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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
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:
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
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:
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.