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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

Main | Family List (MO) | Family List (INBio) | Cutting Edge
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The Cutting Edge

Volume III, Number 1, January 1996

News and Notes | Recent Treatments | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature

NEW PROJECT COORDINATOR. The Manual project now has a new stateside coordinator. Xochitl Munn-Estrada began work on 5 September, and has rapidly distinguished herself as an energetic and imaginative worker. Following her Spring graduation from Smith College in Northampton, MA, Xochitl spent the Summer of 1995 as a horticultural intern at MO. Once again, specimens and chits are beginning to circulate.

PROGRESS ON MONOCOT VOLUME. We are pleased to report that our monocot contributors came through for us in grand fashion. Our 1 January 1996 deadline was generally honored, and the handful of holdouts consists either of small families, or in-house treatments that are firmly under control. We will endeavor to do our part by working tenaciously on editing and translating to ensure that the volume is published on-schedule during 1997. Meanwhile, we hope that our DICOT CONTRIBUTORS will begin the shift into high gear about now in a serious effort to meet our absolute 1 January 1997 deadline for that volume.

NEW MANAGEMENT. INBio welcomes on-board Dr. Kalman Aviram Neuman, their new Coordinator of the Division of Biodiversity Inventory as of 16 October, 1995. Dr. Aviram has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel. His experience and scientific and technical knowledge are mostly in administration and management in the pharmaceutical industry, particulary quality control and informatics.

MO VISITORS. Garrett Crow (NHA) spent several weeks at the Garden in October and November, during which time he completed Manual treatments for several aquatic monocot families.

STAFF MOVEMENTS. Manual co-PI Barry Hammel was in St. Louis during October and part of November, mainly to work on a new grant proposal. Co-PI Nelson Zamora's visit to NY to continue his Fabaceae studies as the recipient of the 1994 Rupert Barneby Award was sadly interrupted by the death of his father-in-law in mid-October, requiring his immediate return to Costa Rica. He was able to complete his studies at NY later that month. Congratulations to INBio pteridologist Alexander Rojas, who will journey to Spain this March as a recipient of one of 30 full scholarships offered by the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía. Alex will pursue a Master's degree in Conservation, with a thesis tentatively entitled "Taxonomía y ecología de los Elaphoglossum (Elaphoglossaceae) de Costa Rica." We wish him all the best.

MORATORIUM AND SHIPMENT. The INB herbarium declared a moratorium on plant collecting during the final quarter of 1995, in order to devote all efforts toward processing an enormous backlog of largely unlabeled material. This was duly accomplished, and, as a result, a massive shipment of about 100 boxes is expected at MO this month (at which point, the backlog will be here!). The new year begins at INB with business as usual.

CHANGE OF VENUE. Botanists and colleagues Gina Umaña (Melastomataceae) and Vanda Nilsson (Araceae) resigned from the staff of the Museo Nacional de Costa Rica (CR) in August.


ALISMATACEAE. Garrett E. Crow (NHA).
Two genera of this cosmopolitan family occur in Costa Rica: Echinodorus, with 6 spp., and Sagittaria (including Lophotocarpus), with 4 spp. No spp. are endemic, but most are of limited distribution in Costa Rica, and several are known from just one or a few stations.

Costa Rica boasts 38 naturally-occurring spp. of Heliconia, the only genus in the family. Eight spp. are endemic, and several others are shared only with western Panama. Five of the more commonly cultivated non-native spp. are briefly mentioned in the text.

Six genera are treated for Costa Rica, including Najas, traditionally segregated in its own family but an integral member of Hydrocharitaceae according to recent studies. Each genus is represented by a single sp. in Costa Rica except for Najas, with two spp. All of our spp. are submersed aquatics except Limnobium laevigatum (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) Heine, which is emergent. Two of our genera, Halophila and Thalassia, are exclusively marine. No spp. are endemic to Costa Rica, though all appear narrowly or spottily distributed. Two genera, Egeria and Hydrilla, are exclusively introduced or naturalized in Costa Rica.

The Costa Rican complement of this small family comprises two genera: Hydrocleys, with a single sp., and Limnocharis, with 2 spp. None of the spp. are endemic, though all are indigenous.

MAYACACEAE. Garrett E. Crow (NHA).
Mayaca, the sole genus in this peculiar family of moss-like aquatics, is represented in Costa Rica by two spp.: M. fluviatilis Aubl. and M. sellowiana Kunth. Both are widespread throughout the neotropics, though widely scattered in Costa Rica.

The 10 Costa Rican spp. are apportioned among Eichhornia (5 spp.), Heteranthera (3 spp.), and Pontederia (2 spp.). None are endemic, though all are indigenous. Several of the spp. are common and widespread in Costa Rica, in contrast to spp. in some other aquatic monocot families.

This cosmopolitan family of submersed aquatics is represented in Costa Rica by Potamogeton, with 4 spp., and Ruppia, with 1 spp. (R. maritima L.). [Standley's (1938: 1539) report of Zannichellia palustris L. is now known to have been based on a mis-ID of Ruppia maritima; cf. Flora mesoamericana 6: 15).] All of the Costa Rican spp. are rare and little-collected in the country, though widespread elsewhere. Potamogeton crispus L. is naturalized from the Eurasia. Potamogeton paramoanus R. R. Haynes & Holm-Niels., known from a single collection in the eastern Talamancas, was omitted from Flora mesoamericana.


CONVOLVULACEAE. Parataxonomist Roberto Espinoza has made the first Costa Rican collection of the widespread Jacquemontia agrestis (Mart. ex Choisy) Meisn., from Isla San José, off the Santa Elena Peninsula. Operculina triquetra (Vahl) Hallier f., previously known from the West Indies, Panama, and South America, may be added to the Costa Rican flora on the basis of a collection from Palo Verde by parataxonomist Ulises Chavarría.

DIOSCOREACEAE. Dioscorea chaponensis R. Knuth, known previously from Panama and Colombia, has been collected at 1500 m in the Reserva Biológica Dúrika, above Buenos Aires, by parataxonomist Reinaldo Aguilar.

EUPHORBIACEAE. A naturalized or conceivably indigenous population of Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch, the familiar "poinsettia" of commerce, was encountered by José González and Barry Hammel at 900 m elevation near San Luis de Turrubares, Prov. San José, in woods at the edge of a pasture. According to Burger and Huft (in Flora costaricensis), this species is "thought to be native to southern Mexico and northern Guatemala." Disjuncts from that region are of regular occurrence on the Meseta Central.

FABACEAE/CAESALPINIOIDEAE. Morales 3505, from above Aserrí in the Cerros de Escazú, has been identified by INBio Botany mogul and legume specialist Nelson Zamora as Senna williamsii (Britton & Rose) H. S. Irwin & Barneby, which had been regarded as a Panamanian endemic.

LORANTHACEAE. Independent collections by parataxonomists Marcos Moraga and Ronald Villalobos from Parque Internacional La Amistad have been identified by INBio botanist Francisco Morales as Struthanthus rotundatus Rizzini (a species reaching western Panama, and included as a hypothetical in Burger and Kuijt's Flora costaricensis treatment of the family).

MYRISTICACEAE. A collection from the Hitoy-Cerere reserve made by former parataxonomist Alberth Moreno represents Otoba acuminata (Standl.) A. H. Gentry. Although the type is from nearby in Bocas del Toro Prov., Panama, this is the first Costa Rican record of this large tree.

PTERIDOPHYTA/DENNSTAEDTIACEAE. A peculiar sterile specimen (Hammel 19265) from ca. 1,500 m elevation on the limestone ramparts of Cerro Anguciana, the highest point in the Fila Costeña, turns out to be the first Central American record for Dennstaedtia sprucei T. Moore, a sp. previously known only from South America. Our re-identification [we had tentatively identified it as Blotiella lindeniana (Hook.) R. M. Tryon in the field] was confirmed by UC fern deity Alan R. Smith.

PTERIDOPHYTA/POLYPODIACEAE. Add to the Costa Rican flora Polypodium fendleri D. C. Eaton, probably better known as Campyloneurum magnificum T. Moore, a sp. previously known only from South America and eastern Panama. Sharp-eyed INB pteridologist Alexander Rojas was the first to detect it, having collected sterile material from near La Virgen del Socorro (near Cariblanco along the old road to Sarapiquí) last year. Fertile material was subsequently collected during our Talamanca expedition in August, from ca. 1,150 elevation on the north flank of Fila de Matama (Grayum 10906). This sp. is unusual for a Campyloneurum in having fully pinnate lvs.; the plants are terrestrial, and bear a strong superficial resemblance to certain spp. of Thelypteris subg. Meniscium, e.g., T. lingulata (C. Chr.) C. V. Morton.


Almeda, F. & G. Umaña Dodero. 1995. A new Blakea (Melastomataceae: Blakeeae) from Tapantí National Park, Costa Rica. Novon 5: 305-308.

Blakea tapantiana Umaña & Almeda is described from nine collections, all from 1,150-1,450 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca in Cartago Province, in or near Parque Nacional Tapantí. The new sp. is compared with B. grandiflora Hemsl., another Costa Rican endemic. Features a full-page, composite illustration.
Anderberg, A. A. & B. Stáhl. 1995. Phylogenetic interrelationships in the order Primulales, with special emphasis on the family circumscriptions. Canad. J. Bot. 73: 1699-1730.
Cladistic parsimony analyses based on morphological data uphold traditional circumscriptions of Primulaceae, Theophrastaceae, and Myrsinaceae, except that the Old World genus Maesa must be removed from Myrsinaceae to its own family.
Anderson, W. R. 1995. Notes on neotropical Malpighiaceae_V. Contr. Univ. Michigan Herb. 20: 15-36.
Byrsonima herrerae W. R. Anderson (not illustrated) is described and characterized as the only white- or pink-flowered Byrsonima in Costa Rica. The new sp., a tree 12-20 m tall, has been collected from 450-1,300 m elevation in the Cordillera de Talamanca of Costa Rica and western Panama.
Arbeláez, A. L. 1995. Two new species and new records for Pteris (Pteridaceae) from Colombia. Brittonia 47: 175-181.
Pteris muricatopedata Arbel. is attributed to Costa Rica, and compared with P. muricata Hook. Unfortunately, neither Costa Rican paratype of the new sp. is duplicated in Costa Rica or at MO, so we cannot be sure what is going on here. Does this represent an additional sp. for the Costa Rican flora, or has the name Pteris muricata Hook. been misapplied to our material?
Arbo, M. M. 1995. Turneraceae_Parte I. Piriqueta. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 67: 1-156.
Piriqueta comprises 41 spp. in two sections, one being monotypic and South African. The remainder of the genus is neotropical and centered in the Bahian region of Brazil, which harbors 19 spp., including 8 endemics. By our count, one new combination, one new variety, and 12 new spp. are here validated. Three taxa are recorded from Costa Rica: Piriqueta viscosa Griseb., with subspp. viscosa and tovarensis Urb., both from Guanacaste; and P. cistoides (L.) Griseb. subsp. cistoides, with collections cited from Guanacaste as well as the Paraíso/Orosi region of Cartago Province. Keys, maps, illustrations, etc.
Atwood, J. T. 1995. Two overlooked species of Maxillaria from Central America. Selbyana 16: 242-245.

_____ & R. L. Dressler. 1995. Another new species of Stellilabium from Monteverde, Costa Rica. Selbyana 16: 239-241.

The holotype of Maxillaria chionantha J. T. Atwood (Orchidaceae) is from Panama, as are most of the paratypes; however, one Costa Rican specimen is cited (from La Virgen del Socorro, 700-900 m). Maxillaria haberi J. T. Atwood is a Costa Rican endemic, with three specimens cited from the Monteverde region and the Atlantic slope of Volcán Barva. Stellilabium barbozae J. T. Atwood & Dressler becomes the fifth new sp. of this genus of inconspicuous orchids described from Monteverde (1550 m). It is known only from the type.Both papers feature line drawings and exsiccatae citations.
Baldini, R. M. 1995. Revision of the genus Phalaris L. (Gramineae). Webbia 49: 265-329.
A morphological and cytological study recognizing 22 spp., one described as new. The eight basically New World spp. are North and South (but not Central) American; Phalaris minor L., the only spp. reported from Costa Rica, is adventive from the Old World (as is P. canariensis L., known from Costa Rica but not reported here). A bare-bones presentation with practically no introductory material, non-indented key, and skeletal specimen citations; some maps, some line-drawings.
Barthlott, W. & N. P. Taylor. 1995. Notes towards a monograph of Rhipsalideae (Cactaceae). Bradleya 13: 43-79.
This skeletal presentation is billed as a precursor to a more rigorous treatment. Of the four genera and 58 spp. dealt with, just two spp. of Rhipsalis are attributed to Costa Rica. We know three, identified by us (following the late Clarence Horich) as R. baccifera (J. S. Muell.) Stearn, R. simmleri Beauverd, and R. tonduzii F. A. C. Weber. This paper cites only R. baccifera and R. micrantha (Kunth) DC. (with R. tonduzii as a synonym) from Costa Rica; R. simmleri is treated as synonym of R. cereuscula Haw., a sp. of SE Brazil and adjacent countries. So what does our third sp. represent? Keys (non-indented), bibliographic and typological information, index to synonyms, five taxonomic novelties; lavishly illustrated, including many color photos.
Borsch, T. 1995. Three new combinations in Pfaffia (Amaranthaceae) from the New World tropics. Novon 5: 230-233.
The sp. heretofore called Iresine costaricensis Standl. becomes Pfaffia costaricensis (Standl.) Borsch, based on analyses of pollen and floral morphology. Hammel 19289, collected during our 1993 Cerro Anguciana expedition, is cited as a recent collection of this rare sp. Pfaffia completa (Uline & W. L. Bray) Borsch, also transferred from Iresine, has been collected in Nicaragua and Panama, and should be sought in Costa Rica.
Burger, W. & M. Huft. 1995. Family # 113 Euphorbiaceae. In W. Burger (editor), Flora costaricensis. Fieldiana, Bot. n. s. 36: 1-169.
This represents the ninth issue and the 44th family treatment to appear in this series since its inception in 1971. A useful new feature is the "List of Accepted Species" at the end, which facilitates the following summary of the work: 52 genera and 188 spp. are treated, of which 7 genera and 23 spp. are known only from cultivation; 3 genera and 13 spp. (by our count) are hypothetically attributed to Costa Rica (though two of the genera-Amanoa and Caryodendron-are now known to occur). Ten spp. are reported as endemic to Costa Rica, with 7 additional spp. endemic to Costa Rica and western Panama. The most species-rich genera are Croton (including Julocroton; with 31 confirmed, indigenous Costa Rican spp.), Acalypha (17 spp.), Chamaesyce (13 spp.), and Euphorbia (including Poinsettia) and Phyllanthus (each with 11 spp.). No novelties here, but four spp. are not or provisionally identified. In addition to the usual generous descriptions and insightful discussions, features two generic keys (one /q/ natural, the other artificial) and 32 pages of superb illustrations by the senior author.
Crayn, D. M., E. S. Fernando, P. A. Gadek & C. J. Quinn. 1995. A reassessment of the familial affinity of the Mexican genus Recchia Moiño & Sessé ex DC. Brittonia 47: 397-402.
Parsimony analysis of sequence data for the rbcL locus indicate that Recchia belongs in Surianaceae sensu Cronquist, not Simaroubaceae. Previous studies by this group have shown that Surianaceae is distant from Simaroubaceae s. str. and from Sapindales. Recchia, described here as a "Mexican endemic," is represented in Costa Rica by R. simplicifolia T. Wendt & E. J. Lott.
Crow, G. E. 1995 ['1992']. The genus Utricularia (Lentibulariaceae) in Costa Rica. Brenesia 38: 1-18.
An abridged version of this contribution by Manual collaborator Garrett Crow (NHA) will eventually become the Manual Lentibulariaceae treatment. Utricularia, the only genus occurring in Costa Rica, is represented by 10 spp. in five sections. Four spp. are characterized as epiphytic or terrestrial, two as subaquatic, and four as submersed aquatics. Key, descriptions, ecological, phenological, and distributional data, specimen citations; Costa Rican distribution maps for all spp., line drawings of most.
de Nevers, G. 1995. Notes on Panama palms. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 48: 329-342.
Of interest to us is a key to all spp. of Calyptrogyne accepted by the author. These number eight. Panama would appear to be the center of diversity for the genus. de Nevers indicates that both C. brachystachys H. Wendl. ex Burret and C. sarapiquensis H. Wendl. ex Burret are to be considered synonyms of C. ghiesbreghtiana (Linden & H. Wendl.) H. Wendl. We concur in the case of C. sarapiquensis, but not necessarily for C. brachystachys.
García Castro, J. B., D. E. Mora de Retana & M. E. Rivas Rossi. 1995 ['1993']. Lista de orquídeas comunes a Costa Rica y Panamá. Brenesia 39-40: 93-107.
Naked (unvouchered) list of 778 orchid spp. known to be shared by the two countries. Separate tables enumerate 19 genera occurring in Costa Rica but not Panama, and 11 that go the other way.
Gómez-Laurito, J. 1995. A new Rhynchospora (Cyperaceae) from the Cordillera de Talamanca, Costa Rica. Novon 5: 270-271.
Rhynchospora cabecarae Gómez-Laur. is described from a single collection from 2,250-2,270 m elevation near the continental divide in the Cordillera de Talamanca. The new sp. is a member of the poorly known sect. Racemosae, and is compared with Rhynchospora boliviensis C. B. Clarke and R. dissitiflora Steud. ex Boeck. We believe that the spelling of the epithet must be corrected to "cabecariae," following Art. 60.11 of the Code (and construing "Cabécar" as feminine, as per the Latin "gens" and "tribus"). Diagnostic line-drawing provided.
_____ & M. Valerio. 1995 ['1992']. A new species of Guarea (Meliaceae) from Costa Rica. Brenesia 38: 147-150.
Guarea talamancana Gómez-Laur. & M. Valerio, known from just three collections from extreme southeastern Costa Rica, is distinct in its cauliflorous habit and winged, tomentose fruits. Photographic illustrations.
Grant, J. R. 1995. Addendum to "The resurrection of Alcantarea and Werauhia, a new genus" (Bromeliaceae: Tillandsioideae). Phytologia 78: 119-123.
Accounts for changes and errors in the text of the original paper (Trop. Subtrop. Pflanzenwelt 91: 1-57+. 1995) that were not incorporated therein due to damage to a diskette in the mail. New combinations are here validated for two Costa Rican taxa generally included in Vriesea: Werauhia burgeri (L. B. Sm.) J. R. Grant and Werauhia macrantha (Mez & Wercklé) J. R. Grant.
Henderson, A., G. Galeano & R. Bernal. 1995. Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas. Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, NJ.
Considering the scope of this work and the status of our taxonomic understanding of neotropical palms, this handsome volume turned out remarkably well. The peripatetic Henderson (NY) is arguably the only person in a position to have pulled off such a feat. The format is user-friendly in typical Princeton field-guide style. The 352 pages of text include a brief introductory section; a marginally illustrated key to genera; treatments of all genera and species occurring indigenously in the New World; 550 distribution maps; a checklist of species by country; a list of accepted names (with nested synonyms); a bibliography; and separate indices of common and scientific names. The text is supplemented by 64 full color composite photographic plates of living palms.

Each genus heading features a generous description and discussion, as well as (except for monotypic genera) an indented, dichotomous key to species. The species entries include common names (where known), plus paragraphs dealing with "Field characters," "Range and habitat," and (irregularly) "Uses" and "Notes."

This book is an excellent introduction, overview, and guide to New World palms, for the amateur as well as the experienced botanist. We have not tried to use the keys, and thus cannot vouch for them; but however well written the keys may be, their utility depends ultimately on the reality of the species concepts. No single palm authority can claim expertise, to the species level, throughout the entire Western Hemisphere. The three authors of this guide are more knowledgeable on South American than Central American palms, and admit (p. 7) to a general tendency to present species "as broadly defined entities." To their credit, however, they consulted liberally with regional authorities (present company included) and experts on particular palm genera. Thus, at least for Central America, their species concepts are (in our assessment) reasonably close to the mark, while their nomenclature and, especially, distributional data for Costa Rica are "cutting edge" (indeed, numerous unpublished names are utilized, though not validly published). We hope, but cannot be sure, that the same is true for other regions.

Some users may object to the "phylogenetic" (non-alphabetical) arrangement of genera in this work, and most will cringe at the $75.00 price-tag. Beware of the comments in the "Notes" paragraphs, which tend to be off-the-cuff (and sometimes off-the-mark) evaluations suggesting a deeper understanding than they may embody. The opinions expressed in the "Notes" for Chamaedorea amabilis, Astrocaryum alatum, and A. confertum constitute three of the more reckless such examples.

Hooper, E. A. 1995. New combinations in the Pleopeltis macrocarpa group (Polypodiaceae: Polypodieae). Amer. Fern J. 85: 75-82.
Morphological and genetic data indicate that an endemic Costa Rican/Panamanian taxon heretofore treated as a variety of Pleopeltis macrocarpa (Bory ex Willd.) Kaulf. (AKA Polypodium lanceolatum L.) "is sufficiently distinct to be recognized as a separate species" (although "careful observation is required to distinguish [it] in the field"). The combination Pleopeltis complanata (Weath.) E. A. Hooper is duly published.
Knapp, S. 1995. New taxa and combinations in the tribe Juanulloeae (Solanaceae). Novon 5: 281-283.
The combinations Schultesianthus venosus (Standl. & C. V. Morton) S. Knapp and Schultesianthus crosbianus (D'Arcy) S. Knapp are validated for two sp. in the Costa Rican flora previously treated under the generic name Markea. Schultesianthus megalandrus (Dunal) Hunz. was already available for our third sp. in this group. Apparently, Markea neurantha Hemsl. is unaffected. The evidence for these transfers was presented in a previous paper (Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol. 83: 1-30. 1994).
Luer, C. A. 1995. New species of Masdevallia (Orchidaceae), Part VII. Lindleyana 10: 115-126.

_____. 1995. New species of Leptanthes (Orchidaceae) from Costa Rica. Lindleyana 10: 133-173.

Masdevallia lankesterana Luer is described as new, on the basis of a flowering specimen of unknown provenance collected at Lankester Gardens in Costa Rica. A Costa Rican origin is circumstantially evidenced by the fact that the new sp. is a member of the "nearly exclusively Costa Rican" sect. Reichenbachianae. In accordance with Art. 60.11 of the Code, the spelling of the sp. epithet must be corrected to "lankesteriana." Detailed line drawing.

Twenty-four (24!) new spp. of Leptanthes are added to the Costa Rican flora, based mainly on Luer's careful analyses of long-neglected specimens and drawings prepared during the last century by A. R. Endres. Fifteen of the novelties remain known only from Endres materials at W, and for eight of these no locality data (other than "Costa Rica") are available. Detailed line drawings are provided for each sp. The introduction features some interesting biographical and historical information on the heretofore wholly obscure Endres.

Luteyn, J. L. (editor). 1995. Ericaceae_Part II. The superior-ovaried genera (Monotropoideae, Pyroloideae, Rhododendroideae, and Vaccinioideae p. p.). Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 66: 1-560.
This substantial contribution treats 18 genera and 155 spp., with contributions from Luteyn (introduction, family description, key to subfamilies and genera, and treatments of Gaultheria, Pernettya, etc.); P. F. Stevens (discussion of familial and infrafamilial relationships); G. D. Wallace (Monotropoideae); L. J. Dorr (Pyroloideae); G. M. Diggs (Arctostaphylos and Comarostaphylis); and S. E. Clemants, W. S. Judd, and P. D. Sorensen (miscellaneous genera). Surprisingly, only six spp. in this assemblage are definitely recorded from Costa Rica: Monotropa uniflora L., Chimaphila maculata (L.) Pursh, Comarostaphylis arbutoides Lindl. [with subspp. arbutoides and costaricensis (Small) Diggs], Pernettya prostrata (Cav.) DC., Gaultheria gracilis Small, and G. erecta Vent. Pernettya prostrata and Gaultheria erecta are characterized as exceedingly variable spp. (we would have thought that at least two spp. of Pernettya were represented in Costa Rica). The wide-ranging Bejaria aestuans L. has been collected in both Nicaragua and western Panama (Cerro Colorado), and might be expected in Costa Rica. Keys, maps, illustrations, etc.
Luther, H. E. 1995. An annotated checklist of the Bromeliaceae of Costa Rica. Selbyana 16: 230-234.
Accounts for 192 spp. and 3 subspecific taxa in 17 genera. Bibliographic data are provided for each accepted name, but no vouchers are cited (i.e., the list is largely non-falsifiable). Taxa believed to be endemic are so indicated. By our count, this checklist adds 14 infrageneric taxa (including spp., subspp., and hybrids) to the total attributed to Costa Rica in the Flora mesoamericana (1994) treatment of the family.
Méndez-Larios, I. & J. L. Villaseñor. 1995. Revisión taxonómica del género Tetranema (Scrophulariaceae). Acta Bot. Mex. 32: 53-68.
Four spp. (none of which are new) are recognized, ranging from southern Mexico (Puebla) to Honduras. We were unaware that this revision was in progress, hence it omits two new, endemic Costa Rican spp. that we presently have in press (whew!). Cladistic analysis, key, map, good descriptions, specimen citations, some illustrations.
Mora de Retana, D. E. & J. B. García Castro. 1995 ['1993']. Fernandezia tica Mora-Retana & J. B. García, una nueva especie orquidácea de Costa Rica. Brenesia 39-40: 163-165.
Fernandezia tica D. E. Mora & J. B. García is based on a single extant collection, from 2000 m near Vara Blanca in the Cordillera Central. This is the first Central American record for this Andean genus. The new sp. was represented by a color plate, misnamed "Fernandezia costaricensis," in R. L. Rodríguez's Orquídeas de Costa Rica (San José, 1986). Rodríguez's material allegedly came from the El Empalme region in the northern Cordillera de Talamanca. Fine line drawings.
Morales, J. F. 1995. Evaluación del género Alstonia (Apocynaceae) en Centro América. Phytologia 78: 192-194.

_____. 1995. A new species of Forsteronia (Apocynaceae) from Costa Rica. Phytologia 78: 195-196.

_____. 1995. An evaluation of the Mandevilla boliviensis complex. Phytologia 78: 197-198.

The name Alstonia longifolia (A. DC.) Pichon, long used for Costa Rican material, is correctly applied to a sp. of southern Mexico and Guatemala heretofore known as A. macrantha (Woodson) A. H. Gentry (which passes into synonymy). The Costa Rican sp. is properly Alstonia pittieri (Donn. Sm.) A. H. Gentry.

Forsteronia monteverdensis J. F. Morales (not illustrated) is known from 650-1600 m elevation in the region of Monteverde and Volcán Tenorio. It is most similar to the Jamaican F. floribunda (Sw.) A. DC.

Mandevilla cereola Woodson (based on Bolivian material) and M. pittieri Woodson (with a Costa Rican type) are both relegated to synonymy under M. boliviensis (Hook. f.) Woodson. The few Costa Rican collections of this rare sp. are cited.

Murakami, N. 1995. Systematics and evolutionary biology of the fern genus Hymenasplenium (Aspleniaceae). J. Pl. Res. 108: 257-268.
Murakami here advocates generic ranking for the group hitherto treated as Asplenium sect. Hymenasplenium. This is a semipopular account, rather than a formal revision, and no new combinations are here proposed (presumably they will appear in one of two papers cited as "in press"). Hymenasplenium, distinguished by having dorsiventral, creeping rhizomes, comprises "more than 30 (probably 50-60)" spp., only seven of which occur in the New World. The Costa Rican spp. are Asplenium delitescens (Maxon) L. D. Gómez, A. laetum Sw., A. riparium Liebm., and A. volubile N. Murak. & R. C. Moran. A phylogenetic tree obtained from sequence comparisons of rbcL indicates that this is the "most basally diverged monophyletic group in the Aspleniaceae," and is "distantly related to the other members of the family." However, taking the tree at face-value, it would appear that an alternative to elevating Hymenasplenium would be to sink the oligotypic Phyllitis within Asplenium (which, in fact, is commonly done; see, e.g., The Plant-Book). We vote to sink Phyllitis.
Nesom, G. L. 1995. Revision of Chaptalia (Asteraceae: Mutisieae) from North America and continental Central America. Phytologia 78: 153-188.
We had thought that the common, weedy Chaptalia nutans (L.) Pol. was the only sp. occurring in Costa Rica, but C. runcinata Kunth has also been recorded. A literature report cited by Nesom traces to Burkart's 1944 revision of the genus (Darwiniana 6: 506-594), which cites Brade 2202 (B), from 800 m elevation at "Mocotte" (= Cerro Mogote, a hill at the southeast base of Volcán Rincón de la Vieja, Guanacaste Province). Chaptalia runcinata differs from C. nutans in having 1-8 bracts along the scapes (scapes of C. nutans are ebracteate).
Prance, G. T. 1995. A synopsis of Stephanopodium (Dichapetalaceae). Kew Bull. 50: 295-305.
Stephanopodium costaricense Prance, described here as new, represents the only Central American sp. of the genus. It is compared with S. venezuelanum Prance, the only other sp. with polygamous (as opposed to hermaphroditic) flowers. The new sp. is endemic to Costa Rica, where it occurs at 50-400 m elevation (near Rincón de Osa; La Selva; Tortuguero). Key to spp., distribution maps, illustrations of new taxa.
Pupulin, F. 1995. A revision of the genus Trichocentrum (Orchidaceae: Oncidiinae). Lindleyana 10: 183-210.
A rigorous revision featuring discussions of characters, key to sp. groups and keys to spp. within each group, excellent line drawings, maps, and a checklist of spp. and synonyms. The genus ranges from southern Mexico to Bolivia and comprises 23 spp. in seven "natural groups." Two new spp. are described, including T. estrellense Pupulin & J. B. García, endemic to Costa Rica (Cartago region). This, the only significant addition to Pupulin and Mora-Retana's 1994 revision of the Costa Rican sp. of Trichocentrum (Selbyana 15: 87-103), raises the country total to eight spp.
Rudd, V. E. 1995. New combinations and a new variety in Mesoamerican Dalbergia (Fabaceae: Papilionoideae). Novon 5: 368-369.
Dalbergia calderonii Standl. var. molinae Rudd is based on material from Honduras and Nicaragua. The six new combinations all involve demotions from specific to varietal rank, including D. retusa Hemsl. var hypoleuca (Pittier) Rudd and D. r. var. lineata (Pittier) Rudd, based on Costa Rican types.
Snow, N. & G. E. Crow. 1995 ['1993']. Primera documentación de Leptochloa panicoides (Presl) Hitchc. (Poaceae) en Costa Rica. Brenesia 39-40: 189-190.
Collected independently by Snow and Crow from the Nicoya Peninsula and Parque Nacional Palo Verde, respectively; this issue of Brenesia was so long in the making that this report was scooped by Flora mesoamericana. We wonder why Snow and Crow do not discuss Leptochloa uninervia (J. Presl) Hitchc. & Chase in a similar vein; as far as we are aware, Crow's collection (cited in Flora mesoamericana) is the first Costa Rican record for this sp. as well. Five Leptochloa spp. are known from Costa Rica, compared with three included in Pohl's Flora costaricensis treatment.
Struwe, L., V. A. Albert & B. Bremer. 1994. Cladistics and family level classification of the Gentianales. Cladistics 10: 175-206.
Cladistic analyses involving morphological, anatomical, embryological, and phytochemical characters suggest that the traditional Loganiaceae is "a paraphyletic group, definable only by plesiomorphies." We knew it all along. A new classification is adduced, from which Mitreola emerges as the only New World genus of Loganiaceae sensu stricto. Strychnos and Spigelia are segregated into Strychnaceae, while Potalia is revealed to be an integral member of Gentianaceae. Banished altogether from the order Gentianales are Buddleja, Plocosperma, and Polypremum (all to the vicinity of Scrophulariales/Oleales), as well as Desfontainia ("associated with" Viburnum). Peltanthera was not included in the study, but would presumably go the way of Buddleja.
Szlachetko, D. L. 1994. Studies on the Spiranthinae (Orchidaceae). I. Miscellanea. Fragm. Florist. Geobot. 39: 417-438.
The only item of relevance to us is the description of Funkiella versiformis Szlach. (not illustrated), with collections cited from Volcán Turrialba and Cerro de la Muerte (elevations not given). Virtually no discussion is provided.
Webster, R. D. 1995. Nomenclatural changes in Setaria and Paspalidium (Poaceae: Paniceae). Sida 16: 439-446.
It is concluded, on the basis of "a historical perspective and discussion of the generic relationships," that species generally included in Paspalidium are better treated as Setaria. Nineteen new combinations and one new name are validated for this largely Australian group. Setaria geminata (Forssk.) Veldkamp was already available for the only Paspalidium sp. occurring in Costa Rica.


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