, A. L. & M. Kessler. 2013. Grammitid ferns (Polypodiaceae). III. Alansmia. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 113: 1–68.
The genus name Alansmia was recently erected, in a paper involving both of these authors, for 26 largely neotropical spp. newly segregated from Terpsichore (in the sense of Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1; 1991) on the basis of molecular studies. For further information, see our review of the original paper [under "Kessler" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(4), Oct. 2011]. Here, we need only mention a couple of new developments, or details that were not made clear in our first review. This new monographic treatment recognizes just 25 spp. of Alansmia, a result of A. glandulifera (A. Rojas) Moguel & M. Kessler being now consigned to synonymy under A. turrialbae (Christ) Moguel & M. Kessler. Also, Alansmia lanigera (Desv.) Moguel & M. Kessler is restricted to South America, a fact we did not glean from the original paper; Mesoamerican material that had been assigned to Terpsichore lanigera (Desv.) A. R. Sm. (e.g., in Flora mesoamericana) now resides in Alansmia stella (Copel.) Moguel & M. Kessler (or, more precisely, in the autonymic var. of A. stella). See under "Labiak," this column, for a brief description of the general features of this series. The present contribution differs from the other two with which it is bound in that the sp. entries are ordered "phylogenetically" (rather than alphabetically), which we find extremely irritating (though we must admit to having done it ourselves!).
Petersen, G., O. Seberg, F. T. Short & M. D. Fortes. 2014. Complete genomic congruence but non-monophyly of Cymodocea (Cymodoceaceae), a small group of seagrasses. Taxon 63: 3–8.
Seek and ye shall find: even the smallest and most obscure plant taxa often prove non-monophyletic. This is apparently the case with Cymodocea, a genus of just four spp., one of which is more closely related to Syringodium than to its other two ostensible congeners included in the study. The authors discuss various classificatory options, including the merger of all genera in the family save Halodule, or of one or two spp. of Cymodocea with Syringodium. However, no action is taken, pending increased sampling (one wonders why this was not accomplished in the first place, there being just 16 spp. in the family). The genus Cymodocea itself does not occur in Costa Rican waters, but both Halodule and Syringodium do, and the latter in particular could ultimately be impacted.
Ramírez-Amezcua, Y. & V. W. Steinmann. 2013. Revisión taxonómica de Argythamnia subgénero Ditaxis (Euphorbiaceae) in México. Bot. Sci. 91: 427–459.
Among the 14 spp. accepted for Mexico in this revision is Argythamnia guatemalensis Müll. Arg., the only member of its genus to reach Costa Rica. That is, on the surface, the only reason for us to mention this contribution, but we were actually more interested in the perennial issue of whether to recognize Ditaxis as a subgenus of Argythamnia or a genus in its own right. We opted for the former in the Manual treatment of Euphorbiaceae (2010), based to some extent on correspondence with the second author of this paper. Here, that decision is supported by unpublished data of the first author demonstrating that "las especies de Ditaxis no forman un grupo monofilético y se anidan dentro Argythamnia." That being the case, Ditaxis would not hold water even as a subgenus, but we're guessing it was maintained here for practical reasons. The three subgenera of Argythamnia, such as they are, are compared in a table and distinguished by means of a dichotomous key. Otherwise, although it appears to be very finely wrought, this paper is of only marginal relevance to Costa Rican floristics.
Refulio-Rodriguez, N. F. & R. G. Olmstead. 2014. Phylogeny of Lamiidae. Amer. J. Bot. 101: 287–299.
This purports to be the first phylogenetic analysis to include all the families of the clade specified in the title. For the most part, it confirms and underscores the reigning (read: APG) family-level classification of the group (which is a good thing!). There is little here in the way of new information directly applicable to Costa Rican floristics. We will mention only this: uncertainty prevails for the recalcitrant genus Peltanthera, included traditionally in a trash-basket Loganiaceae but more recently assigned to Gesneriaceae by some authors [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 7(3) 4:, Jul. 2000]. However, the results of this study "cast doubt" on the inclusion of Peltanthera within Gesneriaceae; rather, it is "sister to a clade composed of Gesneriaceae and Calceolariaceae...with strong support in all three analyses." If substantiated, this relationship would likely be viewed as justification for the erection of a separate family for Peltanthera; however, we would not be at all averse to the obvious alternative, viz., sweeping Calceolariaceae (together with Peltanthera) into Gesneriaceae. Once again, the time-honored axiom: relationships are more important than differences.
Rohwer, J. G., P. L. R. de Moraes, B. Rudolph & H. van der Werff. 2014. A phylogenetic analysis of the Cryptocarya group (Lauraceae), and relationships of Dahlgrenodendron, Sinopora, Triadodaphne, and Yasunia. Phytotaxa 158: 111–132.
Of the genera mentioned in the title, only Cryptocarya is represented in Costa Rica, and it is endorsed as "clearly monophyletic" by this molecular study. However, Beilschmiedia "is almost certainly not monophyletic," being instead paraphyletic with respect to at least two and perhaps three or four smaller genera (none of which occurs in Costa Rica). The authors betray a slight inclination to subdivide Beilschmiedia as a means of dealing with this problem, which makes sense inasmuch as some of the nested genera (notably Endiandra) are well-established and moderately large in their own right. This splitting option could have consequences for Costa Rican members of Beilschmiedia (it is worth noting, in this connection, that the generic type sp. is Asian); however, the authors opine that it is "premature...to make far-reaching taxonomic changes" at this time, with additional sampling still needed.
Samain, M.-S., F. Hernández Najarro & E. M. Martínez Salas. 2014. First record of the critically endangered Hydrangea steyermarkii Standl. (Hydrangeaceae) in Mexico, and description of a new widespread Hydrangea species of Mesoamerica. Phytotaxa 162: 181–197.
What, "critically endangered"? A sp. that ranges from southern Mexico to Costa Rica? At least, that is the approximate distribution of Hydrangea steyermarkii according to the Manual Hydrangeaceae treatment (2007) by Francisco Morales, as well as most other standard sources. But the basic thesis of this paper rompe todos los esquemas: H. steyermarkii, in the sense of its type, "is restricted to the Tacaná Volcano on the border of Mexico and Guatemala," while "nearly all specimens of Mesoamerica that had been identified as this species belong to a new species with a relatively wide distribution." Who are we to argue? The new sp. (ours!), here christened as Hydrangea albostellata Samain, Najarro & E. Martínez, is characterized as unique, among Mexican and Central American members of its genus, "because of the stellate white pubescence on leaves and inflorescence branches." The two spp. (H. albostellata and H. steyermarkii s. str.) ae compared in an extensive table, and both are depicted photographically and in composite line drawings. An amended description of H. steyermarkii (which no longer concerns us) is also provided. The authors document functional dioecy in both spp. (this was not suggested in the Manual), and discuss its implications for systematics and identification. N.B.: we follow this paper in using "Najarro" as the "standard form" for the second author, as IPNI has not yet weighed in on this; however, it seems peculiar to use only the "segundo apellido."
Scataglini, M. A. & F. O. Zuloaga. 2013. Morronea, a new genus segregated from Panicum (Paniceae, Poaceae) based on morphological and molecular data. Syst. Bot. 38: 1076–1086.
The once-Protean genus Panicum continues to shrink by attrition (see also under "Grande Allende," this column), and the cladograms in this paper clearly reveal that restoring its former majesty would require the lumping of numerous other time-honored genera, including Axonopus, Cenchrus, Chaetium, Digitaria, Echinochloa, Echinolaena, Eriochloa, Homolepis, Hymenachne, Ichnanthus, Lasiacis, Melinis, Mesosetum, Oplismenus, Paspalum, Pseudechinolaena, Sacciolepis, Setaria, Stenotaphrum, and Urochloa. Okay, we are now believers! The splitting scenario thus proceeds unabated [for the most recent antecedent, see under "Zuloaga" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(2), Apr. 2012], with the former Panicum sect. Parviglumia Hitchc. & Chase here elevated to generic rank under the name Morronea Zuloaga & Scataglini (honoring the late Argentinian agrostologist Osvaldo N. Morrone; 1957–2011). The new genus, distinguished from related genera in a dichotomous, indented key, comprises six spp., widely distributed throughout the Neotropics. Three spp. are recorded from Costa Rica: the former Panicum arundinariae Trin. ex E. Fourn., P. parviglume Hack., and P. trichidiachne Döll., all supplied with combinations in Morronea validated in the names of the authors. The new genus is treated in synoptic fashion, with full synonymy and typology, a dichtotomous and indented key to spp., distribution summaries, and representative specimen citations, but no descriptions (except for the genus itself). The introductory part addresses taxonomic history, cladistics, and morphology. Two spp. are depicted in composite line drawings.
Schwartsburd, P. B. & A. R. Smith. 2013. Novelties in Serpocaulon (Polypodiaceae). J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 7: 85–83.
This paper deals primarily with Brazilian floristics, but there is one development of interest to us: the new combination Serpocaulon articulatum (C. Presl) Schwartsb. & A. R. Sm. (based on Goniophlebium articulatum C. Presl) is validated, and installed as the operative name for the sp. previously known (e.g., in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1) as Polypodium giganteum Desv. or, more recently, Serpocaulon giganteum (Desv.) A. R. Sm. [see The Cutting Edge 14(1): 10–11, Jan. 2007]. Rather astoundingly, the type of P. giganteum has been judged to represent a sp. of Niphidium!
Seigler, D. S. & J. E. Ebinger. 2014. A new species of Senegalia (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae) from Central America and Colombia. Novon 23: 94–97.
Senegalia croatii Seigler & Ebinger sp. nov. has been confused with the more widespread S. hayesii (Benth.) Britton & Rose, from which it differs by its petioles with a solitary gland at the base (vs. 2–4 scattered glands) and smaller, globose (vs. cylindrical) inflorescences. The new sp. is vouchered by specimens from Honduras and Costa Rica to Colombia, with just three cited from Costa Rica: all from the Pacific slope, in the Montes del Aguacate and the southern end of the Península de Nicoya. We want to believe that this is an exhaustive enumeration of the Costa Rican material of Senegalia croatii available to the authors (who work frequently at MO), and that all the other Costa Rican specimens that have been identified as S. hayesii are determined correctly; however, from the evidence presented, it is difficult to be certain of either notion. Illustrated with a composite line drawing (showing the petiolar gland well above the base!).
—— & ——. 2014. Lectotypification in American Acacia species (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae), with clarifications for types at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle. Novon 23: 98–112.
Only one name accepted in the Manual for a sp. in Costa Rica is remotely affected by these actions, that being Desmanthus virgatus (L.) Willd., a synonym of which is lectotypified (with no consequences).
Smedmark, J. E. E., S. G. Razafimandimbison, N. Wikström & B. Bremer. 2014. Inferring geographic range evolution of a pantropical tribe in the coffee family (Lasiantheae, Rubiaceae) in the face of topological uncertainty. Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 70: 182–194.
Three of the four genera comprising the titular tribe are shown to be monophyletic, including Lasianthus, a large, principally paleotropical taxon with just three spp. in the Neotropics. The sole Costa Rican representative of the genus, L. panamensis (Dwyer) Robbr., was not included in the study, but a Caribbean sp. was sampled. The news is not so good for Ronabea, with just three spp. restricted to the Neotropics. The authors found "strong indications that Ronabea is paraphyletic," based on their analyses including R. emetica (L. f.) A. Rich. and R. latifolia L.—which happen to be the only members of the genus occurring in Costa Rica. No taxonomic action is taken, pending "further study," but it bears mentioning that R. latifolia is the generic type.
Smith, A. R. & J. D. Tejero-Díez. 2014. Pleopeltis (Polypodiaceae), a redefinition of the genus and nomenclatural novelties. Bot. Sci. 92: 43–58.
The reconfiguration of Polypodium sensu latissimo [see The Cutting Edge 14(1): 10–11, Jan. 2007] forges ahead with the enlargement of Pleopeltis, on the basis of morphological, cytological, and molecular data, to include, among other things, the "Grupo de Polypodium polypodioides" of Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1 (1995: 360–365). Combinations in Pleopeltis were already available for the former Polypodium fallax Schltdl. & Cham., P. polypodioides (L.) Watt (and its vars.), P. remotum Desv., and P. thyssanolepis A. Braun ex Klotzsch (to name only the taxa occurring in Costa Rica), but new ones are here validated (in the names of "A. R. Sm. & Tejero") for the former Polypodium friedrichsthalianum Kunze, P. lindenianum Kunze, P. macrolepis Maxon, P. montigenum Maxon, P. murorum Hook., P. myriolepis Christ, P. plebeium Schltdl. & Cham., and P. tico A. Rojas [see under "News and Notes" in The Cutting Edge 19(3), Jul. 2012]. As for the "other things" alluded to above: Pleopeltis also now includes Dicranoglossum, Neurodium, and Pseudocolysis (all of which were accepted as distinct genera in Flora mesoamericana), with just one sp. apiece in Costa Rica. A new combination in Pleopeltis is validated for the former Pseudocolysis bradeorum Rosenst., but the former Dicranoglossum panamense (C. Chr.) L. D. Gómez and Neurodium lanceolatum (L.) Fée require nomina nova: Pleopeltis christensenii A. R. Sm. and P. marginata A. R. Sm. & Tejero, respectively. Full synonymy and typology and an amended description are provided for the genus Pleopeltis, which may now be characterized as a mainly New World genus of ca. 90 spp., defined by its "peltate or rarely basifixed, persistent laminar scales." A dichotomous, indented key is provided to the New World genera of Polypodiaceae (excluding "grammitid genera"), followed by a "summary of geographic distribution of Pleopeltis." One picky observation: we believe that the authors' "Pleopeltis murora" must be corrected to P. murorum, the epithet being the genitive plural form of the Latin murus (wall; i.e., "of the walls") and thus not subject to change according to the gender of the genus name.
Smith, C. M., D. Jiménez & F. Pupulin. 2013. Lepanthes variabilis (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae), a new endemic species from Costa Rica. Brittonia 65: 469–476.
Lepanthes variabilis C. M. Sm., Pupulin & D. Jiménez sp. nov., endemic to Costa Rica in the northern Cordillera de Talamanca, has been confused with L. minutilabia Ames & C. Schweinf., with with it occurs parapatrically. The latter sp., however, ascends only to ca. 2500 m elevation, while the new sp. is restricted to 2750–2850 m. Both are characterized by a reduced labellum, but L. variabilis comprises larger plants with larger, more laxly flowered inflorescences and flowers that differ in both coloration and morphological details. Rigorous descriptions, distribution and phenology summaries, specimen citations, distribution maps, and excellent illustrations are provided for both spp., which are also compared in a table. The Manual voucher for Lepanthes minutilabia is nowhere cited, but given its provenance (1600 m elevation in the Cordillera Central), we assume it to be correctly identified. Other than truncating the upper elevational limit at 2500 m, no substantive changes to the Manual distribution statement for L. minutilabia appear to be in order.
We have become sadly inattentive with regard to our running count feature, which last appeared in these pages two years ago [see under Bogarín," this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(2), Apr. 2012]. In the interim, 24 new orchid spp. have been described from Costa Rica, including the three featured in our current issue (see also under “Blanco” and "Bogarín," this column), but omitting two new hybrids. This yields a grand total of 335 new spp. of orchids that have been described from Costa Rica since we started keeping track about 20 years ago.
Soares, M. L., S. J. Mayo & R. Gribel. 2013. A preliminary taxonomic revision of Heteropsis (Araceae). Syst. Bot. 38: 925–974.
For a self-described "preliminary" revision, this appears to be a very solid piece of work. However, these authors have the wisdom and experience to recognize the limitations of even their best possible effort, at this point in time. Eighteen spp. (and one var.) of the neotropical, lianescent Heteropsis are recognized, a significant bump up from the total of 13 estimated in the Manual Araceae treatment (2003) by co-PI Mike Grayum. There are no changes for Costa Rica per se, with the widespread Heteropsis oblongifolia Kunth remaining our only sp. This is a handsomely rendered work, replete with distribution maps, color photos (mostly of living material), and composite line drawings of most spp. A generous genus description and dichotomous, indented key to spp. are followed by alphabetical sp. entries featuring synonymy and typology, technical descriptions, distribution and phenology summaries, assessments of conservation status, and "notes." There are no indices. The lengthy and impressive introductory portion discusses taxonomic history, distribution, morphology, and economic uses and conservation (Heteropsis spp. being an important source of "mimbre"). Two South American spp. are described as new.
Souza, E. R. de, G. P. Lewis, F. Forest, A. S. Schnadelbach, C. van den Berg & L. P. Queiroz. 2013. Phylogeny of Calliandra (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae) based on nuclear and plasted molecular markers. Taxon 62: 1200–1219.
Yet another major genus fails to qualify as monophyletic. Happily, the resolution for Calliandra is simple, and does not affect Costa Rica: the monospecific and recently described Mexican genus Guinetia L. Rico & M. Sousa, nested within Calliandra, is submerged in the latter genus, with the appropriate new combination duly validated. As an aside, two African spp. that have been included in Calliandra are here segregated into their own genus, newly described, although this is not mandated by cladistic considerations (the African spp. being sister to the rest of Calliandra). A new infrageneric classification of Calliandra is proposed, but this is beyond the scope of our interest.
Struwe, L. & M. P. Kinkade. 2013. Revision of Tachia (Gentianaceae: Helieae). Syst. Bot. 38: 1142–1159.
The neotropical genus Tachia comprises 13 spp., according to this revision, vs. 12 as indicated in the Manual Gentianaceae treatment by Joaquín Sánchez (CR). The elevation of a South American var. to sp. rank, anticipated in a preliminary work involving these authors [see under "Peters" et al. in The Cutting Edge 19(1), Jan. 2012] accounts for the addition. There are no substantive changes for Costa Rica (the disjunct, northernmost outpost of the genus), with Tachia parviflora Maguire & Weaver prevailing as our sole representative. No mention is made of an aberrant, sterile specimen from Isla del Coco cited and briefly discussed in the Manual. Synonymy, typology, and technical descriptions are provided for the genus and each sp., together with a dichotomous, indented key to spp., distribution summaries, "observations," notes on ethnobotany and vernacular names (as available), selected specimen citations, distribution maps, and an index to scientific names. The introductory pages feature brief accounts of taxonomic history, morphology, and biogeography. All the spp. are illustrated by means of composite line drawings.
Veldkamp, J. F., M. E. B. van den Boogaart, J. Heidweiller, M. A. F. van der Klaauw, R. de Koning, A. R. Kraaijeveld, M. S. M. Sosef & R. C. W. Strucker. 2013. A revision of Mnesithea (Gramineae – Rottboelliinae) in Malesia and Thailand. Blumea 58: 277–292.
We cite this paper only because Mnesithea has lately come to include (among other things) the Asian sp., adventive in the New World, that was treated as Hackelochloa granularis (L.) Kuntze in the Manual [see The Cutting Edge 11(1): 13–14, Jan. 2004]. That sp., as Mnesithea granularis (L.) de Koning & Sosef, is duly included in this revision, which also provides an amended genus description, a key to all 11 spp. in the study region, etc. The other 10 spp. are of no interest to us.
Wahlert, G. A., T. Marcussen, J. Paula-Souza, M. Feng & H. E. Ballard, Jr. 2014.
A phylogeny of the Violaceae (Malpighiales) inferred from plastid DNA sequences: implications for generic diversity and intrafamilial classification. Syst. Bot. 39: 239–252.
For starters, the "monophyly of the Violaceae as currently circumscribed was unambiguously supported" by the results of this study. We had our doubts! Unfortunately, the picture is more bleak for Hybanthus and Rinorea, the third and second (respectively) largest genera in the family: both emerge as polyphyletic, Hybanthus more seriously so (which will not come as a major shock to anyone familiar with the morphological diversity in the genus). The published cladograms would require that the spp. presently included in Hybanthus be segregated into at least seven genera, and those in Rinorea into at least four; however, in the case of Hybanthus, the authors expect to recognize two extra genera on morphological grounds, for a total of nine. From a Costa Rican perspective, chaos looms on the near horizon for Hybanthus, represented in the country by 11 spp., of which ten were included in this study (H. hespericlivus H. E. Ballard, Wetter & N. Zamora being the exception). After the dust has settled, the only Costa Rican sp. that figures to remain in Hybanthus is H. yucatanensis Millsp., which groups closely with the generic type. Our remaining ten spp. will be apportioned among four segregate genera, as follows: Hybanthus attenuatus (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Schult.) Schulze-Menz, H. calceolaria (L.) Oken, H. oppositifolius (L.) Taub., and H. prunifolius (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Schult.) Schulze-Menz, all in the same genus; H. denticulatus H. E. Ballard, Wetter & N. Zamora and H. guanacastensis Standl., together in a second genus ("potentially including H. hespericlivus"); H. galeottii (Turcz.) C. V. Morton ex L. O. Williams and H. thiemei (Donn. Sm.) C. V. Morton, united in a third genus; and finally, H. mexicanus Ging., in a dispecific genus with a Mexican sp. presently classed in Rinorea. As far as we can tell, there will be few changes for Rinorea in Costa Rica, the exception being that R. crenata S. F. Blake (the only Costa Rican sp. featured in the study) will be shunted into an oligospecific splinter genus, as according to a previous paper from this same lab [see under "Wahlert," this column, in The Cutting Edge 20(2), Jan. 2013]. The authors refrain from formally implementing any taxonomic changes, and it remains to be seen whether names already exist for the envisioned new generic concepts. Another interesting revelation of this research is the unexpectedly close relationship between Gloeospermum (with one sp. in Costa Rica) and Leonia (not known from Costa Rica); indeed, the former genus was resolved as nested in the latter in two of the three analyses. In this case, the authors do not even consider a taxonomic resolution, pending additional morphological studies to identify potential synapomorphies. Were the two genera ultimately to be combined, Leonia is by far the older name.
Wang, F.-G., S. Barratt, W. Falcón, M. F. Fay, S. Lehtonen, H. Tuomisto, F.-W. Xing & M. J. M. Christenhusz. 2014.On the monophyly of subfamily Tectarioideae (Polypodiaceae) and the phylogenetic placement of some associated fern genera. Phytotaxa 164: 1–16.
According to this molecular analysis, Polypodiaceae subfam. Tectarioideae (the authors are following a very recent family classification of ferns; see under "Christenhusz," this column) is monophyletic, as long as genera such as Ctenitis and Cyclopeltis are removed (the former to Dryopteridaceae, the later to Lomariopsidaceae). So restricted, the subfamily is represented in Costa Rica only by Tectaria and Triplophyllum. However, it turns out that one sp. of Tectaria, T. brauniana (H. Karst.) C. Chr. (which occurs in Costa Rica), is sister to the monospecific Caribbean genus Hypoderris, in a clade that is in turn sister to Triplophyllum. The authors thus validate the combination Hypoderris brauniana (H. Karst.) F. G. Wang & Christenh., but the story may not end there: the question is raised as to whether Hypoderris and Triplophyllum should be combined, and the authors are unable to provide a definitive answer ("...we have only sampled a small part of the species currently assigned to Triplophyllum and our sampling does not include the type species..."). Inevitably, Hypoderris is the older name; thus, according to the authors, "merging the two genera would necessitate transferring all Triplophyllum species to Hypoderris." We have a hard time believing that, in this day and age, the conservation-obsessed IAPT mob would allow a genus name applied to just two spp. to hold sway over one (Triplophyllum) used for "about 25 species," ranging throughout the Neotropics and Africa. That being the case, Hypoderris may prove to be only a brief layover, on the way to Triplophyllum, for our old friend Tectaria brauniana. So it is that the mere possibility for conservation fosters nomenclatural instability.