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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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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

Barrington, D. S. 2003. Polystichum lilianae sp. nov. (Dryopteridaceae) and its relationships to P. fournieri and P. turrialbae. Brittonia 55: 317-325.

From the Costa Rican perspective, the net result of this contribution is that we lose a name, but gain a sp. On the basis of morphological, isozyme, and cytological analyses, three spp. are here resolved from material, widespread in montane portions of Mesoamerica, that has most recently been united under the name Polystichum fournieri A. R. Sm. That name proves to apply to a sp. endemic to southern Mexico, while the new sp. mentioned in the title is a Costa Rican endemic. The neglected binomial Polystichum turrialbae H. Christ is dusted off for the third spp., which ranges widely from Mexico to Venezuela (and possibly Bolivia) and is characterized as "a diploid progenitor" of the allotetraploid (and sympatric) P. lilianiae (the identity of the second progenitor was not established, but P. fournieri is ruled out). Features a key to the three aforementioned spp., plus full synonymy, typology, and bibliographic data, a complete description, a summary of distribution and ecology, and comprehensive specimen citations for each. The new sp. (dedicated to the author’s mother) is illustrated with a composite line drawing. Our foregoing correction of the new sp. epithet is deliberate, in accordance with our interpretation of Art. 60.11 of the Code.

Bauer, R. 2002. Weberocereus frohningiorum Bauer-eine neu beschriebene Art aus Costa Rica. EPIG 14: 3-9.

Reprises the author’s previously validated description of the indicated sp. [see The Cutting Edge 9(2): 3, Apr. 2002], presumably for a slightly different segment of the German cactophile community.

--. 2003. Ergänzung zur Erstbeschreibung von Weberocereus frohningiorum Ralf Bauer. EPIG 15: 17.

In which the author reveals to his acquisitive amateur readership some vague details of the previously speculative native habitat of the named sp., gleaned through correspondence with Manual co-PI Barry Hammel, with whom "Kontakt...leider abgebrochen ist." And just in time, it would seem! The author also provides a URL that supposedly accesses our photo of a plant in nature (the "Season’s Pick" in our Apr. 2002 issue), but it didn’t work for us.

Blanco, M. A. 2003. Lepanthes gerardensis (Orchidaceae), a new species from Costa Rica. Lankesteriana 8: 19-22.

Almost overnight, Lankesteriana has assumed the role of Novon for the Costa Rican botanical community. Surprisingly, this new sp. is not named for Gerardo Herrera, but rather for the type (and only known) locality, the "Valle de San Gerardo," at ca. 1000 m elevation on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Tilarán (near Monteverde). Lepanthes gerardensis M. A. Blanco is most similar to two Mexican spp., L. ancylopetala Dressler and L. papillipetala Dressler, and differs in numerous floral details (here enumerated) from L. excedens Ames & Correll, an otherwise similar Costa Rican congener that has also been collected in the Cordillera de Tilarán. The Costa Rican sp. total for the genus Lepanthes now stands at 94. Illustrated with a composite line drawing by the author.

Chiron, G. R. & V. P. Castro Neto. 2003. Révision du genre Prosthechea Knowles & Wescott [sic] et nouveau genre dans la tribu Laeliinae (Orchidaceae). Richardiana 4: 9-35.

What is the half-life of an orchid genus? In the case of Prosthechea, about five years. Although the name dates from 1838, Prosthechea did not come into general use until 1998 [see The Cutting Edge 5(2): 4, Apr. 1998], when it was applied to a large block of spp. segregated at that time from Encyclia (itself a not-too-distant Epidendrum segregate). Based on a cladistic analysis of 56 morphological and ecological characters (the same sort of questionable evidence that prompted the breakup of Encyclia), the present authors propose a formal reclassification of Prosthechea in which at least 24 spp. are shunted to a new genus, Pseudencyclia Chiron & V. P. Castro, distinguished by its more or less compressed pseudobulbs, soft foliage and various floral details. Prosthechea s. str. is further subdivided into four subgenera, and one of these into four sections. In the spirit of "let’s do it because we can (and get our names on lots of new combinations)," the authors disdain several important considerations, e.g.: that all natural taxa have internal dichotomies, each supported by its own suite of synapomorphies; that Prosthechea s. l. is monophyletic (according to their own cladograms); and that nomenclatural stability should count for something. For us, this one is an easy call: ignore it! Despite which we are now saddled with 24 new combinations in Pseudencyclia, all attributed to "V. P. Castro & Chiron" (not to mention three new combinations at subgeneric rank and three new sectional names, all with the author names in reverse order). For what it’s worth, the following Prosthechea spp. occurring in Costa Rica would be removed, in this system, to Pseudencyclia: Prosthechea brassavolae (Rchb. f.) W. E. Higgins, P. campylostalix (Rchb. f.) W. E. Higgins, P. ionocentra (Rchb. f.) W. E. Higgins, P. livida (Lindl.) W. E. Higgins, P. neglecta Pupulin, P. prismatocarpa (Rchb. f.) W. E. Higgins, P. tardiflora Pupulin and P. varicosa (Bateman ex Lindl.) W. E. Higgins. Most of the rest would remain in Prosthechea; however, the disposition of the following four spp. is not indicated: Prosthechea ionophlebia (Rchb. f.) W. E. Higgins, P. joaquingarciana Pupulin, P. ortizii (Dressler) W. E. Higgins and P. racemifera (Dressler) W. E. Higgins. Our cynicism notwithstanding, experience suggests that the entire orchid community will swallow this lock, stock and barrel, and that the decay of orchid genera into ever smaller units will proceed inexorably (and irreversibly). In French.

Clark, J. R. 2003. In memoriam: Hans Wiehler, 1931-2003. Selbyana 24: i.

RIP Hans Wiehler, one of the most highly respected authorities on New World Gesneriaceae. We had heard that he was ill, but were not aware that he had passed on. More information is promised in a future issue of Selbyana.

Dressler, R. L. & N. H. Williams. 2003. New combinations in Mesoamerican Oncidiinae (Orchidaceae). Selbyana 24: 44-45.

These nomenclatural adjustments for the impending Flora mesoamericana Orchidaceae treatment begin to leave the just-published Manual version in the dust. Brassia gireoudiana Rchb. f. & Warsz., accorded full sp. status in the Manual, is here subordinated to Brassia verrucosa Lindl. as B. v. subsp. gireoudiana (Rchb. f. & Warsz.) Dressler & N. H. Williams. Molecular data support a close relationship (long suspected on morphological grounds) between Osmoglossum (with two spp. in Costa Rica) and two monotypic genera of northern Mesoamerica, Cuitlauzina and Palumbina, leading to the merger of all three under the oldest name; four new combinations are accordingly validated, including (for the Costa Rican spp.) Cuitlauzina egertonii (Lindl.) Dressler & N. H. Williams and C. convallaroides (Schltr.) Dressler & N. H. Williams. Lastly, a pragmatic argument is adduced for the retention of Psygmorchis [and specifically the ostensibly transitional P. crista-galli (Rchb. f.) Dodson] as distinct from Erycina, contrary to the stance taken in a previous paper helmed by the second author [see The Cutting Edge 8(4): 7, Oct. 2001].

Duque, O. 2003. Orchidaceae: consideraciones taxonómicas sobre Stelis argentata Lindley/Orchidaceae: taxonomic considerations on Stelis argentata Lindley. Orquideología 22: 291-305.

The author suggests that Stelis argentata, widespread in the Neotropics, should be split into four different spp. Two of these are attributed to "Central America," including Stelis argentata s. str. and S. propinqua Ames. The latter name, though typified by a Costa Rican specimen, is not accounted for in Carlyle Luer’s Manual treatment, where it is presumably embodied in an inclusive concept of S. argentata. Although this paper presents synonymy and detailed descriptions, and is illustrated with line drawings and numerous color photos of living material, it lacks a key and (most problematically) fails to cite specimens. Thus, the case that is made is a weak one at best. Fully bilingual (Spanish/English).

Gerlach, G. & R. L. Dressler. 2003. Stanhopeinae mesoamericanae I. Lankesteriana 8: 23-30.

Of the two new spp. of Orchidaceae described here, just one is attributed to Costa Rica. The three Costa Rican records of Coryanthes kaiseriana G. Gerlach, comprising two herbarium specimens and one (unvouchered) live plant, are all from the Pacific slope at ca. 200-850 m elevation, in the region from San Isidro de El General and the lower Río Savegre basin south to near Pejibaye, in the northern Fila Costeña; an additional herbarium collection extends the range to western Panama. The new sp., first collected in 1976 by the late Rafael Lucas Rodríguez, is well distinguished by its very wide and deep hypochile; nonetheless, it has been confused with several other spp., including Coryanthes picturata Rchb. f. (although the latter name appears to have been used correctly in the Manual). The sp. epithet honors one Roman Kaiser, of Switzerland, a venerable investigator of floral aromas and their role in pollination biology. Pollination of Coryanthes kaiseriana by a euglossine bee is discussed in some detail (based on observations of the live plant mentioned previously) and illustrated with excellent color photos by the first author. A composite line drawing is also provided.

González Ramírez, J. & L. Poveda Álvarez. 2003. Dos nuevas especies de Croton (Euphorbiaceae) en el Neotrópico. Lankesteriana 8: 7-12.

Both new spp. are endemic to Costa Rica, so far as presently known. Croton corinthius Poveda & Gonz. Ram., corresponding to "Croton sp. A" of Burger and Huft (Flora costaricensis, Fieldiana, Bot. n. s., 36: 1-169. 1995), is named for the type locality (and one of just two known stations), along the Río Corinto, near Guápiles. It is distinguished by minute, stalked glands on the abaxial leaf surfaces, a charactersitic shared (among Costa Rican congeners) only with Croton smithianus Croizat (very different by virtue of its prominently lobed leaves). Croton megistocarpus Gonz. Ram. & Poveda is more widespread, ranging from 500-1200 m elevation on both slopes of the Cordilleras de Guanacaste and de Tilarán, and on the Pacific slope on Cerro Turrubares and in the Puriscal region. The epithet alludes to the relatively large fruits (3.5-5 cm) which, together with several other features, distinguish this sp. from Croton pachypodus G. L. Webster (under which name it was treated by Burger and Huft) and C. tenuicaudatus Lundell (with which it has also been confused). According to these authors, the real C. pachypodus has not been found in Costa Rica. Both new spp. are depicted in superb composite line drawings by Claudia Aragón, INBio’s best-kept secret.

-- & --. 2003. Ficus lasiosyce (Moraceae), una nueva especie del subgénero Urostigma en el Neotrópico. Lankesteriana 8: 13-15.

Ficus lasiosyce Gonz. Ram. & Poveda, a hemiepiphytic member of subgen. Urostigma (Gasp.) Miq., is known by just three collections from the Golfo Dulce region (near Golfito and on the Península de Osa), the oldest dating from 1988. It is compared with F. garcia-barrigae Durand (occurring on the Atlantic slope of Costa Rica), with which it shares densely lanate figs (inspiring the sp. name), but from which it differs in its glabrous or sparsely whitish-pubescent (vs. densely reddish-pubescent) abaxial leaf surfaces. Features a line drawing by Claudia Aragón (INB).

-- & --. 2003. Una segunda especie de Krugiodendron (Rhamnaceae) en el Neotrópico. Lankesteriana 8: 16-18.

Krugiodendron ferreum (Vahl) Urb., the "first" sp. of this hitherto monotypic genus, ranges from South Florida to the Greater Antilles and through the Mesoamerican region to Costa Rica, where it was first collected by Daniel H. Janzen (PENN) in 1984. Krugiodendron acuminatum Gonz. Ram. & Poveda is based on just three collections, two of which were made in 1991 at Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio by former Peace Corps volunteer Patrick Harmon (the third collection is from Veracruz!). Assigned to Krugiodendron on the strength of its apetalous flowers, drupaceous fruits and seeds lacking endosperm, the new sp. differs from K. ferreum in its subscandent habit and acuminate (vs. emarginate) leaf-blades with prominent tertiary venation. Illustrated with an excellent composite line drawing by Claudia Aragón (INB).

Gruss, O. 2003. A checklist of the genus Phragmipedium. Orchid Digest 67: 213-241.

No explicit justification is provided for this new Phragmipedium (Orchidaceae) checklist, which arrives just five years after the publication of an equivalent work, by genus monographer Lucile M. McCook (MISS), in the same journal (Orchid Digest, Special Publ.: 1-12. 1998). Three new spp. have been published since McCook’s contribution, and one may presume that the present author desired to incorporate these, while at the same time promoting his personal system (rich in infraspecific taxa) and contriving a vehicle for his color photos (which, excellent though they may be, are gratuitously and annoyingly intercalated throughout the checklist). The total of 20 Phragmipedium spp. accepted by Gruss (compared to McCook’s 15) cannot be accounted for solely on the basis of recently published spp. In Bob Dressler’s Manual treatment, the two Phragmipedium taxa occurring in Costa Rica are called P. humboldtii (Warsz. ex Rchb. f.) J. T. Atwood & Dressler subsp. humboldtii and P. longifolium (Warsz. & Rchf. b.) Rolfe ; here, the latter name is retained, but the former is abandoned in favor of Phragmipedium caudatum (Lindl.) Rolfe var. warszewiczianum (Rchb. f.) O. Gruss. The author’s explication of this decision betrays a fundamental lack of understanding of the nomenclatural aspects of this issue.

Hágsater, E. 2003. Epidendrum tolimense Lindl. (Orchidaceae), una especie sudamericana encontrada en Costa Rica. Lankesteriana 8: 41-43.

Previously reported only from Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, Epidendrum tolimense may be added to the Mesoamerican flora on the basis of two collections from the Costa Rican Cordillera de Talamanca, at ca. 3000-3200 elevation, near the summit ridge. Belonging to a group otherwise unrepresented in the region, E. tolimense may be recognized by its branching habit, small, succulent leaves and short, pendent inflorescences of 3-4 yellow or greenish yellow flowers. This is the 159th Costa Rican sp. of Epidendrum, the largest orchid genus in the flora. Illustrated with a very fine composite line drawing.

Hammel, B. E., M. H. Grayum, C. Herrera & N. Zamora (eds.). 2003. Manual de plantas de Costa Rica. Vol. III. Monocotiledóneas (Orchidaceae-Zingiberaceae). Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 93: 1-884.

This volume, the second in this series to be published, completes the Manual account of Costa Rican monocots. Ten families are treated here, entraining a total of 1861 spp. in 331 genera, but with 97% of the sp. total in just two families: Orchidaceae, by far the largest plant family in the country, with 1318 spp.; and Poaceae, with 488 spp. The basic features of this work are the same as already described for Vol. II [see The Cutting Edge 10(4): 7-8, Oct. 2003], except that there is no presentation or prologue this time around.

Contributors of family treatments for this volume include: John T. Atwood (SEL; Orchidaceae, pro parte); Garrett E. Crow (NHA; Pontederiaceae, Potamogetonaceae); Robert L. Dressler (FLA/MO; Orchidaceae, principal coordinator); Javier García-Cruz (XAL; Orchidaceae, pro parte); Eric Hágsater (AMO; Orchidaceae, pro parte); Carlyle A. Luer (MO; Orchidaceae, pro parte); Paul J. M. Maas and Hiltje Maas-van de Kamer (U; Triuridaceae, Zingiberaceae); J. Francisco Morales (INB; Poaceae, Smilacaceae); Gerardo Salazar (AMO; Orchidaceae, pro parte); Luis Sánchez Saldaña (AMO; Orchidaceae, pro parte); and Miguel A. Soto Arenas (AMO; Orchidaceae, pro parte).

Kim, H.-G., V. A. Funk, A. Vlasak & E. A. Zimmer. 2003. A phylogeny of the Munnoziinae (Asteraceae, Liabeae): circumscription of Munnozia and a new placement of M. perfoliata. Pl. Syst. Evol. 239: 171-185.

Cladistic analysis of nuclear DNA sequence data suggests that Munnozia (in our minds, still a Liabum segregate) is paraphyletic with respect to the oligotypic South American genus Chrysactinium. The authors "propose that the classification of Munnozia be reorganized in the hope of clarifying" this situation, but offer no concrete resolution, pending the usual "more complete sampling" (which always begs questions like, "Why was this not done in the first place?" and "What does this paper contribute?"). Should the cladograms in this paper prove substantially correct, then Chrysactinium would have to be sunk into Munnozia, or else the latter taxon would have to be split into at least three smaller genera. The two Munnozia spp. occurring in Costa Rica (M. senecionidis Benth. and M. wilburii H. Rob.) are well separated cladistically from the generic type (M. lanceolata Ruiz & Pav.), and would inevitably suffer name-changes under the splitting scenario.

Lavalle, M. C. 2003. Taxonomía de las especies neotropicales de Marattia (Marattiaceae). Darwiniana 41: 61-86.

With approximately 60 spp. total, Marattia is the only pantropical genus of the primitive fern family Marattiaceae. The neotropical spp. number just seven, all but one of which are represented in the Mesoamerican region. No new taxa are described in this revision, in which four spp. are attributed to Costa Rica: Marattia excavata Underw., M. interposita H. Christ, M. laevis Sm. and M. laxa Kunze. The only significant deviation from David B. Lellinger’s 1989 regional account (Pteridologia 2A: 1-364) is that Marattia pittieri Maxon has been synonymized under M. laevis, a development anticipated by Lellinger and formalized in the 1995 Flora mesoamericana treatment by Blanca Pérez-García (UAMIZ). Features synonymy, typology and bibliographic details at all levels, a lengthy generic description, a key to spp., sp. descriptions, comprehensive specimen citations and composite line drawings of all seven spp.

Luer, C. A. 2003. Icones pleurothallidinarum XXV. Systematics of Masdevallia. Part Five. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 91: 1049-1293+.

This is the concluding installment of this series, originally planned to comprise just four parts [see The Cutting Edge 9(1): 7, Jan. 2002]. Eight subgenera are covered here, as well as two sections and a subsection of subgen. Masdevallia. Just four spp. total are attributed to Costa Rica: Masdevallia molossoides Kraenzl. and M. nidifica Rchb. f. (both of subgen. Nidificia Luer), M. picturata Rchb. f. (of subgen. Fissia Luer) and M. rafaeliana Luer (of subgen. Amanda Luer). The sp. names and their applications correspond exactly to the author’s Manual treatment of the genus. Features full synonymy, typology and bibliographic data, generous descriptions and discussions and range maps. Each sp. is illustrated with at least one composite line drawing. In the back of the volume is a revised description of the genus, followed by a complete list of the subgenera , sections and subsections and a key to the subgenera and sections. [N.B.: Part Four of this series was not reviewed in this column, because it treated no spp. occurring in Costa Rica.]

Mabberley, D. J. 2002. The identity of Swietenia alternifolia (Mill.) Steud. (‘Meliaceae’). Gard. Bull. Singapore 54: 253-255.

Here is a shocker, and one that managed to slip by us first time around. The name Swietenia alternifolia (Mill.) Steud. (based on Cedrus alternifolia Mill.) had been rejected from Meliaceae (in Pennington & Styles, Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 28: 385, 405. 1981), but there the matter rested until now. Older names in limbo status are always intriguing, and this one proves to be no exception. The original description of Cedrus alternifolia was based on plants grown in England from seeds collected at Campeche (Yucatán), supplemented by the field notes of the collector, William Houstoun. Neotypification of the name is here achieved on the basis of a recently discovered Houstoun collection from Campeche at BM, appropriately annotated and unequivocally identifiable as the sp. long known throughout the Neotropics as Luehea speciosa Willd. (Tiliaceae, or Malvaceae s. l.). In fact, Miller’s name predates Willdenow’s by over 40 years, prompting the new combination Luehea alternifolia (Mill.) Mabb., which becomes (at least for the time being) the correct name for the sp.

MacDougal, J. M. 2003. Passiflora boenderi (Passifloraceae), a new egg-mimic passionflower from Costa Rica. Novon 13: 454-458.

Passiflora boenderi J. M. MacDougal, though well marked by its strikingly variegated, bilobed leaves, has managed to remain just under the radar since it was first collected by the shadowy A. R. Endres more than 125 years ago. In fact, it was not recollected until 1978, and has been found just four times since. All of the records involve just two principal localities, both in the 725-800 m elevational range on the Atlantic slope: between San Ramón and Bajo Rodríguez, in the Cordillera de Tilarán, and near La Virgen del Socorro, in the Cordillera Central. Among its congeners occurring in Costa Rica, P. boenderi is most similar to Passiflora apetala Killip and P. gilbertiana J. M. MacDougal, both of higher elevations and with fundamentally different floral morphology. Illustrated with excellent black-and-white photos of living material.

Morales, C. O. 2003. Trichopilia ×ramonensis-Darstellung einer Naturhybride aus Costa Rica. Orchidee (Hamburg) 54: 317-319.

Here the author recycles his previous article on this subject [see The Cutting Edge 10(1): 8, Jan. 2003] for the German orchidophile community, spiking the brew with color photos of living plants.

Morales, J. F. & E. Alfaro. 2003. Tillandsia guatemalensis, un registro nuevo en la flora de Costa Rica. Lankesteriana 8: 5-6.

We always knew that the Manual would quickly become the agent of its own obsolescence, and now we are off to the races with this, one of the first two published country records to cite the Manual (if only as "en prensa") as a base-line reference (see also under Hágsater, this column). See our last issue (under Bromeliaceae in "Leaps and Bounds") for details of the discovery. Recognition of the new recruit is here facilitated by a dichotomous key (adapted from Chico’s Manual treatment) to the affected sp. group.

Pendry, C. A. 2003. Nine new species of Ruprechtia (Polygonaceae) from Central and South America. Edinburgh J. Bot. 60: 19-42.

Ruprechtia comprises 37 spp. (including those described here) of dioecious trees, shrubs and lianas distributed throughout the Neotropics. This work is a precursor to the author’s impending monograph of the genus, the first since 1961. Most of the new spp. are South American, with just one pertaining directly to Costa Rica: Ruprechtia costaricensis Pendry sp. nov., restricted to the Guanacaste region of northwestern Costa Rica and adjacent portions of Nicaragua. All Costa Rican material of Ruprechtia has heretofore been subsumed under the name R. costata Meisn., from which the new sp. differs in having much shorter bracts (up to ca. 1.5 mm, vs. ca. 2.5 mm). We gather (but are not entirely sure) that both of the aforementioned Ruprechtia spp. occur in Costa Rica. Most of the Costa Rican collections of R. costaricensis are from Parque Nacional Palo Verde and near Bagaces, with the type from Nicoya. The only other Central American novelty is Ruprechtia nicaraguensis Pendry, from Guatemala and northern Nicaragua. Illustrated with fine composite line drawings and distribution maps (confusingly, the map for R. costaricensis indicates an occurrence in westernmost Panama, not mentioned in the text).

Pupulin, F. 2000. Una nuova Pleurothallis (Orchidaceae) dalla Costarica/A new Pleurothallis (Orchidaceae) from Costa Rica. Caesiana 15: 1-4.

Newly described herein is Pleurothallis blancoi Pupulin, a diminutive sp. with "brick-red" fls. known from a single collection. The original material hails from 1300 m elevation on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Tilarán, near Monteverde, where it was gathered in living condition by our colleague Mario A. Blanco, duly honored by the specific epithet. Mario’s sterile material was induced to flower in cultivation at the Jardín Botánico Lankester, yielding the type collection prepared by the author. The new sp. is superficially very similar to Pleurothallis tribuloides (Sw.) Lindl., but differs in its apically distinct sepals and numerous other floral details. In the Manual key to Pleurothallis spp., P. blancoi would key (according to our calculations) as far as Clave V, copla 18; however, its verrucose sepals not connate at the apex would satisfy neither lead of copla 18. Illustrated with a superb composite line drawing (by the author), as well as color photos of living material (in which the flowers look tangerine-orange). Bilingual (Italian/English).

We have been aware of this sp. and this article for quite some time, since it was brought to our attention nearly a year ago by Mario himself, and also cited in Pupulin’s checklist of Costa Rican orchids [see The Cutting Edge 9(4): 10-11, Oct. 2002]; nonetheless, Pleurothallis blancoi was not treated formally in the Manual, but received only brief mention (MPCR 3: 387. 2003) as an entity that could not be evaluated. This is partly because the Italian hobbyist journal in which this paper was published is so obscure (at least on this side of the pond) that the MO library did not have this issue (though it did possess some earlier issues), and no copies could be located anywhere in the United States via the interlibrary-loan network. We are grateful to MO librarian Mary Stiffler, whose persistence was finally rewarded by a gift copy sent directly from Italy, and which just arrived at our library. Oh, and by the way: this, together with Coryanthes kaiseriana and Lepanthes gerardensis (see under Blanco and Gerlach & Dressler, this column) hikes our running total of new orchid spp. described from Costa Rica since 1993 to 205. Pleurothallis now boasts 153 spp. in Costa Rica, but that is still good for only second place, behind Epidendrum (see under Hágsater, this column).

-- & E. Hágsater. 2003. A noteworthy new natural hybrid in the genus Oerstedella Rchb. f. (Orchidaceae: Laeliinae). Lankesteriana 8: 31-36.

Oerstedella ×monteverdensis Pupulin & Hágsater is morphologically intermediate between its putative parents, O. endresii (Rchb. f.) Hágsater and O. exasperata (Rchb. f.) Hágsater, with both of which it occurs sympatrically (alongside the also similar O. parviexasperata Hágsater). Two collections are cited, from 1550-1950 m elevation on the upper Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Tilarán (at Monteverde) and the northern Cordillera de Talamanca. A brief key distinguishes the hybrid from the two Costa Rican species of the Oerstedella exasperata group (i.e., O. exasperata and O. parviexasperata). As an aside, the authors mention a suspicious case of dimorphy in O. endresii that may warrant further investigation. Illustrated with color photos of living material, plus composite line drawings of each herbarium specimen. [N.B.: hybrids do not figure into our running total of new orchid spp. (see previous entry).]

Rojas-Alvarado, A. F. 2003. New taxa, new records and redefined concepts in the Elaphoglossum sect. Elaphoglossum subsec. Pachyglossa (Lomariopsidaceae) from Mexico and Central America. Revista Biol. Trop. 51: 1-32.

Alexander Rojas’s revision of the Elaphoglossum latifolium (Sw.) J. Sm. sp. complex, long in the works, finally rears its head. The name E. latifolium, long applied to a variable assemblage distributed throughout the area, is lost to us, restricted here (though tentatively and with little explanation) to a sp. of Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Twelve new spp. are concocted from the Mesoamerican material, with five occurring in Costa Rica. The most widespread and abundant of these five, ranging from southern Mexico to Panama, is Elaphoglossum variabile A. Rojas, which occurs in very wet forest and rain forest throughout Costa Rica at ca. 50-1900 m elevation. Three new spp. are Costa Rican endemics: both Elaphoglossum incognitum A. Rojas (known only from sterile material) and E. reptans A. Rojas are endemic to Isla del Coco, while E. terrestre A. Rojas hails from the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca at 2200-3300 m. The last novelty for us is Elaphoglossum delgadilloanum A. Rojas, recorded from the Atlantic slope at 500-900 m elevation in all the major Costa Rican cordilleras and extending into western Panama. All of the new spp. are illustrated with rather basic, composite line drawings.

Three additional, previously described Elaphoglossum spp. in this group are newly attributed to Costa Rica with comprehensive specimen citations: Elaphoglossum andicola (Fée) T. Moore, collected once at 1950-2050 m on the Pacific slope of the eastern Cordillera de Talamanca, was formerly known only from Andean South America; E. sartorii (Liebm.) Mickel, found at ca. 700-2300 m on the Pacific slope in the Cordillera de Talamanca, Cerros de Escazú, and northern Fila Costeña, is based on a Mexican specimen; and E. sporadolepis (Kunze ex Kuhn) T. Moore, from 2450-2850 m on both slopes of the eastern Cordillera de Talamanca (and adjacent Panama), was previously reported only from Venezuela, French Guiana and Brazil.

An extensive (68 couplets) dichotomous (but non-indented) key distinguishes all the Mexican and Central American spp. of Elaphoglossum sect. Elaphoglossum.

-- & --. 2003. Notes on Elaphoglossum (Lomariopsidaceae) section Polytrichia subsection Hybrida in Mexico and Central America. Revista Biol. Trop. 51: 33-48.

Well, our reprint copy actually says "2002," but that doesn’t make very much sense. This contribution tackles another difficult sp. complex in Elaphoglossum, this one centered on E. erinaceum (Fée) T. Moore. In this case, the pivotal sp. really does occur in Costa Rica, mostly at 800-2000 m (though no specimens are cited). Six new spp. are described here, of which four are ascribed to Costa Rica (though none uniquely so). By far the most widespread of these four is Elaphoglossum baquianorum A. Rojas, ranging from southern Mexico to western Panama and occurring, in Costa Rica, at 1800-3300 m elevation on the Pacific slope (and near the Continental Divide) of the Cordilleras Central and de Talamanca. The remaining three novelties for our area are all restricted to the Cordillera de Talamanca of Costa Rica and western Panama: Elaphoglossum angustioblongum A. Rojas, with a single Costa Rican collection from 1450-1600 m on the Pacific slope; E. cotoi A. Rojas, from ca. 2000-3200 m in Costa Rica on the Pacific slope (or very near the Continental Divide); and E. silencioanum A. Rojas, from ca. 1800-2600 m in Costa Rica on both slopes. These four new spp. have apparently been identified in the past as either Elaphoglossum erinaceum, E. pallidum (Baker ex Jenman) C. Chr. or E. tambillense (Hook.) T. Moore. Both of the last two spp. are here excluded from Costa Rica, the former restricted to Jamaica and Hispaniola, the latter to Mexico, Guatemala and South America. All of the new spp. are illustrated with rather basic, composite line drawings.

One additional, previously described Elaphoglossum sp. in this group is newly attributed to Costa Rica with comprehensive specimen citations: Elaphoglossum barbatum (H. Karst.) Hieron., from 2600-3300 m on the Pacific slope (and near the Continental Divide) of the Cordillera de Talamanca (and also in Mexico and Guatemala), was previously known only from Andean South America.

A dichotomous (but non-indented) key is provided to separate all the Mexican and Central American taxa of Elaphoglossum sect. Polytrichia.

Sánchez-González, J. 2003. Schradera reticulata (Rubiaceae), una nueva especie de Costa Rica y Panamá. Novon 13: 477-479.

This is the second new Schradera sp. to be described from Costa Rica in a six-month period [see The Cutting Edge 10(3): 10, Jul. 2003], remarkable for an obscure genus previously believed to have but a single sp. in the country (and that described only 10 years ago). In a coup to top all coups, the holotypes of all three spp. occurring in Costa Rica were collected by a single individual: the legendary Gerardo Herrera, always the most reliable purveyor of quality material of rare canopy epiphytes from remote areas. This most recent novelty is known only from the Atlantic slope of the Cordilleras Central and de Talamanca, thence eastward to the Darién region of Panama, at 50-1200 m elevation. It is compared with the Colombian Schradera rotundata Standl. ex Steyerm., from which it differs in numerous details, including its smaller leaves with prominulous, finely reticulate tertiary venation on both surfaces-whence the new sp. name, Schradera reticulata C. M. Taylor ex Sánchez-Gonz. [We here supply the "ex" qualification on the basis of the author’s statement that "el epiteto fue utilizado como nombre de herbario por C. M. Taylor"; indeed, another passage ("Agradezco a Charlotte Taylor...por cederme la descripción preliminar preparada para la Flora Mesoamericana") suggests that a case could be made for "and," or even "in"]. Illustrated with a composite line drawing.

Schulman, L. & J. Hyvönen. 2003. A cladistic analysis of Adelobotrys (Melastomataceae) based on morphology, with notes on generic limits within the tribe Merianieae. Syst. Bot. 28: 738-756.

The evidence suggests that Adelobotrys is polyphyletic; however, "the original circumscription of the genus," which includes A. adscendens (Sw.) Triana (the only Costa Rican representative), is well supported as monophyletic. The authors discuss potential problems involving other genera of tribe Merianieae, including Axinaea, Graffenrieda and Meriania.

Seaton, P. 2003. One man and his orchids. Orchids 72: 758-763.

The featured gentleman is none other than Gabriel Barboza, who suddenly (at least, from our perspective) has gained prominence as the number one orchid dude in the Monteverde region [see also The Cutting Edge 9(1): 11-12, Jan. 2002]. Barboza is described as a former INBio parataxonomist (how could we not know this?) and an accomplished illustrator, who studied under Manual Orchidaceae contributor John AtwoodKerry Dressler, the wife of Manual Orchidaceae coordinator Robert L. Dressler who (together with Atwood and Barboza) appears in one of the photos.

Silva, B. R. 2003. Contributions to the understanding of Andean and Amazonian Aechmea subgenus Chevaliera (Bromeliaceae). Selbyana 24: 46-63.

This account is largely peripheral to Costa Rican floristics, but does include a key to the group and detailed descriptions of the seven spp. treated, among which are two spp. occurring in Costa Rica, Aechmea magdalenae (André) André ex Baker and A. veitchii Baker.

Smith, G. F. & E. M. A. Steyn. 2003. The correct author citation and date of publication of the name Agave wercklei (Agavaceae). Taxon 52: 619-620.

Yep, the authors got this right, as did the Manual and, indeed, Flora mesoamericana, back in 1994. Twenty minutes of page-flipping in a good botanical library would lead any interested party unerringly to the same conclusion. Against stiff competition, this easily wins our prize for the most inconsequential publication of the new millennium in systematic botany.

Soreng, R. J., P. M. Peterson, G. Davidse, E. J. Judziewicz, F. O. Zuloaga, T. S. Filgueiras & O. Morrone. Chief ed.: R. J. Soreng. 2003. Catalogue of New World grasses (Poaceae): IV. Subfamily Pooideae. Contr. U. S. Natl. Herb. 48: 1-730.

Nomenclatural, taxonomic and other related information [see The Cutting Edge 10(4): 13-14, Oct. 2003] is provided for an additional 1526 spp. of grasses native to and introduced or cultivated in the New World. Sixteen names are lectotypified, three new subtribes are described and 76 new combinations are validated. Our desultory check for significant changes relevant to the already-published Manual Poaceae treatment revealed the following: Anatherostipa and Jarava are accepted as distinct from Stipa (which would leave Costa Rica with no spp. in the last-mentioned genus); Hierochloe is synonymized under Anthoxanthum; and Peyritschia is resurrected from Trisetum, with the new combination Peyritschia deyeuxioides (Kunth) Finot validated for the sp. called Trisetum deyeuxioides (Kunth) Kunth in the Manual.

Sosa, V., M. W. Chase & C. Barcenas. 2003. Chiangiodendron (Achariaceae): an example of the Laurasian flora of tropical forests of Central America. Taxon 52: 519-524.

Cladistic analyses of plastid rbcL DNA sequences confirm that the monotypic Chiangiodendron, originally described from Mexico but later found in Costa Rica [see The Cutting Edge 7(2): 4-5, Apr. 2000], is indeed a member of the otherwise Old World tribe Pangieae (formerly Flacourtiaceae, now Achariaceae). Its closest relatives are the Southeast Asian genera Gynocardia and Trichadenia. The phylogenetic position of Chiangiodendron is "not inconsistent" with its origin as "a relict of a wet-tropical Laurasian flora that has been preserved in Neotropical refugia."

Stauffer, F. W., C. B. Asmussen, A. Henderson & P. K. Endress. 2003. A revision of Asterogyne (Arecaceae: Arecoideae: Geonomeae). Brittonia 55: 326­-356.

This standard revision furnishes a wealth of information on this neotropical palm genus of five spp. (last revised in 1968), but nothing novel in the way of taxonomy. No new taxa or new combinations are validated, and the widespread Asterogyne martiana (H. Wendl.) H. Wendl. ex Hemsl. remains as the only Costa Rican representative of the genus. Features lengthy genus and sp. descriptions, full synonymy, typology and bibliographic details at all levels, a dichotomous key to spp., specimen citations ("selected" in the case of A. martiana), information on local names and uses, distribution summaries, and an index to exsiccatae. The introductory part, profusely illustrated with superb photos and micrographs, covers all aspects of morphology and anatomy, as well as reproductive biology, distribution and ecology, intrafamilial and interspecific relationships, and conservation status. A distribution map is presented, along with a cladogram based on an analysis of morphological data.

Taylor, D. W. 2003. A taxonomic revision of the genus Chione (Rubiaceae). Syst. Geogr. Pl. 73: 171-198.

The arborescent Chione, widespread in the Neotropics, is here resolved into a single sp., with four varieties. We first learned this as Chione costaricensis Standl., later corrected to C. sylvicola (Standl.) W. C. Burger, both of which (together with many other names) now become synonyms of Chione venosa (Sw.) Urb. The autonymic var. is the most wide-ranging of the four, and the only one represented in Costa Rica, the others (all new combinations) being restricted to central Mexico, central Panama (Cerro Jefe) and the Greater Antilles (Cuba and Hispaniola). Features synonymy, typology and bibliographic data at all levels, a genus description (which does double duty as a sp. description), key to vars. and descriptions of each var., comprehensive specimen citations, a "taxonomic discussion," a range map and a section on excluded names. The introductory part includes discussions of taxonomic history, tribal placement, morphological characters and chromosomes. Illustrated with two composite line drawings (mostly depicting var. venosa).

Webster, G. L. 2003. A synopsis of Phyllanthus section Nothoclema (Euphorbiaceae). Lundellia 6: 19-36.

Phyllanthus sect. Nothoclema G. L. Webster, the largest of the three sections of the exclusively neotropical subgenus Conami (Aubl.) G. L. Webster, is distinguished by its woody habit, bipinnatiform, deciduous branches, and axillary cymules mostly borne on lateral axes. The 10 spp. and five subspp. recognized here range throughout the Neotropics. Three taxa are attributed to Costa Rica: Phyllanthus anisolobus Müll. Arg., P. graveolens Kunth subsp. benthamianus (Müll. Arg.) G. L. Webster (comb. nov.) and P. acuminatus Vahl. Phyllanthus anisolobus has often been called P. mocinianus Baill. in Costa Rica [see The Cutting Edge 9(1): 14, Jan. 2002], but the latter name is here restricted to a sp. of northern Mesoamerica; P. graveolens subsp. benthamianus has never been reported from Costa Rica (under any name), as far as we can tell, and specimen determinations suggest that it has been confused with P. anisolobus (from which it differs in having usually scabridulous or hirtellous, rather than glabrous, branchlets). Includes a brief description of the section, keys to spp. and subspp., full synonymy, typology and bibliographic data and representative specimen citations; sp. and subsp. descriptions are omitted (except for new taxa). Two new spp., one new subsp. and three new combinations are validated. The two new spp. (and one other taxon) are illustrated with photos of exsiccatae.


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