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The Cutting Edge
Volume XII, Number 1, January 2005
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Barrie, F. R. 2004. Synopsis of Plinia (Myrtaceae) in Mesoamerica.
Novon 14: 380-400.
This useful Flora mesoamericana precursor recognizes 14 spp. of Plinia
from the Mesoamerican region. The sp. total for this exclusively neotropical genus of
shrubs and small trees is now estimated at 40, although the author indicates that the
generic concept remains somewhat nebulous. Eight spp. are here described as new, including
two from Costa Rica, which now boasts a total of six Plinia spp. (five of these
described since 1988). The two newest Costa Rican recruits, both provisionally endemic,
are Plinia guanacastensis Barrie (from 800-1000 m elevation in the
Cordilleras de Guanacaste and de Tilarán) and P. moralesii Barrie
(from 1000-2200 m in the Cordillera de Tilarán, the northern Cordillera de
Talamanca, and the Cerros de Escazú), the latter honoring INBio's
Juan Francisco Morales. Both of our novelties are compared to the
sympatric Plinia salticola McVaugh. The citation of Panamanian collections of
Plinia cuspidata Gómez-Laur. & Valverde and P. povedae
P. E. Sánchez officially removes those spp. from the roster of Costa Rican
endemics (but P. puriscalensis P. E. Sánchez & Q. Jiménez
remains). Features a key to all 14 spp., lengthy descriptions, distribution summaries,
discussions, comprehensive specimen citations, and illustrations (black-and-white photos
of exsiccatae) of all the new spp. One new combination (also illustrated) is not germane
Baum, D. A., S. D. Smith, A. Yen, W. S. Alverson, R. Nyffeler, B. A. Whitlock
& R. L. Oldham. 2004. Phylogenetic relationships of Malvatheca (Bombacoideae and
Malvoideae; Malvaceae sensu lato) as inferred from plastid DNA sequences. Amer. J. Bot.
Mainly outside our bailiwick, but we did note that all the cladograms portray both
Malvaviscus and Pavonia as nested within Hibiscus, confirming
our worst fears [see
The Cutting Edge 9(3): 5, Jul. 2002].
Braem, G. J. & S. Ohlund. 2004. Une chausse-trappe linguistique:
Phragmipedium caudatum, P. warszewiczianum, P. humboldtii.
Richardiana 4: 163-170.
Dang, this is in French, and really complicated, and...but, hey! For our convenience,
these authors have shamelessly recycled the very same article in an English-language
publication! And they thought no one would notice...(?)
-- & --. 2004. A language trap-Phragmipedium caudatum,
Phrag. warszewiczianum, Phrag. humboldtii. Austral. Orchid Rev.
The correct name for one of our most flamboyant and rare orchids continues to
waver. For a long time, the sp. in question was widely known as either
Phragmipedium caudatum (Lindl.) Rolfe or P. warszewiczianum (Rchb.
f.) Garay; however, both of the latter names were restricted to South American
material in a 1998 paper [see The Cutting
Edge 6(3): 3, Jul. 1999] validating the name Phragmipedium humboldtii (
Warsz. ex Rchb. f.) J. T. Atwood & Dressler (based on Cypripedium
humboldtii Warsz. ex Rchb. f.) for Mesoamerican populations. That
view prevailed in the Manual, with P. humboldtii used as the accepted name
for our lone member of the P. caudatum complex. But alas, Atwood and
Dressler appear to have bungled the deal, according to the present authors, who
chide them for "interpreting botanical literature in a language not fully
mastered." Braem and Ohlund, documenting their case assiduously with
line-by-line translations of critical text, assert that "Reichenbach fil.
did not publish, nor did he intend to publish a botanical entity under the name
of "Cypripedium Humboldti," but was merely using the name
informally (i.e., pro syn., with respect to C. caudatum Lindl.) to
discuss a "plant sent to him [under that designation] by von Warszewicz."
They conclude that the transfer of " Cypripedium humboldtii Warsz.
ex Rchb. f." to Phragmipedium by Atwood and Dressler is
thus "obsolete" (i.e., because the former name was not validly published).
What, then, is the correct name for our plants? Read on...
-- , -- & R.-J. Quéné. 2004. Le vrai Phragmipedium
warszewiczianum pourrait-il se présenter, s'il vous plait? Un
nouveau cas d'identification erronée-Le complexe Phragmipedium
caudatum, éclaircissements, et description d'une nouvelle
espèce. Richardiana 4: 171-196.
The various names applying to taxa in the Phragmipedium caudatum complex
are reviewed and, to make a long (and largely French) story short, Atwood and
Dressler's restriction of P. caudatum and P. warszewiczianum
to South American material (see previous entry) is upheld (albeit with some
modifications), while their P. humboldtii is discarded as illegitimate (see
foregoing entry). The most widespread sp. in the Mesoamerican region (and the only
member of the complex occurring in Costa Rica) is thus left nameless. The authors
remedy this situation by describing it anew as Phragmipedium popowii Braem,
Ohlund & Quéné (based on a Warszewicz collection from Prov.
Chiriquí, Panama), the epithet honoring a contemporary German orchid
"conservateur" (read: hobbyist). It is to be hoped that the story will
Brummitt, R. K. 2004. Report of the Committee for Spermatophyta: 54.
Taxon 53: 813-825.
First, a correction: in a previous committee report [see
The Cutting Edge 10(2): 5, Apr. 2003], conservation of Wulffia (Asteraceae)
was said to be "not recommended, leaving Tilesia as the correct
name." Actually, the matter is "unresolved" and "is being
re-examined by the committee"; meanwhile, "existing usage should be
maintained as recommended in Rec. 14A." Now, onto newer things: Villamillia
Ruiz & Pav., which threatened Trichostigma (Phytolaccaceae), is rejected, as
is Tontelea scandens Aubl., which threatened Elachyptera floribunda
(Benth.) A. C. Sm. (Hippocrateaceae); Manilkara is unanimously conserved against
Sapota Mill. (Sapotaceae), and likewise Terminalia against
Bucida (Combretaceae); Guaiacum (Zygophyllaceae) is conserved with
that spelling (rather than Guajacum); Andira Lam. (Fabaceae/Faboideae)
is conserved with a new type, which (among other things) has the effect of maintaining
the name A. inermis (W. Wright) Kunth ex DC. for the most widespread sp.
(and the only one in Costa Rica); a proposal to conserve Sagittaria guyanensis
Kunth (Alismataceae) with that spelling is not recommended (thus S.
guayanensis, as used in the Manual, prevails); and finally, Apodanthes
(Rafflesiaceae) and Apodanthus (applying to a bryophyte) are deemed not
--. 2004. Report of the Committee for Spermatophyta: 55. Proposal 1584 on
Acacia. Taxon 53: 826-829.
Cutting right to the chase, the conservation of Acacia Mill. (Fabaceae/
Mimosoideae) with a conserved, Australian type is recommended by the committee, with
the minimum nine votes required. Because "this proposal has been the most
high-profile and most extensively debated case in the history of this committee,"
their report is unusually detailed. But two major considerations appear to have
"tipped the balance": first, "the number of species is vastly
greater in the Australian group (960) than in any of the segregates in other
continents or indeed in all other continents together"; second, "nearly
half of the African species (also many more than half of those in the New World and
slightly more than half in Asia) are going to have to change from Acacia to
Senegalia irrespective of any recommendation made on the type." At the
same time, the point is made, with respect to the recent splitting of Cassia
into three genera, "that nobody seems to be unhappy with the current application
of that name to the smallest of the three genera." The committee acknowledges
"that whatever it recommends [in regard to Acacia], name changes to
very important plants will be required." The bottom line for us is that the genus
name Acacia will cease to be used for indigenous New World spp., and will be
replaced by various other names, as indicated previously in this column [see, e.g.,
The Cutting Edge 10(2): 9-10, Apr. 2003]. The report reflects that
"never before has the committee had the opportunity to stabilise the names of
nearly a thousand species in one vote, and it is never likely to be asked to do so
again." Dream on!
Cafferty, S. & C. E. Jarvis (eds.). 2004. Typification of Linnaean plant
names in Boraginaceae. Taxon 53: 799-805.
Lectotypes, neotypes, and epitypes are designated for 42 names, as indicated in the
title. In all cases, current usage is preserved. Very few of these names (e.g.,
Tournefortia volubilis L.) appear applicable to spp. occurring in Costa
Cardona, F. 2004. Synopsis of the genus Spathiphyllum (Araceae)
in Colombia. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 91: 448-456
If correct, vouchered reports of Spathiphyllum silvicola R. A. Baker from
Colombia (and its suggested presence in Panama) signify the loss of another ostensible
Costa Rican endemic.
Carlsen, M. & T. B. Croat. 2004. New species of Anthurium sect.
Semaeophyllium (Araceae) from Central and South America. Novon 14:
Anthurium sect. Semaeophyllium Schott, easily recognized albeit
probably artificial, comprises spp. with pedately veined, trilobed leaves. Of the
seven new spp. described in this paper, just one occurs (barely) in Costa Rica: the
mainly Panamanian Anthurium rotundatum Croat & Carlsen, known also by a
single collection from northwesternmost Colombia and three from southeasternmost Costa
Rica. The last-mentioned sp. had been confused with Anthurium garagaranum
Standl. (of eastern Panama and Colombia), from which it is duly distinguished; in
co-PI Mike Grayum's Manual treatment of Araceae, the name
A. garagaranum was placed in synonymy under A. subsignatum Schott,
in which our material of A. rotundatum was also implicitly included. The
distribution of A. rotundatum is mapped, and the sp. is illustrated with
black-and-white photos of living material.
Chanderbali, A. S. 2004. Endlicheria (Lauraceae). Fl. Neotrop.
Monogr. 91: 1-141.
This revision by former MO associate André Chanderbali
accounts for 61 spp. in the largely South American genus Endlicheria,
comprising dioecious trees and shrubs. Only the widespread E. formosa A.
C. Sm. reaches Costa Rica, where it is known by two collections from the wet
Pacific lowlands; however, E. browniana Mez occurs in the Atlantic lowlands
of western Panama (Prov. Bocas del Toro), and might reasonably be expected in Costa
Rica. Includes a generic description, dichotomous sp. key, sp. descriptions,
distribution summaries, mostly representative specimen citations, local names,
discussion, and distribution maps (for both genus and spp.). The newly described
spp. (16 in all, none from Costa Rica) are illustrated with composite line drawings.
The introductory part contains discussions of taxonomic history, morphological and
anatomical characters, karyology, relationships, sp. concepts, and distribution.
The pairing of this treatment in the same book with a revision of
Rhodostemonodaphne (see under Madriñán, this column) is
logical, as well as timely. Both genera are dioecious, and evidence presented by
Chanderbali strongly suggests that they ought in fact to be combined in some manner
(Endlicheria being by far the older name). Molecular data indicate that
members of Endlicheria are nested within Ocotea and
Rhodostemonodaphne, and Chanderbali postulates that "the two-locellate
anthers that distinguish Endlicheria from Rhodostemonodaphne
evolved repeatedly." In a brief joint introduction to the book, the two authors
acknowledge that "new information...suggests that Endlicheria and
Rhodostemonodaphne form a monophyletic group of approximately 100
species"; however, "the phylogenetic relationships among these species
are still unclear and until there is more conclusive evidence we feel this complex
group of species should remain within two genera." Of course, there must have
been very strong practical considerations as well!
Croat, T. B. 2004. Revision of Dieffenbachia (Araceae) of Mexico,
Central America, and the West Indies. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 91: 668-772.
The ecologically and horticulturally important herbaceous genus Dieffenbachia,
ubiquitous in the understory of humid lowland forests throughout the Neotropics, had not
been revised even partially since 1915. The genus presents unusual taxonomic challenges
for a variety of reasons. First, individual species may be highly polymorphic in the wild,
especially for leaf ornamentation, even at a single site. At the Estación
Biológica La Selva, plants of Dieffenbachia oerstedii Schott may be found
with variegated leaves, leaves with a whitish or yellowish midvein, or plain green leaves,
all in a single population; across its entire range in Costa Rica, this same sp. exhibits
disquieting variability in other attributes as well, especially leaf size and shape.
Second, because Dieffenbachia is a favorite horticultural subject, many
"spp." of dubious merit have been validly published (though not necessarily
described!) in hobbyist journals, especially in the 19th century, usually on the basis
of a single illustration or color plate (often depicting only foliage), with no herbarium
specimen cited or associated, and with the wild provenance unknown, or a least not (or
only vaguely) indicated. Third, even when they are available, herbarium specimens of
Dieffenbachia usually provide only a distorted and inadequate representation
of the living plants (as typical of Araceae in general). And fourth, as if all the above
were not enough: Dieffenbachia is (perhaps unique to all neotropical Araceae)
known to hybridize in the wild! Characteristically undaunted by any of this, our man
Tom Croat (MO) took the bull by the horns and has produced this
sterling revision, accounting for 26 Dieffenbachia spp. in the region
specified in the title (out of an estimated 135 spp. for the genus throughout its range).
Fifteen spp. are here described as new, including five that occur in Costa Rica. The
Costa Rican total is 13 spp., the same as accounted for in co-PI Mike
Grayum's Manual treatment; however, there are a few taxonomic
discrepancies. The most significant of these involves the sp. called Dieffenbachia
longispatha Engl. & K. Krause in the Manual; Croat refers all Costa Rican
material to the new D. nitidipetiolata Croat & Grayum, with D.
longispatha proper restricted to Panama and Colombia. Incorporated in D.
nitidipetiolata by Croat is the sole voucher for "Dieffenbachia sp.
B" of the Manual, entailing the loss of a sp. from the Costa Rican flora; this,
however, is compensated for by the addition of Dieffenbachia wendlandii Schott,
known from southern Mexico to northern Nicaragua, with a few disjunct Costa Rican
populations (discussed in the Manual under D. aurantiaca Engl.).Apart from
Dieffenbachia sp. B, four other Dieffenbachia spp.
were treated in the Manual with provisional "letter" names. Validly
published Latin binomials are now available and may be substituted for all of these,
as follows: Dieffenbachia sp. A = D. horichii Croat & Grayum;
Dieffenbachia sp. C = D. burgeri Croat & Grayum;
Dieffenbachia sp. D = D. killipii Croat; and Dieffenbachia
sp. E = D. davidsei Croat & Grayum. Among all the 13 Dieffenbachia
spp. occurring in Costa Rica, only D. burgeri and D. horichii may
presently be counted as endemic.
This is a whole-hog effort with full synonymy and typology, rigorous genus and sp.
descriptions, a key to spp., summaries of distribution and phenology, insightful
discussions, comprehensive specimen citations, a riot of very high quality black-and-white
photos (mostly of living plants), distribution maps, sections on excluded and
"incertae sedis" species, and an index to exsiccatae. The introductory
portion includes discussions of taxonomic and collecting history, classification and
relationships, morphology, pollination, phenology, cytology, distribution, and
Dalström, S. 2004. Scaphosepalum manningii Luer (Orchidaceae:
Pleurothallidinae), a new species for Costa Rica. Lankesteriana 4: 105-107.
The sp. named in the title, previously known only from its Venezuelan type, is here
identified as occurring in Costa Rica. The original field collection comprised sterile
material gathered at a private reserve in the Fila Tinamastes region of the northern
Fila Costeña. The plant in question was grown in the United States (presumably
at SEL), where it flowered six months later. If verified, this would be the fourth
Costa Rican Scaphosepalum sp. Illustrated with an excellent composite line
Dengel, T. 2004. Costa Rica revisited-Part 2. Orchid Rev. 112: 362-366.
This standard hobbyist travelogue focuses on a visit with Walter
Faisthuber, a Swiss hotelier in Monteverde with "over 1,000 orchids in
his garden." Like most such articles, it is illustrated with color photos of the
site and various living specimens. Atypically, however, this contribution is
distinguished by a respect for conservation and reprehension for orchid plunderers
(with some real-life horror stories)-an encouraging perspective in this sort of
Gómez-Laurito, J. & R. Ortiz. 2004. Lista con anotaciones de las
angiospermas de la Reserva Biológica Alberto Brenes (microcuencas de los
ríos San Lorenzo y San Lorencito), Costa Rica. Lankesteriana 4: 113-142.
The Reserva Biológica Alberto M. Brenes (formerly Reserva Forestal de San
Ramón) comprises ca. 7800 ha of mostly forested land on the Atlantic slope of
the Cordillera de Tilarán, at ca. 800-1500 m elevation, subject to high
rainfall (ca. 4500 mm) spread over most of the year. This vouchered (though unannotated)
checklist, organized alphabetically by family (irrespective of subclass), genus, etc.,
accounts for 1200 spp. of angiosperms in 136 families and 498 genera. The most sp.-rich
families are Orchidaceae (206), Rubiaceae (84), Melastomataceae (61), Piperaceae (58),
Gesneriaceae (51), and Araceae (50), while the most sp.-rich genera are Peperomia
and Pleurothallis (34 each), Anthurium (26), Maxillaria and
Piper (23 each), and Ocotea (21). The introductory part includes
discussions of history and infrastructure, methodology, characteristics of the site
(with maps and descriptions of major habitat types), and floristic diversity. Notably,
10 new angiosperm spp. have been described from the reserve (including Ticodendron
incognitum Gómez-Laur. & L. D. Gómez, representing also a genus
and family new to science).
González, L. A. & J. F. Morales. 2004. Una nueva especie de
Struthanthus (Loranthaceae) para Costa Rica. Sida 21: 97-102.
Struthanthus acostensis L. A. González & J. F. Morales is known
by a single collection from each slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca in Costa Rica:
from the basin of the Río Grande de Candelaria, on the Pacific slope, and that
of the Río Urén, on the Atlantic. The new sp. had previously been confused
with Panamanthus panamensis (Rizzini) Kuijt, which differs in having solitary
flowers (as opposed to triads); it had also been misdetermined as Struthanthus
burgeri Kuijt (another Costa Rican endemic), but that sp. has pedicellate fls. and
more numerous triads. Illustrated with black-and-white photos of exsiccatae. A key is
said to include all the Struthanthus spp. currently known from Costa Rica, as
well as two others "reportadas en zonas limítrofes de Panamá y
Nicaragua que podrían encontrarse eventualmente en [Costa Rica]." However,
which two of the spp. in the key are ostensibly extralimital is not indicated; furthermore,
all of them are included in the second author's Manual draft treatment of
Loranthaceae, with Costa Rican vouchers cited in every case. Also puzzling is the
citation in Morales's Manual treatment of Herrera 3326, the lone paratype
of S. acostensis, as the voucher for S. burgeri! Clearly, one of these
documents is behind the times, but we know not which.
Hágsater, E. & M. Soto (eds.). 2003. Orchids of Mexico ,
Parts 2 and 3. Icon. Orchid. 5-6: i-xxii, pls. 501-700.
This slid past us on the first go-round but, despite the title, does contain numerous
nomenclatural and taxonomic innovations germane to Costa Rica. Most of the nomenclatural
changes result from the acceptance, in this work, of the major classificatory overhaul
visited upon Pleurothallis and allies by Alec Pridgeon and
Mark Chase [see
The Cutting Edge 9(1): 9-10, Jan. 2002], based
mainly on molecular research. Several combinations overlooked by the last-mentioned
authors are here supplied, including Anathallis lewisiae (Ames) Solano &
Soto Arenas (based on Pleurothallis lewisiae Ames), Specklinia
segregatifolia (Ames & C. Schweinf.) Solano & Soto Arenas (based on
Pleurothallis segregatifolia Ames), and Stelis quadrifida (Lex.)
Solano & Soto Arenas [to replace Pleurothallis quadrifida (Lex.) Lindl.].
The new combinations Anathallis haberi (Luer) Solano & Soto Arenas and
Specklinia blancoi (Pupulin) Soto Arenas & Solano apply to
Pleurothallis haberi Luer [see
The Cutting Edge 10(1): 7-8, Jan. 2003] and P. blancoi Pupulin [see
The Cutting Edge 11(1): 8-9, Jan. 2004], respectively, spp. described too
recently to have been considered by Pridgeon and Chase. The correct name in
Specklinia for the sp. treated as Pleurothallis setosa C. Schweinf.
in the Manual is S. fimbriata (Ames & C. Schweinf.) Solano, comb. nov.,
not S. setosa (C. Schweinf.) Pridgeon & M. W. Chase. Kraenzlinella
erinacea (Rchb. f.) Solano, comb. nov. (based on Pleurothallis erinacea
Rchb. f.) somehow anticipates Carlyle Luer's even more finely
resolved Pleurothallis reclassification [see
The Cutting Edge 11(3): 10-11, Jul. 2004] and (together with
Specklinia segregatifolia) exerts priority over Luer's effort at the
same combination. On the taxonomic front, the name Specklinia lateritia
(Rchb. f.) Pridgeon & M. W. Chase (based on Pleurothallis lateritia Rchb.
f.) is used for the sp. known in the Manual as Pleurothallis lanceola (Sw.)
Spreng., here regarded as a Jamaican endemic. Physosiphon punctulatus Rchb.
f., with a Colombian type, is the basis for the new combination Stelis
punctulata (Rchb. f.) Soto Arenas, under which Pleurothallis minor
(Rendle) L. O. Williams (used in the Manual) is listed as a synonym; the geographic
range of this reconceived entity is extended northward to Mexico (Chiapas) and
southward to Ecuador and Venezuela. Finally, the description of a new, Mexican subsp.
of Stelis megachlamys (Schltr.) Pupulin automatically consigns Costa Rican
material of this sp. (treated in the Manual as Pleurothallis tuerckheimii
Schltr.) to the autonymic subsp. In other groups, the new combination Rhynchostele
beloglossa (Rchb. f.) Dressler & N. H. Williams is validated for the sp.
treated in the Manual as Amparoa beloglossa (Rchb. f.) Schltr. (see under
Ossenbach, this column), based on molecular evidence (published elsewhere) showing
that the monospecific Amparoa "is a member of the Rhynchostele
clade." Not surprisingly, several taxa are here attributed to Costa Rica sans
vouchers or any other factual basis known to us, e.g., Arpophyllum medium
Rchb. f., Encyclia amanda (Ames) Dressler, E. tuerckheimii Schltr.,
and Oncidium endocharis Rchb. f.
Kimball, R. T. & D. J. Crawford. 2004. Phylogeny of Coreopsideae
(Asteraceae) using ITS sequences suggests lability in reproductive characters.
Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 33: 127-139.
The results of this study indicate that (to mention only those genera occurring
in Costa Rica) Bidens is not monophyletic, whereas both Cosmos
and Dahlia are (for the spp. sampled).
Kita, Y. & M. Kato. 2004. Phylogenetic relationships between disjunctly
occurring groups of Tristicha trifaria (Podostemaceae). J. Biogeogr. 31:
Although the diminutive rheophyte Tristicha trifaria (Bory ex
Willd.) Spreng. is widespread throughout the Neotropics and tropical Africa (but
absent from Asia), these authors find a close relationship between the American and
West African populations. Based partly on this, they postulate an Asian ancestry for
the sp., with migration first to Africa and later to America. The name Tristicha
trifaria apparently corresponds to the East African-Madagascan lineage, T.
hypnoides (A. St.-Hil.) Spreng. to the American-West African lineage; thus, if
these lineages were to be ranked as spp. (a position on which the authors take no
intelligible stand), T. hypnoides would become the correct name for all
Lowry, P. P., II, G. M. Plunkett & J. Wen. 2004. Generic relationships
in Araliaceae: looking into the crystal ball. S. African J. Bot. 70: 382-392.
The authors review molecular phylogenetic research on Araliaceae over the past
decade and, on this basis, evaluate the potential fate of traditional generic
concepts in the family. With respect to the four Araliaceae genera occurring naturally
in Costa Rica, Schefflera (including Didymopanax) figures to suffer
the most profound changes. The recent trend has been to expand Schefflera, which
has thereby engulfed such familiar names as Brassaia, Didymopanax,
Dizygotheca, and Tupidanthus; indeed, The plant-book (1997)
went so far as to state that Schefflera is "prob. congeneric with
Hedera." Now that trend appears headed in the opposite direction. As
currently circumscribed, Schefflera is polyphyletic (according to molecular
data), with five geographically distinct clades, and must therefore be divided into at
least five smaller genera. The generic type belongs to a clade comprising eight spp. of
New Zealand and southwestern Oceania; because this clade is distinctive and clearly
merits separate generic status, the remaining 600+ spp. of Schefflera s. l.
will have to be transferred to other genera. Thus, the name Schefflera will
be lost to New World floristics, Sciodaphyllum being perhaps the oldest name
at generic rank for neotropical Schefflera s. l.; however, the authors deem it
improbable that the ca. 300 New World spp. of this group will be placed in a single
genus, three or four being a more likely scenario (which means that Didymopanax
may yet ride again). Dendropanax and Oreopanax may not be monophyletic,
and may require changes in circumscription; further studies are indicated. Finally,
Sciadodendron had already been sunk into Aralia (in a paper not yet seen
by us), and was so treated a priori for this study.
Maas van de Kamer, H. 2004. (1635-1636) Proposals to conserve the name
Canna tuerckheimii against C. latifolia, C. neglecta, and
C. violacea, and the name Canna jaegeriana against C.
leucocarpa (Cannaceae). Taxon 53: 833-835.
Of greatest concern to us is Canna tuerckheimii Kraenzl., used as an accepted
sp. name in the Manual treatment of Cannaceae, co-written by the author of this paper.
This name is threatened principally by C. latifolia Mill. (mentioned in an
editorial note in the Manual), the oldest of the earlier synonyms listed in the title
and the one that has been most widely used.
MacDougal, J. M. 2004. Six new taxa of Passiflora (Passifloraceae),
with nomenclatural notes on the genus in Mesoamerica. Novon 14: 444-462.
The only new entity impacting Costa Rican floristics is Passiflora
quinquangularis S. Calderón ex J. M. MacDougal, ranging from
Oaxaca to El Salvador, with a single disjunct record from Costa Rica (northern
Guanacaste). The name was first published ineffectively (and perhaps invalidly as
well) by Salvadoran botanist Salvador Calderón in an exceedingly
rare booklet (just one partial copy known) that is undated, but must have appeared prior
to 1936 (when it was cited in another paper). The new sp., illustrated with a
black-and-white photo of a fresh flower in longitudinal section, is compared with
the parapatric Passiflora capsularis L., with which it has been confused. The
only "nomenclatural note" of passing interest to us involves Passiflora
bicornis Houst. ex Mill., here officially established (based on an
examination of the holotype) as the correct name for the sp. that was long called
P. pulchella Kunth (but we've been privy to this information for many
Madriñán, S. 2004. Rhodostemonodaphne (Lauraceae).
Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 92: 1-102.
This treatment accepts 41 spp. in this mainly South American genus of dioecious
trees and shrubs, recently segregated from Nectandra; just one sp. reaches
Costa Rica: Rhodostemonodaphne kunthiana (Nees) Rohwer [formerly known as
Nectandra kunthiana (Nees) Kosterm. and Ocotea cooperi C. K. Allen],
a tall tree of wet lowland forests on both slopes. Features a generic description, key
to spp., sp. descriptions, "field notes," distribution summaries,
comprehensive specimen citations, discussions, distribution maps, illustrations
(mainly black-and-white photos of exsiccatae), and indices to exsiccatae and local
and scientific names. The introductory sections address taxonomic history, details of
morphology, distribution, systematic position, sp. groups, and sp. concepts. Sixteen
new spp. are described and four new combinations are validated (none pertinent to
Costa Rica). See additional comments under Chanderbali entry (this column).
Morales, J. F. & J. K. Williams. 2004. Allotoonia , a new
neotropical genus of Apocynaceae based on a subgeneric segregate of Echites.
Sida 21: 133-158.
The results of a morphological cladistic analysis by the second author (published
in this volume) suggest that Echites is polyphyletic, prompting the authors
to elevate subg. Pseudechites Woodson to generic rank under the name
Allotoonia J. F. Morales & J. K. Williams (honoring, in some manner
not evident to us, family specialist Anthony Leeuwenberg).
Allotoonia may be distinguished from Echites s. str. by its
helicoid (vs. dichasial) inflorescences, filiform (vs. obovate) corolla lobes,
herbaceous (vs. woody) follicles, and conspicuously rostrate (vs. non-rostrate to
moderately rostrate) seeds. The new genus, here revised, begins life with five spp.;
none of these is described as new, although five new combinations are validated. One
of the latter, however, is stillborn: Allotoonia parviflora J. F. Morales
& J. K. Williams, though intended as a new combination based on the illegitimate
later homonym Echites parviflorus Sessé & Moç. (1888;
non Roxb., 1832), is perforce a nomen novum (see Art. 58.1 of the St. Louis
Code)-and itself illegitimate by virtue of the citation in synonymy of the
earlier E. woodsonianus Monach.; the correct name for the sp. must instead
be a new combination in Allotoonia based on E. woodsonianus. Three
of the five Allotoonia spp. are recorded from Costa Rica: A. caudata
(Woodson) J. F. Morales (known most recently as Echites puntarenensis J. F.
Morales), "A. parviflora," and A. turbinata (Woodson)
J. F. Morales & J. K. Williams. All are restricted (or nearly so) to the Pacific
slope. Features a generic description, a tabular comparison with related genera, a
key to spp., full synonymy and typology, sp. descriptions, summaries of distribution
and phenology, local names, discussions, comprehensive specimen citations, range maps,
composite line drawings of all spp. (plus other assorted illustrations and photos), and
indices to scientific names and exsiccatae. Morphological characters are briefly
reviewed in the introductory part.
Ossenbach, C. 2004. Amparoa costaricensis Schltr. Orchid Rev.
Little information is presented on the orchid sp. featured in the title, treated
in the Manual under its earlier synonym, Amparoa beloglossa (Rchb. f.) Schltr.;
however, it is illustrated by a line drawing, a watercolor (by Rafael Lucas
Rodríguez), and a color photo of a living flower. Most of the article
is devoted to a biographical sketch of early Costa Rican botanical patron Doña
Amparo López Calleja de Zeledón, after whom the genus
was named by Schlechter; for the most part, this reprises information already presented
in the Manual (although Ossenbach's photo of Doña Amparo is arguably more
flattering than the one we used). But we do get a taxonomic surprise: Ossenbach notes
that "in 2001, studies by N. H. Williams and his co-workers revealed that
Amparoa could not be separated from Rhynchostele," hence
Amparoa beloglossa "became, in 2003, Rhynchostele beloglossa
(Rchb. f.) Dressler & N. H. Williams." The existence of this combination was
unknown to us, nor has it been recorded in the TROPICOS database as of this writing;
however, the reference is duly cited by Ossenbach (and subsequently we did track it
down; see under Hágsater & Soto, this column). Whatever the case, it is
highly doubtful that the Manual Orchidaceae treatment could have been rearranged, as
late as 2003, to accommodate this eleventh-hour event.
Plunkett, G. M., G. T. Chandler, P. P. Lowry II, S. M. Pinney & T. S. Sprenkle.
2004. Recent advances in understanding Apiales and a revised classification. S.
African J. Bot. 70: 371-381.
The authors here formalize their classification of the order Apiales, based mainly
on molecular studies, retaining the families Apiaceae and Araliaceae largely in their
traditional senses. One notable exception affecting Costa Rican floristics is that
Hydrocotyle is included in Araliaceae, rather than Apiaceae; however, other
traditionally "hydrocotyloid" genera, such as Azorella,
Centella, and Micropleura, remain in Apiaceae. One new suborder
and two new subfamilies (both in Apiaceae) are validated.
Rodríguez G., A. 2004. Cinco especies nuevas de
Mortoniodendron (Tiliaceae) para Costa Rica. Novon 14: 476-485.
We had long been convinced that Mortoniodendron, a smallish genus with a
predominantly Mesoamerican distribution (extending to Colombia), exhibited much more
diversity in Costa Rica than was accounted for by the available sp. names. That
conviction is now validated as a result of INBio curator Alexánder
characteristically painstaking work on Tiliaceae for the Manual treatment. The five new
sp. here described are all Costa Rican endemics, as far as can be determined.
Mortoniodendron abelianum Alex. Rodr. (honoring the author's father),
from 1600-1850 m elevation on the Pacific slope of the eastern Cordillera de
Talamanca, had been misidentified as M. pentagonum (Donn. Sm.) Miranda [see
The Cutting Edge 8(4): 4, Oct. 2001], from which it is distinguished;
Mortoniodendron apetalum Alex. Rodr., from 600-1000 m in the
Cordilleras de Guanacaste and de Tilarán, comprises large trees most similar
to the Mexican M. ruizii Miranda and M. palaciosii Miranda;
Mortoniodendron cauliflorum Alex. Rodr. and M. longipedunculatum
Alex. Rodr., restricted to the Golfo Dulce and Talamanca lowlands (respectively),
both comprise shrubs or small trees most similar to the sympatric M. anisophyllum
(Standl.) Standl. & Steyerm.; and Mortoniodendron moralesii Alex. Rodr.
(dedicated to INB curator Francisco Morales), from 1300-1850 m on
both slopes of the Cordillera de Talamanca, is known only from fruiting material,
requiring a careful distinction from several similar spp. The author notes some
differences between the Pacific slope material of M. moralesii and the lone
Atlantic collection, meriting further investigation when more specimens become
available. All five new sp. are illustrated with fine composite line drawings by
INBio's Claudia Aragón.
Rojas Alvarado, A. F. 2004. Una especie nueva de Hymenophyllum y
una variedad nueva de Trichomanes collariatum Bosch (Filicales:
Hymenophyllaceae) en Costa Rica. Lankesteriana 4: 143-148.
Hymenophyllum talamancanum A. Rojas, based on a single collection by
Gerardo Herrera from 450 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the
Cordillera de Talamanca (basin of the Río Lari), is most similar to H.
horizontale C. V. Morton, H. plumosum Kaulf., and H. sieberi
(C. Presl) Bosch. Indeed, it appears morphologically intermediate to H.
horizontale and H. plumosum, but the notion of hybridization is discarded
on the basis of the well-formed spores of H. talamancanum. Trichomanes
collariatum var. alvaradoi A. Rojas, endemic to Isla del Coco, differs
from the autonymic var. in having smaller fronds, with the petiole proportionately
longer, fewer pinnae, and fewer sori per pinna. The new varietal name honors the late
Joaquín Alvarado, former director of the Área de
Conservación Isla del Coco (who died tragically on the island). Both new taxa
are illustrated with composite line drawings.
--. 2004. Un nuevo híbrido de Tectaria (Filicales: Tectariaceae)
en Costa Rica. Lankesteriana 4: 149-154.
Tectaria ×chaconiana A. Rojas is morphologically intermediate
between T. acutiloba (Hieron.) Maxon and T. lizarzaburui (Sodiro) C.
Chr. (as portrayed in line drawings and a tabular comparison), and possesses irregular,
malformed spores. On these bases, it is postulated as a hybrid between the two latter
spp. (both of which occur at the Estación Biológica La Selva, the only
known locality for the putative hybrid). The author's use of the names T.
acutiloba and T. lizarzaburui for the putative parental spp. requires
some clarification: T. acutiloba is segregated by Rojas from T.
mexicana (Fée) C. V. Morton, under which name it has generally been
synonymized, whereas T. lizarzaburui is (according to the author's
interpretation of type photos) the correct name for continental material known most
recently as T. vivipara Jermy & T. G. Walker (restricted by Rojas to
the Caribbean). In the author's view, the entity that has generally been
identified as T. lizarzaburui probably corresponds to an undescribed sp.,
closest to T. transiens (C. V. Morton) A. R. Sm. The differences between
T. acutiloba and T. mexicana, on the one hand, and T.
lizarzaburui and T. vivipara, on the other, are discussed, and their
respective geographic distributions summarized. The author acknowledges that
problems remain in these groups, and that additional study is required. The new
hybrid honors our good friend Rafael Chacón, a valuable
employee of very long tenure at CR.
Rouhan, G., J.-Y. Dubuisson, F. Rakotondrainibe, T. J. Motley, J. T. Mickel, J.-N.
Labat & R. C. Moran. 2004. Molecular phylogeny of the fern genus
Elaphoglossum (Elaphoglossaceae) based on chloroplast non-coding DNA
sequences: contributions of species from the Indian Ocean area. Molec. Phylogen.
Evol. 33: 745-763.
This study, dealing largely with the infrageneric classification of
Elaphoglossum, is mostly outside our area of interest; however, we do note
in passing that the divided-leaved E. peltatum (Sw.) Urb. appears firmly
nested within Elaphoglossum sect. Squamipedia Mickel &
Atehortúa, with simple-leaved spp. such as E. squamipes (Hook.) T.
Moore, thus delivering the knockout punch to the genus Peltapteris (probably
long a non-issue for pteridologists).
Simões, A. O., M. E. Endress, T. van der Niet, L. S. Kinoshita & E.
Conti. 2004. Tribal and intergeneric relationships of Mesechiteae (Apocynoideae,
Apocynaceae): evidence from three noncoding plastid DNA regions and morphology. Amer.
J. Bot. 91: 1409-1418.
Separate and combined cladistic analyses of the various data sets suggest that
Allomarkgrafia is nested in Mesechites (to cite the only result
with particular relevance to Costa Rica). The authors also report that "no
morphological synapomorphy that could distinguish the two genera could be
found," but caution that (as usual) "more species need to be
analyzed...before firm conclusions...can be reached."
Taylor, C. M. 2004. Rubiacearum americanarum magna hama pars XVI. New
species, a new subspecies, and an overlooked species of Psychotria subg.
Heteropsychotria from Mexico, Central America, and western South America.
Novon 14: 493-508.
How can it be that the big bucket, which appeared on the scene just three years ago
The Cutting Edge 8(3): 10, Jul. 2001], is already tipping for the sixteenth time?
Now, that's productivity! This time around we get eight new spp., one new subsp.,
and a shocking surprise. Just two of the new spp. need concern us: Psychotria
calidicola C. M. Taylor, ranging in the Atlantic lowlands from southeastern
Nicaragua to western Panama, has been confused in Costa Rica with P. eurycarpa
Standl., generally of higher elevations; P. calidicola is frequent at the La
Selva Biological Station, where it was known to early field hands as
"Coussarea 'Little Flower'." The other new sp. here
described from Costa Rica is Psychotria osaensis C. M. Taylor, endemic to
the Península de Osa and previously subsumed within P. deflexa DC.
The lone new subsp. is Mexican, but has the effect of relegating Costa Rican material
of Psychotria simiarum Standl. to the autonymic subsp. The shocker affects
one of the most familiar and wide-ranging Psychotria spp. in Costa Rica,
heretofore known as P. officinalis (Aubl.) Raeusch. ex Sandwith.
The latter name is here restricted to an allopatric sp. of northeastern South America
and is thus lost to us, to be replaced (from southern Mexico to Bolivia) by
Psychotria buchtienii (H. J. P. Winkl.) Standl. Just as the new taxa,
P. buchtienii is provided with a lengthy description and comprehensive
specimen citations (partly deferred to an appendix). All of the taxa dealt with in
this paper are illustrated with (usually composite) line drawings.
Webster, G. L. 2004. A revision of Phyllanthus section
Hylaeanthus (Euphorbiaceae). Lundellia 7: 11-27.
Phyllanthus sect. Hylaeanthus G. L. Webster, here referred
to subg. Conami (Aubl.) G. L. Webster, is highly unusual (at least from
the perspective of temperate-based botanists) in comprising mostly tall (up to
45 m!), slender, rain-forest trees with unramified branchlets. This largely
Amazonian assemblage is here circumscribed to include eight spp. (one assigned
tentatively). The only Mesoamerican representative is Phyllanthus skutchii
Standl., endemic to Costa Rica, where it has been found in the humid lowlands
(20-900 m) on both slopes. Features detailed sectional and sp. descriptions, a
key to spp., complete synonymy and typology, summaries of distribution and
phenology, specimen citations, discussions, and illustrations (photos of
exsiccatae). The very brief introduction includes a key to the "woody A
mazonian intrageneric taxa of Phyllanthus" (i.e., sections and
subgenera). Two new spp. and two new subspp. are published, none of which concerns
Williams, J. K. 2004. A revision of Capraria (Scrophulariaceae).
Lundellia 7: 53-78.
Capraria, uniquely distinguished within Scrophulariaceae by its alternate
leaves with external punctate glands and oil cavities, is an exclusively neotropical
genus of just four spp. By far the most widespread of these, and the only sp.
occurring in Costa Rica, is the weedy Capraria biflora L.; thus, there is
nothing new here for us. Features an extensive generic description, a key to spp.,
full synonymy and typology, sp. descriptions, data on common names, phenology, and
economic uses, representative specimen citations, discussions, range maps, numerous
illustrations, a section on excluded names, and an index to exsiccatae. The
introductory part addresses generic relationships (the genus has sometimes been
classed in Myoporaceae), morphology, and chromosome numbers. No taxonomic novelties
are here validated.
Wojciechowski, M. F., M. Lavin & M. J. Sanderson. 2004. A phylogeny of
legumes (Leguminosae) based on analysis of the plastid matK gene resolves
many well-supported subclades within the family. Amer. J. Bot. 91: 1846-1862.
The family Fabaceae s. l. is supported as monophyletic and, taking the results of
this study at face value, there appears to be no justification for the recognition of
any of its three traditional subfamilies at family rank. To be sure, subfam. Faboideae
(AKA Papilionoideae) is also well supported as monophyletic, as is, essentially,
subfam. Mimosoideae (with the removal of one obscure genus). But (as previous studies
have indicated) subfam. Caesalpinioideae gums up the works, being both polyphyletic
and paraphyletic. One large group of traditionally caesalpinioid genera (with, e.g.,
Bauhinia, Brownea, Cercis, Cynometra,
Dialium, Hymenaea, and Prioria) is paraphyletic to all
the rest of the family, including the so-called "Caesalpinioid crown
clade" (with genera such as Caesalpinia, Ceratonia,
Cercidium, Chamaecrista, Gleditsia, Gymnocladus,
Haematoxylum, Parkinsonia, and Senna), itself paraphyletic
with respect to subfam. Mimosoideae. The authors are optimistic that there is
"much promise for matK sequences in resolving all of the major
clades within Fabales."
Wurdack, K. J., P. Hoffmann, R. Samuel, A. de Bruijn, M. van der Bank & M.
W. Chase. 2004. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of Phyllanthaceae (Phyllanthoideae
pro parte, Euphorbiaceae sensu lato) using plastid rbcL DNA sequences. Amer.
J. Bot. 91: 1882-1900.
Recent, molecular-based classifications [see, e.g.,
The Cutting Edge 10(3): 5-6, Jul. 2003] have segregated the biovulate members
of Euphorbiaceae s. l. in three separate families, viz., Phyllanthaceae,
Picrodendraceae, and Putranjivaceae. This study affirms the distinctness of
Putranjivaceae (which includes Drypetes), but leaves open the possibility
that Phyllanthaceae and Picrodendraceae may yet have to be merged. Phyllanthaceae,
which is otherwise monophyletic, is further resolved into two major clades and 10
subclades, the details of which are of no interest to us. Costa Rican representatives
of Phyllanthaceae include Amanoa, Astrocasia, Hieronyma,
Margaritaria, Phyllanthus, and Richeria, as well as the
cultivated Breynia and Sauropus. Phyllanthus itself
appears paraphyletic (with respect to Breynia, Margaritaria, and
Sauropus, among others), but with low bootstrap support; no
Phyllanthus spp. occurring in Costa Rica were included in the study.
Zhu, G. & T. B. Croat. 2004. Revision of Dracontium (Araceae).
Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 91: 593-667.
The neotropical genus Dracontium comprises coarse, geophytic herbs,
generally with a single, massive leaf, with the blade tripartitely divided, and a
correspondly large inflorescence. Vegetatively, the plants strikingly resemble
members of the familiar (in cultivation) Old World genus Amorphophallus,
only distantly related. Unlike many geophytes, which tend to be found in dry areas,
Dracontium typically inhabits humid lowland forests. The taxonomy of the
genus has long been plagued by the paucity and inadequacy of herbarium specimens,
a common dilemma with large, rain-forest monocots. Former MO student (and current
MO curator) Guanghua Zhu dealt with this by traveling widely
throughout Latin America (including Costa Rica) to study wild populations, and also
by studying cultivated plants in various collections, especially that of the second
author. Among the 23 spp. here recognized for Dracontium are four that
occur in Costa Rica, with only D. pittieri Engl. endemic. By no
coincidence, this accords perfectly with the Manual treatment of the genus by
co-PI Mike Grayum, who made liberal use of Guanghua's
then-unpublished Ph.D. thesis. Provided with full synonymy and typology, exhaustive
generic and sp. descriptions, a key to spp., summaries of phenology and distribution,
generous discussions, comprehensive specimen citations, abundant illustrations
(black-and-white photos of living plants or exsiccatae), and an index to exsiccatae.
The extensive introductory part (also illustrated) includes sections on taxonomic
history, morphology and anatomy, chromosome numbers, distribution, reproductive
biology and dispersal, uses, and relationships.