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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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The Cutting Edge

Volume IX, Number 3, July 2002

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

Anderberg, A. A., C. Rydin & M. Källersjö. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships in the order Ericales s. l.: analyses of molecular data from five genes from the plastid and mitochondrial genomes. Amer. J. Bot. 89: 677–687.

More evidence that Theaceae is not monophyletic if it includes Ternstroemiaceae. The authors assert that “there are no morphological synapomorphies“ for the two taxa taken together.

Axelrod, F. S. 2002. (1528) Proposal to conserve the name Guaiacum (Zygophyllaceae) with that spelling. Taxon 51: 203–204.

The spelling for which conservation is proposed has been preponderant down through the ages, and was used in most early Linnaean and pre-Linnaean works. However, in the only publication that counts—the original description of the genus in Species plantarum (1753)—Linnaeus opted for the spelling Guajacum. The resulting controversy, which still rages, apparently cannot be resolved by reference to the Code.

Barros, F. 2002. Notas nomenclaturais em Pleurothallidinae (Orchidaceae), principalmente brasileiras. Bradea 8: 293–297.

Workers inclined to accept the recent generic reclassification of the orchid subtribe Pleurothallidinae by Pridgeon and Chase [see The Cutting Edge 9(1): 9–10, Jan. 2002] should heed this paper, in which it is established (among other things) that the genus name Anthereon Pridgeon & M. W. Chase includes the type of the earlier Pabstiella Brieger & Senghas and is, therefore, nomenclaturally superfluous (hence illegitimate). The name Pabstiella has been disregarded because it was initially published invalidly (without a Latin description); although the name was duly validated shortly thereafter, this detail has been overlooked. Your relentless editors have confirmed that Pabstiella was indeed validly published in Orchidee (Hamburg) 27: 195 (1976), as indicated by Barros. So Anthereon must fall, and Barros here provides five new combinations in Pabstiella, two of which (based on Pleurothallis aryter Luer and Pleurothallis tripterantha Rchb. f.) concern spp. occurring in Costa Rica. Barros also points out (as we have previously) that the combination Specklinia grobyi (Bateman ex Lindl.) Pridgeon & M. W. Chase is preceded by his own version of the same, no doubt overlooked because it was published in the obscure journal Hoehnea (and what better way to set the record straight than with a note in Bradea?).

Blanco, M. A. 2002. Aristolochia gorgona (Aristolochiaceae), a new species with giant flowers from Costa Rica and Panama. Brittonia 54: 30–39.

Aristolochia gorgona M. A. Blanco is one of the largest-flowered spp. of its genus—indeed, of angiosperms—in the Neotropics. The new sp. has hitherto been confused with A. grandiflora Sw., from which it differs in floral size, folding, and indument. Because the flowers of both spp. are very large, structurally complex, and poorly preserved on herbarium specimens, it took an astute orchid specialist, our colleague Mario Blanco (USJ), working with living material in the field, to appreciate their differences. The new sp., first distinguished at the Estación Biológica La Selva, appears restricted to the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica and Panama, while A. grandiflora is found “mostly“ in the Pacific lowlands. The author suspects that additional new taxa may eventually be segregated from A. grandiflora. Illustrated with very fine line drawings by the author.

Borhidi, A. 2001. Additions and corrections to the “Nomenclator of Mexican and American Rubiaceae“ of D. H. Lorence. Acta Bot. Hung. 43: 37–78.

Eight new combinations are validated here, but only Javorkaea torresii (Standl.) Borhidi (based on Rondeletia torresii Standl.) appears relevant to Costa Rica.

Caddick, L. R., P. Wilkin, P. J. Rudall, T. A. J. Hedderson & M. W. Chase. 2002. Yams reclassified: a recircumscription of Dioscoreaceae and Dioscoreales. Taxon 51: 103–114.

Cladistic analysis of 52 morphological characters and three molecular data sets “produced a single most parsimonious tree with high levels of support and resolution throughout.“ As a result, Dioscoreaceae is restricted to four genera, one of which is Tacca (formerly Taccaceae), while Dioscorea is enlarged to accommodate a host of nested satellite genera (none occurring in Costa Rica). Burmanniaceae (one of three families comprising the order Dioscoreales) is monophyletic even with Thismia included. A formal classification of Dioscoreaceae is presented, with full synonymy, lengthy familial and generic descriptions, a key to genera, and notes on distribution and synonymy. Several nomenclatural novelties are validated, none relevant to us.

Ebinger, J. E., D. S. Seigler & H. D. Clarke. 2002. Notes on the segregates of Acacia farnesiana (L.) Willd. (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) and related species in North America. South W. Naturalist 47: 86–147.

Although this pertains mainly to America north of Mexico, two taxa occurring in Costa Rica are included in the key and briefly discussed. These are: Acacia farnesiana subsp. farnesiana and A. guanacastensis (H. D. Clarke, Seigler & Ebinger) Ebinger, Seigler & H. D. Clarke.

Ma, J. S. 2001. A revision of Euonymus (Celastraceae). Thaiszia 11: 1–264.

This nominally cosmopolitan genus is strongly centered in Asia, where 115 of its 129 spp. occur. These are classed in two subgenera and five sections. Just four spp. (in two sections) occur in the Mesoamerican region, with only Euonymus costaricensis Standl. in Costa Rica (and Nicaragua as well). So there is nothing new here for us. Features a key to subgenera and sections, nested keys to spp., rather brief descriptions at all taxonomic levels, synonymy, short discussions, specimen citations, assorted appendices, and indices to exsiccatae and scientific names. The introductory section is minimal (6 pp.). Many spp. (though not E. costaricensis) are illustrated with line drawings.

Moran, R. C. & J. E. Watkins, Jr. 2002. The occurrence and morphology of Adiantum ×variopinnatum (Pteridaceae). Brittonia 54: 57–60.

Adiantum ×variopinnatum Jermy & T. G. Walker, first described from Trinidad, is a hybrid between A. latifolium Lam. (with bipinnate leaves) and A. petiolatum Desv. (with simply pinnate leaves), two rather weedy spp. common in the humid lowlands of Costa Rica. The authors' discovery of two populations of this hybrid at the Estación Biológica La Selva initiated a herbarium crawl, which turned up numerous additional records from Nicaragua to Colombia and Venezuela. Detailed study of the La Selva populations revealed that they have aborted spores, as would be expected, and are morphologically intermediate between the two putative parent spp. Furthermore, “additive isozyme banding patterns“ were documented between hybrid and parents. A figure comparing leaf silhouettes makes a strong case for the morphological intermediacy of the hybrid (with only the basal pinnae again pinnate). Includes comprehensive specimen citations.

Pfeil, B. E., C. L. Brubaker, L. A. Craven & M. D. Crisp. 2002. Phylogeny of Hibiscus and the tribe Hibisceae (Malvaceae) using chloroplast DNA sequences of ndhF and the rpl16 intron. Syst. Bot. 27: 333–350.

Hibiscus appears to be paraphyletic, with at least eight genera (representing three different tribes) nested within it. The nested genera include Abelmoschus, Malvaviscus, and Pavonia, not to mention Talipariti (not recognized a priori as a genus in this study) and, we presume, Wercklea (not included). The clear implication, in the authors' words, is that “nomenclatural upheavals concerning Hibiscus...will be difficult to avoid.“ As usual, two broad options will be available, neither wholly palatable: either to “create a ´super´ genus Hibiscus,“ or to fragment the present concept into several (“perhaps more than 10“) new segregates. Although the authors take no stand on this, we do not foresee the incorporation of 250 spp. of Pavonia into Hibiscus any time soon! Based mainly on morphological (pollen) and distributional data, the authors postulate an Australasian origin for Malvaceae.

Pupulin, F. 2001. Contributions to a reassessment of Costa Rican Zygopetalinae (Orchidaceae). 2. A reconsideration of Chondrorhyncha estrellensis Ames. Brenesia 55-56: 135–140.

The author's examination of the Costa Rican type of Chondrorhyncha estrellensis Ames (Orchidaceae), long considered a synonym of C. bicolor Rolfe [now Chondroscaphe bicolor (Rolfe) Dressler], reveals that it is instead an older name for Chondrorhyncha helleri Fowlie, typified by a Nicaraguan specimen. The addition of a single sp. to the Costa Rican orchid flora thus comes at the expense of Nicaragua's relatively short list of endemic taxa. Robert Dressler's Manual treatment presently lists C. estrellensis in synonymy under Chondrorhyncha picta (Rchb. f.) Senghas, here characterized (though without further elaboration) as “a taxon well distinct from C. estrellensis.“ All in all, the author makes a very weak case (if any at all). Illustrated with a composite line drawing.

Stace, C. A. 2002. (1523) Proposal to conserve Terminalia nom. cons. (Combretaceae) against an additional name, Bucida. Taxon 51: 193.

The author has decided that Bucida L. (1759), comprising just three neotropical spp. (at least one conceivably present in Costa Rica), “cannot be kept separate from“ Terminalia L. (1767), a pantropical genus of at least 200 spp. This proposal seeks to preempt the unimaginable nomenclatural consequences implicit in the publication dates of the foregoing names. Terminalia is already conserved against Adamaram Adans. (1763), based on the widespread T. catappa L.

Taylor, C. M. 2002. Rubiacearum americanarum magna hama pars VII. New species of Palicourea (Psychotrieae) from Central America and western South America. Novon 12: 272–280.

Only one of the six new spp. is recorded from Costa Rica: the endemic Palicourea calophlebioides C. M. Taylor, known by just two collections, both made by the redoubtable Gerardo Herrera at ca. 1800 m elevation along the Río Lori on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca. As implied by its epithet, the new sp. approaches P. calophlebia Standl., of western Colombia and Ecuador, from which it differs in leaf and stipule dimensions, as well as inflorescence and flower color. Illustrated with a fine line drawing.

--. 2002. Rubiacearum americanarum magna hama pars VIII. New species of Gonzalagunia and Sabicea from Mesoamerica and Colombia. Novon 12: 281–285.

This tip of the bucket yields just two new spp., of which only Gonzalagunia osaensis C. M. Taylor need concern us. This actually corresponds to a familiar and much collected entity that has been known for many years by an incorrectly applied name, G. rudis (Standl.) Standl. The two spp. differ in floral indumentum and dimensions, pyrene number, and habitat preference. Though most frequent on the Península de Osa, G. osaensis extends northward in the Pacific lowlands of Costa Rica to the Zona Protectora Cerros de La Cangreja, and as far as the Península de Azuero in Panama. It is unclear, from this source, whether the real Gonzalagunia rudis (type from Panama) remains attributable to Costa Rica. Illustrated with a line drawing.


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