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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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The Cutting Edge

Volume XVIII, Number 1, January 2011

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

Berg, C. C.  2009. Moraceae (Ficus).  In, G. Harling & C. Persson (eds.), Flora of Ecuador 85: 1–146.  Univ. Gothenburg [Sweden].

Flipping through this contribution, extraterritorial to our main interests, we find that two names accepted by José González (LSCR) in his Manual Moraceae treatment are here relegated to synonymy:  Ficus bullenei I. M. Johnst. (under F. matiziana Dugand) and F. lasiosyce J. A. González & Poveda (under F. romeroi Dugand, to which it was compared in the Manual).  The downfall of F. lasiosyce, should it be confirmed, would entail the loss of another Costa Rican endemic.

Calles, T. & R. Schultze-Kraft.  2010. Re-establishment of Stylosanthes gracilis (Leguminosae) at species level.  Kew Bull. 65: 233–240.

Morphological evidence is marshaled to support the recognition of Stylosanthes gracilis Kunth as distinct from S. guianensis (Aubl.) Sw., under which it has often been subordinated as a var., as in Nelson Zamora’s recent Manual treatment.  Perplexingly, Costa Rica is omitted from the geographic range of S. gracilis (though Panama is included), while the single Costa Rican specimen cited under the much-collected S. guianensis just happens to be the Manual voucher for S. guianensis var. gracilis (Kunth) Vogel ex Benth.!  Features full synonymy and typology for S. gracilis and S. guianensis, plus a technical description, distribution summary, selected exsiccatae citations, and discussion for each, as well as a dichotomous and indented key (also including the South American S montevidensis Vogel, “closely related to S. gracilis”).  Our application of this key to the Manual voucher of Stylosanthes guianensis var. gracilis tentatively confirms the authors’ determination (as. S. guianensis), though only one critical attribute (“pods uni-articulate”) is reasonably definitive.  A neotype is designated for Stylosanthes gracilis.

Casto, S. D. & H. R. Burke.  2010. Austin Paul Smith.  The life of a natural history collector and horticulturist.  Print Express, Seguin, TX.  37 pp.

We became aware of this intriguing project a few years back, and previewed some of the juicy details in these pages [see The Cutting Edge 16(2): 1–2, Apr. 2009].  The name Austin Smith is familiar to anyone involved with Costa Rican floristics, but the details of his life—including even the dates and places of his birth and death—have long been a mystery.  Now all of the basics are revealed, and much, much more, in this painstakingly researched chronological review of the man’s life.  Smith (1881–1948) bas born in northeastern Ohio and grew up in a well-to-do household on the outskirts of Cleveland.  He began collecting birds ca. 1901 and soon became a professional at this, traveling tirelessly throughout the western United States and Mexico in search of avian specimens to be sold to private patrons.  After finally arriving in Costa Rica with his teenage bride in 1920, Smith continued collecting birds and other vertebrates—and, one suspects, ignoring his wife, who returned to the States the following year.  But Smith stuck it out in Costa Rica (he would never leave), and by 1935 had relocated from San José to the small mountain town of Zarcero, where he abandoned birds and turned his attention to collecting plants.  He apparently supported himself throughout his adult life exclusively through the sale of natural-history specimens, and died in abject poverty.  Smith was evidently well known to and respected by the ornithological community for much of his life, and published many papers on Costa Rica birds, but none on its plants.  But although his plant-collecting years (1934–1941) comprised a relatively brief period of his career, he ultimately “received greater recognition from the botanical community,” with at least 25 spp. of plants named for him (this, we would submit, being due to the simple fact that there were a lot more new spp. of plants to be found than of birds).  The mind reels at what Smith might have accomplished in the botanical realm had he begun collecting plants upon his arrival in Costa Rica.

The authors of this work are professors emeritus of ornithology and entomology, respectively, but both claim secondary interests in “the history of natural history.”  That passion impelled them to research not only standard scientific works, but also old newspapers, letters, personal notes, government archives, and Internet data-bases, yielding an unprecedented wealth of factual data on Smith’s life.  Nevertheless, they allow that the lack of personal letters written by or to Smith, and the fact that his field journals could not be found, “hindered us greatly in presenting a fuller picture of [his] character and work.”  But even with that caveat, the authors have succeeded in resurrecting Austin Smith to a degree none of us had dreamed possible.

According to a statement on the obverse of the title page, copies of this absorbing booklet “may be obtained in pdf or hardcopy from Stanley D. Casto or Horace R. Burke.”  We have been informed by the second author that such copies are free of charge.

Cetzal Ix, W. & G. Carnevali Fernández-Concha.  2010. A revision of Cohniella Pfitzer (Orchidaceae) in Mexico.  J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 137: 180–213.

This contribution, mostly irrelevant to us, is supplementary to a synopsis of the entire genus Cohniella recently published by this same team.  Our review of the previous paper (see this column under Carnevali Fernández-Concha et al. in our last issue) mentioned the potential occurrence in Costa Rica of Cohniella teres (Ames & C. Schweinf.) Christenson, the name of which had been consigned to the synonymy of Oncidium ascendens Lindl. [i.e., Cohniella ascendens (Lindl.) Christenson] in Robert L. Dressler’s Manual treatment of Orchidaceae.  Here the name Cohniella teres is instead synonymized under C. helicantha (Kraenzl.) Cetzal & Carnevali, comb. nov., with the new combination based on Oncidium helicanthum Kraenzl., resurrected from its traditional status as a synonym of Cohniella (or Oncidium) ascendens (where it was referred by these authors in their recent synopsis).  Previous reports of Cohniella helicantha (as C. teres, or Oncidium teres) from Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica are considered dubious, based on misidentifications of C. ascendens; an illustration in the late Dora Emilia Mora de Retana’s Flora costaricensis treatment of Oncidium (1999) is alleged to depict a plant that “was imported from Panama” and belonging to a different sp.  These authors “have yet to study any actual [Costa Rican] collection unequivocally referable” to Cohniella helicantha, but do cite a specimen from the Península de Burica in far western Panama, a stone’s throw from the Costa Rican border.  The lectotype illustration of Oncidium helicanthum is reproduced, and a key to the three spp. comprising the “Cohniella ascendens complex” is provided.

Chiron, G. & A. Morales.  2010. Conspectus neotropicus mesoamericanus.  Le genre Chysis Lindley (Orchidaceae).  Richardiana 10: 161–192.

The largely Mesoamerican Chysis is another of those fantastical orchid genera that are almost never seen outside of captivity.  Two spp. were attributed to Costa Rica in the Manual Orchidaceae treatment by Robert L. DresslerC. bruennowiana Rchb. f. & Warsz. and C. tricostata Schltr.  This article, self-described as “a general survey” in which “the taxonomy is discussed,” retains that status quo.  Features a dichotomous (though unindented) key to spp. (at the end of the paper), synonymy and limited typology, descriptions of the two sections (one of which is described as new) and 10 spp. recognized, and a distribution summary for the each sp.  There is no formal genus description (though generic features are discussed informally in the introduction) and no mention of exsiccatae, apart from types (though there would be exceedingly few that could be cited).  A simple drawing of floral parts is provided for most of the spp., and these are supplemented by reproductions of historic illustrations and some photos of living material.  Two spp. (neither occurring in Costa Rica) are described as new, and a neotype is designated for C. bruennowiana.  In French (with an English abstract).

Cialdella, A. M., D. L. Salariato, L. Aagesen, L. M. Giussani, F. O. Zuloaga & O. Morrone.  2010. Phylogeny of New World Stipeae (Poaceae):  an evaluation of the monophyly of Aciachne and Amelichloa.  Cladistics 26: 563–578.

Only Aciachne, of the titular genera, occurs in Costa Rica, and of course it is not monophyletic.  Rather, it is poly- or paraphyletic (depending upon the analysis), but in either case our A. acicularis Laegaard is not threatened, as it groups with the generic type.  Several other genera, including Anatherostipa, Jarava, and Nassella, also appear polyphyletic, but none of the Costa Rican spp. assignable to those taxa (treated under Nassella and Stipa in the Manual) were included in the study.

Columbus, J. T. & J. P. Smith, Jr.  2010. Nomenclatural changes for some grasses in California and the Muhlenbergia clade (Poaceae).  Aliso 28: 65–67.

Among the numerous new names and combinations validated in this paper are three that pertain to spp. occurring in Costa Rica:  Festuca perennis (L.) Columbus & J. P. Sm. (based on Lolium perenne L.), Muhlenbergia diandra (R. W. Pohl) Columbus (based on Pereilema diandrum R. W. Pohl), and M. uniseta (Lag.) Columbus (based on Hymenothecium unisetum Lag.).  The last of these is intended to replace Aegopogon tenellus (DC.) Trin., the epithet of which is preoccupied in Muhlenbergia.  This paper (published on 21 May) renders illegitimate many of the names and combinations published several months later (1 September) by Peterson et al. (see later this column), including Muhlenbergia diandra (R. W. Pohl) P. M. Peterson and, ironically, a nomen novum in Muhlenbergia honoring Columbus!  Moreover, in the latter paper, a different combination in Muhlenbergia (based on Aegopogon geminiflorus Kunth) is proferred as a replacement for Aegopogon tenellus (with no mention of Hymenothecium unisetum).  The two competing basionyms both date from 1816, but according to the information available in TL-2 the Kunth name has priority by at least four months.  So this round should go to Peterson, assuming that both names indeed apply to the same sp.

Davis, C. C. & W. R. Anderson.  2010. A complete generic phylogeny of Malpighiaceae inferred from nucleotide sequence data and morphology.  Amer. J. Bot. 97: 2031–2048.

One of the principal goals of this study was the resolution of relationships among the 11 recent generic segregates from Mascagnia, including Adelphia, Carolus, Christianella, and Niedenzuella, all accepted in the Manual Malphighiaceae treatment by the second author of this paper.  All passed muster with the exception of Niedenzuella, which is not monophyletic; N. stannea (Griseb.) W. R. Anderson, the sole Costa Rican representative of the genus, is more closely related to Aenigmatanthera, another recent segregate.  The authors’ proposal to resolve the matter by combining the two genera under the name Niedenzuella will preserve the status quo for us.  However, “beyond Mascagnia s.l., all of the other large genera of Malpighiaceae, with the exception of Bunchosia and Byrsonima, are not monophyletic as traditionally described.”  Most of these issues either do not affect Costa Rica, or were already addressed or at least mentioned in the Manual treatment (see, e.g., the discussion under Banisteriopsis, in which Bronwenia is mentioned, and the Diplopterys entry).  Other matters remain to be resolved, including the relationship between Aspicarpa and Gaudichaudia, discussed under the latter genus in the Manual.  Furthermore, the Costa Rican endemic Lophanthera hammelii W. R. Anderson was found to be “more closely related to Spachea than to other species of Lophanthera” (inexplicable even to the authors), and Tetrapterys “may not be monophyletic.”

Delprete, P. G., F. Achille & A. Mouly.  2010. Four new combinations in Chomelia and Stenostomum (Rubiaceae, Guettardeae) from Central America, the Guianas and the Amazon Basin.  Blumea 55: 164–170.

While perusing this issue of Blumea we happened to notice that the publication dates, conspicuously indicated at the head of each article just below the abstract, were different in nearly every case.  How is it possible for different articles in the same issue of a journal to be published on different dates?  Simple:  the dates in Blumea have nothing (necessarily) to do with hard-copy publication but, rather, with the posting of individual articles on the Internet.  Of course, electronic publication is still not effective according to the Code, but it is our understanding that the editors of Blumea encourage authors to print copies of their article on the day the PDF is posted on the Internet (i.e., the date indicated in the printed version of the journal) and distribute them to various libraries, to guarantee effective publication on that date.  Well and good, but how can it be determined whether this was actually done?  And even if it it were possible to prove the negative hypothesis, what would be the publication date of the hard-copy article?  Nowhere in this issue of Blumea is a date for actual hard-copy publication provided.  Thus a gray area for priority is created, the potential negative consequences of which are fully realized, as it so happens, in this very issue.  The case in point involves the only one of the new combinations validated in this paper that concerns us, Stenostomum acreanum (K. Krause) Achille & Delprete (based on Guettarda acreana K. Krause).  Some readers may recall that we recently reported the validation of Stenostomum acreanum (K. Krause) C. M. Taylor (see this column in our last issue, under Taylor & Gereau), and therein lies the problem:  which came first?  It is easily established that the issue of Novon in which the C. M. Taylor combination appeared was published on 13 September 2010 (as indicated on the final page).  But we are in the dark as to the exact publication date of the Achille & Delprete combination, despite the legend “Published on 17 August 2010” displayed prominently on the first page.  Under the circumstances, one might be excused for accepting the Taylor combination as prior by default, and perhaps an article along such lines should be considered for the Code:  “in cases of ambiguous priority, names appearing in works with explicit hard-copy publication dates shall prevail.”

Getting back to basics:  these authors also allege that Stenostomum acreanum was confounded with Chomelia microloba in the 1993 Flora costaricensis Rubiaceae account by William Burger (F) and Charlotte M. Taylor (MO), and two names included as synonyms of C. microloba in the latter work (Antirhea panamensis Standl. and Chomelia chambersii Dwyer & M. V. Hayden) are here subordinated instead to S. acreanum.  And finally, the basionym of the last-mentioned name is lectotypified.

Dorr, L. J. & J. H. Wiersema.  2010. Typification of names of American species of vascular plants proposed by Linnaeus and based on Loefling’s Iter Hispanicum (1758).  Taxon 59: 1571–1577.

Neo- or lectotypes are designated for 16 of the names specified in the title, including several that apply to spp. occurring in Costa Rica:  Allionia violacea L. [Nyctaginaceae; the basionym of Mirabilis violacea (L.) Heimerl], Cecropia peltata L. (Urticaceae), Combretum occidentale L. [Combretaceae; a synonym of C. fruticosum (Loefl.) Stuntz], Ellisia acuta L. (Verbenaceae; a synonym of Duranta erecta L.), Jussiaea pubescens L. [Onagraceae; a synonym of Ludwigia octovalvis (Jacq.) P. H. Raven], Krameria ixine L. (Krameriaceae), Loranthus occidentalis L. [Loranthaceae; the basionym of Oryctanthus occidentalis (L.) Eichler], Spermacoce strigosa L. (Rubiaceae; possibly applying to the sp. currently known as Diodia teres Walter or Diodella teres (Walter) Small], Viola arborea L. [Violaceae; the basionym of Corynostylis arborea (L.) S. F. Blake], V. calceolaria [the basionym of Hybanthus calceolaria (L.) Oken], and V. oppositifolia L. [the basionym of Hybanthus oppositifolius (L.) Taub.].  As far as we can tell, the only one of these typifications that potentially threatens current usage is that of Spermacoce strigosa, the epithet of which could displace that of Diodia teres or Diodella teres; however, the authors state that “the formal rejection of Spermacoce strigosa will be proposed to avoid this outcome.”

Frodin, D. G., P. P. Lowry II & G. M. Plunkett.  2010. Schefflera (Araliaceae):  taxonomic history, overview and progress.  Pl. Diversity Evol. 128: 561–595.

This review paper summarizes in rather elaborate detail the ongoing decomposition of Schefflera at the hands of molecular systematists.  To be sure, the situation has not changed cosmetically (i.e., with respect to the implementation of a rigorous new generic classification) during the past six years [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 12(1): 9–10, Jan. 2005].  Nonetheless, it is here made abundantly clear (see especially the section on “Current and future prospects” at the end of the paper) that significant progress has taken place behind the scenes, including the resolution of at least four well-supported neotropical clades, and we are confident that this team is on the threshold of major breakthroughs on several fronts—perhaps sooner than had been anticipated.

Giraldo-Cañas, D.  2008. Las especies mesoamericanas y caribeñas del género Schwartzia (complejo Norantea, Marcgraviaceae)/The Mesoamerican and Caribbean species of the genus Schwartzia (Norantea complex, Marcgraviaceae).  Revista Inst. Univ. Tecnol. Chocó 27: 4–18.

This study treats four spp. of Schwartzia from the region specified in the title, three of which are Mesoamerican and attributed to Costa Rica:  S. brenesii (Standl.) Bedell, S. costaricensis (Gilg) Bedell, and S. jimenezii (Standl.) Bedell.  Nowhere is the endemic Schwartzia tarrazuensis Hammel mentioned, which is especially odd because the paper in which it was published is cited in a different connection, and its author recognized in the acknowledgments!  As a result of this omission, this contribution can only be viewed as a step backward from the Manual Marcagraviaceae treatment (2007) by co-PI Barry Hammel.  Otherwise, we get the usual fare:  full synonymy and typology, generous genus and spp. descriptions, a key to spp., distribution summaries, discussions, and exsiccatae citations.  Important morphological details are discussed in the opening pages, and all four spp. are depicted in rather primitive composite line drawings.  Many thanks to Franz Starlinger (WFBVA) for bringing this article to our attention.

Hammel, B. E., M. H. Grayum, C. Herrera & N. Zamora (eds.).  2010. Manual de plantas de Costa Rica.  Vol. V.  Dicotiledóneas (ClusiaceaeGunneraceae).  Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 119: 1–970.

This represents the second of four dicot volumes to be published in the Manual series, and the fifth altogether of a projected total of seven.  The basic features of the new volume are the same as described for Vols. 2 and 3 [see The Cutting Edge 9(1): 6, Jan. 2004].  The 30 families treated in Vol. 5 account for a total of 1422 Costa Rican spp. in 355 genera.  As in the case of the last volume published (Vol. 6), this one ups the ante in becoming our largest volume yet in terms of sp. and page number (wait until you see Vol. 7!).  The flagship family for the new volume is Fabaceae, with 593 spp. the second-largest family in the Costa Rican flora (after Orchidaceae).  The treatment of Fabaceae, by Manual co-PI Nelson Zamora (INB), orders all the genera alphabetically (without regard to subfamily affinities) and incorporates most recent generic realignments, including the controversial fragmentation of Acacia.  The next two largest families in this volume are Euphorbiaceae, with 178 spp., and Gesneriaceae, with 141 spp.  There are no new taxa this time around, but several new combinations and one epitypfication are validated.  Illustrated with 412 line drawings, 30 black-and-white photos, and the usual eight pages of color photos.

Readers may be puzzled as to why the Manual heartily embraces some recent molecular-based classificatory changes (such as the Acacia example and numerous cases in Gesneriaceae) but ignores others (such as, most glaringly, the dissolution of Flacourtiaceae).  This has to do primarily with constraints imposed by our alphabetical sequencing of families.  Our policy is to accommodate all widely accepted new classifications (particularly those ratified by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group) wherever possible.  Within particular families this can always be done, up until our text is submitted to the printer.  However, changes at the family level often present challenges.  For example, we were unable to recognize Phyllanthaceae as distinct from Euphorbiaceae, because the Manual volume that would have contained Phyllanthaceae had already been published; and dissolving Flacourtiaceae would have required the transferral of most of its genera (those now referred to Salicaceae) to Manual Vol. 7 which, though not yet published, is already filled to capacity (if not beyond).  On the other hand, Picramniaceae, Simaroubaceae, and Surianaceae all happen to fall within the alphabetical confines of Vol. 7, in which it will therefore be possible to observe the recent breakup of Simaroubaceae s. l.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the following contributors, who shouldered the burden for Vol. 5:  Fred R. Barrie (F/MO; Erythroxylaceae pro parte); Eduardo Chacón (USJ; Fumariaceae pro parte); Garrett E. Crow (formerly NHA; Elatinaceae); Jorge Gómez-Laurito (USJ; Droseraceae, Fumariaceae pro parte); José González (LSCR; Cucurbitaceae pro parte, Dilleniaceae, Ebenaceae, Elaeagnaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Flacourtiaceae, Garryaceae); Luis González (formerly INB; Coriariaceae); Quírico Jiménez (formerly INB; Combretaceae, Cornaceae); James L. Luteyn (formerly NY; Ericaceae pro parte); Paul J. M. Maas (WAG; Voyria pro parte); Hiltje Maas-van de Kamer (WAG; Voyria pro parte); Ricardo Kriebel (NY; Dichapetalaceae pro parte, Gesneriaceae); J. Francisco Morales (INB; Connaraceae, Crassulaceae, Cunoniaceae, Fagaceae, Geraniaceae, Grossulariaceae, Gunneraceae); Timothy Plowman (F, deceased; Erythroxylaceae pro parte); Luis J. Poveda (JVR; Cucurbitaceae pro parte); Ghillean T. Prance (formerly K; Dichapetalaceae pro parte); Alexánder Rodríguez (INB; Dichapetalaceae pro parte); Joaquín Sánchez (CR; Gentianaceae pro parte); Damon A. Smith (formerly DUKE; Elaeocarpaceae); and Robert L. Wilbur (DUKE; Ericaceae pro parte).

Oh, and by the way:  contrary to our initial fears (see this column in our last issue under Riina et al.), we did somehow contrive to cite Croton stipuliformis J. Murillo in synonymy under C. skutchii Standl., and to adjust the geographic range of the latter accordingly.

Jiménez Madrigal, Q., F. Rojas Rodríguez, V. Rojas Chacón & L. Rodríguez Sánchez.  2010. Árboles maderables de Costa Rica.  Ecología y silvicultura/Timber trees of Costa Rica.  Ecology and Silviculture.  2 ed.  Edit. INBio.  360 pp.

The second edition of this seminal work is out, and although we have not yet seen it, we can provide some details from on-line sources:  55 native spp. are featured, each with a “taxonomic description,” habitat specifications, and information on silviculture and propagation, uses, and wood characteristics.  All are illustrated with color photographs and drawings of leaves, flowers, or fruits.  This fine volume may be obtained at INBio for $25.00 (more in the U.S.).  Thanks to the first author for providing this advance information.

Kainulainen, K., C. Persson, T. Eriksson & B. Bremer.  2010. Molecular systematics and morphological character evolution of the Condamineeae (Rubiaceae).  Amer. J. Bot. 97: 1961–1981.

At least two results of this study have direct relevance to Costa Rican floristics.  First, the genus Bathysa is shown to be polyphyletic, with the group including the type sp. sister to Warszewiczia and another group sister to Elaeagia.  As luck would have it, Bathysa veraguensis Dwyer, the sole Costa Rican sp. involved, belongs to the latter group, and thus must suffer a name change.  The neglected genus name Schizocalyx Wedd. is revived for the occasion, and all of the necessary new combinations are validated, including S. veraguensis (Dwyer) Kainul. & B. Bremer.  The second revelation for us is that Elaeagia is also polyphyletic, with E. myriantha (Standl.) C. M. Taylor & Hammel (occurring in Costa Rica) removed from the rest of the genus.  It so happens that the genus name Holtonia Standl. is available for this one sp., and the authors assert that its resurrection is supported by their data; hence, Holtonia myriantha (Standl.) Standl. rides again.  A technical description of tribe Condamineeae is provided, as well as brief revised descriptions of Schizocalyx and Rustia (which absorbs a monospecific South American genus).

Labiak, P. H., G. Rouhan & M. Sundue.  2010. Phylogeny and taxonomy of Leucotrichum (Polypodiaceae):  a new genus of grammitid ferns from the Neotropics.  Taxon 59: 911–921.

We previously alluded to a paper that we had been unable to track down in which a new genus of grammitid ferns was described (see our last issue under Labiak et al., this column).  Now, with the compliments of its third author, we have a copy of that paper in hand.  The five spp. comprising the new genus (christened as Leucotrichum Labiak) have mostly been included in Lellingeria.  However, a phylogenetic analysis of molecular plus morphological data reveals the latter genus as polyphyletic, with the spp. separated as Leucotrichum in a sister-group relationship with a particular group of the rampantly polyphyletic Terpsichore.  Five new combinations at sp. rank in Leucotrichum are validated in the name of the first author, including L. mitchelliae (Baker ex Hemsl.) Labiak and L. pseudomitchellae (Lellinger) Labiak, for the only spp. recorded from Costa Rica.  Includes full typology and synonymy, technical descriptions and distribution summaries at all ranks, a dichotomous key to spp., and (apparently) comprehensive specimen citations.  All five spp. are depicted in a single composite line drawing, and additional details are portrayed photographically.  Several lectotypes are designated, including one for the basionym of Leucotrichum mitchelliae.

Marx, H. E., N. O’Leary, Y.-W. Yuan, P. Lu-Irving, D. C. Tank, M. E. Múlgura & R. G. Olmstead.  2010. A molecular phylogeny and classification of Verbenaceae.  Amer. J. Bot. 97: 1647–1663.

The results of this study “confirm nonmonophyly of Aloysia [sometimes cultivated in Costa Rica] and are consistent with the idea that Lantana and Lippia also are nonmonophyletic.”  Phyla, on the other hand, is evidently monophyletic, but its relationship to the other genera of tribe Lantaneae remains unresolved (Phyla appears nested among other taxa in the accompanying cladograms).  “Unpublished data” attributed to two of these authors is cited as the basis for the reduction of Phyla to just five spp., and we note with apprehension that the five names for Phyla spp. appearing in the cladograms bear no obvious relationship to the three currently being used in the Manual Verbenaceae draft treatment (which we are in the process of revising).  Also of interest in this connection is the author’s usage of the name Lippia dulcis Trevir. for a sp. that has been shuttled back and forth between Lippia and Phyla.  Finally, Petrea and Priva appear to be paraphyletic, though in ways not portending name-changes for the Costa Rican spp. of those genera, as does Glandularia, at least one member of which may occasionally be cultivated in Costa Rica.

Morales, J. F.  2010. Sinopsis del género Weinmannia (Cunoniaceae) en México y Centroamérica.  Anales Jard. Bot. Madrid 67: 137–155.

This contribution appears a trifle too late to have been cited in the author’s Manual treatment of Cunoniaceae, just published in our Vol. 5 (see under Hammel et al., this column).  The only substantive difference is the implementation of the name Weinmannia horrida J. F. Morales, here validated as new, for the entity called “Weinmannia sp. 1” in the Manual.  It is also worth noting that no mention is here made of infraspecific taxa for Weinmannia balbisiana Kunth and W. fagaroides Kunth (Costa Rican material of each having been referred to the autonymic var. in the Manual).  Includes a dichotomous (but non-indented) key to the 10 spp. accepted for the region specified in the title (all but one of which occur in Costa Rica), as well as synonymy and typology, a technical description, distribution summary, and discussion, and comprehensive specimen citations for each sp., plus indices to scientific names and exsiccatae.  Illustrated with photographs of living and herbarium material (the latter provided for each sp.).

Penneys, D. S., F. A. Michelangeli, W. S. Judd & F. Almeda.  2010. Henrietteeae (Melastomataceae):  a new Neotropical berry-fruited tribe.  Syst. Bot. 35: 783–800.

Phylogenetic analyses of nrITS and ndhF sequence data, in conjunction with an evaluation of morphological and anatomical characters, have defined a well-supported clade that here receives formal taxonomic recognition, as indicated in the title of the article.  The new tribe comprises seven genera, according to the author’s a priori assumptions, including Bellucia, Henriettea, Henriettella, and Loreya (to mention only those occurring in Costa Rica).  However, this total is reduced to just three, via lumping occasioned by the results of this study.  For us, the big news is that Henriettella has been subsumed within Henriettea, and Loreya within Bellucia.  All of the required new combinations in Bellucia and Henriettea are validated under the names of (unfortunately) all four authors, in the order of the paper’s by-line.  Mercifully, these cumbersome monikers were needed for only two of the eight Costa Rican spp. involved, Henriettella odorata Markgr. and H. trachyphylla Triana (existing names in Bellucia and Henriettea for the other six spp. are provided in the Manual).  Also featured are an extensive, technical description of the new tribe, a dichotomous, indented key to its three genera (the Colombian Kirkbridea being the third), and synonymy, typology, and an amended description for each genus.

Persson, C. & P. G. Delprete.  2010. Cordiera longicaudata sp. nov. and Duroia valesca sp. nov. of the Alibertia group (Gardenieae–Rubiaceae).  Nordic J. Bot. 28: 523–527.

The new spp. are of no concern to us, but we note in passing the authors’ claim that “the genus Cordiera is distributed from Costa Rica to southern Brazil and Paraguay.”  Huh?  We never heard of it.  What did we miss?  A paper by the authors cited as “unpubl.” will hopefully provide the answer.

Peterson, P. M., K. Romaschenko & G. Johnson.  2010. A phylogeny and classification of the Muhlenbergiinae (Poaceae: Chloridoideae: Cynodonteae) based on plastid and nuclear DNA sequences.  Amer. J. Bot. 97: 1532–1554.

Muhlenbergia is paraphyletic, with nine genera nested therein.  The authors opt to subsume all of these under the oldest name, Muhlenbergia, because the lumping alternative “requires the least amount of nomenclatural changes and still allows [one] to recognize a strongly supported monophyletic and morphologically cohesive unit.”  All of the new combinations required by this new classification are here validated in the name of the first author, including two at subgeneric rank.  Just two of the nine lost genera, Aegopogon and Pereilema, are represented in Costa Rica, by two spp. apiece.  It turns out that the names Muhlenbergia cenchroides (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) P. M. Peterson and M. pereilema P. M. Peterson had previously been validated (in a paper not seen by us) to replace Aegopogon cenchroides Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd. and Pereilema crinitum J. Presl, respectively.  The present paper substitutes Muhlenbergia geminiflora (Kunth) P. M. Peterson, comb. nov., for Aegopogon tenellus (DC.) Trin. (the epithet tenella being preoccupied in Muhlenbergia) and M. diandra (R. W. Pohl) P. M. Peterson, comb. nov., for Pereilema diandrum R. W. Pohl; however, the latter new combination (as well as several others in this paper not pertaining to Costa Rica) is dead on arrival, and the former is facing at least a taxonomic challenge (see under Columbus & Smith, this column).

Quintanar, A. & S. Castroviejo.  2010. (1947) Proposal to conserve Trisetum against Trisetaria (Gramineae).  Taxon 59: 1602–1603.

Were Trisetum (with five spp. in Costa Rica) to be merged with the similar and very closely related Trisetaria, as sometimes has been done, the latter and older name would have to be used, requiring “more than fifty new combinations.”  This proposal seeks to avert that crisis.

Ricketson, J. M. & J. J. Pipoly III.  2010. A synopsis of Neotropical Stylogyne (Myrsinaceae).  Novon 20: 437–447.

These same authors have already published a synopsis of the Mesoamerican members of Stylogyne [see The Cutting Edge 5(1): 6, Jan. 1998], and here extend the favor to the remainder of the geographic range (the genus being exclusively neotropical).  By our reckoning, this is really more of a nomenclator than a synopsis (there is no key, distributional information, or specimen citations, apart from types).  Two new combinations are validated, one name is neotypified, 21 names lectotypified, and 13 names newly synonymized; however, two lectotypifications of synonyms of Stylogyne turbacensis (Kunth) Mez (the sole sp. occurring in Costa Rica) would appear to be the only innovations of peripheral relevance to us.

Rogers, Z. S.  2010. Nomenclatural notes on American Thymelaeaceae.  Novon 20: 448–462.

All 256 names at the rank of genus and below applicable to New World Thymelaeaceae were reviewed for this study, but only the more salient details (mainly lecto- and neotypifications, of which there are 29 and three, respectively) are presented here.  Readers are referred to the TROPICOS database for the author’s current views on valid publication, legitimacy, and synonymy.  None of the typifications in this paper impacts Costa Rican floristics even tangentially; and we did check TROPICOS, and could find no conflicts with the Manual draft treatment by Francisco Morales [see The Cutting Edge 6(1): 3, Jan. 1999].

Schatz, G. E. & P. J. M. Maas.  2010. Synoptic revision of Stenanona (Annonaceae).  Blumea 55: 205–223.

Plants of the genus Stenanona tend to be few and far between, distributed in the understory of lowland neotropical forests from southern Mexico to Colombia.  Prior to this revision, only six spp. were formally named (and four of those within the last 20 years by the first author).  Thus the eight spp. described here as new more than double the generic total, to 14.  Just one of the new spp., Stenanona carrillensis G. E. Schatz & Maas, occurs in Costa Rica, where it is endemic to a small area on the Atlantic slope of Volcán Barva (Cordillera Central) at ca. 300–400 m elevation (this sp. was provisionally dubbed “Stenanona penduliflora” in the first author’s 1987 University of Wisconsin Ph.D. dissertation, from which much of this article is abstracted).  Rounding out the Costa Rican contingent of Stenanona spp. are S. costaricensis R. E. Fr. and S. panamensis Standl., both rare (the latter vanishingly so) but extending into Nicaragua and Panama, respectively.  Features synonymy and typology at all levels, an exhaustive generic description, a dichotomous (but unindented) key to spp., a distribution summary and other notes for each sp., and distribution maps.  Only the new sp. entries include descriptions and specimen citations.  Lavishly illustrated with wonderful color photos of rarely seen living material or (where necessary) herbarium specimens, and in the case of one Panamanian endemic, an excellent composite line drawing.

Soreng, R. J.  2010. Coleataenia Griseb. (1879):  the correct name for Sorengia Zuloaga & Morrone (2010) (Poaceae: Paniceae).  J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 4: 691–692.

This is certainly a first for The Cutting Edge:  the birth and death of a genus name within the production period of a single issue (see under Zuloaga et al., this column).  It is all the more remarkable that the death is pronounced by the very individual to whom the name was dedicated.  At least he gets a load of new combinations as a consolation prize, including Coleataenia caricoides (Nees ex Trin.) Soreng and C. stenodes (Griseb.) Soreng for the two spp. occurring in Costa Rica.  Official cause of death:  citation of the type sp. of Coleataenia in synonymy under one of the spp. of Sorengia.

Staples, G. W. & D. F. Austin.  2010. Addendum to ‘Synopsis of Rivea (Convolvulaceae)’ – Rivea bernoulliana resolved.  Edinburgh J. Bot. 67: 467–468.

The obscure name Ipomoea bernoulliana Peter, long erroneously construed as a nomen nudum, is lectotypified on what would appear to be original material at GOET and applied to a sp. (rare in Costa Rica) hitherto know as I. santae-rosae Standl. & Steyerm.  The latter name is accordingly relegated to synonymy.  We got wind of this development several months ago through correspondence with the second author, and were able to incorporate the change in Manual Vol. 5 at the last moment.

Sundue, M. A.  2010. A morphological cladistic analysis of Terpsichore (Polypodiaceae).  Syst. Bot. 35: 716–729.

These strictly morphological results “depart strongly from those generated using DNA sequences” (see, e.g., the following entry), but “some congruences occur.”  To wit, “Terpsichore is polyphyletic in all analyses,” and “two separate groups corresponding to the T anfractuosa and the T. taxifolia clades” (see following entry) are resolved.  However, the former group is paraphyletic with respect to Melpomene in some analyses.

——, M. B. Islam & T. A. Ranker.  2010. Systematics of grammitid ferns (Polypodiaceae):  using morphology and plastid sequence data to resolve the circumscriptions of Melpomene and the polyphyletic genera Lellingeria and Terpsichore.  Syst. Bot. 35: 701–715.

This study addresses the internal phylogeny of a previously defined clade that includes Melpomene and most of Lellingeria and Terpsichore, the two last-named genera having already been established as polyphyletic and shorn of extraneous elements (see, e.g., Labiak et al., this column).  But even with those elements removed, problems remain:  Terpsichore “is resolved as paraphyletic in all analyses,” with both Lellingeria and Melpomene nested therein, and Lellingeria may also be paraphyletic (in some analyses).  The authors eschew the option of lumping the entire assemblage under Lellingeria (the oldest genus name involved), preferring instead to recognize “both the Terpsichore anfractuosa clade and the T. taxifolia clade at the generic level.”  This will be accomplished in future papers (one cited as “in press”), with new generic names required for both taxa (the type sp. of Terpsichore being a member of the group previously exiled from the clade).  It may also eventually become necessary to recognize the “Lellingeria myosuroides group” and/or the small “Terpsichore subscabra clade” as separate genera, but those decisions are deferred pending additional studies.

Just an aside:  according to the authors’ cladograms, a return to Grammitis sensu latissimo (going back only 20 years or so) would appear to be perfectly justifiable on cladistic grounds, and makes better sense now that Grammitidaceae has been sunk back into Polypodiaceae.  Also, this option would perhaps be less disruptive nomenclaturally, since virtually every sp. involved already has a name available in Grammitis.  Genera like Lellingeria, Melpomene, and Terpsichore may seem well-established to the younger generation, but to us crusty old veterans they are “Johnny-come-latelies,” and most have not held up to phylogenetic scrutiny (nor can they be recognized, in any of their guises, by most generalist taxonomists).  Rather than bending over backwards to preserve these names, why not simply abandon them?  As a wise old sage once put it:  “One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.”

Taylor, C. M. & R. E. Gereau.  2010. Rubiacearum americanarum magna hama pars XXIV:  new species of Central and South American Bouvardia, Hillia, Joosia, Ladenbergia, Pentagonia, and Posoqueria.  Novon 20: 470–480.

Two of these are Costa Rican, both endemic, as far as is known.  The name Bouvardia costaricensis C. M. Taylor is conferred upon material from the Pacific slope of central Costa Rica (northern Cordillera de Talamanca and Cerros de Escazú) that we had hitherto believed to represent wild populations of B. glabra Pol., a sp. long (and again) known only in cultivation.  The new sp. is “separated...by its generally longer corollas, its markedly larger calyx lobes, and its several flowers borne on well-developed peduncles or pedicels” (with all of these differences adequately quantified).  The other Costa Rican novelty is Pentagonia osaensis C. M. Taylor, endemic to Tropical Very Wet Forest habitats on the southern Pacific slope (including, but not limited to, the Península de Osa).  This entity had been determined in herbaria as P. sprucei Standl., but that name was subsequently found to be a synonym of P. macrophylla Benth., leaving our material without a name.

——, D. H. Lorence & R. E. Gereau.  2010. Rubiacearum americanarum magna hama pars XXV:  the nocturnally flowering Psychotria domingensisCoussarea hondensis group plus three other Mesoamerican Psychotria species transfer to Palicourea.  Novon 20: 481–492.

The big bucket disgorges evidence suggesting that six nocturnally flowering Mesomerican spp. most recently accommodated in Coussarea will fit more comfortably in Palicourea—according to the expanded circumscription of the latter genus that would result from its proposed merger with Psychotria subg. Heteropsychotria Steyerm. [see The Cutting Edge 6(4): 7–8, Oct. 1999].  The incorporation of subg. Heteropsychotria (entraining Cephaëlis as a synonym) into Palicourea, yet to be consummated, is “complicated because it...included a heterogeneous assemblage of species,” some of which have had to be removed to other genera (e.g., Notopleura).  Here the expansion of Palicourea is initiated with the transfer of the six aforementioned spp., together with several others lately included in Psychotria, all of which “can be classified in the existing infrageneric classification of Palicourea.”  The six erstwhile members of Coussarea involved in this scenario, all of which occur in Costa Rica, will henceforth be known as:  Palicourea alajuelensis C. M. Taylor (nom. nov., based on Coussarea austin-smithii Standl.), Palicourea beachiana C. M. Taylor (nom. nov., based on C. nigrescens C. M. Taylor & Hammel), Palicourea grandifructa (C. M. Taylor) C. M. Taylor (comb. nov., based on C. grandifructa C. M. Taylor), Palicourea hondensis (Standl.) C. M. Taylor [comb. nov., based on Psychotria hondensis Standl., later C. hondensis (Standl.) C. M. Taylor & W. C. Burger], Palicourea nebulosa (Dwyer) C. M. Taylor (comb. nov., based on C. nebulosa Dwyer), and Palicourea psychotrioides (C. M. Taylor & Hammel) C. M. Taylor (comb. nov., based on C. psychotrioides C. M. Taylor & Hammel).  The removal of these spp. leaves Coussarea “characterized morphologically by 4-merous flowers and fruits with a single seed.”  New combinations in Palicourea are also supplied for several spp. that have most recently been treated in Psychotria, including four represented in Costa Rica:  Palicourea calidicola (C. M. Taylor) C. M. Taylor (based on Psychotria calidicola C. M. Taylor), Palicourea eurycarpa (Standl.) C. M. Taylor (based on Psychotria eurycarpa Standl.), Palicourea tetragona (Donn. Sm.) C. M. Taylor & Lorence (based on Cephaëlis tetragona Donn. Sm., which exerts priority over the much better-known Psychotria chiapensis Standl.), and Palicourea umbelliformis (Dwyer & M. V. Hayden) C. M. Taylor (based on Psychotria umbelliformis Dwyer & M. V. Hayden).  Psychotria domingensis Jacq. is also referred by these authors to Palicourea, but the combination Palicourea domingensis (Jacq.) DC. is aleady available.  Finally, a new sp. is described, Palicourea pereziana C. M. Taylor, dedicated to INBio’s Isabel Pérez and endemic to Costa Rica (at ca. 1100–1500 m elevation on the Pacific slope of the eastern Cordillera de Talamanca).  This is distinguished from the Panamanian Psychotria roseocremea (Dwyer) C. M. Taylor (here also transferred to Palicourea), with which it has been confused.  When its transformation is finally complete, Palicourea will be “recognized by its persistent bilobed stipules,” “terminal, laxly thyrsiform to capitate...inflorescences,” “generally 5-merous...flowers,” and “blue to purple-black succulent fruits.”  The new sp. is depicted in a composite line drawing.

Turner, B. L.  2011. Overview of the genus Asterohyptis (Lamiaceae) and description of a new species from northern Mexico.  Phytoneuron 2011-2: 1–6.

This synoptic treatment raises the sp. total for Asterohyptis to four, vs. three as according to the 2007 Manual treatment of Lamiaceae by Amy Pool (MO).  The additional (new) sp. being Mexican, there is little here that is of interest to us.  Features a dichotomous, indented key to spp., distribution maps (limited to Mexico), and, for each sp., synonymy, a distribution summary, and a brief discussion.  Specimens are cited only for the two spp. that are restricted to Mexico.  There are no formal genus or sp. descriptions, except for the new sp., which alone is illustrated with a photo of a herbarium specimen (the holotype).


Judging from its editor- and authorship, Phytoneuron would appear to be an Internet manifestation of the venerable hard-copy journal Phytologia (though that continues to be issued separately).  Internet posting of Phytoneuron was inaugurated on 8 January 2010, with each issue comprising a single article.  As of this writing, 59 such issues have appeared.  Effective publication of nomenclatural novelties and new typifications is ostensibly achieved “by printed copies mailed on the same day as the manuscript is electronically posted — to a set of libraries directly associated with the following herbaria:  CAS, GH, K, MEXU, MO, NY, TEX, TENN, US, and the Library of Congress.”  However, if any such documents have arrived at the MO library, we have not seen them.  We foresee a day when the major botanical libraries of the world are deluged on a regular basis with these wee leaflets, beyond their capacity to catalogue and file.  For more on the pitfalls of Internet-first publication, see under Delprete et al. (this column).

Wunderlin, R. P.  2010. Reorganization of the Cercideae (Fabaceae: Caesalpinioideae).  Phytoneuron 2010-48: 1–5.
——.  2010. New combinations in Schnella (Fabaceae: Caesalpiniodeae [sic]: Cercideae).  Phytoneuron 2010-49: 1–5.

In preparing the just-published Manual account of Fabaceae, we overlooked the fact that the tendriled neotropical lianas long included in Bauhinia had been removed to the otherwise Old World genus Phanera in Legumes of the world (G. P. Lewis et al., 2005; Roy. Bot. Gard., Kew), on the basis of unpublished molecular studies cited therein.  In fact, combinations in Phanera are already available for all the lianescent spp. treated or mentioned under Bauhinia in the Manual, with the exception of B. reflexa Schery.  Nevertheless, it may be just as well that we missed the boat on this, because the situation remains unsettled.  Following up (with no additional molecular evidence) on an earlier suggestion that the New World members of Phanera may yet prove distinct from the Old World core, the present author forges ahead and distinguishes the former group under the generic name Schnella Raddi.  This maneuver is formalized in the first article listed above, which presents the new classification of tribe Cercideae along with a dichotomous and indented key to its 12 genera.  Here Schnella is revealed to differ from Phanera by its flowers with 10 fertile stamens, as opposed to just three.  In the second article, Schnella is immediately partitioned into two sections, separated by a key couplet, and 28 new combinations at sp. rank are validated in the name of the author (as well as one at sectional rank).

Zuloaga, F. O., M. A. Scataglini & O. Morrone.  2010. A phylogenetic evaluation of Panicum sects. Agrostoidea, Megista, Prionitia and Tenera (Panicoideae, Poaceae): two new genera, Stephostachys and Sorengia.  Taxon 59: 1535–1546.

The recent restriction of Panicum to the ca. 100 spp. comprising the autonymic subgenus [see The Cutting Edge 10(3): 4, Jul. 2003] has resulted in the recognition of numerous segregate genera (many of them newly described) to accommodate the other ca. 400 spp. formerly referred to Panicum s. l.  This paper is the latest installment in that ongoing saga.  Both of the two new genera referenced in the title are represented in Costa Rica:  the monospecific Stephostachys Zuloaga & Morrone by S. mertensii (Roth) Zuloaga & Morrone, and Sorengia Zuloaga & Morrone (with seven spp. total) by S. caricoides (Nees ex Trin.) Zuloaga & Morrone and S. stenodes (Griseb.) Zuloaga & Morrone (all of which were treated in Panicum, under the same epithets, in Manual Vol. 3).  The indicated new combinations, as well as numerous others, are validated herein.  Features full synonymy and typology and distribution data at all ranks, generous descriptions of both new genera, and a dichotomous (though unindented) key to distinguish the new genera from numerous allied ones.  Representative spp. (Stephostachys mertensii and Sorengia caricoides) are depicted in excellent composite line drawings.  But the story does not end here (see under Soreng, this column).


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