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Volume XXVII, Number 2, April 2020
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FIELD BOTANY IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS. Monstera (Araceae) wunderkind Marco Cedeño, having recently completed his “maestría” at the Universidad de Costa Rica (see this column in our last issue), undertook field work in southern Mexico (Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Veracruz) during the period 29 February–13 March. His original return date was 18 March, but the risk of travel restrictions in response to the ongoing pandemic caused him to abort his visit. Discretion is indeed the better part of valor! May all of our colleagues make similarly level-headed decisions in these challenging days (weeks? months?).
IDENTITY NAILED! Manual collaborator Mario Blanco (USJ) informs us that photos recently posted on the Internet by one RosterMoraga leave no doubt that the only wild-growing Costa Rican representative of Aristolochia subg. Siphisia (Raf.) Duch.—or genus Isotrema, if one is so inclined [see under “Zhu,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 26(2), Apr. 2019]—does indeed correspond to A. arborea Linden, otherwise known only from southern Mexico to El Salvador. View Roster’s decisive photos (and read his extensive and informative text) at the following URL:
The lone Costa Rican population of this sp. occurs at ca. 550 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Guanacaste (Volcán Orosí), with flowering documented for March, April, and July. We have no idea whether Roster’s photos are vouchered, but the population is vouchered by prior (mostly sterile) collections. As implied by its name, Aristolochia arborea is a shrubby (non-scandent) sp., unique (among its Costa Rican congeners) in this regard.