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The Cutting Edge
Volume VIII, Number 1, January 2001
News and Notes | Recent Treatments | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature
ALZATEACEAE. José González (INB).
The superficially Clusia-like shrub or tree Alzatea verticillata Ruiz & Pav., the only sp. in the family, ranges at middle elevations (cloud-forest habitats) from Costa Rica to Peru or Bolivia. Prior to 1985 (when the family name was validated), Alzatea was variously classed in Lythraceae or Celastraceae. Closer affiliation with the former family is affirmed by the present classification of Alzateaceae in the order Myrtales (where it is sometimes submerged in Crypteroniaceae). No mention is made here of Alzatea verticillata subsp. amplifolia S. A. Graham, to which Costa Rican material should be referable.
BRASSICACEAE. Ihsan Al-Shehbaz (MO).
This family, important in temperate regions but less so in the tropics, is represented in Costa Rica by 12 genera and 24 spp., occurring mostly above 1000 m elevation. Five of the genera (Brassica, Capsella, Nasturtium, Raphanus, and Sisymbrium) and 12 spp. are non-indigenous (though only Brassica oleracea L. is known solely in cultivation). Just five genera have more than one sp. in Costa Rica: Cardamine (5 spp., with 3 indigenous); Brassica (4 spp., none indigenous); Rorippa (4 spp., 3 indigenous); Lepidium (2 spp., one indigenous); and Romanschulzia (2 spp., both indigenous). The seldom-collected Talamancan subshrub Romanschulzia apetala Rollins is the only mustard sp. endemic to Costa Rica. Four spp. are technically of hypothetical occurrence, in that vouchers have either not been collected or not been made available to the author (we expect these problems to be cleared up in the near future). N.B.: the totals in this paragraph do not reflect the recent discovery of Raphanus raphanistrum L. (see under "Leaps and Bounds").