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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 X, Number 3, July 2003

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

CHLORANTHACEAE. J. González (INB) & N. Zamora (INB).
This small family was already treated by William Burger (F) in Flora costaricensis (Fieldiana, Bot. 40: 1-10. 1977), and the changes here are minimal. Hedyosmum remains as the only genus occurring in Costa Rica, where it is represented by six spp. (none endemic). The only addition is H. scaberrimum Standl., included hypothetically by Burger, but now known from numerous collections from very wet lowland forests throughout Costa Rica. Two name changes are implemented, following Carol Todzia's 1988 generic revision (Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 48: 1-138): Hedyosmum callososerratum Oerst. and H. montanum W. C. Burger fall into synonymy under H. bonplandianum Kunth and H. goudotianum Solms, respectively. Omitted here is any mention of Hedyosmum racemosum (Ruiz & Pav.) Don, an otherwise South American sp. tentatively reported from Isla del Coco in these very pages [see The Cutting Edge 9(3): 3, Jul. 2002].

MELASTOMATACEAE. Frank Almeda (CAS) & Gina Umaña (CR).
The submission of this major family treatment marks a giant step forward toward production of our first-to-be-published dicot volume. Melastomataceae account (together with Piperaceae and Rubiaceae) for a significant percentage of the understory shrubs in Costa Rican wet forests (but also harbor herbs, trees, and scandent spp.). The country total of 288 spp. is distributed among 34 genera, with Miconia (106 spp.) by far the most diverse, followed distantly by Clidemia (35 spp.) and Conostegia (25 spp.); also in double digits are Blakea (17 spp) and Monochaetum and Topobea (each with 12 spp.). Species endemic to Costa Rica number 47, with 16 in Miconia, seven each in Blakea and Monochaetum, five in Topobea, four in Conostegia, three in Clidemia, two each in Mouriri and Pilocosta, and one in Triolena. Three provisional (unpublished) names are used, and four spp. are reported hypothetically (i.e., at least temporarily lacking a voucher). The African genus Heterotis (with one sp. in Costa Rica) and two spp. of Tibouchina are introduced (cultivated and persisting and/or escaping). Almeda is credited with authorship for Arthostemma, Bellucia, Blakea, Henriettea, Henriettella, Heterotis, Loreya, Meriania, Miconia, Monochaetum, Monolena, Mouriri, Pterolepis, Rhynchanthera, Tibouchina, and Topobea (for a total of 185 spp.), while the remaining genera were contributed by Gina Umaña. Gina's work (submitted long ago) will be updated by new INBio curator Ricardo Kriebel (see under “"News and Notes“), who will receive joint authorship in some as-yet-undecided fashion. One of Ricardo's first tasks will be to revise the treatment of Aciotis, which does not account for the nomenclatural changes implemented in the recent revision by MO's Alina Freire-Fierro [see The Cutting Edge 9(4): 7, Oct. 2002] and omits A. purpurascens (Aubl.) Triana, attributed therein to Costa Rica.

TILIACEAE. Alexánder Rodríguez (INB).
As Sterculiaceae before it (see our last issue), Tiliaceae will retain full familiar status in the Manual, notwithstanding its recent absorption into Malvaceae s. l. Popeye's first draft treats 34 spp. in 10 genera, the most diverse of which are Mortoniodendron (10 spp.), Triumfetta (7 spp.), and Corchorus (4 spp.). Five spp. are indicated as new to science, and three others are given provisional (letter) designations; all eight of these putative novelties are in Mortoniodendron. Nine spp. of Tiliaceae are endemic to Costa Rica, including all of the Mortoniodendron novelties plus Pentaplaris doroteae L. O. Williams & Standl. We had been aware of the neglected diversity in Costa Rican Mortoniodendron, and Popeye's enumeration confirms this notion emphatically in doubling the total previously attributed (e.g., in The plant-book) to the entire genus; nonetheless, the author cautions that his account of this genus is especially tentative. A minor surprise concerns a specimen previously identified in these pages [see The Cutting Edge 4(2): 3, Apr. 1997] as the Asian Corchorus olitorius L., but since redetermined by Popeye as C. aestuans L., a sp. that is native to and widespread in the Neotropics (but collected just once before in Costa Rica).

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