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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

Main | Family List (MO) | Family List (INBio) | Cutting Edge
Draft Treatments | Guidelines | Checklist | Citing | Editors

The Cutting Edge

Volume XI, Number 1, January 2004

News and Notes | Recent Treatments | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature | Season's Pick | Annotate your copy

ARALIACEAE. Recent work on this family by INBio’s Francisco Morales has uncovered a pair of country records in the genus Dendropanax. Erstwhile Panamanian endemic Dendropanax punctatus M. J. Cannon & Cannon has turned up at 800-1600 m on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca, while the otherwise South American D. colombianus Cuatrec. occurs at 300-1100 m in the same region, and also on both slopes of the Cordilleras de Guanacaste and de Tilarán. The former sp. is readily recognized by its abaxially punctate leaf-blades; the latter is easily confused with D. caucanus (Harms) Harms, from which it differs in its sessile or subsessile inflorescences.

ASTERACEAE. Talamancalia boquetensis (Standl.) H. Rob. & Cuatrec. (AKA Senecio boquetensis Standl.) enjoyed nominal status as a Panamanian endemic, but had been collected in Prov. Chiriquí within 4 km of the Costa Rican border (see Novon 4: 51-52. 1994). Now it has turned up just across that border, in the same vicinity (near Las Mellizas de Coto Brus), in the form of two collections made on the same trip. One of these specimens (Kriebel 4239, INB) is somewhat aberrant (in the same manner described for the earlier collection from near Las Mellizas), but the other (D. Solano 780, INB) accords with the type, establishing the Costa Rican occurrence of the sp. beyond the shadow of a doubt.

CONVOLVULACEAE. Jacquemontia agrestis (Mart. ex Choisy) Meisn. is a widespread sp. in the New World (from Arizona to Argentina and Cuba), but has been known from Costa Rica by a single collection, from Isla San José, off the Península de Santa Elena. INBio curator José González now reports the first record from the Costa Rican mainland, his number 4946, from 100-160 m elevation near Bagaces.

EUPHORBIACEAE. UC entomologist Gordon W. Frankie’s new stamping grounds near Bagaces, Prov. Guanacaste, is proving to be something of a botanical hotbed (see this column under Cochlospermaceae, in our last issue). The latest find has been tentatively identified as Bernardia sidoides (Klotzsch) Müll. Arg., a South American native (according to Flora de Nicaragua) introduced in the Mesoamerican region, where it has previously been reported from southern Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua. The determination (still awaiting final confirmation via a scanned image) was prosecuted doggedly by our implacable colleague José González.

GESNERIACEAE. This one has been sitting right under our noses for upwards of 20 years. During this time, we have been using the name "Alloplectus trichocalyx Wiehler" for collections of a rather uncommon (but conspicuous) gesneriad occurring at ca. 550-950 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordilleras de Guanacaste, de Tilarán and Central. But that name, as it turns out, was never validly published; moreover, the sp. in question answers in every detail to the description of Alloplectus weirii (Kuntze) Wiehler, a validly published name for an entity otherwise reported only from Colombia to Peru. This conclusion was reached with the assistance of Alloplectus specialist John L. Clark (US).

MELASTOMATACEAE. A Ricardo Kriebel collection (3913) from ca. 800 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca (near Pejibaye) has been identified as Ossaea quadrisulca (Naudin) Wurdack, a sp. previously known only from Andean South America (Colombia-Peru).

SCHLEGELIACEAE. Gerardo Herrera has struck again. The Legend’s collection number 7962 has now been identified by Manual family contributor Francisco Morales as Gibsoniothamnus allenii A. H. Gentry, previously considered a Panamanian endemic. The sole Costa Rican record is from 600-1000 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca, in the vicinity of Jicotea. This actually represents no net gain for the Costa Rica flora, as Gerardo’s collection was already accorded full treatment in Chico’s draft [see The Cutting Edge 10(2): 3, Apr. 2003] under a provisional name ("sp. A"); rather, in a single stroke, Panama has lost an endemic sp., and Costa Rica an ostensible endemic!

SOLANACEAE. This is not a new find, but a rediscovery. The rare and little-known Schwenckia lateriflora (Vahl) Carvalho, sporadically distributed from Nicaragua to Venezuela and Brazil, has long been known from Costa Rica by a single historical collection (which we have unaccountably lost track of). That record is now substantiated by a recent Ulises Chavarría collection (1561) from 960 m elevation on Cerro Vista al Mar, the highest peak on the Península de Nicoya. Credit for the determination and thanks for the report go to INBio sage José González.

SYMPLOCACEAE. Yet another ostensible Panamanian endemic bites the dust in the form of Symplocos elliptica L. M. Kelly & Almeda. The Costa Rican occurrence of this sp. is now vouchered by two specimens, both gathered at 2200-2750 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of Volcán Barva during transect studies by ecologist Brad Boyle (current institutional affiliation unknown). The determinations, by sp. co-describer Lawrence M. Kelly (NY), are as authoritative as could be expected.

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