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The Cutting Edge
Volume VIII, Number 1, January 2001
News and Notes | Recent Treatments | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature
ASTERACEAE. Bidens chrysanthemifolia (Kunth) Sherff, or a reasonable facsimile, has popped up in the Tarrazú region, on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca, where we are getting used to finding these disjuncts from the north. This sp. is otherwise known from Mexico to Nicaragua. Image 1, Image 2.
BRASSICACEAE. On his first(!) trip to the summit of Volcán Irazú, Manual co-PI Barry Hammel encountered a sizeable population of a weedy, yellow-flowered mustard unknown to him. Unable to identify his collection in the Manual Brassicaceae treatment by Ihsan Al-Shehbaz (MO; see under "Treatments Recently Received"), Barry forwarded a scanned
image to the author. Here is Ihsan's reply: "The attached image belongs to Raphanus raphanistrum L., a species that I have not seen any material of for CR. It is a common weed elsewhere in Central America, and this will be the first record of it for CR. I will have to modify the account for Raphanus and send it to you soon." This reinforces previous experiences we have had with adventives [see the bit on Oeceoclades (Orchidaceae) in our last issue], which often seem to spread very quickly and may already be locally abundant by the time they are noticed by botanists. In Barry's words: "As is often the case with these sorts of things, this sucker is not only the most common and showy crucifer weed up there; it is, in spots, the most common and showy roadside and field weed of any sort!" Raphanus raphanistrum is native to the Mediterranean region.
CONVOLVULACEAE. For several years now we have been mulling over sterile collections of an unidentified, Carib. lowland, forest vine, first collected in the Boca Tapada region (Hammel 20340) in 1996, about 6 months later (Hammel 20688) in the Sarapiquí area, and just last November (Hammel & Hammel 22284--finally in flower!) from the same Sarapiquí locality, 15 km N of Puerto Viejo. The reason we had our eyes on this entity (sterile Convolvulaceae are not usually our focus of collecting, let alone, mulling) is the remarkably white-dotted lower surface of its leaves, something neither we nor family guru, Dan Austin, pers comm. 1996, had ever seen among the Convolvs. Thus, even the family id. was suspect, at one time. Well, when we finally got it in flower and a scan to Dan, he said "Your new Conv. sure looks like I[pomoea] eremnobrocha [D. F. Austin] that I named from Panama." That species was published in 1997 and known then only from the Panamanian Cerros Azul, Campana, and Jefe, and Llano Carti road. The Panamanian material is variable, perhaps even bimodal; story (and Manual) collaborators Mary Merello and Doug Stevens report from their outposts in the new building: " It seems that individuals with lobed leaves have white round 'glands' on their undersurface as well as sparse pubescence. While individuals with entire leaves have a silky undersurface with black and less frequently white 'glands'." That said, we accept the CR material as I. eremnobrocha but consider the saga may continue.
MARANTACEAE. Calathea allenii Woodson (Hammel 22287), has turned up in full glory (the leaves are gloriously prominent-veined), along a pristine forest stream at the romantic Rio Bananito Lodge, about 20 km due SE (as the Toucan flies) from Limon. Thanks to Marantaceae goddess, Helen Kennedy, for the id. by way of a scanned image. Like the above Ipomoea this species was first described from the Pac. slope of mid Panama (Cerro Campana). Until now known for sure only from Panama, it's previous Costa Ricanward-most collection was from along the La Fortuna--Chiriquí Grande road, Bocas del Toro. Allow us here to laud and promote the conservation efforts of the Stein family (especially Sofia, Jurgen, and Karen) owners and managers of this eco-lodge bordering on the Fila Matama end of the vast Parque de la Amistad. Manual co-PI Hammel, having a standing invitation from them for years, finally complied (helping them with an interpreted trail) last November and began what he hopes to be a continuing exploration of this extremely interesting and relatively unbotanized area. Although the owners strongly reccomend 4-wheel drive vehicles for access along a very bumpy and stream-crossed 15 km, for such a serene and isolated area, it's not all that hard to get there, as Hammel's favorite, recent acquisition will attest. And yes, the clipper poles fit!
ORCHIDACEAE. J. F. Morales et al. 5787, determined by Manual Orchidaceae coordinator Robert L. Dressler, is the first Costa Rican record of Dichaea neglecta Schltr. Chico found it in his usual haunts, at 1200–1300 m elevation in Cantón de Tarrazú, on the Pacific slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca. The previously documented range extended from Mexico to Nicaragua.
VISCACEAE. Dendrophthora corynarthron (Eichler) Kuijt, transferred from Phoradendron only last year, was believed endemic to westernmost Panama (Prov. Chiriquí). William Burger and Job Kuijt included it hypothetically in their Flora costaricensis treatment of Loranthaceae s. l. (Fieldiana, Bot. n. s., 13: 29–79. 1983), noting that "it may be expected in the eastern part of the Talamanca range." That is exactly where it has indeed turned up, on the Pacific slope in the Las Alturas region at 1450–1600 m elevation. The critical collection, Davidse 24349 (MO), had been misdetermined as Dendrophthora turrialbae Kuijt, a totally different sp. according to Francisco Morales (to whom we owe this piece).