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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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The Cutting Edge

Volume VIII, Number 3, July 2001

News and Notes | Recent Treatments | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature | Season's Pick

ERICACEAE. J. L. Luteyn (NY), R. L. Wilbur (DUKE) & J. Francisco Morales (INB). This contribution arrives in what appears to be Flora mesoamericana format (we hope this is not the start of a trend!), long on descriptive detail and short on distribution data of relevance to Costa Rican floristics. Ericaceae here subsumes Monotropaceae and Pyrolaceae, both maintained as distinct by Cronquist (1981), but scuttled long ago in our Manual data-base. With the family thus enlarged, a total of 19 genera of Ericaceae can be attributed to Costa Rica (excluding Rhododendron, with one sp. hypothetically in cultivation). By far the most sp.-rich is Cavendishia (22 spp. in Costa Rica), followed distantly by Vaccinium (9 spp.). The only other genera with more than three Costa Rican spp. are Sphyrospermum (5 spp.) and Gonocalyx and Themistoclesia (4 spp. each), although Disterigma will make the cut if D. trimerum Wilbur & Luteyn is added [see The Cutting Edge 3(4): 3, Oct. 1996]. Vaccinium absorbs the sp. currently known as Macleania talamancensis Wilbur & Luteyn (with the new combination indicated as "in press"), but yields V. dissimile S. F. Blake to Sphyrospermum (against the better judgment of the second author). Three undescribed spp. are treated, all in Vaccinium, with one binomial "ined." and the other two provisional. Six spp. of Ericaceae are flagged explicitly as "endemic" to Costa Rica, and we suspect that numerous others are in the same category; however, it is impossible to be certain because of the manner in which the distribution data are reported. It would appear that the monospecific Utleya may be one of the extremely few vascular plant genera endemic to Costa Rica.

 

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