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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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

The Cutting Edge

Volume IV, Number 1, January 1997

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

DICOT DEADLINE. Our recent call for Manual dicot treatments was greeted with one L of a response! Seriously, it was just a coincidence that all of the treatments received this quarter happened to pertain to families beginning with the same letter. If your family is not listed below and your treatment was not previously submitted, we will be in touch with you in the foreseeable future.

HAPPENINGS IN COSTA RICA. Our long-time colleague and esteemed Chamaedorea guru Donald R. Hodel (HNT) toured Tiquicia in search of novel taxa yet again, during the first two weeks of December. Trips to Tarrazú, the Río Savegre drainage (from Cerro de la Muerte downward), and Siquirres (in the company of Gerardo Herrera and various Museo celebrities including Joaquín Sánchez and Alfredo Cascante), and to the Río Quebradas drainage on the San Isidro slope of Cerro de la Muerte (with Manual co-PI Barry Hammel), netted as many as 3-5 new spp. of Chamaedorea. Hushed rumors of unspeakable midnight debauchery remain largely unsubstantiated.

Manual Orchidaceae contributor and classical-music lover John Atwood (SEL), having just completed his NSF-funded Maxillaria opus, made a quick trip (15-20 December) southward, mainly to annotate material at CR, INB, and USJ. He also managed a field excursion to the Golfo Dulce region (Río Esquinas), in an attempt to rediscover one of Costa Rica's largest-flowered Maxillaria spp., M. suaveolens Barringer, still known (alas) only from Paul Allen's type collection.

David Spooner (WIS) and Roel Hoekstra (WAG), specialists on tuberous Solanum spp. (potato and relatives), were in Costa Rica for several weeks in early December, collecting material of S. oxycarpum Schiede (the sole Costa Rican representative of the group). Although we were not to blame, we regret the problems they had regarding their collecting permit; they had contacted the wrong people almost a year in advance, and gotten the wrong information or none at all. AS A REMINDER: botanists planning trips to Costa Rica can easily get collecting and export permits under the auspices of the National Biodiversity Inventory by contacting Jessica Zamora (jzamora@spiraxis.inbio.ac.cr). Best to give her at least one month of lead time. And remember: many government and other offices (including INBio) are closed for 2-3 weeks during the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

BRADY BOY LEADS THE BUNCH. Recent graduate of the Al Gentry school of eco-taxonomy (taxo-ecology?) Brad Boyle is now in Costa Rica, leading the current OTS ecology course. In early April, after the course, Brad (who has contributed many interesting collections to the Manual data-base) will do one more of his transects, at ca. 1200 m on the north slope of Volcán Barva.

UNTIMELY TERMINATION. Just as the parade was beginning, Dan Janzen's most recent but already four-year-old brainchild, the Guanacaste All-Taxon Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) ground to an abrupt halt at the end of November. In Dan's words, this turned out not to be "the right time in socio-economic geopolitical space to attempt to fly this particular ATBI." Many of us were looking forward to the hoard of exciting results this effort would certainly have yielded.

NET NOTICIAS. More for phyto-tourists than botanists, the collection of photographs and text at


is co-PI Barry Hammel's crossover attempt to reach the general public. Check it out! Forward the URL to WWW-connected friends and relatives who might want to visit Costa Rica (or who continue to ask you what it is you do and why).

Readers may also wish to access W3TROPICOS at:


For those of you who don't have telnet capabilities or a password for accessing full-blown TROPICOS, this very useful service allows you to enter a name and then see the associated TROPICOS bibliographic data, as well as a full exsiccatae with summarized locality information and a dot map (for those records having correctly formated coordinates). The data come directly from live TROPICOS, and therefore reflect changes therein almost as they happen. A drawback (compared to regular TROPICOS) is that one cannot browse the species of a particular genus. Browsing is promised for early this year.

The checklist of the Catalogue of the Flowering Plants and Gymnosperms of Peru (Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 45: 1-1286. 1993) is also on-line through MO's WWW pages at:


This source is particularly valuable for its carefully researched bibliographic information.

VISITORS TO MO. Manual contributors Hugh H. Iltis (WIS, Capparidaceae) and James L. Luteyn (NY, Ericaceae pro parte) were spotted working in the herbarium during this past quarter.


The total of 67 spp. formally treated here includes three hypotheticals and four spp. known only from cultivation; two of the 18 genera (Plectranthus and Rosmarinus) are strictly cultivated in Costa Rica. Our most species-rich genera are Hyptis (excluding Asterohyptis) and Salvia, with 18 spp. apiece (not counting hypotheticals), and Scutellaria, with 8 spp. One sp. (of Scutellaria) is tentatively regarded as new to science. Five spp. are indicated as endemic: Salvia costaricensis Oerst., S. drymocharis Epling, Scutellaria isocheila Donn. Sm., the undescribed Scutellaria, and Stachys pittieri Briq. Several additional cultivated taxa are briefly mentioned in the family heading and some genus headings (Mentha, Salvia).

The 10 Costa Rican spp. of this small family all belong (alas!) to the genus Utricularia. An additional 10 spp., enumerated in the genus heading, are known from adjacent Nicaragua or Panama (as is the genus Pinguicula!). None of the Costa Rican Utricularia spp. is endemic; most are widespread, though sometimes known from just one or a few Costa Rican stations. Two of our spp. comprise terrestrial plants of damp "savanna" situations; 4 spp. consist of mostly epiphytic plants of "cloud-forests"; and the remaining 4 are submersed aquatics. No hypothetical or cultivated spp. are formally treated.

LOGANIACEAE. Joaquín Sánchez G. (CR).
This contribution treats Loganiaceae in the traditional (broad) sense, as comprising (in Costa Rica) Buddleja, Desfontainia, Mitreola, Peltanthera, Plocosperma, Polypremum, Potalia, Spigelia, and Strychnos. [Of these nine genera, only Mitreola would remain in the Loganiaceae s. str. advocated recently by Struwe et al. in Cladistics 10: 175-206 (1994).] All but six of the 24 Costa Rican spp. are contained in just three genera: Strychnos (with 10 spp.), Buddleja (4 spp.), and Spigelia (4 spp.). No spp. are endemic to Costa Rica, and no taxa are included hypothetically or solely on the basis of cultivated material.

LYTHRACEAE. Armando Estrada Ch. (USJ).
The Costa Rican taxa comprise 14 spp. in five genera, of which Cuphea (with 8 spp.) is by far the most diverse; of the rest, only Ammannia and Rotala (with 2 spp. each) are represented by more than one sp. No endemics, hypotheticals, or cultivated taxa, though Lagerstroemia and, more especially, Lawsonia (with L. inermis L. naturalizing) may have to be added (both are briefly mentioned in the family discussion).


ASTERACEAE. The weedy annual herb Parthenium hysterophorus L. has been collected for the first time in Costa Rica by co-PI Barry Hammel, in the Boca Tapada region near the Nicaraguan border. This had been included among the large group of spp. that appear to "skip" Costa Rica; it had been reported from both Guatemala and Panama.

CONVOLVULACEAE. We had thought that an Ipomoea with large, white flowers first collected in Costa Rica a century ago by the illustrious Adolfo Tonduz [Tonduz 11701, 11926 ] but over-looked until we found it at US (and not correctly identified until a few weeks ago!) was new to science, and were about to describe it using additional and copious new material gathered by María Marta Chavarría (1069) near Copey de Dota, guided by Tonduz' locality data. Just in the nick of time, aider and abettor specialist Dan Austin (FAU) saw the light: we had all (including Tonduz' ghost) collaborated in the rediscovery of Ipomoea chiriquensis Standl. This rare sp. was formerly known only from a few collections from western Panama.

CUCURBITACEAE. A collection from Palo Verde made by veteran parataxonomist Ulises Chavarría represents Echinopepon paniculatus (Cogn.) Dieterle, according to INBio strongman José González. This sp. was previously known only from Mexico to Belize.

DILLENIACEAE. A sterile transect voucher collected by the late Al Gentry at Rancho Quemado, on the Osa Peninsula, represents the first Costa Rican record of Doliocarpus brevipedicellatus Garcke (though it has previously been found in both Nicaragua and Panama). The determination was made by specialist Gerardo Aymard (PORT), presently pursuing graduate studies at MO. According to Gerardo, the identification is 100% certain, notwithstanding the vegetative condition of the material. This is just one more illustration of the value of such transect material, often underappreciated or even deplored.

POACEAE. The northern extremity of the Pacific Fila Costeña, south of San José, has apparently yielded yet another new record (see our April 1996 issue). On a recent trip to the vicinity of Cerro Caraigres, co-PI Barry Hammel, led by regional cacique Francisco Morales (INB), noticed that Zeugites populations south of the cerro had dark purple florets, as well as much longer pseudopetioles than populations to the north. According to Gerrit Davidse's Flora mesoamericana treatment of the genus, the southern populations would appear to represent Zeugites panamensis Swallen, distinguished from the more widespread Z. pittieri Hackel inter alia by its longer pseudopetioles. The former sp. has previously been considered a Panamanian endemic. Absolute identification must await comparison with appropriate herbarium material.

PTERIDOPHYTA/ASPLENIACEAE. A collection made by co-PI Mike Grayum from ca. 600 m elevation along the Río Chirripó ("Duchí"), on the Atlantic slope, appears to represent Asplenium dimidiatum Sw. Though widespread in the West Indies and South America, this distinctive sp. has not been reported from Mesoamerica.

PTERIDOPHYTA/WOODSIACEAE. Diplazium croatianum C. D. Adams, considered a Panamanian endemic, has been collected at Zona Protectora La Cangreja, in the Pacific Fila Costeña, by co-PI Barry Hammel. The identification was made by INBio fernologist Alexander Rojas.


Atwood, J. T. 1996. Maxillaria gomeziana (Orchidaceae), a new species from southern Central America. Lindleyana 11: 202-204.

Maxillaria gomeziana J. T. Atwood is known from Costa Rica only by the holotype, from 1600 m elevation in the Coto Brus region; all of the paratypes are from western Panama. The new sp. is illustrated with a line-drawing, and compared with M. bracteata (Schltr.) Ames & Correll. The epithet honors Luis Diego Gómez, chief of OTS's Wilson Botanical Garden at Las Cruces de Coto Brus.
Bacigalupo, N. M. & E. L. Cabral. 1996. Infrageneric classification of Borreria (Rubiaceae-Spermacoceae) on the basis of American species. Opera Bot. Belg. 7: 297-308.
Borreria is here accepted as distinct from Spermacoce, with virtually no discussion. The monotypic Hemidiodia, sometimes included in Diodia, is here synonymized under Borreria, with the new combination Borreria ocymifolia (Roem. & Schult.) Bacigalupo & E. L. Cabral validated for the sp. most commonly known in Central America as Hemidiodia ocymifolia (Roem. & Schult.) K. Schum. Presents a revised infrageneric classification, with a key to the two subgenera and their sections, subsections, and series, plus excellent illustrations of representative spp.
Brummitt, R. K. 1996. Report of the Committee for Spermatophyta: 44. Taxon 45: 671-681.
Two items are of passing interest to us: the familiar Holodiscus (K. Koch) Maxim. (Rosaceae) is conserved over the earlier, but little known, Sericotheca Raf.; and Scaphyglottis Poepp. & Endl. (Orchidaceae) is conserved over the older Hexisea Lindl. The last-mentioned two genera are still treated as separate by some authors, but those who prefer to unite them can now do so under the name that has been used for the majority of spp. (courtesy of Manual Orchidaceae coordinator Bob Dressler, who submitted this proposal).
Cabral, E. L. & N. M. Bacigalupo. 1996. Revision of Borreria section Pseudodiodia (Rubiaceae-Spermacoceae). Opera Bot. Belg. 7: 309-327.
Six spp. are recognized, all exclusively South American except for Borreria ocymoides (Burm. f.) DC. (on our data-base as Spermacoce ocymoides Burm. f.). Brief introduction, key to spp., fine illustrations, distribution map, some exsiccatae citations.
de Nevers, G., A. Henderson & M. H. Grayum. 1996. Mesoamerican Bactris (Palmae). Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 49: 171-210.
Following Wessels Boer's (1968) monograph of Geonoma and allies and Hodel's (1992) magnum opus on Chamaedorea, Bactris has remained the only major Mesoamerican palm genus not revised in recent times (since 1934). That gap is now filled with this coast-to-coast effort, a synoptical treatment accepting 20 spp. (two with two varieties apiece) for the region. Four spp. are described as new, of which three are Panamanian endemics and one, B. grayumii de Nevers & Andrew Hend., is restricted to Nicaragua and Costa Rica; two new combinations are validated at the varietal level, including B. glandulosa Oerst. var. baileyana (H. E. Moore) de Nevers, applicable to a taxon occurring in Costa Rican. Thirteen spp. (one with two varieties) are attributed to Costa Rica, though only B. longiseta H. Wendl. ex Burret is presently regarded as endemic. One sp., B. gasipaes Kunth (the familiar pejibaye or pejiballe), is known only from cultivation. Nine names are newly lectotypified here, and five others are neotypified. Brief introduction, keys to species and varieties, descriptions, comprehensive exsiccatae citations, fine illustrations for 11 spp. (including all 4 new spp.).
Eriksen, B. 1996. (1263-1268) Proposals to conserve six species names in Monnina (Polygalaceae). Taxon 45: 701-703.
The new spp. of Monnina collected by Humboldt and Bonpland were mistakenly described twice: by Bonpland (1808) in the genus Hebeandra, and again by Kunth (in Humboldt, Bonpland & Kunth, 1823) in Monnina. Though these spp. have always been known by Kunth's names, Bonpland's have priority. Unless this proposal is recommended, our familiar Monnina xalapensis Kunth will have to be called M. evonymoides Schltdl. Information on typification is provided in an associated article by the same author (Taxon 45: 631-640. 1996).
Evans, R. J. 1996. Conservation status of Cryosophila with special reference to the critically endangered Cryosophila cookii and Cryosophila williamsii. Principes 40: 129-147.
All 10 spp. of the largely Mesoamerican palm genus Cryosophila, recently monographed by Evans (see our last issue), are here evaluated from the perspective of conservation biology. Special attention is given the Costa Rican narrow endemic C. cookii Bartlett, described as "critically endangered," with an estimated population size of only about 100 adult plants in the near vicinity of Tortuguero National Park (though only 1 individual has been located within the Park, which appears to largely lack suitable habitat). Generously illustrated with mostly color habit and habitat photos, and a few distribution maps.
Fantz, P. R. 1996. Resegregation of Barbiera from Clitoria (Leguminosae: Phaseoleae: Clitoriinae). Sida 17: 55-68.
Based on a detailed, conventional analysis of morphological characters, the author concludes that Barbiera is aberrant within the genus Clitoria "when placed in any subgenus." Although "it would appear that the placement of Barbiera within the Clitoriinae...has merit," the characteristics of the genus make it "an aberrant member also from other genera" of the subtribe, and "support its recognition as a separate genus." A key separates the five genera of subtribe Clitoriinae (as well as the three subgenera of Clitoria), according to Fantz's circumscriptions. A "taxonomic treatment" of the monotypic Barbiera provides full desciptions of the genus and of B. pinnata (Pers.) Baill., plus a list of specimens examined.
Folsom, J. P. 1996. An introduction to the genus Dichaea, and a synopsis of section Dichaea. Orchid Digest 60: 148-155.
Dichaea (Orchidaceae) sect. Dichaea comprises 25 neotropical spp. characterized by a scandent to pendent habit, persistent (non-articulating) leaves with very few lateral veins, sequential flowering, infls. presented in front of the foliage, projecting-erect to erect columns, and muricate fruits. This circumscription excludes 4-5 spp. traditionally included in the section; however, these are included with the others in a key to the spp. (and single subsp.) of "subgenus Dichaea" (nowhere explicitly defined here). The key omits 4 South American spp. of sect. Dichaea recently described (much to Folsom's chagrin) by Dodson.

This contribution also features a detailed discussion of taxonomic history, a Dahlgren-style bubble-diagram ostensibly depicting "possible relationships" among the spp. of sect. Dichaea, and 21 color photos of living plants. Two new combinations (neither relevant to us) are validated. Species descriptions are promised for "future installments."
Grant, J. R. 1996. New combinations and new taxa in the Bromeliaceae. J. Bromeliad Soc. 46: 271-272.
A senseless reprise of the author's recent paper in Phytologia 79: 254-256, featured in our last issue. The three new combinations relevant to Costa Rica are to be considered validly published in the Phytologia paper.
-- & J. F. Morales. 1996. Pitcairnia calcicola (Bromeliaceae), a new species from the Tropical Dry Forest of Costa Rica. Novon 6: 366-369.
Pitcairnia calcicola J. R. Grant & J. F. Morales is characterized as a narrow endemic of limestone hills in central Guanacaste Province (Palo Verde region and the PenÌnsula de Nicoya). It is compared especially with the Guatemalan P. flagellaris L. B. Sm. and, among Costa Rican spp., with P. valerii Standl., P. halophila L. B. Sm., and P. megasepala Baker. Superlative line-drawing, full description, exsiccatae.
Haber, W. A., W. Zuchowski & E. Bello. 1996. An introduction to cloud forest trees: Monteverde, Costa Rica. Privately published, San José, Costa Rica. 197 pp.
Those fortunate enough to have been in the field with Bill Haber at Monteverde, or any of his other numerous haunts, speak in hushed tones of his intimate knowledge of the flora (not to mention the fauna-Bill is a zoologist by training!). This, the first in a planned series of local plant guides by Bill and his skilled partner Willow Zuchowski, finally makes some of that knowledge available for public consumption. Their maiden effort admirably fulfills its intended function as an "entry point for anyone, whether biologist or amateur naturalist, interested in learning about the trees of the Monteverde area and how to identify them." Part I (pp. 2-23) features chapters on Geography, Climate, and Soils; Forest Types, Biodiversity, and Distribution (including an Overview of Costa Rican Vegetation); and Tree Ecology (with sections on Phenology, Pollination, Seed Dispersal, and Seed Predation). Part II (pp. 24-161), entitled "Guide to Cloud Forest Trees," includes a chapter on Techniques for Observing, Collecting, and Identifying Trees, as well as an illustrated vegetative key to major groups, numerous associated keys, and separate treatments for 88 of the more prominent Monteverde tree spp. (representing 52 families). Each species treatment features a Description, superb (obviously from live material) diagnostic drawings by Willow, and paragraphs on Habitat and Phenology, Similar Species, and Comments. The five appendices (pp. 162-191) include an annotated list of all tree spp. presently known from the Monteverde region, groupings of Monteverde trees according to their notable characteristics (à la Paul Allen's The Rain Forests of Golfo Dulce), and a glossary of botanical terms. An index occupies the final six pages At $9.00 (less than the cost of a T-shirt), this is a steal! Available at Chispas Books in downtown San José.
Hanelt, P. 1996. (1258) Proposal to conserve the name Allium ampeloprasum against A. porrum (Liliaceae). Taxon 45: 691-692.
The cultivated leek (puerro), traditionally Allium porrum L., is now widely treated as conspecific with the Eurasian wild leek, A. ampeloprasum L., with the latter name generally used for the sp. in the broad sense. However, the names have equal priority, and A. porrum was used by the first author (Lamarck, 1779) to have treated them as synonyms.
Hodel, D. R. 1996. Two new species of Chamaedorea from Costa Rica. Principes 40: 212-216.
Both new palms are endemic to the Pacific slope of Costa Rica, as far as presently known. Chamaedorea coralliformis Hodel, from 1700-2300 m elevation in the basin of the Ríos General and Cotón, belongs to the difficult C. allenii L. H. Bailey sp.-group. It differs from the Panamanian C. allenii in its cream-colored (rather than bright yellow) staminate fls. and unusually wrinkled-spinulose frts. Chamaedorea binderi Hodel, from 1140-1900 m elevation in the Fila Costeña north to the Candelaria region, has been confused with the rare and sympatric C. brachyclada H. Wendl. It differs from the latter in its much smaller size, fewer leaf pinnae, fewer rachillae of the pistillate infl., and larger frts. Detailed descriptions, exsiccatae, color photos of live plants in the field.
-- & M. P. Binder. 1996. From inches to yards: Costa Rica's simple-leaved palms and more. Principes 40: 184-193.
An entertaining and informative popular account of Hodel's penultimate trip to Costa Rica (in the company of Mark Binder), during which the new spp. described in the foregoing article were collected. Focuses on palms, especially Chamaedorea. Lavishly illustrated with color photos.
Käss, E. & M. Wink. 1996. Molecular evolution of the Leguminosae: phylogeny of the three subfamilies based on rbcL sequences. Biochem. Syst. & Ecol. 24: 365-378.
The rbcL gene was amplified by polymerase chain reaction and sequenced directly for 49 spp. representing 37 genera and 24 tribes. Cladistic analysis led to the following principal conclusions: "Papilionoideae and Mimosoideae are monophyletic. Caesalpinioideae is paraphyletic to the other subfamilies, and the classical division of Leguminosae into three subfamilies is not supported."
Morales, J. F. & Q. Jiménez M. 1996. A new species of Mollinedia (Monimiaceae) from Costa Rica. Novon 6: 395-397.
Surely one of the few distinctive sp. in its genus, Mollinedia macrophylla J. F. Morales & Q. Jiménez is noteworthy for its very large (28-42 X 21-28.5 cm!) leaf-blades. The new sp., here compared with the Honduran M. butleriana Standl., is known by just two collections from 300-650 m elevation in Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo. Fine drawing by Silvia Troyo.
Pruski, J. F. 1996. Compositae of the Guayana Highland-XI. Tuberculocarpus gen. nov. and some other Ecliptinae (Heliantheae). Novon 6: 404-418.
The ongoing assault on Guayanan Asteraceae by John Pruski (US) continues to have repercussions that affect us. The most recent one borders on the comical: the familiar and cosmopolitan sp. known worldwide as Wedelia trilobata (L.) Hitchc. for most of the present century now undergoes its third name-change in the last five years. The fun began, in 1991, with Strother's (Syst. Bot. Monogr. 33: 1-111) fragmentation of the traditional concepts of Wedelia and Zexmenia, from which our guy emerged as Complaya trilobata (L.) Strother. But Complaya's moment in the sun was just that, and our sp. became Thelechitonia trilobata (L.) H. Rob. & Cuatrec. when the last-mentioned authors (Phytologia 72: 141-143. 1992) determined that Strother had overlooked a South American sp. entraining an older genus name. Now, Pruski resurrects an even earlier name, the obscure Sphagneticola O. Hoffm., based on his finding that its type (S. ulei O. Hoffm.) is synonymous with the erstwhile Thelechitonia trilobata-henceforth to be known (at least for the time being!) as Sphagneticola trilobata (L.) Pruski.

If Complaya (from the Spanish compuesta and playa, i.e., "beach composite") was an apt generic name for our characteristically coastal sp., then Sphagneticola, if we divine its meaning correctly ("sphagnetum-dweller"?), is correspondingly inept. Still, conservation of either of its two immediate predecessors would seem an ill-advised stratagem, given their very brief tenures.

Pupulin, F. 1996. New and critical Macroclinium (Orchidaceae) from Central America. Lindleyana 11: 135-140.
Macroclinium generalense Pupulin, known only from the Valle de El General, is compared with M. glicensteinii J. T. Atwood; M. confertum Pupulin, from 1400-1500 m in the Tarrazú Dota region, is compared with M. ramonense (Schltr.) Dodson. Both new spp. are illustrated with very excellent composite plates. The name Macroclinium bicolor (Lindl.) Dodson has been misapplied, in Costa Rica, to M. ramonense [as already indicated in Dressler's Field guide to the orchids of Costa Rica and Panama (1993)]. As far as we can determine, the Notylia segregate Macroclinium is represented in Costa Rica by 7 spp.
Reznicek, A. A. & K. Camelbeke. 1996. Carex porrecta (Cyperaceae), a distinctive new species from northern South America and Costa Rica. Novon 6: 423-425.
Carex porrecta Reznicek & Camelb. is unique among the 15-20 neotropical spp. of subg. Indocarex in its prominently indented achenes and long, outcurved, smooth achene-beaks; it is likewise not closely related to any Old World spp. The new sp. is mainly South American (Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela), known from Central America by a single Costa Rican collection (Davidse & Herrera 29166, from 1800-1900 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca). Fine line-drawing, lengthy description, exsiccatae.
Sennblad, B. & B. Bremer. 1996. The familial and subfamilial relationships of Apocynaceae and Asclepiadaceae evaluated with rbcL data. Pl. Syst. Evol. 202: 153-175.
Cladistic analysis of rbcL sequence data for 24 taxa indicates (among other things) that Asclepiadaceae are nested within Apocynaceae. It is recommended that the two families be combined as an enlarged Apocynaceae.
Taylor, C. M. 1996. Overview of the Psychotrieae (Rubiaceae) in the Neotropics. Opera Bot. Belg. 7: 261-270.
A consideration of classification and evolution in the 11 New World genera of this tribe, taking into account both morphological and molecular evidence. It is concluded that Psychotria is probably polyphyletic, with three main groups in the New World that are probably best treated as separate genera. One of these groups seems to be paraphyletic with respect to Palicourea. The new classification suggested by these conclusions would mirror that employed by Müller ("Müll. Arg.") in 1881. The innumerable indicated nomenclatural changes are not implemented at this preliminary stage.
Tsuyuzaki, S. & T. Kitayama. 1996. [Hypochoeris is a misspelling for Hypochaeris (Asteraceae).] J. Jap. Bot. 71: 302-303.
[In Japanese!]
Werff, H. van der. 1996. Notes on Costa Rican Lauraceae with the description of several new species. Novon 6: 476-483.
Five new spp. of Lauraceae are described from Costa Rica-two in Pleurothyrium and three in Ocotea. Pleurothyrium guindonii van der Werff is known only from the Cordillera de Tilar·n (vicinity of Monteverde and San RamÛn reserve), while P. oblongum van der Werff occurs in the Atlantic lowlands south from the Cahuita region (with one collection from Prov. Bocas del Toro, Panama). The latter sp. was included hypothetically as "Pleurothyrium sp. A" in Burger & van der Werff's (1990) Flora costaricensis treatment of Lauraceae (Fieldiana, Bot. n. s. 23: 1-129). Recent collections of other Costa Rican Pleurothyrium spp. are here enumerated, including the first known fruiting collections of P. palmanum (Mez & Donn. Sm.) Rohwer. A key is provided to all eight Pleurothyrium spp. known from Costa Rica [including the two new spp., as well as two spp. described in van der Werff's (1993) revision of the genus (Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 80: 39-118)].

Two of the three new Ocotea spp. are outright novelties: Ocotea rufescens van der Werff, "the only Ocotea species in Costa Rica...with a dense reddish brown tomentellous indument on twig and lower leaf surface," is known by two collections from 450-1400 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca; it is most closely related to O. pharomachrosorum Gómez-Laur. A key to all six Central American Ocotea spp. (including one undescribed) with tomentose or tomentellous lower leaf surfaces is provided. Ocotea multiflora van der Werff, known only from the Osa Peninsula, comprises very tall (to ca. 45 m!) trees with small flowers; it appears to have no close relatives. The third new Ocotea, O. praetermissa van der Werff, corresponds with the concept of O. pittieri (Mez) van der Werff in Flora costaricensis-i.e., a montane (2000-3200 m) taxon, widespread in Costa Rica and westernmost Panama, belonging to the O. helicterifolia sp.-group. The disposition of the real O. pittieri ("very closely related to O. brenesii Standl. or synonymous with it") is not definitively resolved here.

Finally, Ocotea tonduzii Standl., considered a synonym of O. insularis (Meisn.) Mez in Flora costaricensis, is reinstated for an accepted species, here characterized anew. Apart from the syntypes, O. tonduzii is known from just five collections, from 1500-2000 m elevation in the Cordilleras de Tilar·n (Monteverde) and Central; all were cited in Flora costaricensis under O. endresiana Mez and O. skutchii C. K. Allen, members of the still unresolved O. insularis complex.

Excellent line-drawings of Pleurothyrium guindonii and Ocotea rufescens, full descriptions, exsiccatae.



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