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Volume XXVIII, Number 1, January, 2021
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Ackerfield, J., A. Susanna, V. Funk, D. Kelch, D. S. Park, A. H. Thornhill, B. Yildiz, T. Arabaci & T. Dirmenci. 2020. A prickly puzzle: generic delimitations in the Carduus-Cirsium group (Compositae: Cardueae: Carduinae). Taxon 69: 715–738.
The “Carduus-Cirsium group,” though not formally recognized taxonomically, is shown to be monophyletic by these molecular analyses. Said group, comprising six genera and about 566 spp., is best represented in the Old World (especially Eurasia and northern Africa), with only the largest genus—Cirsium, with ca. 468 spp.—occurring naturally in the New World (including three spp. in Costa Rica, though one is an Old World introduction). Cirsium has generally been separated from the second-largest genus, Carduus (with ca. 93 spp.), by a single morphological character: pappus-bristle type (plumose in Cirsium, barbellate in Carduus); thus, it comes as no surprise that both genera “as…currently circumscribed are polyphyletic,” according to this study, “the first…to widely sample from Carduus and Cirsium.” The authors proffer two potential resolutions for this dilemma, discussing the pros and cons of each, but do not fully embrace either, pending further investigations (said to be underway). “Solution One,” the lumping option, would combine all the genera in the group into a single genus which, going strictly by priority, would have to be called Carduus; the authors suggest that conserving the name Cirsium (published just a year later) “would result in significantly fewer taxonomic changes,” but note that a previous (1905) attempt to do so was unsuccessful. “Solution Two,” the splitting option, would “recognize each major clade of the phylogeny as a genus.” Actually, this would create just one additional genus, Eriolepis Cass., forged from a bloc of ca. 100 Eurasian spp. currently included in Cirsium; however, Cirsium would recoup some of that loss by absorbing the ca. 21 African spp. now included in Carduus. As for the Costa Rican representatives of this group (all three of which, surprisingly, were sampled for this study): all are nested within the autonymic section of Cirsium, so would remain in that genus under “Solution Two”; however, the authors express some discomfort regarding the disposition of the European native Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten., which has traditionally been classed among the spp. that would be segregated into Eriolepis. We sense that the authors are inclined toward “Solution Two,” which would result “in smaller, more manageable genera” and “significantly fewer nomenclatural changes”; their reluctance to endorse it, at this point in time, seems due in large part to the weak morphological distinctions among the proposed genera (“the best diagnosable morphological character…is pollen type, which is not practical in field-based application”). But getting back to Costa Rica: taking all of the above at face value, the only ways that any Cirsium names can change in Costa Rica would be if “Solution One” were followed and conservation of Cirsium were either not pursued or rejected; or, if “Solution Two” were followed and C. vulgare ultimately proves really to belong in Eriolepis.
Berlingeri, C., M. B. Crespo & T. Calles. 2020. The Macroptilium gracile species complex (Fabaceae, Papilionoideae): an integrative taxonomic study based on morphological, molecular and ecological data. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 194: 118–139.
Their “molecular, morphological and biogeographical analyses” have led this team to conclude that Macroptilium gracile (Poepp. ex Benth.) Urb. and M. longepedunculatum (Mart. ex Benth.) Urb., both attributed to Costa Rica in the Manual Fabaceae treatment (2010), should be ranked as vars. of a single sp. (M. gracile). So treated, the operative name for the former M. longepedunculatum ostensibly becomes Macroptilium gracile var. subcoriaceum (Benth.) Berlingeri, M. B. Crespo & Calles (comb. nov.); however, we believe the authors have run afoul of the insidious and oft-overlooked ICN Art. 11.6, which would require, in this situation, that the correct name for the taxon in question be a combination (as yet “ined.”) based on Phaseolus longepedunculatus Mart. ex Benth. But if one sp. is lost from the titular “complex,” another is gained, in the form of Macroptilium campestre (Mart. ex Benth.) Berlingeri, M. B. Crespo & Calles (comb. nov.). The last-mentioned combination is based on Phaseolus campestris Mart. ex Benth. (type from Brazil), but also cites P. scolecocarpus Piper (type from Mexico) in synonymy, so the taxon in question is clearly quite widespread (as also indicated in a distribution map). The name Phaseolus scolecocarpus, it so happens, was cited as a synonym of Macroptilium longepedunculatum in the Manual (and numerous other publications), which leaves us in a bit of a quandary: do we really have “Macroptilium longepedunculatum” (i.e., M. gracile “var. subcoriaceum”) in Costa Rica, or is it M. campestre? Or might we have both? Time will tell, and to that end, some of the materials provided by these authors ought to help: dichotomous keys to the two spp. and two vars. mentioned above, technical descriptions of the spp., and a tabular morphological comparison of all three taxa. On the other hand, the aforementioned distribution map, showing no dots in Costa Rica, is of no assistance in this regard, and no Costa Rican specimens (other than one syntype) are cited. We do learn, from this source, of a 2006 UNAM master's thesis, comprising a revision of Macroptilium for Mexico and Central America, that we would much have liked to consult (and cite) back in the day.
Bogarín, D., E. Kaes & M. Díaz-Morales. 2019. Lepanthes elusiva – eine neue Lepanthes-Art (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) aus der Tapantí-Region in Cartago, Costa Rica, und ein Streifblick auf einige andere Arten eines kleinen Gebietes entlang des Río Grande de Orosi in Costa Rica/Lepanthes elusiva – a new species of Lepanthes (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) from Tapantí area in Cartago, Costa Rica, and a glance to other species of the genus in a small area around the Río Grande de Orosi in Costa Rica. Orchidee (Hamburg) 5: 19–28.
Let’s proceed directly to Manualese: Lepanthes elusiva Bogarín, Kaes & M. Díaz. Bosque pluvial, bordes de bosque, 1400–1450 m; vert. Carib. N Cord. de Talamanca (P.N. Tapantí). Fl. dic. ENDÉMICA. (Bogarín et al. 11917; CR, JBL, USJ). Known only from the type, it is, having never been stumbled upon by the dozens of other botanists who have visited the intensively collected type locality over the course of the past 45 years plus. The new sp. (illustrated with an excellent composite line drawing and various, mostly color, photos) is compared with the recently described Lepanthes elvirae Pupulin [see the second entry under “Pupulin,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(2), Apr. 2015] and L. regularis Luer, a late (post-Manual) addition to the Costa Rican flora [see the second entry under “Karremans,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(3), Jul. 2012]. The authors seize the opportunity to publish their photos of six other Lepanthes spp. inhabiting the Tapantí region.
We have been sitting on this article for quite some time, hoping for enlightenment regarding the ridiculous policy of this hobbyist journal of using separate volume numbers for their electronic and hard-copy editions, which appear comtemporaneously, but with different content. This article was published in Vol. 5 of the electronic series, while the hard-copy numbers for the same year (2019) comprise Vol. 70. Go figure! No one (including IPNI) has bothered to make a distinction, and we wonder whether anyone has even noticed.
Bovini, M. G. 2021. New names for Briquetiastrum (Malvaceae), Malvoideae). Phytotaxa 479: 205–206.
The new genus name Allobriquetia Bovini is validated to replace Briquetiastrum Bovini (2015), deemed (albeit, unofficially) as confusable with (i.e., an effective homonym of) the prior Briquetastrum Robyns & Lebrun (1929). So why does this concern us? Because, in a paper that we had not seen, this author had proposed to divide the genus Briquetia in twain, rendering it (in the strict sense) monospecific. According to this new taxonomy, and implementing the latest nomenclature (as espoused in this paper), the correct name for Briquetia spicata (Kunth) Fryxell (the only affected sp. in Costa Rica) becomes Allobriquetia spicata (Kunth) Bovini. But let's back up a bit. We checked the author's earlier paper, in which the evidence for bisecting Briquetia was adduced, and remain unconvinced. The proposed reclassification hinges on a primitive and superficial morphological analysis, with no cladistic rationale presented or cited. Other potential options, such as lumping, were not (and indeed, in the absence of a well supported cladogram, could not be) entertained. It is possible that this author's view will be vindicated in the long run, but for the time being, we plan to ignore it.
Cardoso, D. B. O. S., C. M. J. Mattos, F. Filardi, A. Delgado-Salinas, M. Lavin, P. L. R. Moraes, F. Tapia-Pastrana & H. C. Lima. 2020. A molecular phylogeny of the pantropical papilionoid legume Aeschynomene supports reinstating the ecologically and morphologically coherent genus Ctenodon. Neodiversity 13: 1–38.
And reinstate it they have. Who’da thunk that Aeschynomene (Fabaceae), a very distinctive genus (at least superficially!), would prove to be paraphyletic with respect to such radically different (or so it seemed!) genera as Dalbergia and Machaerium? Yet, that is indeed the case, according to these studies. Some previous studies had already suggested that Aeschynomene sect. Ochopodium Vogel (characterized by basifixed stipules) was sister to Machaerium [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 15(2): 10, Apr. 2008], a disposition that is ratified resoundingly in this paper. As a consequence, all the American taxa of that section are transferred to a distinct genus for which the name Ctenodon Baill. is operative. It turns out that the key to Aeschynomene spp. in co-PI Nelson Zamora’s Manual Fabaceae treatment (2010) is natural in this regard, with all the Ctenodon spp. (six, out of 14 total) segregated under the first lead of couplet 1. Their epithets remain unchanged in Ctenodon, but the authorities for the new combinations vary (see in TROPICOS). There is one minor new development that affects us: with the two non-autonymic vars. of the former Aeschynomene brasiliana (Poir.) DC. accepted at sp. rank in this paper (actually, this was first done way back in 1991), Mesoamerican material of that sp. need no longer be qualified as representing the autonymic var.
The bulk of this paper is a nomenclator that provides synonymy, typology, and distribution summaries, as well as a technical description of Ctenodon. The last-mentioned genus “comprises 66 species in America but...could include as many as ca. 120 species,” pending “a detailed taxonomic revision with the pantropical and African species…” Aeschynomene sensu lato had been credited (e.g., in the Manual) with “ca. 180 spp.”
Carvalho, C. S., C. N. Fraga, D. B. O. S. Cardoso & H. C. Lima. 2020. (2756) Proposal to conserve Dipteryx nom. cons. against the additional name Baryosma (Leguminosae). Taxon 69: 826–827.
Our recent review of a paper by this same team [see under “Carvalho,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 27(4), Oct. 2020] indicated that a proposal for the rejection of Baryosma Gaertn., an earlier name for Dipteryx, was in the works. This is it (if phrased a bit differently). The authors argue that “the transfer of Dipteryx to Baryosma would result in ca. 14 nomenclatural changes and updates for as many as 10,000 specimens” (indeed, they were unable to retrieve “any single papilionoid legume specimen identified as Baryosma”). It is also worth noting that the name Dipteryx has already been conserved against two even earlier names (why spare Baryosma, when the prior and much more familiar Coumarouna has been thrown under the bus?). Perfunctory, it would appear.
Cedeño-Fonseca, M., J. M. Flores-Leitón, J. E. Jiménez & M. López-Mora. 2020. Estado de conservación de Theobroma cacao en Costa Rica. Phytoneuron 2020-72: 1–7.
The Manual Sterculiaceae treatment (2015) by Alexánder Rodríguez (CR) enumerated several apparently indigenous Costa Rican populations of the familiar, largely cultivated Cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) that were also distinctive in certain morphological attributes. Endorsing and enlarging on that theme, this paper cites all the Costa Rican collections (13) from ostensibly natural populations at CR, MO, and USJ, as well as all those (26) from plantations. A total of nine putatively natural populations are documented (all but one on the Pacific slope), including one new one (from near Potrero Grande de Buenos Aires). Based on this information, Theobroma cacao is deemed “Vulnerable” in the wild in Costa Rica, according to IUCN criteria. A distribution map is provided (showing both wild and cultivated occurrences of T. cacao in Costa Rica), along with color photographs of wild-growing plants.
——, M. H. Grayum, T. B. Croat & M. A. Blanco. 2020. Three new species of Monstera (Araceae: Monsteroideae: Monstereae) from the Cordillera de Talamanca in Costa Rica, threatened by the expansion of coffee plantations. Nordic J. Bot. 38(12, e02970): 1–13.
The three new spp. described in this paper are all endemic to Costa Rica and, as implied by the "coffee" allusion in the title, all are restricted (or virtually so) to the Pacific slope—although two of them extend beyond the Cordillera de Talamanca sensu stricto (as we have defined it in the Manual). Monstera alfaroi Croat & M. Cedeño (honoring former taxonomist Evelio Alfaro), found at 1100–1450 elevation in the northern Cordillera de Talamanca and the north Fila Costeña (Fila Tinamastes), is "closely related to" M. buseyi Croat & Grayum, where it was subsumed in the Manual Araceae treatment (2003) by co-PI Mike Grayum. Monstera tarrazuensis Croat & M. Cedeño, not accounted for in the last-mentioned work, occurs at 1150–1400 m elevation in the northern Cordillera de Talamanca (Tarrazú region), and is compared mainly with the rare M. luteynii Madison. Finally, Monstera wilsoniensis M. Cedeño & Grayum (its epithet referencing the Jardín Botánico Wilson, where the sp. abounds), the most wide-ranging of these novelties, is recorded from elevations of 1100–1850(–2200) m in the Cordillera de Talamanca, the Cerros de La Carpintera (where it may slop over onto the Atlantic slope), the Cerros de Escazú, Cerro Caraigres, and the south Fila Costeña (Fila Cruces); it is compared with M. adansonii Schott, the rug under which it was swept in the Manual. All three new spp. are depicted in color photos (including habitat shots) taken by the first author, and a distribution map is provided.
Chase, M. W., M. J. M. Christenhusz & A. Schuiteman. 2020. Expansion of Calanthe to include the species of Cephalantheropsis, Gastrorchis and Phaius (Collabieae; Orchidaceae). Phytotaxa 472: 159–168.
Responding to cladistic analyses portraying all the genera of the title as intermixed incestuously, the authors of this paper propose and execute (by validating all the necessary new combinations) the operation described in the title, which they claim as "the only possible solution that can bring taxonomic stability to the group." Because just one sp. in the entire assemblage, Calanthe calanthoides (A. Rich. & Galeotti) Hamer & Garay, occurs in Costa Rica (and, indeed, the entire New World), this action entails no name changes for us. However, the sp. total for Calanthe is augmented by 55, and now stands at 328 (at least, according to the numbers provided by these authors; the Manual total of "ca. 150 spp." for Calanthe sensu stricto was apparently far too conservative). Having said all of the above, there is one fly in this ointment: the genus name Phaius Lour. (1790) predates Calanthe R. Br. (1821), and as part and parcel of their plan, these authors are proposing conservation of the latter (in a paper cited as "in press"). Should that proposal be rejected, a name change will be in order for the lone sp. occurring in Costa Rica (and many others!).
Chinchilla, I. F. 2020. A new tree species of Cupania (Sapindoideae, Sapindaceae) from Quepos, Costa Rica. Phytotaxa 475: 178–186.
The new sp., Cupania quepoarum Chinchilla, derives its name not from the town of Puerto Quepos, rather from the “Quepoas,” an indigenous people that inhabited the same region “in pre-Columbian and colonial times.” A Costa Rican endemic, C. quepoarum is known only from collections made by the author and his colleagues from a very small area, which would be expressed in Manualese as follows: “Bosque muy húmedo, bordes de bosque y orillas de quebradas, 550–650 m; vert. Pac. N Cord. de Talamanca (región de Savegre). Fl. ene., set.” The new sp. is compared to Cupania largifolia Radlk. in the formal diagnosis but, surprisingly, not in the “Notes,” where it is distinguished from several other spp. (including C. grandiflora J. F. Morales and C. juglandifolia A. Rich.). A distribution map (with a single dot!) is provided, and the new sp. is illustrated with excellent composite line drawings and color photos (all by the author). Incidentally: Cupania quepoarum clearly does not correspond to either C. “sp. 1” or C. “sp. 2” of the Manual Sapindaceae treatment (2015).
——, R. Aguilar & D. Bogarín. 2020. A new Lepanthes (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) from Península de Osa, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Harvard Pap. Bot. 25: 215–219.
The title says just about everything. Lepanthes osaensis Chinchilla, Aguilar & Bogarín hails not from the Península de Osa proper (at least, in our estimation), rather from the vicinity of Los Mogos, at the head of Golfo Dulce. Amazingly, it has been collected just once, from its heavily botanized type locality (though such is frequently the case with orchids). The new sp., illustrated with color photos of flowers and a composite line drawing, is distinguished from just one other sp., Lepanthes cuspidata Luer, which, in this huge genus, seems like a highly tenuous basis for concluding that it is new to science.
Christenhusz, M. J. M., C. van den Berg, J. W. Byng & M. W. Chase. 2020. (2768) Proposal to conserve Paepalanthus, nom. cons. against the additional name, Tonina (Eriocaulaceae). Taxon 69: 1109–1110.
Previously, in these pages, we had cause to mention [see under “Christenhusz,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 25(2), Apr. 2018] the transfer of Tonina to Paepalanthus by the GLOVAP crew (with which the authors of this paper are associated). It turns out that GLOVAP overlooked (as did we) the fact that the genus name Tonina Aubl. (1775) has considerable priority over Paepalanthus Mart. (1834). The problem is that, while the name Tonina has only ever been used for a single sp. (the widespread aquatic T. fluviatilis Aubl., present in Costa Rica), Paepalanthus has long been used for a genus “that in the broad sense includes 477 species” (including three in Costa Rica). Those facts alone make a compelling case for this proposal. Preaching to the converted, the authors briefly weigh the option of splitting Paepalanthus so as to maintain Tonina (and a few other nested genera); however, they conclude that this would “cause a further escalation of generic names (up to 10 new names have been suggested) that are likely to be difficult to distinguish in the field as they will be mostly based on minute technical characters.” More than enough said.
Cornejo, X. 2020. The reinstatement of Hilairanthus (Acanthaceae): a genus from Neotropical and western-Paleotropical mangroves. Harvard Pap. Bot. 25: 231–235.
File this one under "doing it just because you can." Of course, as we have suggested previously, cladistic and (generally) morphological evidence can be adduced as grounds for dividing any genus of two or more spp. in twain. This author cites a single molecular study (in which he played no role) in support of his proposed bisection of the time-honored and very well known mangrove genus Avicennia (Acanthaceae) along hemispheric lines. As bad luck would have it, the generic type is an Old World sp., which condemns the affected New World spp. to the obscure genus name Hilairanthus Tiegh. All the indicated combinations under the latter name are here validated by the author (which, we suppose, is the main point of this futile exercise). The author is rather cagey about the cladistic basis for his reclassification, alluding to "the presence of two monophyletic clades" and "the diphyletic Avicennia s. l. nomenclature." So we called his bluff and consulted the original molecular study, which we had not seen previously. It turns out that the "two monophyletic clades" are (as we suspected) sister to one another, and that Avicennia, as traditionally circumscribed, is not at all "diphyletic," according to the correct usage of that term. The authors of the molecular study make no such pronouncement, nor do they suggest that Avicennia should be divided into two separate genera. We fall back on our two oft-repeated axioms: "Don't fix it if it ain't broke," and "Relationships are more important than differences." What is gained by decoupling two groups of spp. that have much more in common with one another than either does with any other genus in a very large family? For us, "Hilairanthus" is dead on arrival. In case anyone is still interested, the morphological distinctions between Avicennia and "Hilairanthus" (which, by the way, are not very persuasive) are tabularized, and synonymy, typology, and distribution summaries are provided for the latter "genus" and its spp.
Crespo, M. B., M. Martínez-Azorín, M. Á. Alonos & C. Pena-Martín. 2020. (2750) Proposal to conserve the name Panicum crus-galli (Echinochloa crus-galli) (Poaceae, Panicoideae) with a conserved type. Taxon 69: 820–822.
Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv., though native to Eurasia, is a cosmopolitan weed, sparingly represented in Costa Rica. Close scrutiny by various agrostologists over the years has revealed that the original Linnean concept of Panicum crus-galli L. included elements presently deemed to represent three distinct spp. Unfortunately, the earliest lectotypification of that name designated a specimen corresponding to the North American endemic sp. widely known as Echinochloa muricata (P. Beauv.) Fernald. This fact has been long appreciated, and in response, several authors have attempted to retypify the name Panicum crus-galli in accordance with prevailing usage; however, because the chosen “specimen is undoubtedly original material,” the first lectotypification cannot be superseded so easily. Thus the present proposal, which seeks to formally replace the type of P. crus-galli with a different specimen, also original material, that is “well-conserved and bears an entire plant with mature spikelets in which the diagnostic characters of Echinochloa crus-galli relative to E. muricata can be easily observed.” And should this proposal be rejected, E. crus-galli would become the correct name for the sp. currently known as E. muricata, and the sp. now known as E. crus-galli would require a different name, perhaps E. crus-corvi L. (though that name is still untypified, and has been “suggested for rejection”). But we have a different sort of question: why is the epithet “crus-galli” hyphenated? Linnaeus did not use a hyphen, nor did we in Manual Vol. 3 (2003), and there is no provision in ICN Art. 60.11 for the insertion of a hyphen in this sort of situation. The same question may also apply to “crus-corvi” (though that epithet may have been published originally as two separate words; hard to tell).
Davidse, G., C. Ulloa Ulloa, H. M. Hernández & S. Knapp (editores generales). 2020. Flora mesoamericana. Vol. 2, Parte 2. Piperaceae. Missouri Bot. Gard., St. Louis/Univ. Nac. Autón. México, Mexico City/Nat. Hist. Mus. (London). 590 pp.
Covid caused rather a long delay, but we were finally able to lay our hands on this, the seventh volume to be published in the Flora mesomericana series, which now manifests encyclopedic proportions on our bookshelves. Hot on the heels of Asteraceae, this is the second volume in the series to be devoted entirely to a single family. Piperaceae is represented in the study region by just three genera, but a rather astounding number of spp. (960 total): Manekia (with one sp.), Peperomia (223 spp.), and Piper (736 spp.). The Mesoamerican sp. totals for the two last-mentioned genera, as well as for the family as a whole, are roughly double the corresponding Costa Rican totals (or, to put it in more flattering terms: roughly half of the Piperaceae spp. in Mesoamerica are found in Costa Rica!). This installment of Flora mesoamericana breaks with two long-standing policies of that work: to prohibit the description of new spp. (120 are described in Piperaceae!), and to omit illustrations (this tome contains 73 full-page composite line drawings, mostly of new spp.). Because the author of this massive work, Ricardo Callejas (HUA), also produced the rather recently published (2014) Manual treatment of Piperaceae, one would expect a general overall correspondence between the two contributions. Such is indeed the case, but there are still a fair number of changes to report, particularly in Piper, where the author's concepts have continued to evolve. For Manekia and Peperomia, the changes for Costa Rica are nil and minimal, respectively. We actually lose four spp. of Peperomia vis-à-vis the sp. total indicated in the Manual (133, now down to 129). While 14 new spp. of Peperomia are described from Costa Rica in this new treatment, that does not represent a net gain, because all were accounted for in the Manual using provisional names (Peperomia spp. A–N). There are, however, two bonafide additions in Peperomia: P. hydnostachya (Trel.) Callejas (comb. nov.), a taxonomic segregate from P. calvicaulis C. DC.; and P. microphylla Kunth, already reported in these pages [see under "Leaps and Bounds" in The Cutting Edge 27(2), Apr. 2020]. But these gains are more than offset by six deletions from the Costa Rican Peperomia flora: two by virtue of synonymization (P. subdita Trel. under P. montecristana Trel., P. turialvensis C. DC. under P. rhexiifolia Moritz ex C. DC.) and four for which Costa Rican vouchers are missing in action (P. ceroderma Yunck., P. cocleana Trel., P. geminispica Trel. & Yunck., P. rhombea Ruiz & Pav.). We don't know quite what to make of these missing vouchers, since Costa Rican records for all four spp. involved (with determinations by Callejas) still exist in TROPICOS. And as for Peperomia geminispica in particular: the name P. calvicaulis var. subpenninervis C. DC. ex L. J. Schroed., cited in synonymy, is based on a Costa Rica type! So perhaps we can reclaim at least that sp. Two closing remarks regarding Peperomia: P. arifolia Miq. is here attributed to Costa Rica, but was omitted from the Manual in part because the Costa Rican specimen was collected from cultivation; furthermore, the name P. a. var. acutifolia C. DC. (typified by the Costa Rican specimen) is cited in synonymy—both here and in the Manual—under P. lanceolatopeltata C. DC. It is also worth noting that Peperomia petrophila C. DC. has been found in both Nicaragua and Panama, and thus ought to have been mentioned in the Manual as a sp. to be expected in Costa Rica.
Turning now to Piper, we find that the picture is significantly more muddled, where Costa Rica is concerned, than for Peperomia. The end result, however, is a happy one, as we can report a net gain of 36 Piper spp. with respect to the total indicated in the Manual (331, now up to 367). As with Peperomia, the Piper spp. assigned provisional names (Piper spp. A–M, 13 in all) in the Manual are here furnished with valid Latin binomials. Well, most of them, anyway: Piper sp. I and sp. M of the Manual are now deemed conspecific and conflated under a single name (so we lose a sp. in this process). Unlike Peperomia, 18 additional new spp. of Piper (mostly endemic) are described here from Costa Rica, that were not accounted for in the Manual. These are as follows (with the sp. in which they were likely included in the Manual indicated parenthetically, where known, at the end of each entry):
Piper alexii Callejas [honoring Manual collaborator Alexánder Rodríguez (CR)]: Bosque pluvial, ca. 1250 m; vert. Carib. N Cord. de Talamanca (P.N. Tapantí). ENDÉMICA. (P. sinuatifolium Trel.)
Piper chacaritaense Callejas: Bosque muy húmedo, 0–150 m; S vert. Pac., región de Golfo Dulce. ENDÉMICA. (P. terrabanum C. DC.)
Piper cuspidiflorum Callejas: Bosque pluvial, ca. 1l00 m; vert. Pac. Cord. de Guanacaste (Cerro Cacao). ENDÉMICA. (P. deflexispicum Trel.)
Piper disparinervium Callejas: Bosque muy húmedo, ca. 850 m; vert. Carib. Cord. de Tilarán. ENDÉMICA.
Piper douglasii Callejas (honoring MO curator Doug Stevens): Bosque muy húmedo, 0–100+ m; vert. Carib., Llanura de Tortuguero. ENDÉMICA. (P. perbrevicaule Yunck.)
Piper gerardoi Callejas (honoring esteemed Costa Rican collector Gerardo Herrera): Bosque muy humedo, 300–700 m; vert. Carib. E Cord. de Talamanca. ENDÉMICA. (P. biauritum C. DC.)
Piper nicaraguense Callejas: Bosque muy húmedo, 0–200 m; NO vert. Carib., Llanura de Tortuguero (R.N.F.S. Barra del Colorado). SE Nic. y CR. (P. holdridgeanum W. C. Burger)
Piper paludis Callejas: Bosque húmedo, 0–50 m; vert. Carib., Baja Talamanca. ENDÉMICA. (P. peracuminatum C. DC., under which the type is cited as the Costa Rican voucher!)
Piper pseudodelectans Callejas: Bosque muy húmedo, 0–400+ m; vert. Carib. Cord. Central, Llanura de San Carlos. ENDÉMICA. (P. prismaticum C. DC.)
Piper pseudoperfugii Callejas: Bosque de roble, 2450–2500 m; vert. Pac. E Cord. de Talamanca. CR y O Pan. (Prov. Chiriquí). (P. carpinteranum C. DC.)
Piper ramirezii Callejas (honoring former INBio collector Víctor Hugo Ramírez): Bosque pluvial, ca. 1450 m; vert. Carib. N Cord. de Talamanca (P.N. Tapantí). ENDÉMICA. (P. gibbosum C. DC.)
Piper rigidomucronatum Callejas: Bosque muy húmedo, 700–750 m; vert. Pac. N Cord. de Talamanca. ENDÉMICA. (P. corrugatum Kuntze)
Piper roseiflorum Callejas: Bosque muy húmedo, ca. 100 m; vert. Carib. N Cord. de Talamanca. ENDÉMICA. (P. erubescentispica Trel.)
Piper spinaciifolium Callejas (corrected by us from "spinacifolium"): Bosque pluvial, ca. 1350 m; vert. Carib. N Cord. de Talamanca (P.N. Tapantí). ENDÉMICA.
Piper subexiguicaule Callejas: Bosque muy húmedo, ca. 700 m; vert. Carib. E Cord. de Talamanca. ENDÉMICA. (P. exiguicaule Yunck.)
Piper subgibbosum Callejas: Bosque de roble, 2000–2100+ m; vert. Pac. E Cord. de Talamanca. ENDÉMICA. (P. gibbosum)
Piper upalaense Callejas: Bosque muy húmedo, 650–700+ m; vert. Carib. Cords. de Guanacaste y de Tilarán. ENDÉMICA. (P. bisasperatum Trel.)
Piper urense Callejas: Bosque muy húmedo, ca. 350 m; vert. Carib. E Cord. de Talamanca. ENDÉMICA. (P. artanthopse C. DC.)
An additional 11 Piper spp. (including one newly elevated from varietal status) are reported from Costa Rica for the first time; these are: Piper collium (Trel.) Callejas (comb. nov.), P. davidsoniae Yunck., P. flavidum C. DC., P. gigas Trel., P. lucigaudens C. DC., P. magnantherum C. DC., P. oblique-ovatum Trel., P. psilorhachis C. DC., P. rothschuhii C. DC., P. sancti-felicis Trel. (in the ultra-strict sense of Callejas), and P. sociorum Trel. & Yunck. The cases of P. davidsoniae, P. gigas, P. magnantherum, and P. psilorhachis particularly rankle, because we were aware of those TROPICOS records while editing the Manual and brought them to the attention of Callejas, who replied that they were based on obsolete determinations, and that none of those spp. actually occurred in Costa Rica (and perhaps that is true; the Costa Rican vouchers for these spp. could have been added by a well-meaning editor). We seriously doubt the alleged Costa Rican record of P. flavidum, which surely pertains to P. linearifolium C. DC. (or, alternatively, the former is a synonym of the latter, as was indicated in the Manual). And we have ignored the author's tentative attribution of Piper micranthera C. DC. to Costa Rica, based on its type locality, which (as we established while editing the Manual) is actually in Nicaragua.
But the buck does not stop even there for Piper. In the present work, Piper pseudofuligineum C. DC., in the sense of Bill Burger's (1971) Flora costaricensis account of Piperaceae (and for that matter, of the Manual), has fallen victim to the same sort of treatment previously visited upon such cherished and seemingly robust Burgerian concepts as P. arboreum Aubl., P. glabrescens (Miq.) C. DC., and P. phytolaccifolium Opiz—i.e., wholesale atomization. What was, just six years ago, a single sp. in Costa Rica—according to Callejas himself—has suddenly become 11 (a net gain of 10 spp.). The following names are now deployed for the Costa Rican representatives of this complex: Piper domingense C. DC., P. dumeticola C. DC., P. griseopubens Trel., P. nigricaule Trel., P. ponendum Trel., P. pseudofuligineum (in a much restricted sense), P. salinasanum C. DC., P. squalipelliculum Trel., P. taboganum C. DC., P. verbenanum C. DC., and P. vitabile Trel. That list includes all but four of the 14 names listed in synonymy under P. pseudofuligineum in the Manual.
The losses for Piper are very few: just three spp. total, two via synonymization (P. tarrazuense Trel. under P. figlinum Trel., plus the case of P. spp. I and M mentioned previously) and one due to an MIA Costa Rican voucher (P. exiguicaule Yunck., which we suspect may have something to do with the recognition of P. subexiguicaule). The net loss of four spp. for Peperomia and net gain of 36 spp. for Piper result in a net gain of 32 spp. for Piperaceae in Costa Rica, vis-à-vis the Manual, boosting the country sp. total for the family to 497 (up from 465). That brings our bookkeeping up to snuff, but a few other comments on Piper are in order. First, there are two significant name changes for us: Piper paulowniifolium C. DC. yields to the prior P. casimirianum Hemsl. [see under "Leaps and Bounds" in The Cutting Edge 24(1), Jan. 2017], while Costa Rican (and Panamanian) material previously (as in the Manual) referred to Piper yucatanense C. DC. is henceforth to be called P. basegibbosum Callejas (nom. nov., based on Arctottonia pittieri Trel.). Second, the vars. of Piper prismaticum that were accepted and discussed in the Manual have now been dispensed with, and summarily synonymized under the sp. name. And finally, three Piper names based on inadequate or unavailable Costa Rican types that were merely mentioned in the Manual genus discussion are here magically (and without comment) relegated to synonymy: P. longevillosum Trel. under P. biseriatum, P. pilibaccum C. DC. under P. carpinteranum, and P. tractifolium Trel. var. pubescens Trel. under P. tenuimucronatum C. DC.
Now, on the shaky subject of endemicity (which, in any event, can never be more than a hypothesis): whenever a floristic work (such as the Manual) is followed by another, more extensive such work (such as Flora mesomericana), there are going to be consequences. Due to the citation in Flora mesoamericana of specimens from other countries (mainly, Nicaragua or Panama), the following 20 Piperaceae spp. (all in Piper) that were flagged as Costa Rican endemics in the Manual would appear to have lost that status: Piper brevistylum C. DC., P. compactum Trel., P. decurrens C. DC., P. delectans Trel., P. dissimulans Trel., P. ejuncidum Trel., P. flaviramum C. DC., P. leptocladum C. DC., P. longepetiolatum (C. DC.) Trel., P. recuperatum Trel., P. rotundibaccum Trel., P. sepicola C. DC., P. subasperatum Trel., P. tabanicidum Trel., P. terrabanum, P. tortuosipilum Trel., P. tsuritkubense Trel., P. turrialvanum C. DC., P. varablancanum Trel., and P. vicinum Trel. One other endemic (P. tarrazuense) has been lost to synonymization. On the other hand, we have apparently gained as endemics the following 21 spp. (not counting new spp. and Piper pseudofuligineum segregates) for which Flora mesoamericana now cites only Costa Rican vouchers: Peperomia barbulata (C. DC.) Callejas, P. pseudoalpina Trel., P. tonduzii C. DC., Piper artanthopse, P. auriculiferum Trel., P. coilostachyum C. DC., P. curtirachis W. C. Burger, P. cuspidispicum Trel., P. deductum Trel., P. evasum Trel., P. gibbosum, P. linearifolium, P. magnifolium (C. DC.) Trel., P. nodosum C. DC., P. polytrichum C. DC., P. pseudoglabrifolium Trel., P. san-marcosanum C. DC., P. simulans Trel., P. sublaevifolium Trel., P. sublineatum Kuntze, and P. zhorquinense C. DC. Having said all of that, we have no idea how much faith to invest in the presence or (especially) absence of voucher citations for particular countries in this work; in most of the foregoing cases involving omission, contradictory records still exist in TROPICOS.
As a sort of appendix, we will now provide the valid binomials for all the provisional Piperaceae names used in the Manual (though there is adequate cross-referencing in Flora mesoamericana). In each case, the authority name (omitted) is "Callejas."
Peperomia sp. A = P. barryana (honoring Manual co-PI Barry Hammel), B = P. longisetosa, C = P. incognita, D = P. epipetrica, E = P. franciscoi (honoring Manual collaborator Francisco Morales), F = P. pseudomaculosa, G = P. simuliformis, H = P. purpurispicata, I = P. gerardoi (honoring Gerardo Herrera), J = P. pseudohirta, K = P. sierpeana, L = P. pseudoelata, M = P. potamophila, N = P. grayumii. It also bears mentioning that, according to Flora mesoamericana, the illustration labeled "Peperomia sp. K" in the Manual actually depicts P. sp. M (P. potamophila).
Piper sp. A = P. hammelii, B = P. monteverdense, C = P. aromaticaule, D = P. dimorphum, E = P. denudatissimum, F = P. grayumii, G = P. minutiflorum, H = P. golfitoense, I = P. pseudoperbrevicaule, J = P. puntarenasense, K = P. obscurifolium, L = P. cucullatum, M = P. pseudoperbrevicaule.
Davis, C. C., L. C. Marinho & A. M. Amorim. 2020. Andersoniodoxa, a replacement name for Andersoniella (Malpighiaceae). Phytotaxa 470: 121–122.
The genus name Andersoniella, published just a few months ago [see under “Davis,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 27(3), Jul. 2020] by this same team for a segregate of Lophanthera, turns out to be a (much) later homonym, and is thus illegitimate. Its obscure predecessor pertains to a red alga, and is nowadays regarded as a synonym. This is a real eye-opener: anyone proposing a new genus of vascular plants must worry not only about prior genus names of fossils (see under "Kottaimuthu,” this column), but also those of such groups as algae and fungi. The problem is that names in those categories are not included (or at least, not regularly) in databases such as IPNI and TROPICOS (the algal Andersoniella appeared in neither, until we entered it into TROPICOS after seeing this article). This is a veritable mine-field! The solution, in this case, is validation of the nomen novum Andersoniodoxa to replace the more recent version of Andersoniella, along with three new combinations under the former name at sp. rank. The only one of the latter relevant to Costa Rica is Andersoniodoxa hammelii (W. R. Anderson) C. Davis & Amorim (for the sp. treated as Lophanthera hammelii W. R. Anderson in the Manual).
Dean, E., J. Poore, M. A. Anguiano-Constante, M. H. Nee, H. Kang, T. Starbuck, A. Rodrígues & M. Conner. 2020. The genus Lycianthes (Solanaceae, Capsiceae) in Mexico and Guatemala. PhytoKeys 168: 1–333.
This massive and rigorous revisionary work treats 53 “taxa” of Lycianthes from the region specified in the title (a center of diversity for the genus), but the majority of those do not extend southward to Costa Rica. In fact, just four of the accepted sp. names will be immediately recognizable to Manual users: Lycianthes acapulcensis (Baill.) D’Arcy, L. amatitlanensis (J. M. Coult. & Donn. Sm.) Bitter, L. heteroclita (Sendtn.) Bitter, and L. nítida Bitter, all employed in the Manual Solanaceae treatment (2015) for spp. occurring in Costa Rica. However, digging a little deeper reveals a bit more. It turns out that Lycianthes lenta (Cav.) Bitter, also included in the Manual, is present here as well, albeit with a new and different name, the prior but prosaic Lycianthes scandens (Mill.) M. Nee. Moreover, L. scandens is newly resolved into two vars., both widespread, but with only L. s. var. flavicans (Bitter) J. Poore & E. Dean represented in our neck of the woods. Needless to say, the new combinations for both the sp. and the var. are validated herein. Reading between the lines a bit, we see that additional changes are in order (or at least contemplated) for Costa Rica. The Manual concept of Lycianthes amatitlanensis was admittedly inclusive, with two relatively well-marked variants mentioned in the discussion thereunder. However, these authors suggest the occurrence of not two, but three distinct spp. allied to L. amatitlanensis in Costa Rica: L. amatitlanensis sensu stricto, L. inaequilatera (Rusby) Bitter (of “Costa Rica, Panama and South America”), and L. inconspicua Bitter (with L. storkii C. V. Morton & Standl. in synonymy). Lycianthes inaequilatera is not formally treated here, so we learn very little about it; the authors state that “intermediates between L. inaequilatera and L. amatitlanensis occur in Costa Rica and Panama, and these two species may eventually be treated as a single entity” (in which case L.inaequilatera is the prior name, as was also pointed out in the Manual). However, Costa Rican specimens conveniently cited in Appendix 1 permit us to provide following “Manualese” distribution statements for the other two spp., as follows:
Lycianthes amatitlanensis: Bosque húmedo y muy húmedo, 0–800 m; vert. Carib. Cord. de Tilarán, N Cord. de Talamanca, Baja Talamanca, vert. Pac., región de Puriscal (P.N. La Cangreja), Pen. de Osa. S Méx.–Pan. (y tal vez. Sur Amér.).
Lycianthes inconspicua: Bosque muy húmedo, pluvial y nuboso, 1250–1600+ m; vert. Carib. O Cord. Central, ambas verts. Cerros de La Carpintera, vert. Pac. Cord. de Tilarán. Guat., CR y O Pan. (Prov. Chiriquí).
The authors also suggest that the otherwise Mexican Lycianthes anomala Bitter could perhaps be present in Costa Rica and Panama, based on specimens from those countries (requiring further study) determined as L. synanthera (Sendtn.) Bitter, but exhibiting calyx appendages. And while on the subject of Lycianthes synanthera: both that sp. and L. multiflora Bitter are here formally deleted from the floras of Mexico and Guatemala, as the authors could find no actual specimens to substantiate prior such attributions (so annotate your Manual copy accordingly!). Just one new (Mexican) sp. is described, and 10 names are lectotypified (including several that pertain to Costa Rica). By the standards of regional genus revisions, this fine work goes above and beyond the call of duty in providing every useful feature that one could possibly hope for, and then some. Perhaps one day its authors will favor our region with something comparable.
——, —— & H. Kang. 2020. Three new species of Lycianthes (Solanaceae) from Panama. Phytotaxa 471: 113–126.
Even though all three of these novelties are from western Panama, we’d have ignored this paper except for the fact that one of them has been collected so near the Costa Rican border that we’d have been obliged to treat it in full in the Manual. The culprit is Lycianthes talamancensis E. Dean & Poore, the type of which hails from Prov. Bocas del Toro, just “2–5 airline km NW of the peak of Cerro Echandi on the Costa Rican-Panamanian international border.” Its closest relatives are two spp. from more northerly regions of Mesoamerica, with which it is compared morphologically in a table that also includes L. multiflora Bitter (apparently the most similar congener in Costa Rica). A scanned image of the holotype and a distribution map are provided.
Feng, H.-Z., S.-J. Wei, L.-Y. Wang, S.-F. Chen, Q. Fan & W.-B. Liao. 2021. A taxonomic revision of the Pyracantha crenulata complex (Rosaceae, Maleae). Phytotaxa 478: 239–252.
We see parallels between Pyracantha and the likewise Eurasian genus Flemingia (Fabaceae): no taxonomists seem willing to tackle either genus in its entirety, so we keep getting these piecemeal contributions, for particular "complexes" or geographic regions. This is frustrating for us, because both genera are represented in Costa Rica by (introduced) spp. of somewhat dubious identity, and we would like to be able to name them definitively. Difficult to do without ever having the complete picture. That ideal does not seem too much to hope for in Pyracantha which, by all accounts, has fewer than 10 spp. These authors boil the titular "complex" down from three spp. to one—which alone is formally treated here—and hence the generic sp. total down to seven. A key is provided for the five spp. occurring in China. Business as usual!
Fernandes, R. S. & A. Salino. 2020. Taxonomic revision of Meniscium Schreber (Thelypteridaceae: Polypodiopsida). Phytotaxa 463: 1–127.
According to this revision, the genus Meniscium—i.e., the former Thelypteris subgen. Meniscium (Schreb.) C. F. Reed—comprises 25 spp., distributed throughout the Neotropics. As we have noticed with many digital-era publications, this one appears to have been prepared in relative haste. For example: Table 1, recording the distribution of Meniscium spp. by country, lists just eight spp. for Costa Rica, whereas 10 spp. are vouchered for the country in the “Taxonomic Treatment.” By comparison, Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1 (1995) attributed nine spp. of Thelypteris subgen. Meniscium to Costa Rica, and one other (T. cocleana A. R. Sm. & Lellinger) was reported from the country a year later (Rojas-Alvarado, 1996; Brenesia 45-46: 1–6). That also adds to 10, but there are some discrepancies: Thelypteris ensiformis (C. Chr.) R. M. Tryon and T. standleyi (Maxon & C. V. Morton) R. M. Tryon, both accepted in Flora mesoamericana, are here newly synonymized under Meniscium andreanum Sodiro and M. arborescens Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd., respectively. This results in a net loss of two spp. for Costa Rica, as all four entities were vouchered for the country in Flora mesoamericana. The loss is compensated for by the addition of Thelypteris cocleana (see above) and that of Meniscium longifolium Desv., for which a lone Costa Rican voucher (Pittier 539, US; Buenos Aires) is cited in this revision (though the sp. is not attributed to Costa Rica in Table 1, and “Costa Rica” is omitted from its own “Distribution and habitat” summary!). That about sums it up for us. Features synonymy, typology, and technical descriptions at all ranks, a dichotomous (though, very unfortunately, non-indented) key to spp., distribution summaries, notes, extensive (especially for Brazil!) specimen citations, and (at the end) distribution maps. There are (again, unfortunately) no índices. The generous and richly illustrated introductory portion discusses taxonomic history, geographical distribution, and morphology. There are no nomenclatural innovations, but 17 lectotypes, one neotype, and one epitype are newly designated. Each sp. is illustrated with (minimally) a line drawing (generally composite) and SEM micrographs of spores.
Guimarães, L. R. S., G. A. Salazar & F. Barros. 2019. Lectotypifications and taxonomic notes in the Stenorrhynchos clade (Spiranthinae, Orchidaceae). Phytotaxa 394: 111–117.
This article had managed to outflank us, but now we have it in hand. Fourteen lectotypifications and five new synonymies are proposed, with three of the former and one of the latter relevant to spp. occurring in Costa Rica. The lectotypifications that affect us involve the basionym of Mesadenella tonduzii (Schltr.) Pabst & Garay and two synonyms of Sacoila lanceolata (Aubl.) Garay, none having any impact on the applications of names. The ostensible new synonymy is that of Spiranthes colorata N. E. Br. var. maculata N. E. Br. under Stenorrhynchos albidomaculatum Christenson, the authors of this paper conveniently overlooking the fact that the author of the latter name had already suggested the same synonymy [see The Cutting Edge 13(1): 4–5, Jan. 2006]. Even so, this second opinion strengthens the case for replacing the name Stenorrhynchos speciosum (Jacq.) Rich. ex Spreng. var. albidomaculatum (Christenson) Szlach. & Kolan. with a combination based on S. colorata var. maculata [see under “Szlachetko,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 27(4), Oct. 2020], for those favoring that particular classification of the taxon in question.
Hammel, B. E. 2020. A new combination in Mespilodaphne (Lauraceae) for a Costa Rican Ocotea. Phytoneuron 2020-84: 1.
According to the wisdom of field botanists based in Costa Rica (whence the types of both names involved), Ocotea paradoxa Mez is the accepted name for a distinct sp. and entrains in synonymy the junior O. klepperae van der Werff. Although that view was clearly expressed in the Manual Lauraceae treatment (2007), it was either overlooked or deliberately ignored in a recent paper [see under “Trofimov,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 27(3), Jul. 2020] transferring said sp. and related ones to a segregate genus, Mespilodaphne. The authors of that paper erred doubly in perpetuating the erroneous notion that Ocotea paradoxa is a synonym of O. veraguensis (Miesn.) Mez [i.e., Mespilodaphne veraguensis (Meisn.) Rohwer], while providing a new combination in Mespilodaphne for the undeserving O. klepperae. The paper under review rectifies those errors by validating the new combination Mespilodaphne paradoxa (Mez) Hammel and making a very strong case for Ocotea klepperae as a synonym thereof (“the type localities…are not far apart,” and “each of the two species was diagnosed by its author as distinct from O. veraguensis using nearly the same words”).
—— & R. Aguilar. 2020. Life is rough: Petrea aspera and P. asperifolia (Verbenaceae), the first an old, good species, newly recovered from synonymy and newly reported for Costa Rica, the second a new combination. Phytoneuron 2020-83: 1–8.
Only Petrea aspera Turcz., the “first” sp. of the title, is of concern to us. The name P. aspera, long and widely cited (even in the Manual!) in synonymy under P. volubilis L., is here resurrected and pressed into service as the accepted name for “Petrea sp. 1” of the Manual Verbenaceae treatment (2015). Ironically, the latter source distinguished said sp. partly on the basis of its “láminas foliares poco ásperas,” and as noted by these authors: “One can only wonder why Turczaninow chose the epithet ‘aspera’ for a species in his own words described as having exasperate leaves.” They speculate that “perhaps the epithet relates to the stems, which he described as asperate.” The adoption of Petrea aspera, typified by a Venezuelan specimen, as the accepted name for “Petrea sp. 1” obviously negates the notion (posited as questionable in the Manual) that said entity is a Costa Rican endemic. Based on the specimens and specimen images cited in this paper, the overall geographic range of the sp. may be summarized as “CR–N Col. y N Ven., Bras.” A revised description of Petrea aspera is provided, and the sp. is illustrated with a composite line drawing and several color photos (mainly from life). Two alternative keys to the Mesoamerican spp. of Petrea are appended, both dichotomous and indented.
——, M. H. Grayum, C. Herrera & N. Zamora (eds.). 2020. Manual de plantas de Costa Rica. Vol. IV, Parte 1. Dicotiledóneas (Acanthaceae–Asteraceae). Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 137: 1–904.
——, ——, —— & —— (eds.). 2020. Manual de plantas de Costa Rica. Vol. IV, Parte 2. Dicotiledóneas (Balanophoraceae–Clethraceae). Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 138: 1–524.
We cheated a bit on this. Backed into a corner, alphabetically speaking, and unable to create a “Vol. IX,” we responded to the impracticably large size (binding-wise) of our final volume by adopting a strategy pioneered by Flora mesoamericana: publishing Vol. IV in two separate books, dubbed “Parte 1” and “Parte 2.” Unfortunately, these two “partes” are asymmetrical, the first being much larger because it contains an extensive key to dicot families as well as the massive treatment of Asteraceae, which we did not wish to divide in half. With all of that said, the Manual is finally complete, 17 years after publication began, though twice that long since the project was launched with meetings, grant-writing, and preliminary field work. Under different circumstances, a celebration would certainly be in order. The two “partes” of Vol. IV are self-contained, each resembling any one of our previous volumes in terms of front matters, indices, and illustrations. Collectively, 1556 spp. are treated in the two “partes” (980 in “Parte 1”), representing 498 genera and 48 families (324 and 15, respectively, in “Parte 1”). The largest families in “Parte 1” are Asteraceae (with 418 spp.), Apocynaceae (150 spp.), and Acanthaceae (137 spp.), while the “Parte 2” champions are Bignoniaceae (75 spp.), Boraginaceae (65 spp.), and Celastraceae (48 spp.). Line-drawings total 557 (344 in “Parte 1”) and black-and-white photos 48 (one per family), while each “parte” boasts the usual eight pages of color plates. Due to the constraints imposed by our alphabetical sequence, not every family could be circumscribed according to the prevailing APG classification, though that would have been our preference. Some families, like Apocynaceae (including “Asclepiadaceae”) and Celastraceae (including “Hippocrateaceae”), do follow APG, but our Boraginaceae treatment (to pick one example) had to be presented in the traditional “sensu lato” style (including Cordiaceae and Ehretiaceae) no longer favored even by its author! With that caveat, and the Manual now finished, we are able to offer some final totals, of the sort that many people seem curiously obsessed with: Costa Rica harbors 6361 spp. of dicots, representing 1513 genera and 187 families, all contributing to the respective totals of 9347, 2028, and 121 (for angiosperms) and 9360, 2034, and 237 (for seed plants). Of course, all the foregoing numbers pertain only to taxa that were treated fully in the Manual, from 2003–2020, and do not account for those added (or lost) in the interim.
We wish to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in the production of the Manual since the inception of the project, including collectors, herbarium technicians, artists, authors, and editors. As far as authors are concerned, it cannot have escaped notice that Francisco Morales has been a notably prolific contributor of family treatments in all of our volumes; for Vol. IV, Chico authored Apiaceae, Apocynaceae (pro parte), Araliaceae (pro parte), Balanophoraceae, Balsaminaceae, Basellaceae, Berberidaceae, Betulaceae, Bignoniaceae (pro parte), Bixaceae (pro parte), Brunelliaceae, Cannabaceae (pro parte), Caricaceae, Cistaceae, and Clethraceae. We also owe a special debt of gratitude to Alexánder Rodríguez (CR) for his massive and painstaking treatment of Asteraceae, as well as those of Adoxaceae, Aquifoliaceae, Begoniaceae (pro parte), Campanulaceae (pro parte), and Caprifoliaceae (pro parte). And finally, we thank all the following Vol. IV “outside” authors for their time, patience, and expertise: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz (MO; Brassicaceae), Fred R. Barrie (MO; Caprifoliaceae), Mario A. Blanco [USJ; Arisolochiacae (pro parte)], the late John F. M. Cannon and Margaret J. Cannon [BM; Araliaceae (pro parte)], Alfredo Cascante-Marín (USJ; Bombacaceae), Garrett E. Crow (NHA; Cabombaceae, Ceratophyllaceae), Roy H. J. Erkens [L; Annonaceae (pro parte)], Armando Estrada [CR; Begoniaceae (pro parte)], the late Jorge Gómez-Laurito (USJ; Apodanthaceae), José González [INB; Alzateaceae, Amaranthaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Casuarinaceae, Chloranthaceae (pro parte)], Luis González [Bixaceae (pro parte)], Marc Gottschling [MSB; Boraginaceae (pro parte)], Jennifer P. Hedin [MO; Celastraceae (pro parte)], José Esteban Jiménez [USJ; Aristolochiaceae (pro parte)], Quírico Jiménez [INB; Anacardiaceae, Bignoniaceae (pro parte), Caryocaraceae], Carrie A. Kiel [RSA; Acanthaceae (pro parte)], Paul J. M. Maas [L; Annonaceae (pro parte)], Lucinda A. McDade (RSA; Acanthaceae), James S. Miller (MO; Boraginaceae), Ghillean T. Prance (K; Chrysobalanaceae), Joaquín Sánchez (CR; Buddlejaceae), Daniel Santamaría-Aguilar (LSU; Burseraceae), George E. Schatz [MO; Annonaceae (pro parte)], Daniel Solano [CR; Campanulaceae (pro parte)], W. D. Stevens [MO; Apocynaceae (pro parte)], Carol A. Todzia (TEX; Cannabaceae), and Erin A. Tripp [COLO; Acanthaceae (pro parte)]. Onward and upward!
Hershkovitz, M. A. 2020. (2751–2753) Proposals to reject the names Tutuca, T. chilensis, and T. fistulosa (Poaceae). Taxon 69: 822–823.
The correct application of the obscure genus name Tutuca Molina (1810), based on some Chilean element, “has remained unresolved for more than two centuries.” Oddly, the name has been associated over the years with such disparate families as Asteraceae, Ericaceae, Poaceae, and Portulacaceae (or, more precisely, Montiaceae). This long-standing confusion traces (according to the author of the present paper) to confusion on the part of the original author (Molina) himself, who apparently co-opted a pre-Linnean name and description intended for a sp. of Calandrinia (Montiaceae) while applying both to a South American sp. of Chusquea (Poaceae). The author of this paper presents a convincing case for that seemingly unlikely scenario, and considers the taxonomic identity of Tutuca with Chusquea as “definitive and unequivocal”; however, if neotypified accordingly, “Tutuca would have nomenclatural priority over Chusquea” (1822), a name that “has been applied relatively uncontroversially for two centuries” to “the largest genus of bamboos” (and one that is very well represented in Costa Rica). Hence the present proposals.
Jocou, A. I. 2020. Typification of Cotoneaster koidzumii (Maleae, Rosaceae) and two associated names. Phytotaxa 470: 203–209.
A lectotype is designated for Cotoneaster koidzumii Hayata, the basionym of Pyracantha koidzumii (Hayata) Rehder, which was the only sp. of its genus attributed to Costa Rica in both the Manual (tentatively, and using the original and debatably correctable spelling of the epithet, "koizumii") and Flora mesoamericana. Lectotypes are also designated for two other names regarded—by both tradition and this author, according to his lectotypifications—as synonyms of P. koidzumii.
Karremans, A. P., I. F. Chinchilla, G. Rojas-Alvarado, M. Cedeño-Fonseca, A. Damián & G. Léotard. 2020. A reappraisal of Neotropical Vanilla, with a note on taxonomic inflation and the importance of alpha taxonomy in biological studies. Lankesteriana 20: 395–497.
The authors preface this paper with a discussion of the "disproportionately large number of Vanilla species [that] have been recognized and proposed in recent years"—26 new spp., in the Neotropics alone, in the past 10 years, vs. "about 100," in the entire world, during "the first 250 years of the existence of the genus." They protest the recent trend, arguing that "Vanilla species are found in the lowlands, augmenting connectivity and reducing isolation," and that the genus "belongs to one of the oldest orchid lineages, which have conserved an extremely slow diversification rate." The authors contend that "the vast majority of Vanilla species are relatively old and broadly distributed, mostly not restricted to a single country or area" (and we would add that the same is true of most lowland vines and lianas). They punctuate these points with the pronouncement that, while "the odds of finding an undescribed species of Lepanthes…in an unexplored area is [sic] high…, the odds of finding an undescribed species of Vanilla anywhere…are quite slim." Amen. These views have resulted in a reduction of the accepted sp. total for Vanilla to 118, and of the neotropical total from 81 to 62 (though only the neotropical spp. are enumerated here, in a table near the end of the paper). With all of that said, the body of this paper comprises a revision of just 10 neotropical spp., selected for reasons that are not made clear (they are culled from two different secions of the genus). As gleaned from the revision itself and the comprehensive checklist at the end, the changes for Costa Rica, based on the most recent regional revision of Vanilla [see the second entry under "Soto Arenas," this column, in The Cutting Edge 17(2), Apr. 2010], are relatively few. Vanilla phaeantha Rchb. f. (from the Valle de Coto Brus) can now be definitely added to the Costa Rican flora, together with V. mexicana Mill. (from Parque Nacional Cahuita). An additional sp., Vanilla columbiana Rolfe, "skips" Costa Rica (from Honduras to Colombia), and is perhaps to be expected in the country. Two spp. recently described from Costa Rica have divergent fates: Vanilla karenchristianae Karremans & P. Lehm. [see under "Karremans," this column, in The Cutting Edge 25(2), Apr. 2018] is accepted (though it is now much more wide-ranging, and no longer even endemic), while V. sotoarenasii M. Pignal, Azof.-Bolaños & Grisoni [see under "Azofeifa-Bolaños," this column, in The Cutting Edge 24(2), Apr. 2017] is synonymized under V. planifolia Andrews. Vanilla pompona Schiede var. pittieri (Schltr.) Dressler is no longer accepted as a distinct entity, rather, synonymized under V. pompona. Otherwise, none of the remaining new synonymies (there are 28 altogether) is consequential for us, nor are any of the 15 typifications, and no new taxa are described here. This opulent treatment features (for the 10 "selected" spp.) synonymy and typology (also for the genus), detailed descriptions, specimen citations (mysteriously partitioned into "Specimens studied" and "Other specimens," and organized rather haphazardly within those divisions), distribution summaries, and distribution maps. There are no indices. Very generously illustrated with composite line drawings and color photos (a surfeit, in our opinion) of herbarium specimens and living material.
Kirkbride, J. H., Jr. & J. H. Wiersema. 2020. Nomenclatural anomalies among Kunth’s Rubiaceae. Taxon 69: 605–612.
As Carl Kunth was publishing names based on collections by Bonpland and Humboldt in Nova genera et species plantarum, Johann Jakob Roemer and Josef August Schultes were busy putting out their Systema vegetabilium (16th edition) at about the same time. Because the latter authors had access to duplicates of the same collections, many Latin American spp. were named (usually differently) in both works. As it turned out, “in almost all cases, the Kunth names have priority over the names in Roemer and Schultes.” This paper considers seven examples, in Rubiaceae, in which the reverse is true—i.e., names published by Kunth must be deemed illegitimate by virtue of superfluity or (in one case) homonymy. In general, it seems, these Kunth names have been treated as legitimate, and those of Roemer and Schultes ignored; nonetheless, most of the issues dealt with in this paper have already been resolved (it seems to us), at least in TROPICOS. Just one of the seven examples is potentially relevant to Costa Rican floristics: that of Spermacoce aculeata Willd., which is homotypic with the posterior S. distans Kunth and “may be synonymous” (pending “further in-depth study”) with Spermacoce suaveolens (G. Mey.) Kunth, the accepted name for a sp. that is common in Costa Rica. Should that suggested synonymy prove correct, Spermacoce aculeata has priority “and would be the correct name for the species involved” (pending, we would submit, the inevitable conservation proposal).
Koenen, E. J. M., C. Kidner, É. R. Souza, M. F. Simon, J. R. Iganci, J. A. Nicholls, G. K. Brown, L. P. Queiroz, M. Luckow, G. P. Lewis, R. T. Pennington & C. E. Hughes. 2020. Hybrid capture of 964 nuclear genes resolves evolutionary relationships in the mimosoid legumes and reveals the polytomous origins of a large pantropical radiation. Amer. J. Bot. 107: 1710–1735
Real good. The problem with this article, from our perspective, its that it is so ambitious and wide ranging, in terms of its generic coverage, that it suggests certain problems with generic circumscriptions (the only thing we are interested in) but cannot hope to resolve them (because too few spp. of each genus—and generally, no Costa Rican spp.—were included in the study). Among the "mimosoid" genera mentioned (in various parts of this paper) as likely to be non-monophyletic are: Abarema, Albizia, Balizia, Prosopis, Senegalia, Stryphnodendron, and Zygia (to mention only those represented in Costa Rica). We cannot begin to imagine how these scenarios may eventually play out for us, but it may be worth noting that the type sp. of just one of the genera (Zygia) in the foregoing list occurs in Costa Rica. The prognosis may be especially grim for Albizia, "now considered the main 'dustbin' genus" of the group, which appears to be diphyletic along hemispheric lines—and the generic type is an Old World sp.! Also, the authors suggest that "the genera of the Abarema alliance of Barneby and Grimes [may] need to be re-delimited." While these analyses may have succeeded in identifying certain problem areas within the "mimosoids," more fine-grained studies of those individual regions will be needed to work out all the kinks.
Kottaimuthu, R., M. J. Basu, K. Sathiyadash & V. Karthikeyan. 2020. Cissus lombardiana a new name for Cissus ulmifolia (Vitaceae). Phytotaxa 477: 97–98.
Why were so many people needed to execute such a trifling nomenclatural note? Commas, though, are in short supply. The big discovery of this team is that the name Cissus ulmifolia (Baker) Planch., long accepted for a widespread neotropical sp. (that occurs in Costa Rica), is preoccupied by the obscure C. ulmifolia A. Massal. (1858), which applies to “an Italian fossil taxon.” We recently became aware of the threat posed by names of fossil plant taxa [see under “Doweld,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 25(1), Jan. 2018]—which are “not (or scarcely and irregularly) indexed in databases such as IPNI and TROPICOS”—and predicted increased activity, along the lines of what we are seeing now, “as armchair pseudotaxonomists run out of other options to stamp their brands on scientific names.” That said, just a few days ago, we discovered the existence of an actual database for fossil plant names:
which may have been exploited by these authors as well, though they do not cite it. Given the potential for burdensome authorship inherent in the by-line of this article, it comes as a relief that Cissus lombardiana Kottaim., the proposed replacement name for C. ulmifolia (Baker) Planch., is credited to a single individual. The clever ploy of honoring Julio Antonio Lombardi (HRCB), the leading authority on neotropical Vitaceae, with this name may avert, or at least forestall, a conservation proposal that would otherwise loom as inevitable. Brace yourselves for a lot more of this sort of thing, as the mother lode of fossil plant names has scarcely been scratched—and of course, we also have algae and fungi (including their fossils!) to worry about (although not at sp. rank). In the long run, maybe it is a good thing to get all of this over and done.
Liede-Schumann, S. & H. A. Keller. 2020. New combinations in Ruehssia for the South American species of Marsdenia (Apocynaceae-Asclepiadoideae). Phytotaxa 471: 283–289.
Trickle, trickle, trickle… little by little, all the New World spp. hitherto included in Marsdenia are being transferred to Ruehssia. This paper does the job for those occurring in South America…well, outside of Brazil, for which the deed was already dispatched [see under “Espírito Santo,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 26(4), Oct. 2019]. But although 24 new combinations are validated here, just two apply to spp. that reach Costa Rica: the former Marsdenia rotheana Woodson and M. undulata (Jacq.) Dugand, both now with names in Ruehssia attributed to “Liede & H. A. Keller.” In the bargain, the basionym of M. undulata is lectotypified. By our reckoning, combinations in Ruehssia are now available for just four of the 10 eligible spp. in Costa Rica [which, needless to say, are still to be found under Marsdenia in the just-published Manual Vol. 4; see the third entry under “Hammel,” this column].
McNair, D. M. & C. Andresen. 2020. Soapberry (Sapindus L.) in Arizona. Phytoneuron 2020-78: 1–23.
This contribution is, of course, largely tangential to our interests, but it does open our eyes to a taxonomy of which we had been ignorant, in which the North American taxon we have known (from labeled trees growing outside at MO) as Sapindus drummondii Hook. & Arn. (Sapindaceae) is subordinated to S. saponaria L. at varietal rank. According to the information presented by these authors (who accept this classification), Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii (Hook. & Arn.) L. D. Benson is limited to the western United States and northern Mexico, while S. s. var. saponaria occurs in the southeastern United States, from central Mexico through Central America into South America, and in the Antilles. This taxonomic view—which actually dates back to at least 1964—would require that Costa Rican material of Sapindus saponaria be qualified as belonging to the autonymic var., a possibility that was not alluded to in the Manual Sapindaceae treatment (2015).
Medeiros, H., J. C. Lopes, P. Acevedo-Rodríguez & R. C. Forzza, 2020. A new species of Thinouia (Paullinieae, Sapindaceae) from the Amazon and its phylogenetic placement. PhytoKeys 165: 115–126.
The new sp. of the title is of interest to us only insofar as it spurred the authors to reconsider the generic status of the monospecific Allosanthus, to which their novelty appeared closely affined. Our readers may recall that Allosanthus trifoliolatus Radlk. (which occurs rarely in Costa Rica) was recently transferred to Thinouia [see under “Acevedo-Rodríguez,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 24(3), Jul. 2017], but solely on the basis of morphology. Here it is included in a molecular analysis that confirms it to be nested within Thinouia (to which the new sp.—also featured in the analysis—is accordingly assigned). So we should all get used to the name Thinouia trifoliolata (Radlk.) Acev.-Rodr. & Ferrucci. Note: the epithets of T. trifoliolata and its basionym are consistently misspelled in this paper (as also in the 2017 paper cited above) as “trifoliata” and “trifoliatus,” respectively.
Melo, J. I. M. & M. G. M. Gonçalves. 2020. New combinations in Myriopus (Heliotropiaceae) from Central and South America. Harvard Pap. Bot. 25: 145–146.
Just one of these is germane to us: Myriopus isabellinus (J. S. Mill.) J. I. M. Melo, based on Tournefortia isabellina J. S. Mill. Talk about a day late and a dollar short! This is the third and (we are confident) last Costa Rican sp. to be transferred from Tournefortia (where all remain in Manual Vol. 4, Parte 2) to Myriopus.
Messerschmid, T. E. E., J. T. Klein, G. Kadereit & J. W. Kadereit. 2020. Linnaeus’s folly – phylogeny, evolution and classification of Sedum (Crassulaceae) and Crassulaceae subfamily Sempervivoideae. Taxon 69: 892–926.
This ambitious molecular study of Sedum (the largest genus in Crassulaceae, with ca. 470 spp.) sampled 80% of the infrageneric (and, we suspect, supraspecific) taxa in the genus, as well as most of the other genera in the titular subfamily. The last-mentioned taxon “received maximum support as a monophyletic group” in all of these analyses, but the same cannot be said of its constituent genera. Sedum, in particular, is “highly polyphyletic” (or, from a different perspective, paraphyletic, with respect to numerous nested genera). Several other genera (Echeveria, Graptopetalum, Hylotelephium, Thompsonella, Villadia) are non-monophyletic as well. The authors note that “all character states currently used for the delimitation of segregate genera [i.e., those nested in Sedum] seem to be homoplasious, and each of them can be found in at least one species of Sedum.” They weigh four principal classificatory resolutions to this problem, ranging from one extreme (restricting Sedum to its type sp., S. acre L.) to the other (lumping all 14 genera in Crassulaceae tribe Sedeae t’Hart into a single genus, Sedum). Of these, the authors come down hard in favor of the extreme lumping option, which would swell Sedum to ca. 755 spp. at the expense of such familiar genus names as Dudleya, Echeveria, Graptopetalum, Pachyphytum, Sedella, Thompsonella, and Villadia. They make a strong case, noting, in particular, that most of the aforementioned genera are non-monophyletic anyway, and their incorporation in Sedum would “not really alter its morphological circumscription and recognizability” (because of the homoplasy mentioned previously). While professing the belief that their “proposed solution of the ‘Sedum problem’ is the best of all available options,” the authors refrain from making new combinations (and advise others to follow suit) pending a more “profound knowledge of morphology and phylogenetic position of the species to be transferred.” They do, however, provide a rigorous morphological diagnosis of Sedum, in their newly expanded sense. Just three spp. in Costa Rica are vulnerable to the proposed reshuffling: Echeveria australis Rose and two likely non-native spp. of Sedum, S. griseum Praeger and S. mexicanum Britton [the latter being the apparently correct name for the sp. treated as S. dendroideum DC. in the Manual; see under “Davidse,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(3), Jul. 2015]. Of these, only Sedum mexicanum was included in this study; it was resolved in the same clade as the generic type sp., so would only have been threatened in the most extreme splitting scenario. Though it was not sampled, Echeveria australis is clearly on the chopping block, and will likely require a completely new name if transferred to Sedum, wherein its epithet (as that of its only plausible synonym) is preoccupied.
Michelangeli, F. A., R. Goldenberg, F. Almeda, G. Ocampo, W. S. Judd, C. Ulloa Ulloa & P. M. Jørgensen. 2020. Additional nomenclatural and taxonomic notes in Miconieae (Melastomataceae). Brittonia 72: 402–405.
A wee bit of bookkeeping here, comprising the correction of oversights and errors perpetrated during wholesale transfers to Miconia (by members of this same group) of spp. formerly included in Clidemia, Conostegia, Leandra, and Ossaea. Two of these tweaks affect Costa Rican floristics. The first involves the sp. treated in the Manual as Conostegia pittieri Cogn. That name could not be transferred to Miconia, in which the epithet pittieri was (inevitably) preoccupied, so instead, a combination in Miconia based on Conostegia donnell-smithii Cogn.—the only heterotypic synonym at sp. rank—was validated [see under “Michelangeli,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 26(2), Apr. 2019]. However, it has since been learned that—again, not surprisingly—the epithet donnell-smithii was itself preoccupied in Miconia! The authors of this paper respond with the nomen novum Miconia durandii Michelang. & P. Jørg., henceforth to be used for the sp. formerly known as Conostegia pittieri. That error we had not detected, but we did pick up on the other one of interest to us: Clidemia septuplinervia Cogn. was transferred directly to Miconia as M. septuplinervia (Cogn.) Judd & Ionta, a name that must be deemed confusable with the prior M. septuplinervis Pittier. We calculated [see under “Judd,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 26(1), Jan. 2019] that the correct name for the sp. would figure “to be a combination (as yet unpublished) in Miconia based on Ossaea trichocalyx Pittier” (the only heterotypic synonym at sp. rank that we could track down). Now, after nearly two years, the combination Miconia trichocalyx (Pittier) Michelang. & Judd is finally available to replace Clidemia septuplinervia.
Morales, C. O. 2020. Origen, historia natural y usos de las plantas introducidas en Costa Rica. UNED Res. J. 12(2): e3098.
This lengthy contribution (which lacks pagination altogether) compiles information (as indicated in its title) on “ca. 982” spp. that have been introduced to Costa Rica. These represent 623 genera and 144 families, with Fabaceae (70 spp. in 46 genera) by far the most diverse of the latter. Not surprisingly, the largest families in the native flora are also well represented in the exotic flora. This work goes well beyond the Manual in its exhaustive inventory of plant spp. that have been cultivated in Costa Rica, and also includes categories (such as plants grown only in pots) that the Manual largely ignored. The author brings to bear not only his personal experience, as a life-long, observant, and botanically astute resident of the country, but also a thorough review of the literature, including old accounts by the likes of Hellmuth Polakowsky. A fair number of the spp. enumerated here have never been seen by us in Costa Rica, and even some of the names are unfamiliar. Basically, it would seem that just about any sp. ever cultivated anywhere in the tropics has been at least attempted, at one time or another, in Costa Rica—not to mention a healthy quotient of temperate spp. that have been grown in the upland regions of the country. If we have one criticism, it is that vouchers are not cited for many of the names; some vouchers are cited, especially the author’s own collections, but not nearly enough. That said, having faced the dilemma ourselves, we are acutely aware of the difficulties involved in obtaining decent herbarium specimens from prized house or garden plants! The entries are ordered alphabetically, by family, genus, and sp., according to the most recent taxonomy accepted by the author. There are no illustrations. Had this work been available throughout the production period of the Manual, it would certainly have made our volumes better—though certainly longer!
Moroni, P. & N. O’Leary. 2020. Insights into the systematics of tribe Duranteae (Verbenaceae) II: a taxonomic revision of the New World genus Duranta. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 105: 502–577.
This, the first-ever proper taxonomic revision of Duranta over its entire geographic range, nearly doubles the sp. total indicated in the Manual account of the genus (2015) by Ricardo Rueda (HULE), from 17 to 31 (the authors noting that “previous treatments have blurred species boundaries”). Be that as it may, the consequences for Costa Rica are minimal, with the same two spp. attributed to the country: Duranta costaricensis (Donn. Sm.) Standl. and the mainly cultivated (and presumably non-native) D. erecta L. Still, there are a few minor new developments to report. In the case of D. costaricensis, the name Duranta guatemalensis Moldenke is liberated from synonymy and adopted as the accepted name for a sp. of southern Mexico and Guatemala that is “readily distinguished” from all of its Mesoamerican congeners; so, delete D. guatemalensis from the synonymy of D. costaricensis and “Méx. y Guat.” from its geographic range, which should now read “CR–Col.” (taking into account two Colombian vouchers cited in this paper). The status for Duranta erecta is virtually quo, although the authors ascribe a broad geographic range to the sp. without suggesting that it may be native to any particular region and introduced elsewhere (except in the Old World). Curiously, they limit its South American distribution to “Colombia, the Guianas, and Venezuela,” though we were unable to fathom their reasons for ignoring all the other South American records (e.g., as reported in the Manual). This is an exemplary piece of work, including synonymy, typology, technical descriptions, distribution summaries, and discussions at all ranks, a dichotomous (and indented!) key to spp., representative specimen citations, distribution maps, sections on “Doubtful names” and “Excluded names,” lists of sp. distributions by country (in appendices), and indices to scientific names and exsiccatae. The introductory portion elaborates on taxonomic history, the relationships of the genus, morphology, and economic uses. No new taxa are described here, but eight new synonymies and three lectotypes are designated (one of each involving obscure names subordinated to Duranta erecta). All but two of the spp. (D. erecta being one of the exceptions) are illustrated with composite line drawings and/or color photos from life.
Ortiz, O. O., M. Cedeño-Fonseca, J. E. Jiménez, J. E. Hidalgo-Mora, M. López-Mora & R. M. Baldini. 2020[‘2021’]. Novelties in Costa Rican aroids (Araceae) with nomenclatural notes/Novedades para las aráceas costarricenses (Araceae) con notas nomenclaturales. Acta Bot. Mex. 128 (e1750): 1–9.
Don’t ask us why six authors are now needed to report four range extensions (especially when three of the critical collections were made by just one of those authors), but that is what the world has come to lately. All four of these extensions are northward, from Panama and (in some cases) South America, with each based on a single collection. Two of the new records hail from 1480 m elevation on Fila Anguciana, in the southern Fila Costeña: Anthurium myosuroides (Kunth) Schott and Philodendron pseudoauriculatum Croat. Both were collected by Marco Cedeño-Fonseca, as was Spathiphyllum dressleri Croat & F. Cardona, found at 1393 m on Cerro Turrubares. The last of the four is Anthurium roseospadix Croat which, counterintuitively, turned up (courtesy of Esteban Jiménez) in northern Costa Rica, at 924 m on the Pacific slope of Volcán Miravalles. Each of the four additions is distinguished from its most similar congener in Costa Rica (Anthurium microspadix Schott, Philodendron auriculatum Standl. & L. O. Williams, Spathiphyllum phryniifolium Schott, and Anthurium obtusilobum Schott, respectively) and illustrated with at least one color photo. A distribution map is also provided. And as seemingly behooves any article, on any botanical subject, nowadays: typification is ventured, with both a lectotype and an epitype designated for the basionym of Anthurium myosuroides. According to the calculations of these authors, Costa Rica can now claim 266 spp. of Araceae, vs. the total of 249 reported in the Manual treatment (2003) of the family; however, it is not clear whether the revised total includes the five new spp. described in the following article (which is not cited here).
——, T. B. Croat, R. Hormell & M. Cedeño-Fonseca. 2020. Advances towards the completion of the Anthurium Flora of Central America (Araceae, Pothoideae): contribution of thirty-one new species from Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama. Phytotaxa 467: 1–61.
This cornucopia of Central American novelties includes five new spp. for Costa Rica. Rather unsettlingly (at least for us), 21 of the 31 spp. described in this paper (including all the Costa Rican ones) are known by just a single collection, and only three from more than three collections. Furthermore, many of the sites (including at least three of those in Costa Rica) have been rather thoroughly botanized. So put us down as somewhat skeptical. The authors’ technique for discovering new spp. depends heavily on an elaborate key they have developed. If a specimen does not come out cleanly to some known sp. in the key, it is anointed as new and promptly described. This results in typological sp. concepts that seem largely divorced from biological reality, and remain to be tested from that perspective. With that in mind, the five new spp. for Costa Rica are as follows: Anthurium alfaroi Croat (honoring former parataxonomist Evelio Alfaro), from ca. 1800 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca, compared with A. concinnatum Schott; Anthurium hayanum O. Ortiz & M. Cedeño (honoring British botanist Alistair Hay), from a mid-elevation site on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca, compared (among congeners in Costa Rica) with A. watermaliense hort. ex L. H. Bailey & Nash; Anthurium marginervium Croat, from ca. 1000 m elevation on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca, compared to A. caperatum Croat & R. A. Baker; Anthurium picadoae O. Ortiz & Croat (honoring former parataxonomist Annia Picado), from ca. 2650 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca, compared with A. ranchoanum Engl. (making us wonder whether the names A. valerii Standl. and A. vinicolor Standl. & L. O. Williams, both putative synonyms of A. ranchoanum with types from central Costa Rica, were considered as candidates); and Anthurium sixaolense Croat, Belt & O. Ortiz, from 1700–1715 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the eastern Cordillera de Talamanca, compared with A. brownii Mast. and A. clavatum Croat & R. A. Baker. In addition to the outright novelties, three infraspecific taxa are promoted to sp. rank. Two of the latter occur in Costa Rica: Anthurium protensum Schott subsp. arcuatum Croat, which becomes A. arcuatum (Croat) O. Ortiz & Croat, and Anthurium pittieri Engl. var. fogdeniorum Croat, henceforth A. fogdeniorum (Croat) O. Ortiz, M. Cedeño & Croat. The third promotion involves the former Anthurium pittieri var. morii Croat, a Panamanian entity that was briefly mentioned in the Manual Araceae treatment; the epithet morii being preoccupied in Anthurium, a nomen novum, A. copense O. Ortiz, M. Cedeño & Croat, is here pressed into service. All the spp. dealt with in this paper are illustrated with color photos of living material and/or herbarium specimens.
Pederneiras, L. C., C. M. Dussán, N. Mitidieri-Rivera, S. Romaniuc-Neto & V. F. Mansano. 2020. Nomenclatural revision of the Ficus sect. Americanae (Moraceae): typification of F. citrifolia and allied species. Phytotaxa 474: 145–153.
Yet again, this journal traffics erroneously in the typification of taxa, rather than names. Here, neo- or (mostly) lectotypes are designated for 23 of the latter, all of which have been consigned at one time or another to synonymy under Ficus citrifolia Mill. (a sp. that occurs in Costa Rica, which is the only reason this paper is featured here). All of the names are obscure to us, and not one of the types involved is Mesoamerican. As in a prior contribution from this same crew [see under “Pederneiras,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 26(4), Oct. 2019], the authors themselves express virtually no opinions regarding synonymy, merely recording those of their predecessors.
Pellegrini, M. O. O., E. J. Hickman, J. E. Gutiérrez, R. J. Smith & S. D. Hopper. 2020. Revisiting the taxonomy of the Neotropical Haemodoraceae (Commelinales). PhytoKeys 169: 1–59.
As it turns out, this opulent, albeit fundamentally synoptic treatment of neotropical Haemodoraceae has virtually no consequences for Costa Rica, mainly because the family is represented there by just one sp., the widespread Xiphidium caeruleum Aubl. The description of a new, mainly South American sp. of Xiphidium doubles the sp. total for the genus, which was indicated as monospecific in the Manual account of the family (2003) by Hiltje Maas-van de Kamer and Paul J. M. Maas. More significantly, from our perspective: the enigmatic name Eccremis scabra Kuntze, addressed in the family discussion of Liliaceae in the Manual, is finally lectotypified [for more information see under “Wurdack,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 17(1), Jan. 2010]. According to these authors, E. scabra was “based on a collection from…Bolivia” at B, but which cannot be located there; hence, they designate as lectotype a duplicate of that specimen (i.e., an isotype, by their reckoning) at NY. They make no mention at all of a Costa Rican specimen, also apparently lost at B, that was cited in the protologue, and was the sole premise for our bringing up this issue in the Manual. By our reckoning, the citation of the Costa Rican specimen means that these authors designated an isosyntype, rather then an isotype, as lectotype. All the same, the result is that the name Eccremis scabra may now be officially consigned to synonymy under Xiphidium caeruleum, the sp. represented by the lectotype (which was, of course, the premise for addressing the issue in this paper). We will likely never know the true identity of the excluded (Costa Rican) syntype, but in the grand scheme of things, it matters not. Two other synonyms of X. caeruleum are also lectotypified, for what it is worth.
Pupulin, F. 2021. A correction to the Lepanthes guatemalensis group (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) in Costa Rica, with a new species. Phytotaxa 480: 69–78.
For introductory remarks regarding the sp. group of the title, see under "Pupulin," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(3), Jul. 2015. The four Costa Rican specimens cited under Lepanthes edwardsii Ames in that paper are alleged, in the present paper, to instead represent a new spp. (described here), L. bogariniana Pupulin, endemic to Tiquicia. However, the real L. edwardsii (otherwise known only from Honduras, it seems) is restored to the Costa Rican flora by virtue of a single recent collection (the author's), unfortunately of unkown provenance. That said, because this author and the JBL crew in general tend to cite only their own collections (or those of their coterie), and would appear rarely if ever to visit other Costa Rican herbaria (especially INBio), the matter is far from resolved. In particular, the Manual voucher for Lepanthes edwardsii, Ingram & Ferrell 591, has not been accounted for (here or in the prior work), nor have five other specimens so identified in the TROPICOS and Web Portal databases. Therefore, we cannot be confident that all of these records pertain to Lepanthes bogariniana; some could well represent L. edwardsii. Both spp. are well illustrated here with composite line drawings and color photos from life, and are also included in a key (non-indented) to the Costa Rican spp. (nine total) of the study group. These materials may be of assistance going forward. Adding Lepanthes bogariniana to the four other new Costa Rican orchid spp. reported in this issue of the Edge (see the next entry, and also under "Bogarín" and the second entry under "Chinchilla"), our running count of such novelties published since the inception of this newsletter (ca. 1993) has reached 420.
——, N. Belfort-Oconitrillo, A. P. Karremans & D. Bogarín. 2020. Florae Costaricensis Subtribui Pleurothallidinis Prodromus—systematics of Echinosepala (Orchidaceae). Harvard Pap. Bot. 25: 155–190.
This contribution is part of a series of similar papers that will eventually "be included in forthcoming volumes of Flora Costaricensis"—a project that, as far as we can tell, is being kept alive by these authors alone. Their efforts have lately been focused on Orchidaceae subtribe Pleurothallidinae which, according to the authors' latest calculations, now accounts for about 581 spp. in Costa Rica—about a third of the family total for the country—in 30 genera. The article in hand deals with one of the smaller genera, Echinosepala, with perhaps 17 spp., of which 10 are here attributed to Costa Rica. The taxon now branded with the genus name Echinosepala comprises a group of spp. that had been bandied back and forth between Pleurothallis (sensu lato) and Myoxanthus, and were subsumed under the former name in the Manaul treatment (2003) by the late Carlyle Luer (the genus Echinosepala had already been proposed at that time, but too recently to be accommodated in the Manual). Floristically speaking, this latest effort brings little that is new to the table: seven of the 10 Costa Rican spp. were treated by Luer (although not necessarily using the same epithets), and the remaining three have been duly reported in the interim: Echinosepala expolita Pupulin & Belfort and E. longipedunculata Pupulin & Karremas, both described as new [see the third entry under "Pupulin," this column, in The Cutting Edge 24(4), Oct. 2017], and E. lappiformis (A. H. Heller & L. O. Williams) Pridgeon & M. W. Chase, one of those spp. that "skipped" Costa Rica but was finally reported from there in a 2008 paper that we somehow overlooked. Even the two spp. described as new in the paper under review were accounted for by Luer, using names reflecting more inclusive sp. concepts: Costa Rican material ascribed by Luer to Pleurothallis aspasicensis Rchb. f. (restricted by these authors to South America) is here segregated as Echinosepala glenioides Pupulin sp. nov. (which extends into western Panama), while Costa Rican populations assigned by Luer to Pleurothallis uncinata Fawc. (restricted by these authors to the Antilles) are here referred to Echinosepala isthmica Pupulin sp. nov. (which ranges southward to Colombia)—and as an aside, the Manual voucher for P. aspasicensis, "Barringer & Perry 3983," was evidently miscited by Luer, and should have read "Barringer & Pérez 3783" (here cited under E. glenioides, and with a duplicate present in the MO herbarium). Nomenclaturally speaking, this paper implements two additional changes for Costa Rica (vis-à-vis the Manual): the sp. treated by Luer as Pleurothallis grammata Dressler (a nomen novum) reclaims its original epithet, as Echinosepala vittata (Pupulin & M. A. Blanco) C. O. Morales & N. Villalobos [see The Cutting Edge 12(2): 11–12, Apr. 2005]; and Pleurothallis sempergemmata Luer yields to the prior P. alexandrae Schltr. (which was cited erroneously as a synonym of P. aspasicensis in the Manual), the resulting Echinosepala alexandrae (Schltr.) Pupulin & Bogarín being one of two new combinations validated in this paper (the other is made incidentally for a South American sp., and is of no concern to us). But there is a potential problem here, in that Pleurothallis alexandrae is predated by the quasi-homonym P. alexandri Schltr. The authors address this issue, insisting that the two names "are not likely to be confused," and while we agree that both should be allowed to stand, the plain fact is that they are easily confused, and could be officially deemed confusable by some future committee ruling. Moving along: the three remaining Costa Rican spp. of Echinosepala, E. pan (Luer) Pridgeon & M. W. Chase, E. stonei (Luer) Pridgeon & M. W. Chase, and E. tomentosa (Luer) Pridgeon & M. W. Chase, all retain the epithets used (in Pleurothallis) by Luer. However, we can now supply (on the basis of recent collections) locality information for the two last-mentioned spp., the provenance of which was unknown back in 2003. In Manualese, Echinospela stonei can now be reported from "Bosque pluvial, bordes de bosque y potreros, 1350–1850 m; vert. Carib. N Cord. de Talamanca. Fl. ene.–mar."; and E. tomentosa from "Bosque pluvial, bosques secundarios y potreros, 1200–1500 m; vert. Pac. N Cord. de Talamanca. Fl. mar., abr." And while we're at it, let's provide the same service for Echinosepala lappiformis: "Bosque muy húmedo, bosques primarios y secundarios y orillas de caminos, 50–650 m; vert. Carib. Cord. Central, N Cord. de Talamanca, Llanura de Tortuguero. Fl. (cult.) mar.–jun." This revisionary work features synonymy, typology, technical descriptions, and discussions at all ranks, a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp., distribution and phenology summaries, and specimen citations (mostly the authors' own, as typical of this group). There are no indices. The introductory portion touches briefly on all the usual topics, and includes a cladogram. All 10 spp. are illustrated with both composite line drawings and color photos (mainly of flowers) from life, all of excellent quality.
Queiroz, L. P., A. C. S. Oliveira & C. Snak. 2020. Disentangling the taxonomy of the Galactia-Camptosema-Collaea complex with new generic circumscriptions in the Galactia clade (Leguminosae, Diocleae). Neodiversity 13: 56–94.
Said complex is disentangled with the aid of phylogenetic analyses of a combined molecular and morphological dataset (we are still mystified as to why folks want to compromise molecular analyses with subjective morphological interpretations). Both Camptosema and Galactia emerge as "broadly polyphyletic, with species scattered among five (Camptosema) and seven (Galactia) of the twelve lineages that are newly recognized here at genus level" (including four genera described as new). Just three spp. in the complex were treated in the Manual Fabaceae account (2010) by co-PI Nelson Zamora, using the names Galactia argentea Brandegee, G. glaucescens Kunth, and G. striata (Jacq.) Urb. Luck would appear to be in our favor this time, as all three of those spp. occupy the same clade as the type sp. of Galactia (G. pendula Pers.), and so ought to remain in place. However, the jury may still be out for G. glaucescens, which has been included in a largely South American section of Galactia that is here promoted to genus rank under the name Cerradicola L. P. Queiroz; still, these authors take "a more conservative approach" and provisionally maintain G. glaucescens in Galactia, "pending new phylogenetic analyses." The genus Galactia now weighs in with "approximately 84 species,” an unexpectedly higher total than the (under)estimate of “ca. 55–60 spp.” specified in the Manual (we also neglected to record the presence of the genus in the Old World, where is represented by a handful of spp. in Asia, Africa, and Australia). Features a key (dichotomous, though non-indented) to the 12 "genera of the Galactia clade," synonymy, typology, and descriptions (revised in the case of Galactia and a few others) for all 12, as well as three plates of color photos from life. Incidentally, lumping the entire complex into a single genus under the oldest name (Galactia) was considered, but rejected because it would result in the loss of "the morphologically coherent and long recognized genera Rhodopis, Cratylia, Collaea, and Camptosema..." We don't know or care about any of those genera, but the only three spp. in Costa Rica retain their names (at least for the time being) under both scenarios, so we're happy either way.
—— & C. Snak. 2020. Revisiting the taxonomy of Dioclea and related genera (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae), with new generic circumscriptions. PhytoKeys 164: 67–114.
The well-known genus Dioclea, in its traditional sense pantropical and comprising perhaps 50 spp., is shown by these molecular studies to be both diphyletic and paraphyletic. The diphyly is minor, involving a single sp., Dioclea paniculata Killip ex R. H. Maxwell (of eastern Panama and Colombia), that is “highly supported as a member of the Galactia clade.” The paraphyly involves four mono- o oligospecific genera (with a total of only nine or 10 spp.) that are nested in the remainder of Dioclea. Three of these genera have previously been included in Dioclea by other authors (Cymbosema by co-PI Nelson Zamora in his Manual Fabaceae treatment, Luzonia and Macropsychanthus in Mabberley’s plant-book), and at least three of the spp. already have combinations in Dioclea. Therefore, purely from the standpoint of nomenclatural stability, the resolution of this problem is clear: fold the four nested genera into Dioclea, and banish D. paniculata. This action would require a total of perhaps eight or nine new combinations. These authors acknowledge that such a “widely-circumscribed Dioclea” has “high phylogenetic support,” but maintain that it “would lack diagnosability with respect to other genera of the tribe Diocleae.” Thus they have gone in the opposite direction, maintaining three of the four nested genera (Luzonia loses out) at the expense of Dioclea, which loses two of its three subgenera to a greatly expanded Macropsychanthus (which also absorbs Luzonia). Instantly, Dioclea (now reduced to what had been its autonymic subgenus) becomes a strictly neotropical genus of just 13 spp., while Macropsychanthus swells to a pantropical assemblage of 46 spp. (and can now boast two subgenera). Perhaps not inconsequentially, 44 new combinations and one nomen novum, all validated in this paper (mostly in the names of “L. P. Quieroz & Snak”), were required for this course of action. For Costa Rica, the results are as follows: of the seven spp. treated under the elegant name Dioclea in Nelson’s Manual account, just two, D. guianensis Benth. and D. virgata (Rich.) Amshoff, remain in place (the latter with its varietal appellation intact); Dioclea rosea (Benth.) N. Zamora reverts to Cymbosema roseum Benth., while the remaining four spp. are transferred to the awkwardly named Macropsychanthus. However, some additional qualifications are required. Dioclea megacarpa Rolfe and D. pulchra Moldenke were regarded by Nelson (and others) as synonyms of D. violacea Mart. ex Benth. and D. malacocarpa Ducke (respectively), yet all four names are provided with new combinations in Macropsychanthus in this paper. This may have been done robotically, but if the authors are correct, we would be at sea with regard to the correct names to use for Costa Rican material. Also, we are affected by one of the ten new synonymies here debuted: Dioclea reflexa Hook. f., a name accepted in the Manual, yields to the prior D. comosa (G. Mey.) Kuntze (or, for those so inclined, to its new combination in Macropsychanthus). By the way, all four Costa Rican representatives of Macropsychanthus belong to the much larger (37 spp.) autonymic subgenus. Features a tabular morphological comparison of the genera of the “Dioclea clade” as here circumscribed, a dichotomous key to same, synonymy and typology at all ranks, and technical descriptions of the genera and subgenera. Two holotypes are “re-established,” and 38 lectotypes, one neotype, and two epitypes are designated.
And as to the “enigmatic” Dioclea paniculata: its taxonomic disposition is left unresolved, and “will be addressed in another article” (sure, why not).
Roalson, E. H. & R. L. Soares Neto. 2020. Nomenclatural notes in Physostemon (Cleomaceae). Phytotaxa 468: 275–282.
More monkeying about with Cleome (in its traditional sense), involving the enlargement of one of its many segregates, Physostemon, now with 10 spp. (but just one, Cleome guianensis Aubl., in Costa Rica). Five new combinations are validated (none of which concerns us) and seven lectotypes designated (including two synonyms of C. guianensis). A tabular comparison of the 15 taxa (including five subspp.) accepted in Physostemon is provided. The just-published Manual treatment of Cleomaceae by co-PI Nelson Zamora embraces a broadly circumscribed Cleome, including all of its picky little segregates.
Rodríguez, A. & D. Solano Peralta. 2020. Burmeistera xiniae (Campanulaceae: Lobelioideae), una nueva especie endémica de la Cordillera de Talamanca en Costa Rica. Phytoneuron 2020-71: 1–11.
The name Burmeistera xiniae Al. Rodr. & D. Solano, honoring the mother of its second author, arrives a day late and a dollar short with respect to the just-published Manual Campanulaceae treatment [see the third entry under “Hammel,” this column], by these same gentlemen. In that work, this same sp. is treated, at the end of the alphabetical sequence for its genus, as “Burmeistera sp. A.” We sense that the authors' choice of an epithet may have been predicated, at least in part, on their expectation that this paper would be published prior to the pertinent Manual volume, so that the provisional name could be replaced (at the page-proof stage) by a proper Latin binomial without having to reorder sp. entries or key couplets. Alas, for whatever reason, that hope was not realized. On a more positive note, the new sp. is here accorded a much more generous consideration, as appropriate for any taxonomic novelty. Among other things, it is compared morphologically, in tabular form, with six similar spp. (including the Central American Burmeistera caudatifolia Al. Rodr. & D. Solano, B. chiriquiensis Wilbur, and B. maui D. Solano & Al. Rodr.), and illustrated with a composite line drawing and non-vouchered color photos (credited to the second author) from life. These color photos pose a small mystery, because the only two cited collections of Burmeistera xiniae come from one of the most remote and inaccesible sites in Costa Rica. Did the photographer actually visit that site (at least a three-day hike from anywhere), encounter and photograph a novel Burmeistera, and fail to collect it? Or did he find it at some other locale, not revealed in this article? Strange indeed.
Shang, H., Z.-L. Liang & L.-B. Zhang. 2021. Taxonomy of the fern genus Didymochlaena (Didymochlaenaceae) from Asia and Pacific islands based on morphological and molecular evidence with the description of four new species and one new status. Phytotaxa 479: 71–82.
"What a revoltin' development this is!," to quote Chester Riley. As if Didymochlaena being sequestered in its own, monogeneric family [see under "Zhang," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(2), Apr. 2015] were not bad enough, the genus itself, long perceived as monospecific, is now being atomized. While these authors are not exactly forthcoming about the sp. total (or projected total) according to their new taxonomy, we deduce that it must be at least 14: seven recognized in this paper for the region described in the title, six different ones in a previous paper (which we just consulted) dealing with Madagascar, and at least one other in the New World (where none of the other 13 spp. is said to occur). Furthermore, the familiar name Didymochlaena truncatula (Sw.) J. Sm. is here applied to a sp. restricted to Indonesia, and will thus be lost to us. So what sp. name to use for Costa Rican material of this very distinctive genus in the meantime? Ah, there's the rub! We haven't a clue; these authors have given no indication, and we could find no obvious candidates in TROPICOS. And given the splitting tendencies of these authors, we will not be at all surprised if they recognize multiple spp. in the New World (or even in Costa Rica). Stay tuned!
Taylor, C. M., R. E. Gereau & M. Callmander. 2020. The identity of Mapouria (Rubiaceae, Psychotrieae). Taxon 69: 1072–1084.
Among other things (which mostly are of no concern to us), a lectotype and epitype are designated for Psychotria carthagenensis Jacq. (the accepted name for a widespread sp. represented in Costa Rica), and two new synonyms are cited thereunder. Said sp. is also featured in a dichotomous key, alongside three South American congeners with which it has sometimes been confused.
Taylor, N. P. & D. C. Zappi. 2020. (2774) Proposal to conserve the name Cassyta baccifera (Rhipsalis baccifera) against Cactus parasiticus (Cactaceae). Taxon 69: 1117–1118.
First things first: “Cassyta”? The basionym of Rhipsalis baccifera (Sol.) Stearn is cited in the recent Manual Cactaceae treatment (see the third entries under “Hammel,” this column) as “Cassytha baccifera Sol.,” and while it is true that Solander used the spelling “Cassyta”—and that Linnaeus himself used that spelling at times—that version has long been dismissed in ING, IPNI, and elsewhere as a mere “orth. var.,” with no nomenclatural standing. So why not correct it here? Moving along: the obscure name Cactus parasiticus L. (1759), though older than Cassytha baccifera (1771), has long been ignored because it was “based on a mixture of the cactus and look-alike cylindrical-leaved orchids” (and some authors believed it to be based solely on an orchid). Recently, however, some enterprising amateur cactophiles (in one of those electronic vanity journals that are popping up everywhere and virtually impossible to keep tabs on) decided mischievously to lectotypify the name on the cactus element, meaning that “the universally used R. baccifera” would have to be replaced “with a name that has hitherto never been in use” [presumably, Rhipsalis parasítica (L.) Haw.]. This proposal seeks to avert that calamity.
We find it ironic that the two most popular gambits for quick and easy publication in plant “taxonomy” these days—typification and conservation proposals—often seem to work at cross-purposes. One person typifies an obscure name and makes an effort (doomed from the outset) to substitute it for a well-established name, then up pops someone else to propose conservation of the latter. Some more clever workers have figured out that they can play both roles, and get two papers out of the deal
Wagner, W. L. & C. D. Specht. 2020. Vicki Ann Funk (1947–2019), influential Smithsonian botanist. Taxon 69: 649–654.
This is a proper and impressive send-off for the recently deceased [see under “News and Notes,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 26(4), Oct. 2019] US Asteraceae specialist, whose globe-trotting botanical exploits included several excursions in Costa Rica. Born and raised in Owensboro, Kentucky, Vicki went on to enjoy an exemplary career in our field, earning international respect and acclaim. Her many accomplishments, well summarized here, can only be described as mind-boggling. We regret not having gotten to know her better.