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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

Main | Family List (MO) | Family List (INBio) | Cutting Edge
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The Cutting Edge

Volume II, Number 2, April 1995

News and Notes | Recent Treatments | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature

NEW CONTRIBUTORS. Welcome on-board to Alfredo Cascante (CR, Bombacaceae), Silvana Martén (CR and USJ, Simaroubaceae), and Joaquín Sánchez (CR, Loganiaceae).

NEW SHIPMENT. INBio's Quírico Jiménez reports that a shipment of plants comprising some 60-70 boxes is expected to go out sometime during the current month. As usual, the specimens will be distributed to contributors after they have been accessioned, fumigated, and sorted at MO.

MOVERS AND SHAKERS. Manual co-PI Barry Hammel returned to his home and Manual headquarters in Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica, on 17 March, following a productive three-month stay in St. Louis that featured side-trips to US and F. He left accompanied by INBio botanist José González, whose own two-month residence at MO was punctuated by the same diversions. INBio Botany czar (and Manual co-PI) Nelson Zamora and INBio Curator of Collections Eduardo Lépiz traveled to Panama City for a meeting of Central American and Caribbean herbarium honchos held at STRI during 20-23 March. The participants strove to "contribute to developing a common work plan for more effective conservation and appropriate use of plant resources in the region, report on the current state of herbaria, and promote contacts between the staffs of herbaria and researchers involved in the management of biodiversity" (we quote from a recent issue of Herbarium News).

ADIEU. Long-time Manual artist and sometime collector Alvaro ("Bary") Fernández has left the project to pursue other interests. Bary first surfaced as a parataxonomist, before his artistic skills were noticed. We will miss him, and wish him well.

MANUAL PAGE DESIGN. Manual artist Silvia Troyo, who has had experience in the commercial world using PageMaker software (she worked with the telephone company designing the Yellow Pages), is overseeing our page layout design. Manual project coordinator in Costa Rica Cecilia Herrera is using PageMaker on our new Power Macintosh to transfer and format documents (i.e., treatments) according to our (the editors' and Silvia's) specifications. Seeing the finished products emerge from a high-quality laser printer is as exciting as seeing the galleys of an imminent publication! These are fulfilling days for those of us who have worked on the project since the early days. Pages 10-14 of this issue feature a sample treatment (English version) formatted according to our current standards (p. 14 is an alternate version of p. 10). We are very anxious to hear your comments/criticisms at this time on any matters relating to format. This is exactly the way your treatment will appear in the Manual, unless you convince us otherwise in the near future (ignore the print quality, as you are looking at a photocopy of a photocopy of a FAX from the original laser-printed document; also, we do not plan to print the Manual on pink paper!). We are open to any suggestions, and no detail (font type, spacing, indentation, etc.) is too trivial to consider. Standards for content and style, on the other hand, are already pretty much decided; if you don't already have a sample treatment as a guideline, use this one.

MORE FUN AND GAMES. We also now have a good quality scanner in Costa Rica, the main purpose of which is to integrate black-and-white drawings into the publication. But we are having fun with this, too. Recently, our determination of Itzaea sericea (see this month's "Leaps and Bounds") was verified by specialist Dan Austin (FAU) via a color scan of the critical portion of a specimen sent as an e-mail attachment. These images are of such high quality and so quick and convenient to transmit that the possibilities are staggering. The short-lived era of FAXing photocopies of specimens for quick ID's would appear to be drawing to a close.

MO VISTITATIONS. Anton Weissenhofer and Werner Huber, graduate students from the University of Vienna working in the Esquinas forest in the Golfo Dulce region (Paul Allen's stomping grounds), studied at MO from 31 March-5 April.

NOTE: PROPER CITATION OF "INBio" COLLECTIONS. Collections made by INBio parataxonomist training courses in the Cordillera de Guanacaste have caused some confusion with regard to citation. Numbering series were established for each course, to avoid creating a plethora of short, individual series or arbitrarily designating a single collector. As three courses collected independently and simultaneously, three separate number series were established: "I INBio" (with numbers 1-213), "II INBio" (1-236), and "III INBio" (1-64). Clearly, the Roman numeral must always be included when these specimens are cited. In practice, however, the Roman numeral has frequently been omitted on chits, det. lists, and even in publications (see "Germane Literature" under Luer, 1994). In such cases we are usually (but not always!) able to identify the correct series through the process of elimination. These collections were made from 14 June-17 July, 1989 (with the exception of I INBio 201-213, made during May, 1990). All three series have since been retired. We regret this inconvenience, and promise not to repeat the mistake.


CECROPIACEAE. José González (INB).
This small family comprises three genera and 14 spp. in Costa Rica, including Pourouma cecropiifolia Mart., known only from cultivation. Our largest genus is Coussapoa, with seven spp. Cecropia pittieri B. L. Rob., of Cocos Island, is the only endemic sp. Two taxa are added to Burger's (1977) Flora costaricensis treatment: Coussapoa contorta Cuatrec. (misapplied by Burger to the sp. now known as C. macerrima Akkermans & C. C. Berg), from the Cordillera de Tilarán; and C. parvifolia Standl., from the Golfo Dulce region. Nomenclature has been updated according to the 1990 Flora neotropica treatment of Berg et al.

DICHAPETALACEAE. Ghillean T. Prance (K).
Three genera and eight spp. are treated in what the author describes as a "first go" at this family. Stephanopodium and Tapura are each represented by a single sp. in Costa Rica, while Dichapetalum accounts for the remaining six. Three spp. in the family are considered Costa Rican endemics, and one of these has yet to be described. No cultivated spp. are treated.

IRIDACEAE. Peter Goldblatt (MO).
The Costa Rican complement includes seven genera and 15 spp., none of which are endemic. One sp., Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora (Lemoine) N. E. Br., is introduced and naturalized. The largest Costa Rican genus is Sisyrinchium, with eight spp. Three spp. known only from cultivation are briefly mentioned under the family heading.

RUBIACEAE. Charlotte M. Taylor (MO).
This updated draft of the largest Manual treatment yet received accounts for 398 indigenous or naturalized spp. in 80 genera (according to our quick count), with an additional six genera and 10 spp. known only from cultivation. This surpasses, by five genera and 24 spp., the total of indigenous taxa included in Burger & Taylor's recent (1993) Flora costaricensis treatment. One genus (Osa) and 70 spp. are apparently endemic to Costa Rica, and many other spp. extend only to western Panama. Nine spp. are as yet undescribed, and two combinations are unpublished. The largest genus in Costa Rica is Psychotria (including Cephaelis), with 103 spp., followed by Hoffmannia and Palicourea (27 spp. each), Randia (20 spp.), Faramea and Rondeletia (14 spp. each), and Spermacoce (including Borreria), with 11 spp.


CELASTRACEAE. A species long known from Costa Rica but never identified has recently been determined as Maytenus guyanensis Klotzsch ex Reissek, widepread in South America and the West Indies but not previously reported from Central America. The first Costa Rican collection was made by Luis Poveda at Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio. The species is now known from a number of localities in both the Atlantic and Pacific lowlands.

CONVOLVULACEAE. Three collections from the Carara reserve and nearby Cerro Turrubares previously identified as Bonamia trichantha Hallier f. have been redetermined by Barry Hammel as Itzaea sericea (Standl.) Standl. & Steyerm. The monotypic Itzaea, which is very close to Bonamia, was known previously from Guatemala to Nicaragua.

FABACEAE/PAPILIONOIDEAE. Costa Rica has long been considered to harbor but a single species of Piscidia, the widespread P. carthegenensis Jacq. To that may now be added the northern Piscidia grandifolia (Donn. Sm.) I. M. Johnst., based on Wunderlin et al. 739 (MO) from near Liberia, Prov. Guanacaste. Although the collection dates from 1971 and was correctly identified by MO wizard Ron Liesner, it has been overlooked.

SIMAROUBACEAE. Specialist W. Wayt Thomas (NY) has identified several Costa Rican mystery collections as Picrasma excelsa (Sw.) Planch., representing the first Central American records for the genus and sp. The collections in question come from the Valle de El General and the Monteverde region.

SOLANACEAE. A specimen gathered by peerless collector Gerardo Herrera from 1500 m elevation along a tributary of the Río Lari in the Cordillera de Talamanca has been identified by specialist Lynn Bohs (UT) as Cyphomandra dolichocarpa Bitter. This is the second Costa Rican collection of this largely Panamanian species, and the only extant one, as the Costa Rican holotype (from La Hondura in the Cordillera Central) is lost.

VIOLACEAE. Harvey Ballard (WIS) has uncovered the following new records in the course of his work toward the Manual Violaceae treatment: material from southwestern Costa Rica representing the genus Fusispermum, first reported from the country in our maiden issue, can now be more precisely identified as F. laxiflorum Hekking, previously known only from Panama; Gloeospermum ferrugineostictum A. Robyns, heretofore known only from the Panamanian type locality, has now been collected on the Osa Peninsula by Ballard and Mark Wetter; Opler 1783 (MO), cited as Hybanthus thiemei (Donn. Sm.) C. V. Morton in Janzen & Liesner's (1980) Guanacaste checklist (Brenesia 18: 15-90), actually represents the first Costa Rican record for the northern H. calceolaria (L.) Schulze-Menz; the relegation of the name Hybanthus costaricensis Melch. to synonymy under H. mexicanus Ging. extends the range of the latter sp. southward to Costa Rica; and Hybanthus yucatanensis Millsp., Viola guatemalensis W. Becker, and V. patrinii Ging. are also newly reported from Costa Rica (the last-mentioned sp. adventive from Asia). Three sp. of Hybanthus and one of Gloeospermum are tentatively regarded as new to science.


Bolli, R. 1994. Revision of the genus Sambucus. Diss. Bot. 223: 1-227+.

Nine spp. with 10 infraspecific taxa are accepted for this cosmopolitan genus. No new taxa are described, but six new combinations are proposed at the subspecific level. The approach is biosystematic, and the lengthy introductory part includes chapters on wood anatomy, dispersal, life cycle, chemical constituents, karyosystematics, and evolution. Unfortunately, less attention was paid to the "Systematic Part"; specimens were borrowed from rather few herbaria (F being the only one with significant Costa Rican holdings), synonymy is sometimes glossed over, and specimen citations are "representative" or, in many cases, omitted altogether. Granted, this is a very well-collected genus (at least in temperate regions) with myriads of published names for spp. and infraspecific taxa. All material from southern Central America is here referred to Sambucus nigra L., a sp. traditionally regarded as European but here expanded to include New World material formerly distinguished as S. canadensis L., S. mexicana C. Presl ex DC., S. oreopola Donn. Sm., etc. Most Costa Rican material apparently belongs in S. nigra ssp. canadensis (L.) Bolli, under which S. mexicana and S. oreopola (the two names used by Standley) as well as S. canadensis var. laciniata A. Gray (a name used in the Flora of Panama) are listed or otherwise indicated as synonyms. The generally more southern Sambucus nigra ssp. peruviana (Kunth) Bolli is attributed to "Costa Rica (introduced?)," though no Costa Rican material is cited in the niggardly selection of "Representative Specimens." Perhaps this datum traces to D'Arcy, who (in Flora of Panama) suggested that Costa Rican material of this taxon (as S. peruviana Kunth) had been misidentified as S. oreopola. The two subspp. are "problematic to distinguish," and ssp. canadensis, at least, is itself extremely variable (Bolli informally distinguishes three "races") and widely cultivated even outside its natural range; thus the situation in Costa Rica (where their distributions overlap) is highly confusing and perhaps still unresolved. We have no personal insights on the matter.

The family name for Sambucus was deliberately omitted from the title of this work. "Where to place Sambucus?" is the subject of one of the chapters, in which Bolli rejects both the traditional classification (Caprifoliaceae) as well as recent molecular-based arguments that Sambucus and Viburnum be aligned with Adoxa. Concluding that "there are no synapomorphous characters" uniting Sambucus with either of the last-mentioned genera, he opts for monogeneric Sambucaceae and Viburnaceae.

Christenson, E. A. 1994. Significant collections of Orchidaceae conserved in Herbarium Hamburgense (HBG). Brittonia 46: 344-354.
The personal herbarium of orchid authority Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig ("Fritz") Kraenzlin (1847-1934) is included among material that had been evacuated from HBG in 1944 and was recently (1990) returned from a mysterious exile. Appendix I lists the orchid types in Kraenzlin's herbarium, including seven from Costa Rica.
Gereau, R. E. 1995. A new combination in Peltostigma (Rutaceae). Novon 5: 34-35.
Peltostigma parviflorum Q. Jiménez & Gereau (Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 78: 527-530. 1991), described from Costa Rica and Antioquia Department, Colombia, has proven to be identical with the earlier Galipea guatemalensis Standl. & Steyerm., previously known only by the fruiting type. The latter name is here transferred to Peltostigma as P. guatemalense (Standl. & Steyerm.) Gereau. A recent collection from Peru is also cited.
Grant, J. R. 1995. Bromelienstudien. The resurrection of Alcantarea and Werauhia, a new genus. Trop. Subtrop. Pflanzenwelt 91: 1-57+.
This contribution is heralded as initiating a series of papers designed to "more accurately and logically define generic limits in the Tillandsioideae." Vriesea sensu Flora neotropica (i.e., in the commonly accepted sense) is characterized as "an artificial conglomerate of members of seven genera," including Guzmania and Tillandsia. Alcantarea, an assemblage of 10 spp. restricted to southeastern Brazil, need not concern us here. Werauhia, which largely corresponds to Vriesea subg. Vriesea sect. Xiphion, need concern us, as it comprises the entire Mesoamerican contingent of Vriesea sensu lato. Werauhia (dedicated to Werner Rauh, editor of the journal) is presently considered to include 66 spp., 48 of which occur in Costa Rica and western Panama. The recognition of the new genus necessitates 66 new combinations, all here validated in the name of the author; two sections, Werauhia and Jutleya, are also erected. The earlier generic name Thecophyllum, which has embraced many of the species constituting Werauhia, is unavailable, as the type species is a Guzmania.

The genera Werauhia and Vriesea sensu stricto are apparently separated by numerous, albeit technical, characters, and we do not presume to dispute the author's contention that they represent "natural groups." Needless to say, every taxon is divisible into natural groups, and every clade has its synapomorphies. One of the more important criteria for deciding which natural groups should be ranked at the genus level is nomenclatural stability. Generic realignments that entail wholesale changes in familiar binomials should be founded on cladistic arguments strongly supported by rigorous, state-of-the-art analyses. This paper asks us to accept new names for perhaps 25% of Costa Rican bromeliad species, with no such arguments and no such analyses.

In addition to the nomenclatural innovations, 14 new synonymies are here proposed, the following of which are relevant to Costa Rica: Vriesea brachyphylla Mez & Wercklé = V. viridiflora (Regel) Wittm. ex Mez; V. burgeri L. B. Sm., V. macrantha Mez & Wercklé, V. macrochlamys Mez & Wercklé, and V. rugosa Mez & Wercklé = V. gladioliflora (H. Wendl.) Antoine; and V. dodsonii L. B. Sm. = V. apiculata L. B. Sm. Vriesea camptoclada Mez & Wercklé, based on a Costa Rican type, is treated as a "doubtful species," since fresh flowers (necessary for proper generic assignment) have yet to be examined. The following names on our data-base are not accounted for at all, and will presumably be relegated to genera other than Vriesea or Werauhia in forthcoming papers: Vriesea castaneobulbosa (Mez & Wercklé) J. R. Grant, V. chontalensis (Baker) L. B. Sm., V. didistichoides (Mez) L. B. Sm., V. heliconioides (Kunth) Hook. ex Walp., V. incurva Mez, V. lutheriana J. R. Grant, V. monstrum (Mez) L. B. Sm., and V. pleiosticha (Griseb.) Gouda.

Includes several plates and drawings, a useful index to cited names, and a map of generic distributions.

Kallunki, J. A. 1994. Revision of Raputia Aubl. (Cuspariinae, Rutaceae). Brittonia 46: 279-295.
Raputia is circumscribed as an exclusively South American assemblage of 10 spp,, including Achuaria; three new spp. are described, and three new combinations effected. Raputia heptaphylla Pittier, which appears in our Costa Rica data-base, is here relegated to "Excluded Names," with the following evaluation: "Clearly discordant in Raputia but not yet assigned to another genus." So what should we call this sp. in the meantime? Keys, maps, descriptions, illustrations, specimen citations.
Luer, C. A. 1994. Systematics of the subgenus Elongatia of Pleurothallis (Orchidaceae). Pp. 69-88 in, C. A. Luer, Icones pleurothallidinarum XI. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 52: 1-137.

_____. 1994. Systematics of the subgenus Kraenzlinella genus Pleurothallis (Orchidaceae). Pp. 89-110 in, C. A. Luer, Icones pleurothallidinarum XI. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 52: 1-137.

_____. 1994. Addenda to Dracula, Lepanthopsis, Myoxanthus, Pltystele, Porroglossum and Trisetella. Pp. 111-137 in, C. A. Luer, Icones pleurothallidinarum XI. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 52: 1-137.

All of these treatments feature keys to spp., complete descriptions, lists of exsiccatae, range maps, line drawings, and an index to scientific names. Luer's revision of the vast genus Pleurothallis continues with subg. Elongatia, comprising eight spp. in two sections. One section and two of the spp. (neither Costa Rican) are here described as new. Five spp. are Andean, while three others occur in Costa Rica and/or Panama. Pleurothallis carpinterae Schltr. is a montane sp. found in both of the last-mentioned countries; P. janetiae Luer is a Costa Rican endemic, known from San Ramón to Las Cruces at 750-1200 m. Pleurothallis subg. Kraenzlinella consists of nine spp. ranging from central Mexico to Bolivia; one sp. (not Costa Rican) is here described as new. Two spp. occur in Costa Rica: the widespread (Mexico to Venezuela and Peru) P. erinacea Rchb. f., known from 1200-2050 m on Volcán Barva and near Cartago; and the endemic P. sigmoidea Ames & C. Schweinf., from 450-1000 in the vicinity of Tilarán, Prov. Guanacaste.

The only item of relevance to us in the "addenda" is the description of Platystele obtecta Luer, known only from the type collected at 600 m elevation on Volcán Orosí, Cordillera de Guanacaste. (The type, cited as "INBIO 149," is correctly "I INBio 149"; see under "News and Notes.") The new species is compared to the widespread P. stenostachya (Rchb. f.) Garay.

_____ & R. Escobar R. 1994. Thesaurus dracularum 7 (transl. into German by F. Hamer; illustr. S. Dalstrém). Missouri Bot. Gard., St. Louis.
The seventh and final fascicle of this series, which first appeared in 1988. This may be the most opulent treatment ever accorded such a humble genus of plants (Dracula, Orchidaceae), with virtually every sp. represented by a full (folio!) page color plate together with a detailed description and range map (the latter usually with just one or a few dots). Fascicle 7 spotlights 15 spp. (one described as new), as well as a number of hybrids. It also includes a foreward by Peter Raven; a preface, with interesting historical and biographical data; a key to subgenera, sections, subsections, spp., and natural hybrids; a checklist of the 105 currently recognized spp.; and an index to the plates in all seven fascicles. It is fully bilingual (English/German). A condensed and more accessible (and substantially less expensive), wholly English version of this revision, featuring black-and-white line-drawings, was published by Luer in 1993 (Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 46: 1-244).
Morrone, O., F. O. Zuloaga & E. Carbonó. 1995. Revisión del grupo Racemosa del género Paspalum (Poaceae: Panicoideae: Paniceae). Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 82: 82-116.
The Racemosa group includes 10 spp. of annual grasses, growing in moist places at medium to high altitudes from Mexico to Argentina. Two new spp. are described from South America. Just two spp., Paspalum candidum (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Flüggé) Kunth and P. reclinatum Chase, are reported from Costa Rica; P. scabrum Scribn., treated as distinct in Pohl's (1980) Flora costaricensis contribution as well as in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 6 (1994), is here synonymized under P. candidum (with ample rationale). Key, maps, illustrations, full descriptions, specimen citations, index to exsiccatae.
Seigler, D. S. & J. E. Ebinger. 1995. Taxonomic revision of the ant-acacias (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae, Acacia, series Gummiferae) of the New World. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 82: 117-138.
The 13 spp. range from central Mexico to northwestern Colombia, with four attributed to Costa Rica; no novelties are here described. Principal component analysis, key, descriptions, "representative" specimen citations, information on hybridization; no maps, very few illustrations, no index to exsiccatae. From a Costa Rican perspective, this treatment appears to add little if anything to Janzen's 1974 revision of the Central American species of the group (Smithsonian Contr. Bot. 13: 1-131).
Stace, C. A. 1995. Two new species of Combretaceae from Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Novon 5: 106-108.
Combretum graciliflorum Stace and Buchenavia costaricensis Stace are "the first new Central American Combretaceae to be discovered for many years." The former is a liana known only from the holotype, collected on the ridge above Palmar Norte. Its only close neotropical relative is C. cacoucia Exell, from which it differs in its "much narrower" flowers with green, rather than red or orange, petals (when we say "petals" we mean just that!). The new Buchenavia, a large tree, is known by several collections from Quepos to the Golfo Dulce region in the Pacific lowlands. It is the second species of this largely South American genus reported from Costa Rica. Combretum assimile Eichler (incl. C. sambuense Pittier of Panama) is reported as new to Costa Rica on the basis of Aguilar & Herrera 793 (LTR, MO), from near Rincón de Osa.
Szlachetko, D. L. 1994. Genera and species of the subtribe Spiranthinae (Orchidaceae). 10. Lyroglossa. Fragm. Florist. Geobot. 39: 121-127.
Lyroglossa, disbanded by Burns-Balogh in 1986 [Orquídea (Mexico City) 10: 76-96], is here reinstated as a genus of two spp. Neither is known from Costa Rica, but L. grisebachii (Cogn.) Schltr., reported from Nicaragua and South America, is perhaps to be expected.
Turner, B. L. 1994. Synopsis of the North American species of Loeselia (Polemoniaceae). Phytologia 77: 318-337.

_____. 1994. Synopsis of Mexican and Central American species of Stachys (Lamiaceae). Phytologia 77: 338-377.

Both synopses feature keys to all spp. treated, brief diagnostic statments, range maps, and an index to scientific names. Formal descriptions and lists of exsiccatae are omitted, except for new taxa.

Loeselia consists of 14 spp., strongly centered in Mexico; one Mexican sp. is here described as new. The only taxon recorded for Costa Rica is L. glandulosa (Cav.) G. Don var. conglomerata (Kunth) Brand, which ranges widely from central Mexico to Venezuela. Nonetheless, L. ciliata L. also occurs in Costa Rica, and is vouchered at MO and CR by numerous collections from Prov. Guanacaste.

The large, circumtemperate genus Stachys comprises 38 spp. in the area under consideration; 6 of these (none Costa Rican) are here described as new. Stachys costaricensis Briq., the name generally employed for Costa Rican material, is here questioningly synonymized under an admittedly variable S. pilosissima M. Martens & Galeotti (ranging from central Mexico to Costa Rica). A second species, S. pittieri Briq., is tentatively accepted as a Costa Rican endemic. It is evidently very close to S. pilosissima, however, and the type was not studied by Turner.

Umaña Dodero, G. & F. Almeda. 1995. Miconia amplinodis (Melastomataceae: Miconieae), una nueva especie para Costa Rica. Novon 5: 110-113.
Miconia amplinodis Umaña & Almeda, first collected in 1979 at Monteverde, is now known from several localities in the Cordilleras de Guanacaste, Tilarán, and Central at elevations of 1100-2000 m. The new species comprises glabrous shrubs characterized by having "succulent auriculate projections at branch and inflorescence nodes." It is compared with Miconia resima Naudin and M. manicata Cogn. & Gleason, both of Colombia. In Spanish.


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