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Volume XXV, Number 2, April 2018
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Aguilar Fernández, R., L. J. Poveda Álvarez & D. Santamaría-Aguilar. 2018. Hymenaea osanigraseminae: un nuevo guapinol (Fabaceae) del Pacífico Central y Sur de Costa Rica. Phytoneuron 2018-20: 1–12.
It took us a while to get past the name. Names of new spp. are (ideally!) forever, and should be simple and elegant, we opine; this one is neither, plus its Latin formation is certainly incorrect (as regards the termination, and possibly also the connecting vowel). Once we parsed the meaning (not explained in the paper) it became more digestible, but will forever stick in the craw. Moving along from that (really quite minor) issue: we were aware that these authors had been onto this thing for quite some time, and we also had wondered about the very large size of Hymenaea trees in bosque muy húmedo (as opposed to bosque seco and húmedo) in Costa Rica. Nonetheless, the whole gamut has been universally shoehorned for many years into Hymenaea courbaril L. (or even just a single var. thereof), as in the Manual Fabaceae treatment (2010), which betrays nary a suspicion that two entities may be involved. In addition to its generally larger size and restriction to more humid habitats, the new sp. differs from H. courbaril (sensu stricto) inter alia in having buttressed trunks, with reddish and scaly (vs. grayish and smooth) bark, larger leaflets, without conspicuous translucent punctations, fewer-flowered inflorescences, paler fruits, and black (vs. light brown), proportionately narrower seeds. Morphologically, Hymenaea osanigraseminae Aguilar, Poveda & D. Santam. more closely resembles two South American spp., H. longifolia (Benth.) I. M. Souza, Funch & L. P. Queiroz and H. reticulata Ducke, with both of which it is compared. So far as is known, the new sp. is endemic to Costa Rica, where it is further restricted to "bosque muy húmedo" on the Pacific slope at 0–200(–350) m elevation; specimens are cited from Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio and the Golfo Dulce region, with an observation recorded from the vicinity of Jacó. Both Hymenaea spp. occurring in Costa Rica are featured in a distribution map and color photos of living material and herbarium specimens.
Barrett, R. L., E. H. Roalson, K. Ottewell, M. Byrne, S. P. Govindwar, S. R. Yadav, A. S. Tamboli & A. R. Gholave. 2017. Resolving generic boundaries in Indian-Australian Cleomaceae: circumscription of Areocleome, Arivela, and Corynandra as distinct genera. Syst. Bot. 42: 694–708.
As a result of recent fragmentations of traditional Cleome, the sp. we have long known as C. viscosa L. was referred most recently to the segregate genus Corynandra [see under "Cochrane," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(2), Apr. 2014]. Now, on the basis of their own phylogenetic studies, these authors propose to resegregate 13 spp.—including our Cleome viscosa—from Corynandra under the genus name Arivela, and in the process create the third splinter genus (monospecific and Australian) mentioned in the title. All of this is like water off a duck's back for us, since the impending Manual treatment of Cleomaceae by co-PI Nelson Zamora will recognize only Cleome sensu lato (see also under "Christenhusz," further along in this column). A synoptic treatment of the study group is presented, including a dichotomous key to the three genera, synonymy, typology, generous descriptions, and distribution and phenology summaries for the genera, plus enumerations of the spp. (with occasional notes) for each. Selected spp. are depicted in color photos from life.
Barrie, F. R., L. E. Skog & J. L. Clark. 2018. A new species of Alsobia (Gesneriaceae) from Belize, with a synopsis of the genus. Novon 26: 1–8
The obscure genus Alsobia is here, as in Manual Vol. 5 (2010), accepted as distinct from Episcia, and with the same geographic range specified in the last-mentioned work. The difference is that the sp. total ("2," according to the Manual) has now doubled, with the addition of the new sp. of the title and a Chiapan sp. described in 2014. Unfortunately, we learn nothing more about the mysterious Alsobia dianthiflora (H. E. Moore & R. G. Wilson) Wiehler, the only (ostensible) Costa Rican representative of the genus, for which no wild-collected specimens can yet be cited. Although billed as a "synopsis," this has most of the trimmings of a proper revision: synonymy, typology, and technical descriptions for the genus and each sp., a dichotomous key to spp., discussions, and specimen citations. All four spp. are depicted in color photos of living material (and the new sp. in a composite line drawing). The brief introductory portion addresses taxonomic history, relationships, and distribution.
Berger, A. 2018. Synopsis and typification of Mexican and Central American Palicourea (Rubiaceae: Palicoureeae), part I: the entomophilous species. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 120: 59–140.
The "entomophilous" spp. addressed in this paper comprise the former Psychotria subgen. Heteropsychotria Steyerm., now known to be nested within the otherwise ornithophilous genus Palicourea. That cladistic reality had already become more or less evident during the preparation of the Manual Rubiaceae treatment (2014), helmed by Charlotte M. Taylor (MO); the developing situation was alluded to in the discussions under both genera, but most of the spp. involved were retained in Psychotria for pragmatic reasons. Since that time, however, virtually all have been transferred (by various authors) to Palicourea [see, e.g., under "Borhidi," this column, in The Cutting Edge 24(3), Jul. 2017]. The present contribution, though billed as a "synopsis," is really more of an annotated nomenclator (lacking a key, among other things): the accepted sp. names are enumerated alphabetically, accompanied by synonymy and typology, discussions, and distribution summaries and supplemented by an index to scientific names (indicating synonymy, where appropriate). The only innovations of significance to us are the two new combinations validated by the author: Palicourea croceovenosa (Dwyer) A. C. Berger, based on Psychotria croceovenosa Dwyer (the name used in the Manual); and Palicourea pseudaxillaris (Wernham) C. M. Taylor (based on Cephaëlis pseudaxillaris Wernham), which (by virtue of an apparently new synonymy) becomes the accepted name for the sp. treated in the Manual as Psychotria cooperi Standl. The combination Palicourea pseudaxillaris, while attributed to "C.M. Taylor, Novon, in press," is nonetheless validated (inadvertently, or perhaps somewhat disingenuously) in this paper (though mention of Taylor's contribution in the "Acknowledgments" precludes an "ex A. C. Berger" citation). Additionally, "a number of lectotypifications are made" (we won't bother to count them either), but none affects the prevailing application of names.
One detail we got wrong in our review of the Borhidi article referenced above: Psychotria chiapensis Standl. is not the basionym of Palicourea chiapensis (Standl.) Borhidi; the latter was based on the heterotypic Evea chiapensis Standl., and applies to an endemic Mexican sp.
Bogarín, D., A. P. Karremans & M. Fernández. 2018. Genus-level taxonomical changes in the Lepanthes affinity (Orchidaceae, Pleurothallidinae). Phytotaxa 340: 128–136.
Based on their morphological and phylogenetic studies, the authors take some steps to reclassify the complex named in the title, with a special view to remedy "the polyphyletic nature" of Anathallis and Trichosalpinx [see, e.g., under "Karremans," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(3), Jul. 2014]. This results in the resurrection or reformulation of some previously proposed generic concepts, as well as the establishment of four new genera, three of which are monospecific. The most significant impacts for Costa Rican floristics stem from the authors' decision to recognize the genus Tubella (Luer) Archila as disinct from Trichosalpinx. Assuming the original circumscription of Tubella (Archila, 2000; Revista Guatemal. 3(1): 46–76] to have beeen substantially accurate (and adjusting for some modifications in the present paper), that genus must now comprise somewhere north of 70 spp. Ten of the 19 spp. accepted as belonging to Trichosalpinx in the Manual Orchidaceae account (2003) by Carlyles A. Luer are now lost to Tubella, viz.: the former Trichosalpinx arbuscula (Lindl.) Luer, T. carinilabia (Luer) Luer, T. cedralensis (Ames) Luer, T. dura (Lindl.) Luer, T. fruticosa Luer, T. membraniflora (C. Schweinf.) Luer, T. nana (Ames & C. Schweinf.) Luer, T. parsonsii Luer & Dod, T. pusilla (Kunth) Luer, and T. todziae Luer (their combinations in Tubella were all validated by "Archila" in 2000, and could even have been cited in the Manual treatment, had we been aware at the time of the obscure journal in which they were published). An 11th erstwhile Trichosalpinx sp. in Costa Rica, T. pergrata (Ames) Luer, becomes Stellamaris pergrata (Ames) Mel. Fernández & Bogarín, the sole member of Stellamaris Mel. Fernández & Bogarín gen. nov., leaving Trichosalpinx s. str. with just ten spp. in the country (adding two described since the Manual treatment was published). It is no coincidence that the Manual key to Trichosalpinx spp. is congruent with the new system (Tubella having been a subgenus of the latter in Luer's classification): all the spp. now removed from Trichosalpinx come out under the second lead of the first couplet, following which T. pergrata (= Stellamaris) is immediately separated from the rest of the pack. None of the other new (or newly recognized) genera addressed in this paper appears relevant to our interests.
As an aside: the genus name Stellamaris ("from the Latin stellamaris 'starfish'") would appear to be genitive ("star of the sea"), whereas ICN Art. 20.1 stipulates that "the name of a genus is a noun in the nominative singular, or a word treated as such"; that last clause may get the authors off the hook
Cardoso, L. J. T. & J. M. A. Braga. 2018. Typifications and nomenclatural notes on Neotropical Balanophoraceae. Phytotaxa 340: 263–270.
Lecto- or neotypes are designated for several names referable to taxa occurring in Costa Rica, as follows: Helosis brasiliensis Schott & Endl. and H. mexicana Liebm. [both synonyms of H. cayanensis (Sw.) Spreng., or one of its vars.]; Langsdorffia hypogaea Mart., and three of its synonyms (L. moritziana Klotzsch & H. Karst., L. rubiginosa Wedd., and Thonningia mexicana Liebm.); and Lathrophytum peckoltii Eichler. The applications of those names are unaffected.
Christenhusz, M. J. M., M. F. Fay & J. W. Byng (eds.). The global flora: a practical flora to vascular plant species of the world. Special Edition, GLOVAP Nomenclature Part 1, Vol. 4. Plant Gateway Ltd., Bradford, U.K. 155 pp.
The compilation of a "Global List of Vascular Plants" (GLOVAP), to be "published soon" in this series, obviously required many hard decisions with regard to classification. Those decisions, which often involved "expanding or splitting, to provide monophyletic and morphologically well-defined groups," were arrived at (whenever possible) through consideration of the latest molecular and cladistic studies. Many are presented here, rationalized (for the most part), and formalized with the validation of two new genera, four new spp., 415 nomina nova, and 3286 (!) new combinations. And this is only the first installment! The editors describe their effort as "one of the largest taxonomic undertakings in botany of recent times." That statement immediately conjures up names like Gandoger and Kuntze, and to be sure, this publication has raised hackles throughout the botanical community. We believe it has value, however, as the first across-the-board application of more or less uniform classificatory criteria, down to the rank of genus, in the modern era. Many workers will take issue with those criteria, which is inevitable; however, the editors reveal themselves to be, generally speaking, lumpers, which sits well with us. This volume addresses a scattered selection of families, in all the major groups of vascular plants, ordered more or less phylogenetically and interspersed with occasional color plates showing real live plants. For ferns, the editors present a cogent defense of their own classification [see under "Christenhusz," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(2), Apr. 2014], featuring "traditional broad concepts" of many genera, against that of the so-called Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group [see under that name, this column, in The Cutting Edge 25(1), Jan. 2018], characterized as "highly divided...with numerous genera that are difficult to identify," such that "the rank of genus serves little purpose" (and we could not agree more). They proceed to trot out many new names and combinations under liberal concepts of Grammitis (Polypodiaceae), Thelypteris (Thelypteridaceae), and Trichomanes (Hymenophyllaceae), even going the whole nine yards to sweep the entire subfam. Cheilanthoideae into a single genus, Hemionitis (including Adiantopsis, Aleuritopteris, Bommeria, Cheilanthes, Doryopteris, Gaga, Mildella, Myriopteris, Notholaena, Pellaea, etc.). We submit that very few pteridologists will begrudge the new names and combinations validated here under the foregoing genus names!
The following changes in monocots affect (if we allow them to!) the names of spp. occurring in Costa Rica: the new genus Aquarius Christenh. & Byng (Alismataceae) is established to accommodate all the spp. formerly included in Echinodorus except its type—i.e., all of those in Costa Rica; Eucharis (Amaryllidaceae) is transferred to Urceolina, and Sprekelia (mentioned in the Manual family discussion) and Zephyranthes to Hippeastrum; Tillandsia and Werauhia (Bromeliaceae) are both expanded, the former to include Racinaea, the latter miscellaneous spp. previously referred to Vriesea [including V. monstrum (Mez.) L. B. Sm. of the Manual]; Cymbocarpa (Burmanniaceae) is transferred to Gymnosiphon, Tripogandra (Commelinaceae) to Callisia, Sansevieria (Dracaenaceae in the Manual, Asparagaceae here) to Dracaena, and Tonina (Eriocaulaceae) to Paepalanthus; Egeria and Limnobium (Hydrocharitaceae) are transferred to Elodea and Hydrocharis, respectively; Curculigo (Hypoxidaceae) absorbs Molineria (mentioned in the Manual family discussion); and Trimezia (Iridaceae) "is expanded to include the entire tribe Trimezieae," which (we are pretty sure) includes Neomarica. The enlargement of Sciaphila (Triuridaceae) to include two Old World genera does not change any names in the Costa Rican flora, but affects the sp. total and (perhaps) geographic range of the genus.
The dicot changes that most concern us are those in families slated for publication in our impending final Vol. 4 (Acanthaceae–Clethraceae), e.g., the transferral of Amoreuxia (Bixaceae) to Cochlospermum and of Tetragastris (Burseraceae) to Protium [resulting in the nomen novum P. picramnioides Byng & Christenh. for our former T. panamensis (Engl.) Kuntze]. In a seemingly radical move, all the New World spp. formerly included in Capparis (Capparaceae) are reunited in a single genus, with the admixture of the oligospecific Morisonia (which provides the oldest genus name) and Steriphoma (but can this really be viewed as more radical than the recognition of a host of novel and poorly differentiated smaller genera?). By the same token, a broad view of Cleome (Cleomaceae) is taken, so as to include the likes of Gynandropsis, Polanisia, Tarenaya, and (we believe) Podandrogyne (which, happily, is the circumscription already embraced in the Manual draft treatment of the family by co-PI Nelson Zamora). Changes in Vol. 4 families that do not affect names in Costa Rica, only sp. totals and (possibly) geographic ranges of genera (or families), are: the merger of Sinadoxa and Tetradoxa in Adoxa (Adoxaceae); the removal of African Dacryodes spp. (Burseraceae) to a different genus; the transferral of the Old World Parasponia (Cannabaceae) to Trema; and the merger of several genera (including Centranthus, Plectritis, and Valerianella) in Valeriana (Caprifoliaceae).
Name changes that would be (or could have been) mandated by this work for previously published Manual volumes result from: the return of Morella (Myricaceae) to Myrica (why was it removed in the first place?); the rather daring (and somewhat tentative) merger of Grevillea (Proteaceae) in Hakea; the mergers of Turpinia (Staphyleaceae) in Staphylea (a pre-emptive strike on the part of the Manual), Byttneria (Sterculiaceae in the Manual, Malvaceae here) in Ayenia, and Glandularia (mentioned in the Manual family discussion) in Verbena (Verbenaceae); and the expansion of Leonia (Violaceae) to include Amphirrhox, Gloeospermum, Orthion, and some spp. of Hybanthus and Rinorea (though no Costa Rican ones, as far as we can tell). Perhaps the most far-reaching change discussed in this paragraph is the editors' decision to enlarge Pyrus (Rosaceae) to include a host of other genera, e.g.: Cydonia (mentioned, along with Pyrus, in the Manual family discussion), Eriobotrya [with the loquat becoming Pyrus bibas (Lour.) M. F. Fay & Christenh.], Hesperomeles, and Malus. Those seem to be the only genera treated or mentioned in the Manual to have been swept up in this, but we enumerate also the following, as well-known outside Costa Rica (often in cultivation): Aronia, Chaenomeles, Cotoneaster, Heteromeles, Photinia, Pseudocydonia, Rhaphiolepis, and Sorbus. Some remaining innovations in this category do not involve name changes for Costa Rica, but affect sp. totals and (sometimes) geographic ranges of particular genera: the expansion of Bdallophytum (Cytinaceae), Mappia (Icacinaceae), Sesamum (Pedaliaceae), Plumbago (Plumbaginaceae), Talinum (Portulacaceae in the Manual, Talinaceae here), Ranunculus (Ranunculaceae), Freziera (Theaceae in the Manual, Pentaphylacaceae here), Citharexylum and Petrea (Verbenaceae), "Corynostylis" (Violaceae; the prior genus name Calyptrion was overlooked), and Guaiacum (Zygophyllaceae) to each include at least one mono- or oligospecific genus often considered distinct; and the removal of all the African spp. but one from Vismia (Hypericaceae).
We have alleged that this work applies "more or less uniform classificatory criteria," but we did note some inevitable (seeming) inconsistencies in that regard. For example: the genus Anemone (Ranunculaceae) was (uncharacteristically) split up, rather than being combined with Clematis, because the editors' felt that the latter option "would destabilise the nomenclature too much and is unlikely to be followed by the general public." However, those same considerations did not dissuade them from plowing ahead with many other changes sure to be received in a similar manner, e.g., the merger of the cherished horticultural genus Meconopsis (Papaveraceae) in Papaver (plus other examples mentioned in previous paragraphs). The extent to which the taxonomy revealed in this volume will be accepted by the botanical community at large, going forward, remains to be seen (that the editors have apparently alienated a good portion of it will not help their cause). For our part, we will endeavor to incorporate all the relevant new names and combinations in our upcoming Vol. 4, if only as synonyms.
Devecchi, M. F., W. W. Thomas, G. M. Plunkett & J. R. Pirani. 2017. Testing the monophyly of Simaba (Simaroubaceae): evidence from five molecular regions and morphology. Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 120: 63–82.
This study, evidently stemming from the recent (2017) Universidade de São Paulo Ph.D. dissertation of the first author, establishes Simaba as paraphyletic with respect to Simarouba, all six spp. of which are nested therein. The authors' cladograms suggest two sensible taxonomic resolutions: either combine Simaba and Simarouba under one name or the other (they have equal priority), or else maintain Simarouba in its traditional sense and divide Simaba in twain. The authors intend to implement the second option "in the taxonomic treatments that will follow" (no formal changes are made here). The plan is to restrict Simaba to the major clade harboring the type sp. (a largely Amazonian group of about 10 spp.), while recognizing the second major clade (a largely extra-Amazonian group of ca. 26 spp.) as a separate genus under the obscure name Homalolepis Turcz. (1848). As it so happens, the two Costa Rican spp. treated under Simaba in Manual Vol. 8 (2015) will be dissociated by this stratagem: Simaba polyphylla (Cavalcante) W. W. Thomas will stay put, while S. cedron Planch. will require a new combination in Homalolepis (as will every other sp. that winds up there). The morphological distinctions among the three aforementioned genera are summarized in tabular form, with many illustrated in two composite photographic plates, and distribution maps are provided.
Dressler, R. L. & F. Pupulin. 2017. Two new white-flowered species of Sobralia (Orchidaceae) from Costa Rica. Harvard Pap. Bot. 19: 117–122.
Yet another orchid paper (there are so many of them!) that somehow got past us. Sobralia danjanzenii Dressler & Pupulin sp. nov.—obviously honoring the patron saint of biology and conservation in the Guanacaste region—has been collected at ca. (850–)1100–1300 m elevation on the Pacific slope of the Cordilleras de Guanacaste and de Tilarán, and (at least provisionally) on Cerro Turrubares. It is compared with the Andean S. virginalis Peeters & Cogn. The other novelty, Sobralia zebrina Dressler & Pupulin, has been found only at ca. 1200–1400 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca. It is compared with S. macrophylla Rchb. f. A distribution map is provided, and both new spp. are illustrated with photographic images based on living material.
Dutta, S. 2017. Comments on the identity of "Niirvala" and typification of Crateva tapia L. Pleione 11: 463–468.
The journal of the "East Himalayan Society for Spermatophyte Taxonomy" unexpectedly yields a paper relevant to Costa Rican floristics, because Linnaeus evidently included both New World and Asian (Indian) elements in the protologue of Crateva tapia (Capparaceae). Never mind that the typification of that name is a bridge already crossed! This author (who virtually admits to having little or no taxonomic knowledge of Crateva in either hemisphere) deigns to accept the reigning lectotypification of C. tapia (mainly via a comparison of the protologue elements with various descriptions published over the years by Linnaeus) as applying to the New World sp. (while assigning different names to the African and Indian spp. and designating a lectotype for that of the latter). Now we can rest easy!
Endress, M. E. 2018. (2582) Proposal to conserve the name Mandevilla against Exothostemon (Apocynaceae: Mesechiteae). Taxon 67: 208–209.
Though not accepted in any recent publications, the genus name Exothostemon G. Don (1837) has been associated over the years with nine spp., six of which (including the type) are referrable to the genus currently known as Mandevilla. Despite this, the name Exothostemon has priority (by three years) over Mandevilla. All leading workers on Apocynaceae during the past century (dating back to Woodson, in 1933) were aware of this situation, and conservation of Mandevilla over Exothostemon was evidently proposed, at some point, to the International Committee on Genera Conservanda. Subsequent workers have proceeded as though the case were closed, yet somehow the matter had fallen through the cracks: currently, "Mandevilla is not found in the list of conserved genus names before 1950...or in any previous Codes, and is thus threatened by Exothostemon." This proposal seeks to remedy the situation once and for all.
Francisco, J. N. C. & L. G. Lohmann. 2018. Taxonomic revision of Pachyptera (Bignonieae, Bignoniaceae). PhytoKeys 92: 89–131.
Pachyptera emerged from the recent taxonomic overhaul of Bignoniaceae tribe Bignonieae Dumort., helmed by the second author of this paper [see under "Lohmann," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(3), Jul. 2014], as an accepted genus, provisionally comprising four spp. Since then, one of those sp. has been lost (to Mansoa), but in the present contribution, two others are added—one as a new combination, the other a new sp.—bringing the sp. total to five. No significant changes are indicated for the Manual draft treatment of Bignoniaceae by Francisco Morales and Quírico Jiménez, with Pachyptera kerere (Aubl.) Sandwith still the only sp. of its genus attributed to Costa Rica. However, the elevation of one of its vars. to sp. rank obviates the need to qualify Costa Rican material of P. kerere as belonging to the autonymic var. Includes synonymy and typology, lengthy descriptions, and distribution summaries at all ranks, a dichotomous key to spp., discussions, distribution maps, comprehensive specimen citations, a section on "Doubtful and excluded names," and an index to exsiccatae. The illustrated introductory portion address taxonomic history, phylogeny and classification, distribution, reproductive biology, and morphology. All five spp. are depicted in superb composite line drawings.
Gottschling, M. & J. S. Miller. 2018. A taxonomic revision of the New World species of Bourreria (Ehretiaceae, Boraginales). Syst. Bot. Monogr. 103: 1–100.
Thirty spp. of Bourreria (Boraginaceae, for the purposes of the Manual) are accepted by these authors for the New World, yielding a sp. total for the genus (factoring in the Old World spp.; see under "Miller," this column) of ca. 49. There is nothing new here for Costa Rica, which is hardly surprising, since the Manual draft account of Bourreria (currently being edited) was contributed by these same authors and cites this revision as "submitted." Seven Bourreria spp. have been recorded from Costa Rica, and one other (B. mollis Standl.) "skips" the country (from Honduras to central Panama) and may be expected to turn up (it is mentioned in the Manual genus discussion). Features synonymy and typology, technical descriptions, a dichotomous and indented key to spp. (with additional such keys, for major geographical regions, in an appendix), distribution and phenology summaries, conservation assessments, specimen citations (usually representative), distribution maps, discussions, a section on "Doubtful and excluded names," and indices to exsiccatae and scientific names. The well-illustrated introductory portion tackles taxonomic history, morphology, pollination biology, distribution, phylogenetic relationships, and sp. concepts. One new (Mexican) sp. is described. Illustrations include a color frontispiece (with photos, mostly from life, of selected spp.), depictions (in the introductory part) of floral (line drawings) and endocarp (photos) morphology, and (in the taxonomic part) scattered additional images, mostly showing detail.
Graham, S. A. 2017. A revision of Cuphea section Brachyandra s. s. (Lythraceae). Syst. Bot. 42: 859–919.
The neotropical Cuphea, with ca. 250 spp., is the largest genus in the family Lythraceae. The present contribution represents the continuation of a series of sectional revisions initiated by the author 30 years ago, "prior to the now preferred practice of investigating monophyletic clades" (or, perhaps more accurately, prior to revelations that many long-established taxa are non-monophyletic). A course of action was thereby charted that led to this, the revision of a section that, "even when more narrowly defined than originally conceived" is "most likely...polyphyletic, being represented in three lineages of the genus." Whatever the case, what we have here is a generous and meticulously executed taxonomic treatment of 13 spp., three of which (all relatively weedy) occur in Costa Rica: Cuphea calophylla Cham. & Schltdl., C. carthagenensis (Jacq.) J. F. Macbr., and C. elliptica Koehne. No new taxon names are validated, and just two new combinations, both at varietal rank under C. calophylla—requiring that Mesoamerican material of that sp. now be qualified as belonging to the autonymic var. (which extends southward to northwestern Colombia and, disjunctly, southeastern Brazil). Otherwise, there is little here that is new to us. Features synonymy and typology and technical descriptions at all ranks, a dichotomous and indented key to spp. (and another to the vars. of C. calophylla), distribution and phenology summaries, representative (though often extensive) specimen citations, distribution maps, discussions (sometimes very long), a section on "Doubtful and excluded names," and an index to exsiccatae. The well-illustrated introductory part addresses taxonomic history, morphology, seed oils, chromosome numbers, distribution, risk of extinction, and phylogeny. Each accepted infrasectional taxon—with the sole exception of Cuphea calophylla var. calophylla—is illustrated with an excellent composite line drawing.
Insisiengmay, O., M. Newman & T. Haevermans. 2018. (2581) Proposal to conserve the name Kaempferia rotunda (Zingiberaceae) with a conserved type. Taxon 67: 207–208.
An illustration representing "the only element of original material" of Kaempferia rotunda L. that seems to exist "does not correspond well" with the protologue, and may depict a different sp. (e.g., K. galanga L.) than that to which the name has been widely applied "for nearly 200 years." At best, "the illustration cannot be positively identified so an epitype would be required." Instead, the authors propose conservation of the name K. rotunda "with a new type representing the species known by this name." Said sp. is the only member of its genus occurring (as introduced) in Costa Rica. Were this proposal to fail and the name Kaempferia rotunda applied to a different sp., Kaempferia longa Jacq. (which "has not been in use since it was published") would apparently replace it for the sp. found in Costa Rica.
Jiménez, J. E. 2017. Additions to the vascular flora of Costa Rica: four new records from the Sabanas Miravalles. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 11: 157–160.
Somehow this entire issue evaded the MO library (and we still cannot account for the rest of it), but better late than never. The four country records reported here were encountered during a floristic inventory (part of the author's master's thesis) of the savannas located at 640–1580 m on the western flank of Volcán Miravalles (in the Cordillera de Guanacaste). One of these novelties, Trimezia martinicensis (Jacq.) Herb. (Iridaceae), was previously featured in this blog [see "Iridaceae," under "Leaps and Bounds," in The Cutting Edge 20(2), Apr. 2013]; however, three additional collections (all by the author) of that sp. have since accrued, documenting an elevational range of ca. 750–1050 m. The remaining three additions to the Costa Rican flora, each collected twice by the author in the study region, are as follows: Eriocaulon fuliginosum C. Wright ex Griseb. (Eriocaulaceae), otherwise known from Belize, Nicaragua, and Cuba, found at ca. 850–1150 m in the study region; Polygala pseudocoelosioides Chodat (Polygalaceae), widely but spottily distributed in the Neotropics, at ca. 1100–1200 m; and the nearly cosmopolitan Utricularia subulata L. (Lentibulariaceae), a semiaquatic sp. most similar to U. pusilla Vahl, at ca. 850–1050 m (see also "Lentibulariaceae," under "Leaps and Bounds"). Each sp. is distinguished from its Costa Rican congeners and depicted in a color photo from life, and the Costa Rican sp. totals are adjusted for all the genera involved. The author's collections are deposited at USJ and (in the case of E. fuliginosum) CR.
Karremans, A. P. & C. P. Lehmann. 2018. A highly threatened new species of Vanilla from Costa Rica. Orchids (West Palm Beach) 87: 304–307.
The new sp., Vanilla karen-christianae Karremans & P. Lehm., was found in the unlikeliest of sites: along the Carretera Interamericana, on the southernmost Pacific slope near Paso Canoas (at the Panamanian border crossing), in a remnant scrap of forest along a small creek at the edge of an oil-palm plantation. This area (at the eastern edge of the Valle de Coto Colorado) is not known as a hot-bed of endemicity, so it is probable that the sp. will be found to range more widely (perhaps southward). Despite its occurrence in a trashed, unprotected, and easily accessible locale, Vanilla karen-christianae is an unusually distinctive sp., unique in Central America in combining very narrow leaves and green-and-white flowers with appendages on the labellum (only V. odorata C. Presl has similarly narrow leaves, but bears yellowish flowers that lack labellar appendages). The epithet of the new sp. honors Karen Christiana Figueres Olsen, daughter of iconic former Costa Rican president José ("Don Pepe") Figueres and an internationally recognized leader (on climate change!) in her own right. Features distribution maps and color photos of the collection site and living plants.
Factoring in the two new Sobralia spp. mentioned previously in this column (see under "Dressler"), our celebrated running count of orchid spp. described from Costa Rica during the lifespan of this newsletter now stands at 389.
Labiak, P. H. & R. C. Moran. 2018. Phylogeny of Campyloneurum (Polypodiaceae). Int. J. Pl. Sci. 179: 36–49.
This molecular study confirms that "Campyloneurum forms a clade with Microgramma and Niphidium," a result of interest mainly to pteridologists. We examined the authors' cladogram with a view to determine whether it would be cladistically tenable (and at what cost) to reconstitute Polypodium in the old, broad sense (much beloved by us) of (say) Robert G. Stolze's Ferns and fern allies of Guatemala (1981). Well, it could be done, it appears, but only if Grammitis in the old sense (or at least, some of its modern segregates) were added to the mix. Alternatively, the grammitids could be maintained, and much of our old Polypodium reassembled, but only if Pecluma, Pleopeltis, and Serpocaulon were kept separate. It's worth a shot! Within Campyloneurum, the authors found that "the monophyly of some species was not confirmed by our analysis that included multiple samples..." They interpret this result as suggesting that "many undescribed species occur in the genus," but perhaps it could be read the other way around—i.e., that spp. have been overdescribed in Campyloneurum. Many spp. in that genus seem vaguely delimited to us, and the differing concepts of specialists underscore that notion. We would adduce the situation in Campyloneurum as a classic example of what we term "taxonomic inflation": the overdescription of spp. in an effort to justify splinter genera that are themselves weak.
Lim, C. K. 2016. The taxonomic uncertainty of Musa acuminata Colla, and the illegitimacy of Musa balbisiana Colla; and supplementary notes on apomixis of Musaceae in Peninsular Malaysia. Folia Malaysiana 17: 29–46.
Musa acuminata, as accepted generally and in Manual Vol. 2 (2003), is the correct name for the banana of commerce, while M. balbisiana applies to one of the parent spp. of M. ×paradisiaca L., the cultivated plantain (under which it is discussed in the Manual). Field studies in Indonesia suggest that the correct application of the name M. acuminata according to its lectotype (a Rumphius plate, reproduced here) is actually very much in doubt (at least eight good candidate spp. exist). The situation for M. balbisiana is even worse: that name was based on two highly disparate elements; moreover, its accepted lectotype is "apparently now lost" and "was not cited by Colla," hence "would have to be disregarded." As a consequence, the author proclaims that the name Musa balbisiana should "be confirmed as invalid" (though the title refers to "illegitimacy"), but such a thing is probably not possible. It is hardly surprising that botanists working in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries (Linnaeus and Colla are particularly excoriated here) should have had difficulties interpreting Southeast Asian spp. of large monocots, given the materials that must have been available to them. This paper highlights, but does not resolve, these particular problems, and the author opines that "it may require a global botanical revolution to settle the issue." We won't be holding our breaths.
Mabberley, D. J. 2018. A note on the chestnut vine and Séraphin Mottet's 'Dictionnaire Pratique d'Horticulture et Jardinage' (1892–1899). Blumea 62: 240–244.
Here the author unearths a bunch of overlooked names and (mainly) combinations from past centuries, from the work cited in the title and several others. Four of these have repercussions for spp. occurring in Costa Rica, involving (at least for the time being) only authority names. Dioscorea racemosa (Klotzsch) Mottet (Dioscoreaceae) and Palicourea racemosa (Aubl.) G. Nicholson (Rubiaceae) reflect the replacement of "Uline" and "Borhidi" (respectively) as extraparenthetical authorities, while "Hook. f." is replaced as the parenthetical authrority for Mandevilla boliviensis (J. J. Veitch) Woodson (Apocynaceae). The fourth proposed change affecting us must be qualified as dubious and premature: that Stelis lamprophylla (G. Nicholson) Karremans—a combination never validated, except (unintentionally, it would appear) here—become the accepted name for the orchid sp. treated in Manual Vol. 1 as Pleurothallis dolichopus Schltr. The sp. in question was recently transferred to Stelis as S. lamprophylla (Schltr.) Karremans [see under "Karremans," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(3), Jul. 2014], because the epithet dolichopus was preoccupied in Stelis. The paper under review seems to regard Pleurothallis lamprophyllum G. Nicholson (1901) and P. lamprophylla Schltr. (1918) as homotypic (for which there is no evidence) and nomenclaturally interchangeable. We would argue that, although the last-mentioned name is an illegitimate later homonym and the combination Stelis lamprophylla (Schltr.) Karremans thus cannot exist, its author still succeeded (again, unintentionally) in validating a replacement name, based on and with the same type as Pleurothallis lamprophylla Schltr. However, because the priority of Stelis lamprophylla Karremans dates only from 2014, that name will likely be replaced by an earlier synonym, the epithet of which is available in Stelis; according to the information at our disposal, Pleurothallis peregrina Ames (1923) and P. poasensis Ames (1922) would appear to be good candidates.
Maya-Lastra, C. A. & V. M. Steinmann. 2018. A nomenclator of Cnidoscolus (Euphorbiaceae). Phytotaxa 346: 1–30.
The New World genus Cnidoscolus is considered by these authors to contain 97 spp. (vs. "ca. 50," according to the 2010 Manual treatment), of which an astonishing 82% are endemic to a single country. Brazil (41 spp.) and Mexico (25 spp.) can boast the most diverse Cnidoscolus floras. The main body of the text comprises an alphabetical listing of the accepted spp. (together with 10 infraspecific taxa), featuring synonymy and typology, distribution summaries, and occasional notes, followed by a brief section on "Nomina nuda and excludenda." We note just two discrepancies with respect to the Manual account of the genus, one minor and the other more significant. The minor discrepancy concerns the authority citation for Cnidoscolus megacanthus, here given as "Breckon ex Fern. Casas," but limited to "Breckon" in the Manual, for reasons already explained in these pages [see The Cutting Edge 16(1): 4–5, Jan. 2009]. The more major discrepancy is the attribution of just three Cnidoscolus spp. to Costa Rica, vs. four in the Manual. Missing in action is C. tubulosus (Müll. Arg.) I. M. Johnst., stated in the Manual (and elsewhere) as ranging from southern Mexico to Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia, but limited by these authors to the portion of that range north of Nicaragua. We are now in the dark as to the identity of the Costa Rican material hitherto included in C. tubulosus. The authors dispense with South American material previously so treated as rightly belonging to the widespread C. urens (L.) Arthur, but such is certainly not the case for the Costa Rican plants. We have a suspicion that the latter (or at least some of them) may be correctly referable to C. megacanthus, but that hypothesis remains to be tested. A secondary hypothesis hinges on the attribution by these authors of Cnidoscolus multilobus (Pax.) I. M. Johnst. [subsp. multilobus] to Nicaragua; that taxon was not treated in the Flora de Nicaragua (2001), and it is conceivable that the sole Nicaraguan voucher (Ortiz 1078, MO) for C. tubulosus cited in the last-mentioned work is the basis for the Nicaraguan record of C. multilobus in this nomenclator (which omits Nicaragua from the range of the former sp.). By analogy, at least some Costa Rican plants heretofore assigned to Cnidoscolus tubulosus could also prove to represent C. multilobus.
Miller, J. S. & M. Gottschling. 2017. Generic transfers in Malagasy Boraginales. Candollea 72: 329–332.
So how does this relate to us? Recent molecular analyses have demonstrated that a group of ca. 19 spp. of eastern Africa, Madagascar, and the Comoros treated most recently under the genus name Hilsenbergia (Ehretiaceae, or Boraginaceae in the old sense) is actually nested among New World spp. of Bourreria. The necessary new combinations are validated here (some spp. already had names in Bourreria). This action extends the geographic range of Bourreria to the Old World, and boosts its sp. total by ca. 63%. For further information, see under "Gottschling," this column.
Mitchell, J. D. & D. C. Daly. 2017. Notes on Astronium Jacq. (Anacardiaceae), including a dwarf new species from the Brazilian Shield. Brittonia 69: 457–464.
We cite this article only because it includes a key (dichotomous and indented!) to all 10 spp. of Astronium accepted by the authors (although only one of these, A. graveolens Jacq., occurs in Costa Rica, so far as we are aware).
Moraes, P. L. R. & R. Goldenberg. 2017. (2570) Proposal to conserve Miconia, nom. cons. against an additional name, Angeja (Melastomataceae: Miconieae). Taxon 66: 1475–1476.
In anticipation of the imminent expansion of the already huge neotropical genus Miconia [see, e.g., under "Michelangeli," this column, in The Cutting Edge 23(4), Oct. 2016], conservation of that solidly established name is proposed against yet another prior and lesser competitor. This time it is the highly obscure Angeja Vand. (1771), of which the sole existing sp. name is apparently a synonym of Miconia theaezans (Bonpl.) Cogn. (spelled incorrectly as "theizans" in Manual Vol. 6; 2007]. At some point, taxonomists of the splitting persuasion will inevitably enter this fray, so hope is never lost for names like Angeja.
Moran, R. C. & M. H. Grayum. 2017. The hybrid nature of Danaea plicata (Marattiaceae), a Costa Rican endemic. Brittonia 70: 31–39.
Danaea plicata Christ is a seldom-seen fern known from very wet sites at 400–1000 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordilleras de Guanacaste and Central, and in the Golfo Dulce region. Having observed that this taxon often occurred syntopically with the simple-leaved D. carillensis Christ and the pinnate-leaved D. crispa Endrés & Rchb. f. and appeared morphologically intermediate between those two spp. (i.e., in having pinnate leaves, but with fewer pinnae than D. crispa and an elongate apical segment), we had suspected that it may be a hybrid. This study pursues that notion in a much more rigorous fashion, establishing intermediacy for numerous additional characters (as summarized in a table) while revealing that the putative hybrid produces "mostly misshapen and collapsed" spores. Furthermore, specimen citations and distribution maps document the restriction of the putative hybrid to geographical and elevational ranges corresponding to the zone of sympatry for its putative parent spp. The nothotaxon name "Danaea ×plicata" is thereupon implemented for the first time. A dichotomous key to all three entities is provided, as well as typology, brief descriptions, distribution summaries, comprehensive specimen citations, and discussions for each. Danaea crispa is depicted in color photos from life, and all three taxa in a comparative figure deploying silhouettes.
Moura, T. M., G. P. Lewis, V. F. Mansano & A. M. G. A. Tozzi. 2018. A revision of the neotropical Mucuna species (Leguminosae—Papilionoideae). Phytotaxa 337: 1–65
Mucuna is a pantropical genus of ca. 105 spp. (according to this source), 24 of which (plus one var.) are here accepted for the New World. As established in a prior paper involving these same authors [see under "Moura," this column, in The Cutting Edge 23(1), Jan. 2016], Mucuna is circumscribed so as to include (at subgeneric rank) Stizolobium, which was treated as a separate genus in the Manual Fabaceae account (Vol. 5; 2010) by co-PI Nelson Zamora. Two vars. of Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC. [the former Stizolobium pruriens (L.) Medik.] are accepted somewhat half-heartedly, on the basis of fruit ornamentation and indumentum; however, we learn nothing about the distribution of these vars., which are "almost impossible to distinguish" without fruits (though the Costa Rican fruiting material we have seen answers to the description of the autonymic var.). Otherwise, there appear to be no taxonomic changes vis-à-vis Nelson's Manual treatment, excepting that Mucuna sp. A, sp. B, and sp. C are now furnished with proper binomials validated in the intervening years, namely: Mucuna tapantiana N. Zamora & T. M. Moura [see under "Zamora," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(3), Jul. 2014], M. globulifera T. M. Moura, N. Zamora & A. M. G. Azevedo [see the second entry under "Moura," this column, in The Cutting Edge 20(3), Jul. 2013], and M. monticola N. Zamora, T. M. Moura & A. M. G. Azevedo [see under "Moura," this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(3), Jul. 2012], respectively. A sp. that perhaps deserved mention in the Manual genus discussion of Mucuna is the wide-ranging M. rostrata Benth., which "skips" over Costa Rica, from Honduras to central Panama. Most of the neotropical Mucuna spp. are restricted to relatively small areas. Includes synonymy (limited) and typology, descriptions and taxonomic notes for the genus and each sp., a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp. (and vars.), distribution and phenology summaries, distribution maps, evaluations of conservation status, and representative specimen citations. There are no indices. The brief introduction touches on taxonomic history, morphology, and infrageneric classification. All but a few of the spp. are illustrated with composite line drawings.
Ortiz-Rodriguez, A. E., J. F. Ornelas & E. Ruiz-Sanchez. 2018. A jungle tale: molecular phylogeny and divergence time estimates of the Desmopsis-Stenanona clade (Annonaceae) in Mesoamerica. Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 122: 80–94.
More evidence (or is it the same evidence rehashed?) that neither Desmopsis nor Stenanona is monophyletic, "and their species appear intermingled throughout the phylogeny." Our review of a prior article by the same authors [see under "Ortiz-Rodriguez," this column, in The Cutting Edge 24(1), Jan. 2017] still suffices to summarize the situation.
Pastore, M., A. L. C. Moreira, T. B. Cavalcanti & R. Simão-Bianchini. 2017. A taxonomic study of Jacquemontia evolvuloides (Moric.) Meisn. and related species (Convolvulaceae). Adansonia sér. 3, 39: 149–166.
This is principally a herbarium study, relying to some extent on "images of type material" (a disturbing trend of late); field work was conducted only in Brazil, and no Central American specimens are cited. With all that in mind, we turn to the conclusions of the study: "eight easily confused species" are recognized in the titular complex, which ranges throughout the continental portion of the Neotropics. Of those, just two occur in the Mesoamerican region, both of which have been recorded from Costa Rica: Jacquemontia agrestis (Mart. ex Choisy) Meisn. and J. sphaerostigma (Cav.) Rusby, as they were called in Manual Vol. 5 (2010). The big innovation for us is that the name J. agrestis has been replaced by these authors with the prior Jacquemontia evolvuloides (Moric.) Meisn. An image of an isolectotype (designated here) of the basionym of J. evolvuloides reveals that it was seen in the flesh (and annotated) by at least one of the authors. This is a synoptic treatment, lacking descriptions but with a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp., synonymy and typology, distribution summaries, "remarks" (sometimes extensive), representative specimen citations, and a section on "Doubtful species." The brief introductory part deals mainly with taxonomic history. No new taxon names or combinations are validated, but four lectotypes are designated. Illustrated with color photograhic images of selected type specimens, a composite plate of color photos of living material, and line drawings of trichome types.
Petrongari, F. S., A. R. Simões & R. Simão-Bianchini. 2018. New combinations and lectotypifications in Distimake Raf. (Convolvulaceae). Phytotaxa 340: 297–300.
This publication sweeps up some loose ends from the recent fragmentation of Merremia (in the old, broad sense of the Manual), which involved the second author [see under "Simões," this column, in The Cutting Edge 24(4), Oct. 2017]. We were hoping for some satisfaction with respect to Merremia discoidesperma (Donn. Sm.) O'Donell, not yet assigned to a genus in the new system, but nothing is revealed. What we do get are two combinations at varietal rank under Distimake dissectus (Jacq.) A. R. Simões & Staples, which affect us only in establishing the autonymic var. for use on Costa Rican specimens.
Radosavljevic, A., B. A. Mackinder & P. S. Herendeen. 2017. Phylogeny of the detarioid legume genera Cynometra and Maniltoa (Leguminosae). Syst. Bot. 42: 670–679.
According to this study, Cynometra (Fabaceae), with ca. 85 spp. (including three in Costa Rica) as currently circumscribed, is non-monophyletic. One of its two major clades, comprising about 22 African spp., does not group with the rest of the genus (including the type sp.), and will be removed (in a subsequent paper) to a new genus. Moreover, Maniltoa, a Southeast Asian genus of 20–25 spp., is nested in the Cynometra clade that includes the type sp., and will be submerged in the latter genus (also in a subsequent paper). The resulting changes to the Manual Fabaceae treatment (2010) will be virtually nil; the number of spp. to be lost from Cynometra is roughly comparable to the number to be gained, and the overall geographic range will remain substantially the same. Just one incidental finding of this study could have eventual repercussions for us: Cynometra bauhiniifolia Benth. was "recovered as non-monophyletic," with an accession from Guyana (whence the type) in a different clade from Brazilian accessions so identified. What (if anything) this will mean for Central American populations remains to be seen.
Renner, S. S., A. Sousa & G. Chomicki. 2017. Chromosome numbers, Sudanese wild forms, and classification of the watermelon genus Citrullus, with 50 names allocated to seven biological species. Taxon 66: 1393–1405.
This is an interesting and significant contribution, even if largely beyond the scope of our narrow, floristic interests. In terms of the Manual Cucurbitaceae treatment (Vol. 5; 2010), the information provided here would require that the sp. total for the genus be upped from "3" to "7," and that the native geographic range be modified to "África y SO Asia." Also, the native range of Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai (the watermelon) is perhaps better specified as "N África." The phylogenetic relationships of the genus and its component spp. are elucidated and, as a first step toward a much-needed taxonomic revision, the status of 50 available names is clarified in a table. Includes distribution maps and some color photos.
Ribeiro, P. G., M. Luckow, G. P. Lewis, M. F. Simon, D. Cardoso, E. R. Souza, A. P. C. Silva, M. C. Jesus, F. A. R. Santos, V. Azevedo & L. P. Queiroz. 2018. Lachesiodendron, a new monospecific genus segregated from Piptadenia (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae: mimosoid clade): evidence from morphology and molecules. Taxon 67: 37–54.
The action taken in this paper diminishes Piptadenia a tad even with respect to the already narrowed concept accepted in the Manual Fabaceae treatment (Vol. 5) by co-PI Nelson Zamora. Lost now (to the monospecific genus of the title) is P. viridiflora (Kunth) Benth., widespread in Mexico and South America, but largely absent from Central America (excepting northern Guatemala). As far as we can tell, the only effect for us is the reduction of the generic sp. total given in the Manual ("23") by a single notch.
Rocha, M. J. R., P. J. F. Guimarães, F. A. Michelangeli & J. A. N. Batista. 2017. Taxonomy of Marcetieae: a new Neotropical tribe of Melastomataceae. Int. J. Pl. Sci. 179: 50–74.
The new tribe is of no consequence for our purposes, but other developments may (or may not) be. Here, the authors' conclusions from their earlier phylogenetic analyses of this same group [see under "Rocha," this column, in The Cutting Edge 23(3), Jul. 2016] are formally implemented taxonomically. This could all have been done (and more effectively) in a single publication, of course. Furthermore, there could have been no taxonomic changes affecting Costa Rica, but such is not the case. Of the three studied genera (in the sense of Manual Vol. 6) represented in Costa Rica, two do escape unscathed: the monophyletic Aciotis, and the monospecific Nepsera. The third, Acisanthera, is also monophyletic, and by all rights should have been maintained intact, in the interests of nomenclatural stability—an all-too-often disregarded criterion. Nevertheless, the authors carve it up, into four splinter genera, "to maintain [their] criteria of recognizing well-supported and morphologically diagnosable groups." Acisanthera sensu stricto is left with just seven spp. (vs. "ca. 20," as according to the Manual), including two of the three Costa Rican spp. assigned thereto in the Manual. However, our third sp., Acisanthera limnobios (DC.) Triana, is referred to the genus Noterophila, comprising six spp. that differ from Acisanthera in having bilocular (vs. trilocular) ovaries (a character deployed in the Manual key to Acisanthera spp.). The combination Noterophila limnobios (DC.) Mart. was already available; however, it remains to be seen whether it will gain currency, as there is no cladistic mandate for breaking up Acisanthera in the broad sense. Includes synonymy, typology, technical descriptions, and distribution summaries for the titular tribe (here described as new) and all of its genera, a dichotomous and indented key to genera, and (for each genus) enumerations of spp. and taxonomic notes. Illustrated with color and black-and-white photographic (mostly) plates depicting critical morphological features.
Rodríguez, A. & D. Solano Peralta. 2018. Tres nuevas especies de Burmeistera (Campanulaceae: Lobelioideae) de Costa Rica y Panamá. Phytoneuron 2018-9: 1–15.
Valid binomials are provided for three spp. already included in the authors' Manual draft treatment of Campanulaceae under provisional names. All are restricted in Costa Rica to the Cordillera de Talamanca (mainly on the Atlantic slope) and compared with B. chiriquiensis Wilbur (of similar habitats in westernmost Panama), as well as certain other spp. Burmeistera caudatifolia Al. Rodr. & D. Solano (formerly B. "sp. 2") and B. flava Al Rodr. & D. Solano (B. "sp. 1") both occur in "bosque pluvial" at middle elevations (1200–1600+ m), while B. maui D. Solano & Al. Rodr. (B. "sp. 3") is found higher up, in "bosque de roble" at ca. 2350–2500+ m, and (alone of the three) extends (barely and sparingly) onto the Pacific slope and into westernmost Panama. The epithet of the last-mentioned sp. replicates the nickname of its first author's younger brother. Burmeistera caudatifolia and B. maui are compared in a table with several sym- or parapatric congeners [including the recently published B. monroi D. Santam. & Lagom., confirming our notion that the latter did not usurp any of the provisional names; see under "Lagomarsino," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(4), Oct. 2015], and B. flava is similarly compared with a different selection of spp. (with only B. chiriquiensis common to the two tables). All three new spp. are depicted in composite line drawings and a color plate of living material.
Rojas-Alvarado, A. F. 2017. Novedades en Radiovittaria (Benedict) E.H. Crane (Pteridaceae) para el Neotrópico. Acta Bot. Malac. 42: 15–21.
This article (and the nine that follow!) appear in a special issue of the Spanish journal Acta Botanica Malacitana devoted to pteridology and edited by Ángel Enrique Salvo Tierra. The issue is, however, dominated by Costa Rican pteridologist Alexander Rojas (author or co-author on 12 of its 25 articles), who has fashioned a career out of scrutinizing variable, widely distributed spp. or sp. complexes and cutting them down to size—a process that often involves the elevation of infraspecific taxa to sp. rank. In this first paper, he turns his gaze to "the Radiovittaria gardneriana (Fée) E.H. Crane complex," which yields two new species and one new combination. However, only the titular sp. ("especie base")—which we all originally learned as Vittaria gardneriana Fée—is attributed to Costa Rica. Includes a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to all the spp. of the genus accepted by the author.
——. 2017. El complejo Jamesonia flexuosa (Kunth) Christenh. (Pteridaceae) para el Neotrópico. Acta Bot. Malac. 42: 33–40.
The sp. complex of the title actually loses one member, as a result of this investigation, but three spp. are newly recognized in the bargain. The lost entity happens to be an erstwhile Costa Rican endemic, accepted in Flora mesoamericana Vol. (1995) under the name Eriosorus villosulus (Maxon) Scamman, but here synonymized (according to its basionym) under Jamesonia flexuosa. The overall geographic range of the last-mentioned sp. [known until recently as Eriosorus flexuosus (Kunth) Copel.], in the view of this author, cannot be discerned exactly, because no specimens are cited other than types; however, the latter indicate that it ranges at least from Costa Rica to Peru and Venezuela. Of the three newly recognized spp. (all afforded new combinations in Jamesonia), just one is attributed to Costa Rica: Jamesonia refracta (Kunze ex Klotzsch) A. Rojas (based on Gymnogramma refracta Kunze ex Klotzsch), which occurs disjunctly in Guatemala and Costa Rica, thence from easternmost Panama to Peru, Venezuela and northern Brazil. The sole Costa Rican record (Wilbur & Stone 9841, US) hails from 2700 m elevation on Volcán Poás. Includes a key to spp. of Jamesonia "con frondas grandes, escandentes y ejes comúnmente flexuosos." Illustrations (line drawings) of both J. flexuosa and J. refracta depict rhizome and/or frond details.
——. 2017. A new species and three hybrids in the ferns from Cocos Island, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Acta Bot. Malac. 42: 91–99.
The new sp., Nephrolepis cocosensis A. Rojas, is compared with N. rivularis (Vahl) Mett. ex Krug. Hybrids are not of much interest to us (pteridologists seem particularly consumed by them), but we will enumerate them anyway: Cyathea ×hybrida A. Rojas, said to involve C. alfonsoana L. D. Gómez (we have corrected the author's "alfonsiana") and C. notabilis Domin (both themselves Isla del Coco endemics); Elaphoglossum ×intermedium A. Rojas, ostensibly a hybrid between island endemic E. alvaradoanum A. Rojas and the much more widesperad E. crinitum (L.) Christ; and Tectaria ×epilithica A. Rojas, allegedly involving two widespread spp., T. incisa Cav. and T. mexicana (Fée) C. V. Morton. All three hybrids are compared with their putative parent spp. in tabular form. A few anomalies need to be addressed: first, Cyathea ×hybrida is referred to as "Cyathea × robusta" everywhere in this paper (abstract, figure captions, table, diagnosis, discussion), except in the sp. heading itself; however, the "Etymology" explanation clearly pertains to the epithet hybrida, rather than robusta, which is why we assume the former to have been the author's ultimate choice of a name. In any case, the epithet robusta is preoccupied in Cyathea by C. robusta (C. Moore ex Maiden) Holttum (1964), pertaining to an Old World taxon; perhaps the author became aware of that fact late in the editorial process, and adjusted (in part!) accordingly. That same consideration did not, however, prevent him from validating the name Elaphoglossum ×intermedium, dead on arrival (a nom. illeg.) by virtue of the prior E. intermedium Brack. (1854). We expect the author to remedy this situation in the near future. All four new taxa described in this paper are depicted in composite line drawings, as well as color photos from life (the latter including the putative parent spp. of the hybrids).
——. 2017. Novedades en Jamesonia Hook. & Grev. y Tryonia Schuettp., J. Prado & A.T. Cochran (Pteridaceae) para el Neotrópico. Acta Bot. Malac. 42: 111–118.
Four new spp. are described and one new combination validated in this paper, but that action concerns mostly South American taxa and is of no direct relevance to Costa Rica. We are interested mainly in the one "nuevo registro" for an established sp., Jamesonia rufescens (Fée) Christenh. [formerly Eriosorus rufescens (Fée) A. F. Tryon]. Heretofore deemed exclusively South American (Colombia to Bolivia and Venezuela), J. rufescens is here extended disjunctly to Costa Rica with the citation of A. Rojas & Araya 7697 (CR, K, MO, USJ), from 1500–1600 m elevation on the Pacific slope of Cerro Cacao in the Cordillera de Guanacaste. We ought perhaps also to mention Jamesonia panamensis A. Rojas sp. nov., segregated from material previously determined as Eriosorus novogranatensis A. F. Tryon, as it is restricted to westernmost Panama (Prov. Chiriquí) and could perhaps turn up in adjacent portions of Costa Rica. It is illustrated by a composite line drawing.
——. 2017. Novedades en Moranopteris R.Y. Hirai & J. Prado (Polypodiaceae) para el Neotrópico. Acta Bot. Malac. 42: 149–154.
At the time the name Moranopteris was proposed for all the New World spp. that had previously been included in Micropolypodium, we remarked [see under "Hirai," this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(4), Oct. 2011] that no combination in the new genus was validated for the sp. accepted in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1 (1995) under the name Micropolypodium setulosum (Rosenst.) A. R. Sm., and speculated that the last-mentioned name was considered a synonym of Moranopteris nana (Fée) R. Y. Hirai & J. Prado. The present author, harboring the same suspicion, examined a fragmentary isotype of the basionym of Micropolypodium setulosum and concluded that it represents a distinct sp., more closely related to Moranopteris truncicola (Klotzsch) R.Y. Hirai & J. Prado [i.e., the former Micropolypodium truncicola (Klotzsch) A. R. Sm. or, for us old-timers, Grammitis truncicola (Klotzsch) C. V. Morton] than to M. nana. Consequently, the new combination Moranopteris setulosa (Rosenst.) A. Rojas is validated, with four cited Costa Rican specimens (in addition to the type) vouchering the following in-country distribution (in Manualese): bosque muy húmedo y pluvial, ca. 650–1750 m; vert. Carib. O Cord. Central, ambas verts. N Cord. de Talamanca, vert. Pac. N Valle de General. The sp. is also said to occur in Panama and Colombia, but no specimens are cited in support of those allegations. Also segregated from Moranopteris truncicola and attributed to Costa Rica is Moranopteris andina (Hook.) A. Rojas comb. nov. (based on Polypodium andinum Hook., the type of which is from Ecuador). The last-mentioned sp. ranges from Costa Rica to Ecuador (though no Panamanian specimens are cited), with the following distribution vouchered for Costa Rica: bosque pluvial y nuboso, ca. 1350–1700+ m, vert. Carib. y cerca de la División Continental, Cords. de Tilarán y Central, N Cord. de Talamanca. And yes, the real Moranopteris truncicola does also occur in Costa Rica, but as no specimens are cited, we have no idea of its distribution therein. Moranopteris andina and M. truncicola (though not M. setulosa) are illustrated with composite line drawings.
——. 2017. Novedades en Pteris L. (Pteridaceae) para Costa Rica. Acta Bot. Malac. 42: 165–170.
The only outright novelty here is Pteris arbelaeziana A. Rojas (honoring MO colleague and co-author of the Flora de Nicaragua fern volume Alba L. Arbeláez), which is compared (fittingly) with P. muricatopedata Arbeláez. The new sp. has been collected just twice, both times by the author and from essentially the same site in Costa Rica: at 2400–2500+ m elevation on the Pacific slope of Cerro Chirripó, in the Cordillera de Talamanca. The distribution "at high elevations" is proffered as one of the differences from P. muricatopedata, but several collections still identified by the latter name are from comparable heights. The only other news here for us concerns Pteris caridadiae Testo & J. E. Watkins, recently described [see under "Testo," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(3), Jul. 2015] as a hybrid between P. livida Mett. and P. podophylla Sw., but now proclaimed by this author to be "una especie válida," on the grounds that it occurs in sites where one or both putative parent spp. do not exist. Hence we have removed the "×" from the name. Pteris arbelaeziana, P. caridadiae, and P. muricatopedata are all depicted in line drawings, and the first two plus P. navarrensis Christ in color photos from life.
——. 2017. Tres especies nuevas de Hymenophyllum Sm. (Hymenophyllaceae, Pteridophyta) para Costa Rica y Colombia. Acta Bot. Malac. 42: 171–176
Hymenophyllum plumosum Kaulf. is the author's target this time, with all three novelties of the title segregated therefrom. Two of the new spp. occur in (and are endemic to) Costa Rica, both on the Pacific slope (and near the Continental Divide) of the Cordillera de Talamanca: Hymenophyllum densipilosum A. Rojas, at 2400–3000 m; and H. multicristatum A. Rojas, at 1650–1800 m. This paper sheds no light as to the status of the real Hymenophyllum plumosum in Costa Rica, but we would assume that the numerous specimens so identified (in TROPICOS, etc.) from other regions of the country (particularly, the Atlantic slope) must remain there, at least for the time being. All three of the new spp. described in this paper (the third being Colombian) are depicted in composite line drawings.
—— & W. Baaijen-Harteveld. 2017. Three new species of Elaphoglossum Schott ex J. Sm. (Dryopteridaceae) from the pacific [sic] of Costa Rica. Acta Bot. Malac. 42: 125–129.
Two of these three novelties are from Cerro Caraigres, an isolated and geologically complex peak on the Pacific side of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca: Elaphoglossum dragonense A. Rojas, from 2400–2500 m, compared with E. gloeorrhizum Mickel; and Elaphoglossum flavosquamum A. Rojas & Baaijen, from 2100–2300 m, compared with E. delgadilloanum A. Rojas. Both are known only by their types. The third new sp., Elaphoglossum pacificum A. Rojas, has been collected twice, at 2300–2600 m: once on Cerro Caraigres, and once on the Pacific slope of Cerro Chirripó (in the same cordillera). The last-mentioned sp. is compared with Elaphoglossum cismense Rosenst. All three new spp. are illustrated with composite line drawings.
—— & R. R. Calderón-Fallas. 2017. Dos especies nuevas de Phlegmariurus Holub (Lycopodiaceae) para Costa Rica. Acta Bot. Malac. 42: 67–70.
Setting his sites on Phlegmariurus reflexus (Lam.) B. Øllg. [formerly Lycopodium reflexum Lam. or, more recently, Huperzia reflexa (Lam.) Trevis.], the first author succeeds in discriminating two ostensible new spp., both endemic to Costa Rica: Phlegmariurus gracilis A. Rojas, from 2300–2900 m elevation on the Atlantic slope (and near the Continental Divide) of the Cordillera de Talamanca; and P. nanus A. Rojas & R. R. Calderón, from 1550–2100 m on both slopes of the Cordillera Central. Unfortunately, the latter name is stillborn as illegitimate on account of the prior Phlegmariurus nanus C. Y. Ma (1990), based on Chinese material. Both "new" spp. are compared with P. reflexus in composite line drawings.
—— & P. E. Muñoz-Cambronero. 2017. A new species of Elaphoglossum Schott ex J. Sm. (Dryopteridaceae) from Costa Rica. Acta Bot. Malac. 42: 49–52.
Elaphoglossum pallidosquamum A. Rojas & P. E. Muñoz sp. nov., compared with the Andean E. herpestes Mickel, has been collected just twice in Costa Rica, both by the first author (as principal collector) and from the same site: at 2850–2900 m elevation, on the Pacific slope (or the Continental Divide) of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca, along the Carretera Interamericana (i.e., "Cerro de La Muerte"). It beggars the imagination that any plant sp. might have evaded prior collection along a route that has been botanized intensively and continuously beginning in the time of Pittier and Tonduz. But so be it. Two composite line drawings are presented by way of illustrations.
Rothfels, C. J., J. M. Costa, L.-B. Zhang, R. C. Moran, A. Salino & A. R. Smith. 2018. (2579) Proposal to conserve Aspidium draconopterum (Draconopteris draconoptera) (Tectariaceae) with a conserved type. Taxon 67: 204–205.
Wow, is this a hairy mess! It involves two broadly sympatric spp. that, while superficially similar and sometimes confused, are abundantly distinct. These were long known as Tectaria draconoptera (D. C. Eaton) Copel. (with erect rhizomes) and T. nicotianifolia (Baker) C. Chr. (with creeping rhizomes), e.g., at the Estación Biológica La Selva in Costa Rica, where both are frequent and well known. However, morphological and cladistic studies in recent years have shown these spp. to be so distinctive—from the remainder of Tectaria, and also from one another—that both have been transferred to separate genera: T. draconoptera to the monospecific Draconopteris [see under "Zhang," this column, in The Cutting Edge 23(4), Oct. 2016], and T. nicotianifolia to the oligospecific Hypoderris [see under "Moran," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(4), Oct. 2014]. But with all presumably said and done, the ingrained tendency to confuse these two spp. now comes back to bite us: the authors "believe" that the type of Aspidium draconopterum D. C. Eaton (the basionym of Tectaria draconoptera) actually represents the sp. long known as Tectaria nicotianifolia! It seems to us that the authors should have made sure of that before stirring up this hornets' nest, but in case they are correct, the following nomenclatural consequences are unleashed: the genus name Draconopteris (2016), effectively typified by Aspidium draconopterum, is lost to synonymy under Hypoderris (1838), and a combination in Hypoderris based on A. draconopterum (1860) must replace H. nicotianifolia (Baker) R. C. Moran, Labiak & J. Prado (with priority dating from 1868); and a new genus name is required to accommodate the sp. known most recently as Draconopteris draconoptera (D. C. Eaton) Li Bing Zhang & Liang Zhang, which would also need a new sp. name based on Aspidium myriosorum Christ. Responding preemptively, the authors propose to change the type of Aspidium draconopterum to a specimen (collected at La Selva by the first author) representing the sp. with which that name has long been associated, in particular to avoid "confusion because of the switching of the epithet 'draconoptera' between these two superficially similar species." However, they neglect to mention some compelling arguments for maintaining the original typification, e.g.: the genus name Draconopteris and the binomials D. draconoptera and Hypoderris nicotianifolia are not at all well-established (all dating from just a few years ago) or widely used (no specimens in the MO herbarium are currently annotated as D. draconoptera, and just one as H. nicotianifolia). Also, as we have noted previously in these pages, the name Draconopteris is itself confusing, due to the prior establishment of Dracoglossum Christenh. (2007) for two other spp. formerly included in Tectaria, and the binomial Draconopteris draconoptera is a virtual tautonym. We rather view this "revelation" regarding the identity of the type of Aspidium draconopterum as a golden opportunity to ditch Draconopteris (trusting that its authors will be able to contrive a better name). And whatever the case, this motion ought to be tabled until its authors can convince themselves beyond a reasonable doubt as to the identity of that type specimen.
Ruiz-Sanchez, E., L. G. Clark, T. Mejía-Saulés & F. Lorea-Hernández. 2018. A new species of Merostachys (Poaceae: Bambusoideae: Bambuseae: Arthrostylidiinae) with the northernmost distribution of the genus. Phytotaxa 344: 31–38.
The new sp. does not concern us, except insofar as it mandates a northward extension of the geographic range of its genus (as indicated in the Manual Poaceae treatment) to "S Méx. (Chis.; Tab.)."
Singhurst, J. R., M. B. Pons, Jr., M. C. Jones & W. C. Holmes. 2018. Solanum tampicense (Solanaceae) in Texas. Phytoneuron 2018-9: 1–4.
Okay, so alter the distribution statement for Solanum tampicense Dunal in Manual Vol. 8 (2015) to read: "S EUA (Florida, Tex.),..." Moving right along...
Snow, N., P. M. Peterson, K. Romaschenko & B. K. Simon. 2018. Monograph of Diplachne (Poaceae, Chloridoideae, Cynodonteae). PhytoKeys 93: 1–102.
This publication may set some kind of record: 100+ pages to monograph a genus of just two spp.! Well, one of them has four subspp., for whatever that is worth. Several years back, cladistic considerations prompted the recognition of Diplachne, from the ashes of Leptochloa, in a paper involving most of this same crew [see under "Peterson," this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(3), Jul. 2012]. The Costa Rican contingent of Diplachne had been implicitly confined in the Manual Poaceae account (2003) to the taxon (very rare in the country) there named Leptochloa fusca (L.) Kunth subsp. uninervia (J. Presl) N. Snow. As far as we can tell, that remains our sole member of the genus, with Diplachne fusca (L.) P. Beauv. ex Roem. & Schult. subsp. uninervia (J. Presl) P. M. Peterson & N. Snow now the name of choice [resolving a mysterious vacillation between infraspecific categories on the part of the two last-mentioned authors; see under "Snow," this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(4), Oct. 2012]. So, despite its length, this monograph offers almost nothing new for us. Includes dichotomous keys to "Diplachne and morphologically similar genera," the spp. of Diplachne, and the subspp. of D. fusca, synonymy, typology, and technical descriptions at all ranks, distribution and phenology summaries, evaluations of conservation status, comments, very extensive specimen citations (25 pages for one subsp. alone!), and sections on "Excluded names" and "Unconfirmed names." There are no indices. The introductory portion discusses taxonomic history, phylogeny (with original molecular analyses), morphology and anatomy, reproductive biology, and fungal infections. All five accepted taxa are illustrated with composite line drawings or color photos from life. There are no taxonomic novelties, but numerous lectotypes are designated. This publication is dedicated to its fourth author, who passed away before it was completed.
Sosa, M. M., P. Moroni & N. O'Leary. 2018. A taxonomic revision of the genus Bacopa (Gratioleae, Plantaginaceae) in Argentina. Phytotaxa 336: 1–27.
This revision scarcely concerns us, and we detect no taxonomic changes that affect Costa Rica. We cite it only because lecto- or neotypes are designated for the basionyms, or synonyms, of several Bacopa spp. (Scrophulariaceae, in the Manual) occurring in the country.
Soumya, P. & P. Sunojkumar. 2018. Justicia segoviaensis, a new name for Justicia micrantha (Oerst.) V.A.W.Graham. Phytotaxa 338: 222.
The rarely collected sp. we originally learned as Chaetothylax leucanthus Leonard, from L. H. Durkee's Flora costaricensis treatment (1986) of Acanthaceae, has undergone a series of name changes over the years—some of them quite unnecessary. The first change was twofold, involving the synonymization of C. leucanthus under C. rothschuhii Lindau (based on a Nicaraguan type) and its simultaneous transfer to the genus Justicia, as J. rothschuhii (Lindau) Durkee [see The Cutting Edge 7(1): 6–7, Jan. 2000]. Shortly thereafter, Acanthaceae specialist Tom Daniel (CAS) began using the prior name Justicia micrantha (Oerst.) V. A. W. Graham (also based on a Nicaraguan type) for the same sp., citing J. rothschuhii and Chaetothylax leucanthus in synonymy. Unfortunately, Daniel's name of choice proved to be an illegitimate later homonym of Justicia micrantha Wall. ex C. B. Clarke, a name applicable to an Asian sp. This conflict was inevitably noticed by Asian workers, who (in this paper) have responded by coining a nomen novum, Justicia segoviaensis P. Soumya & Sunojk., for the New World entity. Now, the abuse of nomina nova has become so pervasive and predictable that, whenever we see one proposed, we immediately go looking for prior synonyms that ought to have been adopted. And in this case we didn't have to look far: Justicia rothschuhii fits the bill, and will reclaim its status as the accepted sp. name in the impending Manual Acanthaceae treatment. Because J. rothschuhii is not cited in synonymy, the name Justicia segoviaensis is not illegitimate, and will be available in case a taxonomist somewhere down the line should decide that the types of the basionyms of J. micrantha (Oerst.) V. A. W. Graham and J. rothschuhii correspond, after all, to different spp.
Stevens, W. D. 2018. Vailia anomala, a new name for Blepharodon mucronatum (Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae). Phytoneuron 2018-3: 1–5.
We had some advance warning of this, from the author's activity in TROPICOS. Molecular studies have shown (if not very convincingly) that Blepharodon, a largely South American genus of "perhaps 15–20 recognizable species," is non-monophyletic, with the type sp. "standing well apart from the remaining species." The author has thus decided to segregate the "remaining species" as a different genus, the oldest name for which is Vailia Rusby (1898). Referable to that taxon is Blepharodon mucronatus (Schltdl.) Decne. (misspelled here and everywhere else as "mucronatum"), the only member of the group to extend beyond South America, and a fairly common sp. in Costa Rica. But, as luck would have it, the epithet "mucronata" is preoccupied by one of the only two binomials ever to have been validated under Vailia, necessitating the new combination V. anomala (Brandegee) W. D. Stevens (based on the oldest accepted synonym at sp. rank). No combinations are made for any South American spp. Illustrated with color photos from life of Vailia anomala, and two other spp.
Tamboli, A. S., P. B. Yadav, A. A. Gothe, S. R. Yadav & S. P. Govindwar. 2018. Molecular phylogeny and genetic diversity of genus Capparis (Capparaceae) based on plastid DNA sequences and ISSR markers. Pl. Syst. Evol. 304: 205–217.
This molecular study of Capparis—apparently the first to incorporate Indian spp.—confirms previous ones [see, e.g., under "Hall," this column, in The Cutting Edge 17(4), Oct. 2010] in portraying the genus, in its traditional sense, as diphyletic along hemispherical lines. The published cladograms reveal that the New World elements included traditionally in Capparis could be united with the inclusion of just a few other, mono- or oligospecific genera (Atamisquea, Morisonia, Steriphoma). However, the type sp. of Capparis (C. spinosa L.) is an Old World taxon, and maintaining that genus name for New World spp. would require that several well-established Old World genera of significant size (Boscia, Cadaba, Maerua, Ritchiea, Thilachium) be sucked into the vortex. Uncle! With the genus name Capparis so emphatically banished from the New World, there may be little to gain by sacrificing Morisonia and Steriphoma (but see under "Christenhusz," this column, for another view).
Viveros, R. S., G. Rouhan & A. Salino. 2018. A taxonomic monograph of the fern genus Ctenitis (Dryopteridaceae) in South America. Phytotaxa 335: 1–83.
We will not belabor the details of this major contribution, as it is largely extralimital to our sphere of interest. However, two proposed synonymies do (or could) impact Costa Rican floristics: Ctenitis sloanei (Poepp. ex Spreng.) C. V. Morton, a name long accepted in our region (e.g., in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1; 1995), is here synonymized under C. ampla (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) Ching on the grounds that "several characters overlap, which render infeasible to distinguish two taxa"; and Ctenitis sotoana A. Rojas [see The Cutting Edge 9(2): 9–10, Apr. 2002] is subjugated to C. grisebachii (Baker) Ching (costing us another Costa Rican endemic), from which the authors are persuaded "it is not different." Additionally, the recognition of a new, Brazilian var. of Ctenitis submarginalis (Langsd. & Fisch.) Ching establishes its autonymic counterpart for material from other regions (including all of Mesoamerica). Numerous lecto- or neotypes are designated, several of which apply to the accepted names of spp. occurring in Costa Rica, or their synonyms. The volume number of the journal is indicated erroneously as "385" on the title page of this issue.
Wahlert, G. A., S. E. Hoyos-Gómez & H. E. Ballard, Jr. 2017. Systematic studies in Neotropical Rinorea (Violaceae): two new sections and a new generic segregate. Brittonia 70: 140–147.
Previous phylogenetic studies involving two of these same authors [see, e.g., under "Wahlert," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(2), Apr. 2014] had portrayed Rinorea as non-monophyletic, and proposed to resolve that problem with the creation of a trispecific splinter genus which would include (as its only Costa Rica representative) R. crenata S. F. Blake. Indeed, that developing situation was referenced in the discussion under Rinorea in Manual Vol. 8 (2015). Here it finally attains nomenclatural validity with the establishment of the genus name Bribria Wahlert & H. E. Ballard, honoring "the indigenous Bribri people who inhabit areas of Limón Province in Costa Rica, which is the type locality of Rinorea crenata." Combinations in Bribria for all of its three spp. (the other two largely South American) are validated in the names of the same two authors. The two new sections (really only one is new, the other being autonymic) are of no particular interest to us. Features a dichotomous key separating Bribria, Fusispermum, and both neotropical sections of Rinorea, as well as extensive descriptions, "remarks," and sp. enumerations for all the aforementioned taxa save Fusispermum, plus distribution summaries for the two Rinorea sections. The three genera are also compared in a table, and representatives of Bribria and Rinorea in a composite line drawing showing floral details.
Will, M. & R. Claßen-Bockhoff. 2017. Time to split Salvia s.l. (Lamiaceae) - new insights from Old World Salvia phylogeny. Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 109: 33–58.
These phylogenetic insights are not really new, at least in their broad strokes; Salvia is paraphyletic with respect to five mono- or oligospecific genera (including Perovskia and Rosmarinus), as already demonstrated in previous papers, including one by this crew [see under "Will," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(4), Oct. 2015] in which splitting was initiated. These authors want to claim Salvia as polyphyletic (because, "in contrast to paraphyly..., polyphyly is unacceptable"), but this is simply a matter of perspective. A paper from a different lab appeared around the same time as this one (neither cites the other) advocating and actually implementing the lumping alternative [see under "Drew," this column, in The Cutting Edge 24(2), Apr. 2017]. We have already bought into that, because we are lumpers at heart, who never had any problems with Salvia, and only a handful of name changes were necessary (vs. about 750, under the splitting option). But let's review what the splitting option portends, in the hands of these authors who, after all, used a "much broader sampling" (220 Salvia spp.) than previous studies. Salvia spp. were resolved in four major clades (as well as several subclades), and the authors propose to split the group into six genera (while maintaining the five smaller genera alluded to above—the whole point, as far as we can tell). The six genus names slated for deployment are: Glutinaria Raf., Lasemia Raf., Pleudia Raf., Polakia Stapf, Ramona Raf., and Salvia s. str. (the last including S. officinalis L., the type species). Even though we are big Rafinesque fans, we hope that this system never gains acceptance. If it does, we expect that most or all of the native Salvia spp. in Costa Rica will wind up in Lasemia, which corresponds to the endemic New World Salvia subgen. Calosphace (Benth.) Epling. Our analysis of the situation is hampered by the fact that just one Salvia sp. occurring in Costa Rica, S. polystachia Cav., was included in this study (the focus of which was on Old World spp.). Salvia polystachia is found in the Lasemia clade, and we believe (from other evidence) that at least S. misella Kunth and S. occidentalis Sw. would be as well. Of the other six proposed generic segregates, only Ramona and Salvia s. str. harbor native New World elements. The authors "encourage a process to revise Salvia s.l. on a clade-by-clade basis," but do not themselves validate any new names or combinations. May it proceed no further!
Yu, C.-C. & K.-F. Chung. 2017. Why Mahonia? Molecular recircumscription of Berberis s.l., with the description of two new genera, Alloberberis and Moranothamnus. Taxon 66: 1371–1392.
Why indeed? We had thought this issue was settled in favor of lumping Berberis and Mahonia (Berberidaceae), but clearly it has become one of those classic lumper-vs.-splitter standoffs that will never go away (see also the foregoing entry). Cases like this underscore the need for some sort of governance over taxonomic concepts (especially at family and genus ranks) in botany (see, e.g., under "Christenhusz," this column). But getting back to the business at hand: Berberis s. str., with some 500 spp., is by far the largest genus in its family, even without Mahonia (ca. 100 spp.). The latter is generally easily distinguished by its spinelessness and compound leaves (vs. spininess and simple leaves in Berberis s. str.), and as these authors point out, "the marked difference in leaf morphology" and "long history of these two household names make their merging unpopular." These authors themselves seem hell-bent on retaining Mahonia, and find a way to do so, even though the results of their molecular study provide no compelling new ammunition: just as prior studies have indicated [see, e.g., under "Adhikari," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(2), Apr. 2015], Berberis s. str. is nested within a paraphyletic Mahonia. Some anomalous taxa not included in previous studies were sampled in this one, but these do not change the overall picture. On the contrary: one such sp. from Baja California, though lacking spines and with compound leaves, groups with the Berberis s. str. clade (as sister to all the rest), a fact that might be interpreted by some workers (ourselves included!) as the final elbow for Mahonia; however, these authors defuse the situation by establishing a new, monospecific genus for that entity. Subtract also a new, oligospecific genus created to sequester the group of spp. that is basal to all the others and, voilà, the deed is done! Paraphyly has been eliminated and the desired separation of Berberis s. str. and Mahonia enabled, if not mandated (i.e., they are still sister taxa, hence not immune to lumping). All the taxonomic changes associated with the establishment of the two new genera are implemented professionally, but none of that pertains to our direct interests. The only spp. of Berberidaceae in Costa Rica belong to the two original genera in this group—one each of Berberis s. str. and Mahonia—and will be treated under Berberis s. l. in our impending final Manual volume. Features distribution maps and color photos from life.