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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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

The Cutting Edge

Volume XX, Number 1, January 2013

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

MORACEAE. This one is complicated. The published (2007) Manual treatment of this family by Jóse González (INB) included the name Ficus trigonata L. only as a “sensu” synonym of F. morazaniana W. C. Burger, suggesting that all of the Costa Rican material that had passed under the former name (e.g., in Flora costaricensis) actually belonged to the latter sp. As indicated by González under F. goldmanii Standl., an older corrrect name for F. morazaniana and/or F. goldmanii might actually be F. crocata (Miq.) Miq., but not having seen type material of the latter, and applying narrower sp. concepts than other authors, he chose to use names based on Central American (or at least Mexican) types. In any case, a recent collection from Isla del Coco (L. Acosta 14029, INB) appears to be correctly identifiable to Ficus trigonata sensu stricto. Complicating matters somewhat, and at least in part following the taxonomy of William C. Burger (in Flora costaricensis), William Ramírez (USJ) and colleagues (Brenesia 75-76: 16–22. 2011) cited "Goméz-Laurito 6464, USJ" as one of the vouchers for their study of certain aspects of the biology of F. trigonata L. from Isla del Coco. In the Manual, only F. maxima Mill. and F. pertusa L. f. were reported from that island, and it was the Brenesia publication (thanks to a tip from Daniel Santamaría, who brought it to our attention) that led us to the name F. trigonata; the Acosta specimen does not key out comfortably to any sp. in the Manual, nor, for that matter, in Flora costaricensis. However, the aforementioned Goméz-Laurito specimen turns out to be a collection of Notopleura (Rubiaceae) from Turrialba; the voucher for the Ficus is correctly Gómez-Laurito 6954 (USJ). Said specimen was originally determined by its collector as F. maxima (a very disinct sp. in a different subgenus), and is the sole basis for the report of that sp. from Isla del Coco in the Manual. However, we concur that it actually represents F. trigonata. Incidentally, although Ramírez et al. imply that only one sp. of Ficus is known for certain from the island, we can reconfirm that F. pertusa L. f. also occurs there (e.g., Foster 4150, CR; Fco. Quesada 1069, CR). In summary, we are reasonably confident that, as per the taxonomy used in the Manual, Ficus trigonata can be added to the list of spp. from Costa Rica, where it is known only from Isla del Coco, and that the attribution of F. maxima to that island should be struck. Ficus trigonata would key out both in the Manual and Flora costaricensis roughly to F.goldmanii, from which it differs, at least, by being glabrous throughout (vs. stipules usually substrigose, with trichomes to ca. 1 mm, and figs minutely puberulent), by having shorter peduncles (to ca. 0.5 cm, vs. 0.3–1 cm), and in being restricted to a wetter habitat (“bosque pluvial,” vs. “bosque seco” and “bosque húmedo”).

RUBIACEAE. This one is simpler, but not really a new record for the country, rather a rediscovery (of a European adventive) after more than 80 years: Sherardia arvensis L. was collected near the summit of the Cerros de Escazú in October, 2005 by Francisco Morales and Daniel Santamaría (13244, INB), having been last found in Costa Rica, as far as we know, in February, 1924, on Volcán Turrialba, by Paul Standley.

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