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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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The Cutting Edge

Volume XVII, Number 1, January 2010

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

BURMANNIACEAE. The report of a second Costa Rican locality for Burmannia capitata (Walter ex J. F. Gmel.) Mart. in our last issue elicited a quick response from Mario Blanco (FLAS/JBL), who had found the same sp. at yet a third site in 2006: in Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal (Cordillera de Guanacaste), where it was growing abundantly, in exposed sites, in soil covered with dark volcanic ash. This population (vouchered by M. Blanco 3208, USJ) was flowering in January, necessitating an emendation of the Manual phenology data for the sp.

CANELLACEAE. How often does the discovery of a single tree augment the total world population of a sp. by 50%? This is exactly what happened when Reinaldo Aguilar, a coauthor of Pleodendron costaricense N. Zamora, Hammel & Aguilar [see The Cutting Edge 13(1): 7, Jan. 2006], stumbled onto only the second individual of that sp. known from the Península de Osa, and the third all told. Okay, we’re fudging just a bit: a sapling has also been located in the wild, and at least one other sapling persists in cultivation; but as far as wild-growing, reproductive adults are concerned, we know of only three. Further attesting to the extreme rarity of this sp. is the fact that 11 years elapsed between the discoveries of the two Osa specimens, notwithstanding continual exploration in the area by an expert resident botanist (Reinaldo) with a keen search image for these trees. By the way, the third adult specimen grows (or grew?) further north, in the vicinity of Parrita, where the sapling was also found.

CYPERACEAE. Thanks to the ever-vigilant Daniel Santamaría (INB), we have become aware of two new (to us!) Costa Rican records of the widespread Eleocharis obtusetrigona (Lindl. & Nees) Steud. Both specimens were collected by Manual aquatic plants guru Garrett Crow (6186, 6249) from about the lagoon near Buenos Aires, in the southern Valle de El General. The determinations, by MO family specialist Gerrit Davidse, date from 2002, the same year that a paper first reporting this sp. from Costa Rica appeared [see The Cutting Edge 10(2): 5, Jan. 2003]—unfortunately, just a tad too late for the inclusion of E. obtusetrigona in Manual Vol. 2. The Crow collections firmly establish this sp. as indigenous (or at least naturalized) in Costa Rica, the earlier record having come from a site where it might have been planted.

LENTIBULARIACEAE. The recently described epiphytic sp. Utricularia uxoris Gómez-Laur. [see The Cutting Edge 13(1): 6–7, Jan. 2006] has been known only from the type locality, with its distribution and phenology specified in Manual Vol. 6 as: “Bosque pluvial, 1050–1100 m; vert. Carib. N Cord. de Talamanca (cuenca del Río Pejibaye). Fl. set., oct.” However, Manual Lentibulariaceae author Garrett Crow recently identified three additional specimens as U. uxoris, necessitating the following rather drastic revision of the foregoing statement: “Bosque muy húmedo, pluvial y de roble, 0–2300+ m; vert. Carib. Cord. de Talamanca, S vert. Pac., Pen. de Osa. Fl. jun., ago.–oct.” The sp. remains a Costa Rican endemic, though one of the new collections is from very near the Panamanian border in the Valle del Silencio (vert. Carib. Cord. de Talamanca).

POACEAE. Having recently authored a revision of Festuca for South American páramos, visiting agrostologist Paul M. Peterson (US; see under “News and Notes”) was well primed to examine Costa Rican material of that genus. As a result, two collections from the Cerro Caraigres vicinity (Hammel et al. 24219 and J. F. Morales 7427) have been tentatively identified as Festuca caldasii (Kunth) Kunth, a sp. otherwise known only from Colombia and Ecuador. On the negative side of the ledger (at least potentially), the INB duplicate of G. Moore et al. 8507, the basis of a recent report of Microstegium vimineum (Trin.) A. Camus from Costa Rica [see The Cutting Edge 16(1): 2–3, Jan. 2009], has been redetermined by Peterson as Ischaemum timorense Kunth, a familiar weed in the region. As these two spp. are not even superficially similar, a mixed collection, or a labeling or typographic error, seems probable.


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