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The Cutting Edge
Volume XXV, Number 2, April 2018
News and Notes |
Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature | Season's Pick | Annotate your copy
COMMELINACEAE. While determining specimens for an agronomist in Costa Rica, Manual co-PI Barry Hammel encountered certain problems with the Manual Commelinaceae treatment. In particular: the description of Tripogandra serrulata (Vahl) Handlos states that the leaves are glabrous "con excepción de los márgenes ciliados," but with actual specimens in hand, Barry suggests this be altered to read "...márgenes ásperos o ciliados (al menos basalmente)." The key, as it so happens, is already on board with the altered rendition. Working independently at MO on other material, co-PI Mike Grayum found some additional problems in the same Manual treatment: for example, the peduncle lengths expressed in both leads of couplet 1 in the key to Commelina spp. are somewhat deceptive, with respect to the measurements given in some of the descriptions (which better correspond to the actual specimens); also, the number of cymes specified for Tinantia erecta (Jacq.) Schltdl. in the second lead of couplet 5 in the key to Tinantia spp. is at odds with the figure given in the description (which is correct!). Hey, it's a work in progress!
POACEAE. In a loan recently returned to MO, Costa Rican specimens previously annotated as Zeugites americanus Willd. var. mexicanus (Kunth) McVaugh (the name accepted in the 2003 Manual Poaceae treatment) are redetermined as Z. mexicanus (Kunth) Trin. ex Steud. by one Ana María Soriano Martínez (IZTA). Time will tell whether sp. status for this taxon will be justified and formally restored by the last-named individual in a proper publication, or is merely a personal preference expressed by her determinations.
PORTULACACEAE (or lately, MONTIACEAE). The tiny, often aquatic, and cosmopolitan (mostly in temperate regions) Montia fontana L. was already included in the Manual Vol. 7 (2014) on the basis of a single, nearly overlooked collection (Weston 12312; CR, L) from uncertain elevation on Cerro Urán, a sister peak of Cerro Chirripó in the Cordillera de Talamanca. Folks at CR have been on the lookout for it during their various recent excursions up Cerro Chirripó, and CR curator Armando Estrada recently sent us photos confirming their success, vouchered by Estrada et al. 6235 (CR). The Manual distribution statement can be altered to show the upper elevation as "3350 m" and to add "dic." to the phenology. Surely there are more such belly plants up there, spp. not yet known to the flora, waiting to delight future collectors.