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Volume XI, Number 3, July 2004
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Almeda, F. 2004. Novelties and nomenclatural adjustments in the neotropical
genus Clidemia (Melastomataceae: Miconieae). Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 55:
Six of the eleven new Clidemia spp. published here occur in Costa
Rica, but only one is endemic. The latter is Clidemia rodriguezii Almeda
(dedicated to INBio curator Alexánder Rodríguez), known
from both slopes of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca, and most closely related to
C. discolor (Triana) Cogn. Shared with Panama are Clidemia allenii
Almeda, of the Golfo Dulce region, compared with C. costaricensis Cogn. &
Gleason and C. petiolaris (Schltdl. & Cham.) Schltdl. ex Triana;
Clidemia coloradensis Almeda, from the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera
de Talamanca, with “no close relatives in any part of the American tropics”;
and Clidemia lanuginosa Almeda, from the Atlantic slope of the eastern Cordillera
de Talamanca, “readily recognized” but not compared with any other sp.
Clidemia davidsei Almeda, most similar to C. dentata Pav. ex D.
Don, is known mainly from the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca and the
southern Fila Costeña (Fila Cruces), but also by a single, somewhat aberrant
collection from northern Nicaragua. Finally, Clidemia evanescens Almeda, most
similar to C. densiflora (Standl.) Gleason, is disjunct in northern Costa Rica
(Atlantic slope of the Cordilleras de Guanacaste and de Tilarán) with respect to
the largest portion of its geographic range, from central Panama to southwestern Colombia.
The lone “nomenclatural adjustment” is the validation of the new combination
Clidemia quinquenervia (Mill.) Almeda (based on Melastoma quinquenervium
Mill.) for a common sp. long known as Ossaea quinquenervia (Mill.) Cogn.; no
explicit rationale is provided for this transfer. All of the new spp. are illustrated with
excellent, composite line drawings, and even C. quinquenervia gets a full
description and representative specimen citations. An appendix enumerates all the spp.
of Clidemia known to produce formicaria or domatia. Incidentally, all of the
relevant taxonomic and nomenclatural innovations in this paper have already been accounted
for in the author’s Manual draft treatment of Melastomataceae [see
The Cutting Edge
10(3): 3, Jul. 2003], with only the bibliographic details remaining to be added in.
Barfuss, M., M. R. Samuel & W. Till. 2004. Molecular phylogeny in subfamily
Tillandsioideae (Bromeliaceae) based on six cpDNA markers: an update. J. Bromeliad
Soc. 54: 9–17.
This is a brief report on a preliminary analysis of sequence variation in chloroplast
DNA for 108 taxa of Bromeliaceae subfam. Tillandsioideae; “the final analysis
will be published at a later date.” The subfamily as a whole is strongly
supported as monophyletic. Alcantarea, most of Vriesea, and
Werauhia form a monophyletic group; thus, while the recent segregation of
Alcantarea and Werauhia [see
The Cutting Edge 2(2): 6–7, Apr. 1995] may be defensible, it was not
imperative. Tillandsia insignis (Mez) L. B. Sm. & Pittendr. is nested
within Werauhia, while Vriesea monstrum (Mez) L. B. Sm. (the only
Costa Rican representative of Vriesea s. str. studied) is basal to
Werauhia and remote from the clade harboring the type sp. of Vriesea.
Likewise removed from the last-mentioned clade are the Andean members of Vriesea
sect. Xiphion (E. Morren) E. Morren ex Mez, among which
Tillandsia singularis Mez & Wercklé (occurring in Costa Rica) is
nested. Mezobromelia is apparently diphyletic, with the Costa Rican M.
pleiosticha (Griseb.) Utley & H. Luther nested within Guzmania;
the latter taxon is monophyletic (if M. pleiosticha is included), and
apparently sister to the Racinaea/Tillandsia clade. Racinaea
is moderately supported as monophyletic, but with Tillandsia venusta Mez
& Wercklé (occurring in Costa Rica) at its base. Basal resolution of the
Racinaea/Tillandsia clade “is lacking,” however
“the authors are optimistic that with the addition of nuclear markers and of
more taxa these problems can be solved.” Though it seems a bit premature,
Tillandsia insignis is formally transferred to Werauhia as
W. insignis (Mez) W. Till, Barfuss & M. R. Samuel; perhaps the
reintegration of Werauhia (and possibly Alcantarea) into
Vriesea will prove the wiser alternative.
Bauer, R. 2003[‘2002’]. The genus Pseudorhipsalis Britton & Rose.
Haseltonia 9: 94–120.
Making a strong bid to become the Franco Pupulin of Cactaceae,
the author keeps the flow coming with yet another seminal contribution. According
to Bauer, “Pseudorhipsalis belongs—with Epiphyllum,
Hylocereus, Selenicereus, and Weberocereus—to
the Hylocereeae.” Most Pseudorhipsalis spp. have generally been
included in Disocactus (oddly omitted from the foregoing list), and the
author takes great pains throughout this paper to distinguish the two genera. The
relatively tenuous generic distinction is based on the morphology of seedlings and
juvenile stems (though these organs are unknown in several Pseudorhipsalis
spp.), together with flowering periodicity (Disocactus flowers open at night
and remain so for several days, Pseudorhipsalis flowers open in the morning
and close the same day). Disocactus sensu Bauer is absent from Costa Rica,
being restricted to northern Mesoamerica (Mexico to Nicaragua). Pseudorhipsalis
is widespread from Mexico to Peru and Venezuela, Brazil, and the Greater Antilles, but
“the main diversity center is Costa Rica, where all six recognized species
occur”; alas, the preceding statement is inaccurate, as Pseudorhipsalis
alata (Sw.) Britton & Rose “is known only from Jamaica.” The only
taxonomic innovations involve the anomalous Pseudorhipsalis amazonica (K.
Schum.) Ralf Bauer comb. nov., the only sp. with flowers that are some color other
than white (i.e., blue, violet, or magenta); previously, this sp. was included either
in Disocactus or Wittiocactus (a substitute for the illegitimate
Wittia K. Schum.). Costa Rican material of P. amazonica may be
further qualified as belonging to P. a. subsp. panamensis (Britton
& Rose) Ralf Bauer comb. & stat. nov., most recently known as
Wittiocactus panamensis (Britton & Rose) Rauschert. Bauer accepts
Pseudorhipsalis lankesteri (Kimnach) Barthlott, synonymized under P.
himantoclada (Rol.-Goss.) Britton & Rose in Manual co-PI Barry
Hammel’s draft treatment of Cactaceae, and cites Disocactus
horichii Kimnach as a synonym of Pseudorhipsalis acuminata Cufod.,
rather than P. ramulosa (Salm-Dyck) Barthlott, as according to Barry.
Lacks a formal generic heading and description, but features a key to spp. (with
Disocactus excluded in the first couplet) and, for infrageneric taxa,
synonymy and (for accepted names) typology, full descriptions, comprehensive
specimen citations, generous discussions, opulent color photos of living specimens,
and SEM micrographs of pollen and seeds. The distribution of the three subspp. of
Pseudorhipsalis amazonica is plotted on a colored map. The sparingly illustrated
introductory part includes sections on taxonomic history, definition of the genus,
distribution, morphology, and flowering period. Tables are employed to document the
flowering phenology of all six Pseudorhipsalis spp., and to compare the
genus (sans P. amazonica) with Disocactus and the somewhat
transitional P. amazonica. N.B.: the foregoing new combinations in
Pseudorhipsalis are actually validated in this paper, not (as we
incorrectly indicated) in another Bauer paper reviewed in this column in our
Catalán, P., P. Torrecilla, J. Á. López Rodríguez & R. G.
Olmstead. 2004. Phylogeny of the festucoid grasses of subtribe Loliinae and
allies (Poeae, Pooideae) inferred from ITS and trnL–F sequences.
Molec. Phylogenet. Evol. 31: 517–541.
Okay, here we have it again: Festuca is paraphyletic with respect to
Lolium and a polyphyletic Vulpia (as well as numerous other
traditional genera), with past hybridization suspected as a complicating factor.
There seems precious little to distinguish this offering from another recent paper
by the same group (see this column under Torrecilla et al.,in our last issue).
Cleef, A. M. & M. Kappelle. 2003. Memorias acerca de una científica
en el páramo costarricense: Adelaida Chaverri-Polini (21 de mayo de 1947–20
de setiembre del 2003). Brenesia 59-60: 3–5.
This eulogy, by two of her colleagues and co-authors, contains first-hand recollections
of field experiences and other interactions with recently deceased Costa Rican
phytosociologist Adelaida Chaverri. A photo depicts Adelaida in her
Dressler, R. L. 2004. A key to the Central American species of
Encyclia. Orchid Digest 68: 88–92.
The subject of this contribution is Encyclia (Orchidaceae) s. str., exclusive of
Prosthechea and (it would appear) Oestlundia. In all, twenty spp. are
included. The key is dichotomous, indented, and annotated to indicate geographic
distribution by country. We are relieved to see that there are no major surprises here
(e.g., spp. attributed to Costa Rica that were not included in the author’s Manual
treatment). The recently described Encyclia davidhuntii Withner & M.
Fuente, mentioned in the Manual generic discussion on the basis of an unvouchered report
from Costa Rica, is synonymized under E. peraltensis (Ames) Dressler. Among the
brief “Notes” that conclude the paper, the possibility is raised that E.
peraltensis may prove to be simply a small-flowered form of Encyclia amanda
Ames) Dressler (widespread in Central America, but not known from Costa Rica). Flowers
of several Encyclia spp. are illustrated in a “centerfold” featuring
color photos from life by the author’s wife, Kerry A. Dressler.
Faisthuber, W. 2004. Oerstedella centradenia Rchb. f. und
Oerstedella centropetala Rchb. f. [sic] in Costa Rica—Synonyme oder
zwei verschiedene Arten? Orchidee (Hamburg) 55: 60–61.
The two names mentioned in the title have been combined, under Oerstedella
centropetala (Rchb. f.) Rchb. f., by various authors, including Manual contributor
(and genus monographer) Eric Hágsater (AMO). Based on his studies
in the Monteverde region of Costa Rica, the author contends that Reichenbach’s names
do indeed correspond to two distinct entities, separated locally by habitat type (O.
centradenia on the seasonally dryer portions of the Pacific slope, O.
centropetala in the relatively wet cloud forests) and details of the labellum. No
herbarium vouchers are cited, but both supposed spp. are depicted in color photos of
Gibbs, P. & J. Semir. 2003. A taxonomic revision of the genus Ceiba
Mill. (Bombacaceae). Anales Jard. Bot. Madrid 60: 259–300.
Ceiba (including Chorisia), largely restricted to the New World tropics,
is here regarded as comprising 17 spp., of which seven are treated within the
“Ceiba insignis aggregate species.” Just two spp. (neither in the
C. insignis group) are attributed to Costa Rica: Ceiba aesculifolia
(Kunth) Britten & Baker f. and C. pentandra (L.) Gaertn. The latter is
widespread in the Neotropics, and is the only member of the genus to occur in the Old
World, where it is “probably native, at least in part” in West Africa, but
“almost certainly introduced in Asia and the Pacific.” Surprisingly, just
one Costa Rican specimen of C. pentandra was studied, though the sp. is common
in lowland regions throughout the country. Ceiba aesculifolia, ranging from
northern Mexico to northwestern Costa Rica, entrains the only mild surprise for us: most
material (including all that from Costa Rica) is consigned to the autonymic subsp. with the
recognition of C. a. subsp. parvifolia (Rose) P. E. Gibbs & Semir
comb. & stat. nov., a smaller-leaved entity from south-central Mexico. Features synonymy
and typology at all levels, a detailed genus description, keys to spp. and (where
appropriate) nested keys to subspp., sp. and subsp. descriptions, sometimes extensive
discussions, comprehensive specimen citations, distribution maps, excellent composite
line drawings, indices to exsiccatae and scientific names, and a section on “Excluded
or doubtful names.” One of the excluded names, Ceiba rosea (Seem.) K.
Schum., applies to a third Costa Rican sp., denoted in our data-base as
“Spirotheca rosea (Seem.) P. E. Gibbs comb. ined.” for at least
the past 15 years; exasperatingly, the authors once again perpetuate the eternal “to
be transferred to the genus Spirotheca,” inexplicably squandering a golden
opportunity to do just that. The rather brief introductory part includes discussions of
taxonomic history, materials and methods, morphology, cytology, reproductive biology, and
habitat. Citing “some special problems” in the taxonomy of Ceiba
(e.g., large forest trees, usually flowering when leafless, often at night, with fleshy
flowers exhibiting subtle color variations), the authors doubt that their treatment
“will represent the last word on these taxa.”
Henderson, A. J. 2004. A multivariate analysis of Hyospathe (Palmae).
Amer. J. Bot. 91: 953–965.
The smallish genus Hyospathe, present (though rarely encountered) in Costa Rica,
has proven unusually refractory to taxonomic analysis. Although as many as 18 spp. have
been recognized, the most recent revision, by Skov and Balslev (Nordic J. Bot. 9:
189–202. 1989), accepted just two. We followed the last-mentioned authors for the
purposes of the Manual Arecaceae treatment, but noted that H. elegans Mart., the
sp. occurring in Costa Rica, appeared highly and suspiciously variable in other parts of
its geographic range (particularly Panama). In the present paper, NY palm specialist
Andrew Henderson applies multivariate statistical analysis and the
Phylogenetic Species Concept to delimit a total of six Hyospathe spp., two of
which (neither represented in Costa Rica) are described as new. Hyospathe elegans
remains the correct sp. name for virtually all Central American material (with H.
pittieri Burret “just reaching Panama”); however, Henderson now
distinguishes six subspp. of H. elegans, including three described as new and
two based on new combinations. All the Costa Rican material is referred to the endemic
H. elegans subsp. costaricensis Andrew Hend. subsp. nov., while three
of the remaining subspp. are endemic (or very nearly so) to Panama. The bulk of the paper
is devoted to the character analyses; the taxonomic part is synoptic in nature, with
synonymy and typology at all levels, keys to spp. and subspp., and quantitative
descriptions of all infrageneric taxa, but lacking a formal genus description and
(except for types) specimen citations.
Kriebel, R. 2004. Two new species and one new name in the Gesneriaceae from
Costa Rica. Rhodora 106: 43–51.
All three novelties dealt with in this paper involve the genera Nautilocalyx
and Paradrymonia, which (as acknowledged by the author) are extremely similar.
The two new spp. are Nautilocalyx purpurascens Kriebel and Paradrymonia
alata Kriebel, both endemic to Costa Rica, where they occur at low elevations
(below 850 m) on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca. The former sp.
is distinguished by its purplish foliage and flowers with two opposite nectary glands,
the latter by its large leaves with winged petioles, lance-ovate calyx lobes distinct
almost to the base, and large corollas. The new name, Nautilocalyx biserrulatus
Kriebel, is occasioned by the generic reassignment of the Costa Rican endemic sp.
heretofore known as Paradrymonia bullata Gómez-Laur. &
Chavarría, the original epithet being preoccupied in Nautilocalyx
by N. bullatus (Lem.) Sprague (1912). The new generic placement is supported
by a tabular comparison. A full description and comprehensive specimen citations are
provided for N. biserrulatus, and from the latter feature it may be concluded
that a recent report of Paradrymonia ommata L. E. Skog from Costa Rica [see
The Cutting Edge 9(3): 3, Jul. 2002] is now considered to have been based on a
specimen representing P. bullata (i.e., Nautilocalyx biserrulatus).
However, this may not be the end of the story: the author suggests that P.
ommata may also prove to be a Nautilocalyx, and perhaps even conspecific
with N. biserrulatus (in which case, P. ommata is the oldest name),
but prudently withholds judgment pending additional collections of P. ommata
(currently known only by its Panamanian type). Both new spp. are illustrated in fine
composite line drawings by INBio’s Claudia Aragón. This
paper marks the published debut (as far as we are aware) of newest INBio curator
Ricardo Kriebel [see
The Cutting Edge 10(3): 2, Jul. 2003], from whom we can expect to hear a whole lot
--, J. González & E. Alfaro. 2004. Symplocos retusa (Symplocaceae),
una nueva especie de Costa Rica. Lankesteriana 4: 47–59.
…and a lot sooner than we expected! Symplocos retusa Kriebel, Gonz. Ram.
& Alfaro, one of two provisionally named spp. in the recently submitted Manual draft
treatment of Symplocaceae [see
The Cutting Edge 11(2): 3, Apr. 2004], is based on three
collections from the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca at ca. 1800–2650 m
elevation; though nominally endemic to Costa Rica, one of the stations is Las Alturas de Cotón, very near the Panamanian border. The new sp. is most similar to another Costa
Rican endemic, Symplocos tribracteolata Almeda, from which it differs in its
entire, apically retuse leaf-blades (vs. serrate or crenate and apically acuminate) and
5-merous, purple flowers (vs. 6-merous and white to pink). Illustrated with a fine
composite line drawing by Claudia Aragón.
Incidentally, beginning with this issue, Lankesteriana is adopting the
conventional system of issues nested within volumes; previously, each issue was numbered
separately, as though a volume unto itself. The present issue is somewhat arbitrarily
designated as issue 1 of Volume 4, and a scheme is presented for assigning issue and
volume numbers, retroactively, to the previous eight issues. This will undoubtedly be
overlooked by most everyone, and ambiguity will forever dog the usage of these early
volume numbers (particularly 4–8). For our part, we will endeavor to tow the
company line in future Manual installments. Nonetheless, we feel it would have been
much smarter to have simply designated this as the inaugural issue of Volume 9.
Lobo C., S. 2003. Colección tipo del Herbario Nacional de Costa Rica
(CR). IV. Revisión y actualización de las monocotiledóneas. Brenesia 59-60: 21–34.
This account completes the author’s revision of monocot type material at CR [see
The Cutting Edge 10(2): 9, Apr. 2003], supplementing a previous contribution
covering the entire group. The present work accounts for 192 type specimens in the
families Orchidaceae, Poaceae, Smilacaceae, Triuridaceae, and Zingiberaceae. Among the
categories included are holotypes, isotypes, lectotypes, isolectotypes, and neotypes,
as well as clonotypes, paratypes, phototypes, and xerotypes. Best represented are
isotypes, comprising 40% of the total. All protologues are referenced, and synonymy is
Luer, C. A. 2004. Systematics of Pleurothallis subgenus
Acianthera (Orchidaceae) and three allied subgenera. Pp.
1–114 in, C. A. Luer, Icones pleurothallidinarum XXVI. Monogr. Syst.
Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 95: 1–265.
Pleurothallus subg. Acianthera (Scheidw.) Luer, one of about 29
subgenera of Pleurothallis in the author’s classification, is
characterized by its sessile leaves and terminal inflorescences of solitary or
racemosely arranged, more or less fleshy flowers with connate lateral sepals. The
author explicitly refutes generic ranking for this taxon, as recently proposed by
Pridgeon and Chase [see
The Cutting Edge 9(1): 9–10, Jan. 2002] on the basis of their molecular
analyses. Its title glosses over the fact that this revision is not comprehensive:
“the species with distributions limited to southern South America” are
omitted, to be treated in a forthcoming installment. Of the remainder, 94 spp. are here
treated in full, including 13 attributed to Costa Rica. This latter contingent includes
no additions to or major changes for the Costa Rican flora, as according to Luer’s
Manual treatment of Pleurothallis. We note just one minor change:
Pleurothallis cingens Ames & C. Schweinf., indicated (questioningly) as a
synonym of P. pantasmi Rchb. f. in the Manual, is here listed (sans query) in
the synonymy of P. circumplexa Lindl. Includes a key to spp. (unindented) and
specimen citations (representative for some spp.). Four new spp. are described, none
relevant to us. In a more or less separate section, three new subgenera are described to
accommodate spp. previously assigned to subg. Acianthera, but with
“floral aberrations inconsistent with the subgenus.” The new subgenera are
briefly characterized, and the seven spp. involved are accorded the same formal treatment
as those of subg. Acianthera. Of these seven, only Pleurothallis
cachensis Ames and P. lepidota L. O. Williams (together comprising subg.
Unguella Luer) are definitely known from Costa Rica; however, P.
aberrans Luer (of the monospecific subg. Aberrantia Luer) and P.
butcheri Luer (one of four spp. in subg. Didactylus Luer) both occur in
western Panama and were attributed to Costa Rica by Pupulin [see
The Cutting Edge 9(4): 10–11, Oct. 2002]. A sp. key is provided for subg.
Didactylus. An index to scientific names, a bibliography, and a set of 114
composite line drawings (four to a page, representing most spp.) serve for all four
subgenera. [N.B.: the title given above is our own amalgam of the two alternative
versions confusingly presented in the journal, neither of which is entirely
--. 2004. Systematics of the genus Zootrophion (Orchidaceae). Pp.
211–232 in, C. A. Luer, Icones pleurothallidinarum XXVI. Monogr. Syst.
Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 95: 1–265.
Including the three new spp. and three new combinations validated in this work,
Zootrophion now comprises a total of 18 spp. However, none of the novelties
affects the Costa Rican flora, still with the same four Zootrophion spp.
featured in Luer’s Manual treatment. The only significant development for us is
that we can now provide more exact locality data for Z. williamsii Luer, as
follows: “Bosque muy húmedo, pluvial y nuboso, 600–1550m; vert.
Carib. y cerca de la División Continental, Cord. Central.” Because the
only two Costa Rican specimens of Z. williamsii flowered in cultivation, we
remain ignorant of its flowering phenology in the wild. In terms of its basic features
and sp. treatments, this revision is essentially identical to the foregoing one.
--. 2004. New genera and combinations in the Pleurothallidinae. Pp.
253–265 in, C. A. Luer, Icones pleurothallidinarum XXVI. Monogr. Syst.
Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 95: 1–265.
In a staggering and totally unexpected about-face, the author suddenly embraces a
“phylogenetic” classification of Pleurothallis s. l., apparently
abandoning the venerable “systematic” classification perpetuated in his
Manual treatment and contentiously defended, barely two years ago [see
The Cutting Edge 10(1): 8, Jan. 2003], against the sweeping, molecular-based
changes proposed by Pridgeon and Chase [see
The Cutting Edge 9(1): 9–10, Jan. 2002]. In the quest for
“monophyletic” genera, Luer now trumps even Pridgeon and Chase
(P&C), atomizing Pleurothallis s. l. into at least 27 segregates (we
don’t have his entire classification), of which 13 are represented in Costa
Rica (as opposed to just six in the system of P&C). Seven names were already
available at generic rank, but 16 names reflect changes of status (i.e., elevations
from subgeneric or sectional rank); of the latter, 12 are new combinations and four
nomina nova. The remaining four generic names (none applicable to Costa Rican spp.)
embody new taxa. At the sp. level, 632 new combinations are validated (by our count),
more than half of which (364) are in Specklinia, cryptically characterized
as “already polyphyletic.” Luer’s criteria for evaluating monophyly
are not indicated, but if he was influenced at all by P&C’s cladograms, he
certainly has not adhered to them strictly. For example, Anathallis and
Phloeophila, distinct genera according to P&C, “blend within
Specklinia,” in the view of Luer, who lumps them accordingly. Also,
circumstantial evidence suggests that Luer retains Acostaea, rather than
including it within Specklinia as per P&C. And our Costa Rican colleagues
will be pleased to learn that the genus Brenesia rides again in the system
of Luer, as a result of the removal of its type sp. [now Brenesia johnsonii
(Ames) Luer] from Acianthera, where it was assigned by P&C, to the genus
called Echinosepala (and before that Echinella) by the latter
At first glance, one is tempted to dismiss most or all of the new names in this
paper as invalidly published under Art. 34.1 of the Code—i.e., either because
they are “not accepted by the author,” or are “merely proposed in
anticipation of the future acceptance of the group concerned, or of a particular
circumscription, position, or rank of the group.” Indeed, this very volume
features the author’s revision of Pleurothallis subg. Acianthera
[see two entries back], in which no inkling of the new classification can be found. On
the contrary, the following statement appears in the introductory paragraph:
“Because of close relationships, the existence of intermediates, and obvious
morphological similarities to other infrageneric taxa of Pleurothallis,
Acianthera is logically treated as a subgenus…instead of removal from
the genus as recently proposed…” However, upon closer inspection, one
notes the following parenthetical caveat at the head of the enumeration of new
combinations: “This list is added too late to alter the preceding pages.”
Thus, one must assume that Luer will adopt his new “phylogenetic”
classification in future publications (particularly his impending Flora
mesoamericana contributions), and it may be even said that the validity of his
new combinations is contingent upon this.
At more immediate risk are the seven new names (four new spp. and three new
subgenera) proposed in the aforementioned Acianthera revision, all
rechristened at the end of same volume. This situation is addressed by Art. 34.2:
“When, on or after 1 January 1953, two or more different names based on the same
type are proposed simultaneously for the same taxon by the same author (so-called
alternative names), none of them is validly published.” The subgeneric names
(elevated to generic rank at the end of the volume) may or may not be saved by the
second sentence of Art. 34.2: “This rule does not apply in those cases where
the same combination is simultaneously used at different ranks, either for
infraspecific taxa within a species or for subdivisions of a genus within a
genus.” However, all four sp. names involved (none of which are applicable to
Costa Rican taxa) would appear to be invalid, in both Acianthera and
Plunkett, G. M., J. Wen & P. P. Lowry II. 2004. Infrafamilial classifications
and characters in Araliaceae: insights from the phylogenetic analysis of nuclear (ITS)
and plastid (trnL-trnF) sequence data. Pl. Syst. Evol. 245:
The significant findings of this study are considerable, but we are most interested in
those involving Schefflera. As noted by the authors, “over the past
thirty years, the definition of Schefflera has been broadened to include all
araliads having once palmately compound leaves, and lacking both articulated pedicels
and prickles or arms.” The result has been that numerous genera traditionally
regarded as distinct have been absorbed into Schefflera in recent years. Among
these, our readers will be most familiar with Didymopanax, but the list also
includes many well known horticultural subjects, e.g., Brassaia,
Dizygotheca, and Tupidanthus. Accordingly, Schefflera has
swollen to ca. 650 spp., i.e., about half the sp. total for the family Araliaceae.
The plant-book (1997) went so far as to state that Schefflera is
“prob. congeneric with Hedera.” However, in an abrupt turnabout,
the present analyses strongly suggest (in agreement with other recent studies) that
Schefflera s. l., even without Hedera, is polyphyletic. The 19
Schefflera spp. represented in this study resolve (congruently in all three
data sets) into at least five well separated clades, with the neotropical contingent
(represented by two unidentified South American spp.) distant from the clade containing
the generic type. Moreover, the same five clades (none of which approaches
Hedera) are apparent in the preliminary results of an unpublished molecular
study (involving two of these same authors) focusing more intensively on
Schefflera. The authors aver that “massive taxonomic revisions may be
needed to reflect phylogenetic relationships among the species currently treated in
Schefflera.” One of the data sets suggests that Dendropanax
may also be polyphyletic along New World/Old World lines; however, this indication
is highly preliminary, and the generic type [D. arboreus (L.) Decne. &
Planch.] is one of our own.
Ramos García-Serrano, C. & J. P. Del Monte. 2004. The use of tropical
forest (agroecosystems and wild plant harvesting) as a source of food in the Bribri
and Cabecar cultures in the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Econ. Bot. 58: 58–71.
An interesting study, by two Spanish workers, in which 84 spp. of food plants (both
native and introduced) were identified as utilized by Bribrí and Cabécar
populations in Costa Rica. These plants are enumerated in an appendix (with numerous
misspellings and some obvious misidentifactions), which also records vernacular names,
life zones, parts used for food, and other uses. Vouchers, though allegedly collected
and deposited at CR and MAA, are not cited in the appendix or elsewhere. A fine
addition to the rather meagre literature on Costa Rican ethnobotany.
Schneider, H., S. J. Russell, C. J. Cox, F. Bakker, S. Henderson, F. Rumsey, J.
Barrett, M. Gibby & J. C. Vogel. 2004. Chloroplast phylogeny of asplenioid ferns
based on rbcL and trnL-F spacer sequences (Polypodiidae, Aspleniaceae)
and its implications for biogeography. Syst. Bot. 29: 260–274.
These analyses confirm previous conclusions that Hymenasplenium is the sister
taxon of the remaining asplenioid ferns, with all other satellite genera of
Asplenium embedded in the latter clade. As noted by the authors, three
broad classificatory options are thus tenable: to classify all asplenioid ferns in a
single genus, Asplenium; to recognize only Asplenium and
Hymenasplenium; or to segregate a variable number of additional genera,
according to the constraints imposed by the cladograms. The final option is rejected
as likely to create “ill-defined genera,” to require several new generic
names, and to conflict with hybridization among different clades. The authors appear
to favor the second option (recognition of Hymenasplenium), citing the
absence of hybridization with other clades as an important factor. Costa Rican
Asplenium spp. referable to Hymenasplenium include A.
delitescens (Maxon) L. D. Gómez, A. laetum Sw., A.
riparium Liebm., and A. volubile N. Murak. & R. C. Moran [see
The Cutting Edge 3(1): 11, Jan. 1996]. Genera commonly recognized as distinct
that would be returned to Asplenium include Loxoscaphe and
(presumably) Schaffneria, though the latter was not included in this study.
Asplenium s. l. exhibits “a separation of the deeper branches into
tropical and temperate clades,” at odds with the usual (in ferns) separation
into Old and New World clades.
--, A. R. Smith, R. Cranfill, T. J. Hildebrand, C. H. Haufler & T. A. Ranker.
2004. Unraveling the phylogeny of polygrammoid ferns (Polypodiaceae and
Grammitidaceae): exploring aspects of the diversification of epiphytic plants. Molec.
Phylogenet. Evol. 31: 1041–1063.
This landmark contribution analyzes nucleotide sequences from three plastid loci for
98 spp. in the large, important, and taxonomically intractable group of ferns referenced
in the title. Four major monophyletic lineages emerge, of which the smallest, including
Loxogramme, is sister to the clade comprising the remaining three lineages. The
authors consider the possibility of separating a family Loxogrammaceae, but reject it on
morphological grounds. Of the remaining three major lineages, two are exclusively
paleotropical and thus of no interest to us. The third comprises the vast majority of
neotropical Polypodiaceae (with some circumtemperate members), in which are nested the
monophyletic, pantropical Grammitidaceae. Because of the latter circumstance, the authors
propose to reinstate Polypodiaceae as a more broadly defined family that includes the
grammitids. The cladograms presented herein suggest that, within Grammitidaceae,
Terpsichore may be polyphyletic; however, very few spp. of Grammitidaceae were
studied, in deference to a pending, more intensive study of that group by Ranker.
One of the major conclusions of this paper is that Polypodium, “as
traditionally defined,” is “grossly polyphyletic,” with its spp.
segregating into at least four major “recognizable” lineages.
Polypodium plesiosorum Kunze and P. rhodopleuron Kunze are among
the very few Costa Rican spp. belonging to the same clade as the generic type (the
Eurasian Polypodium vulgare L.), and thus the only ones certain to remain in
the genus Polypodium. Those Polypodium spp. with persistent scales
on the fronds, including P. furfuraceum Schltdl. & Cham., P.
myriolepis H. Christ, P. polypodioides (L.) Watt, and P. rosei
Maxon (all known from Costa Rica), occur polyphyletically in a clade with
Dicranoglossum, Neurodium, and Pleopeltis (the last
presumably including Marginariopsis); the authors advocate uniting all of
these taxa under the generic name Pleopeltis (while explicitly excluding
Pseudocolysis, sister to the rest). A third lineage comprises members of
the Polypodium subpetiolatum Hook. group (with no Costa Rican representatives
mentioned), together with the genus Pecluma, from which separation “is
not supported”; Phlebodium, sister to this lineage, is explicitly
excluded. The final major lineage of “traditionally defined” neotropical
Polypodium spp., appearing in a sister-group relationship with Grammitidaceae,
consists of the P. loriceum L. and P. triseriale Sw. sp.-groups, also
including (in Costa Rica) such spp. as P. fraxinifolium Jacq., P.
levigatum Cav., P. ptilorhizon H. Christ, and P. wiesbaueri
Sodiro. Apparently, no alternative name at generic rank is available for this group.
Campyloneurum, Microgramma (including Solanopteris), and
Niphidium are all monophyletic and unimpacted; however, Niphidium is
sister to the the very similar Campyloneurum, in which it could thus be
justifiably submerged. Hyalotrichopteris (often sunk into Campyloneurum)
was not studied.
Szlachetko, D. L. 2004. Matériaux pour la révision des
Habenariinae (Orchidaceae, Orchidoideae)—5. Richardiana 4: 103–108.
The author’s ongoing fragmentation of Habenaria (for which no cogent
rationale is offered) finally has consequences for Costa Rica with the description of
his new genus Platantheroides. Of the 34 new combinations here validated,
three apply directly to spp. occurring in Costa Rica: Platantheroides alata
(Hook.) Szlach., P. eustachya (Rchb. f.) Szlach., and P. strictissima
(Rchb. f.) Szlach. The last-mentioned sp. is illustrated with a composite line drawing.
Taylor, C. M. 2004.The neotropical genus Ronabea (Rubiaceae,
Lasiantheae). Syst. Geogr. Pl. 74: 35–42.
The deterioration of Psychotria continues with the segregation of a genus of
three spp., denominated by Ronabea Aubl., based on morphological as well as
molecular criteria. These data suggest that Ronabea is not even a member of
tribe Psychotrieae, but is instead more closely related to Lasianthus and
allies. Diagnostic characters of Ronabea include triangular, persistent
stipules, axillary, bracteate, congested inflorescences, relatively small, white,
usually distylous flowers with valvate corolla lobes, bilocular ovaries with solitary,
basal ovules, drupaceous, blue-black fruits, unilocular pyrenes with a flat, smooth
adaxial surface and a preformed germination lid, relatively large embryos, and soft,
oily endosperm. The genus is exclusively neotropical, with two of its three spp.
occurring in Costa Rica: Ronabea emetica (L. f.) A. Rich. (formerly
Psychotria emetica L. f.) and R. latifolia Aubl. [previously known as
Psychotria erecta (Aubl.) Standl. & Steyerm.]. This is a synoptic treatment
that includes synonymy and typology at all ranks, a brief generic description, a key to
spp., and short distrubution summaries, but lacks sp. descriptions and specimen
citations. Ronabea latifolia is depicted in a composite line drawing. Taxonomic
history and generic relationships and characteristics are discussed at length in the
first half of the paper.
Torke, B. M. 2004. Two new species of Swartzia (Leguminosae) from the
Amazon basin of Brazil, with notes on the genus and a key to the unifoliolate species.
Syst. Bot. 29: 358–365.
It is the dichotomous “Key to the commonly or strictly unifoliolate species and
varieties of Swartzia” that most interests us; we intend to give it a try
on the two Swartzia spp. at La Selva that have long been lumped under the name
S. simplex (Sw.) Spreng.
Vaughan, D. A. 2003. Appendix I. Revised key to species in the genus
Oryza. Pp. 347–351 in, J. S. Nanda & S. D. Sharma (eds.),
Monograph on genus Oryza. Science Publishers, Inc., Enfield, NH.
This dichotomous key, annotated with information on distribution, habitat,
morphology, and ploidy, identifies the 22 spp. of Oryza (Poaceae) accepted by
this author. Rather less conservative is Chapter 3 of this same volume, “Species
of genus Oryza and their interrelationships” (S. D. Sharma, pp.
73–111), in which three additional spp. are segregated, including Oryza
glumipatula Steud., comprising the New World material of Oryza rufipogon
Griff. sensu Vaughan (and the Manual). Vaughan’s key is revised with respect to
his 1994 contribution, The wild relatives of rice (Int. Rice Res. Inst., Los
Banos, Philippines), which probably ought to have been cited in the Manual.
Yearsley, G. 2004. Josef Ritter von Rawiez Warszewicz (1812–1866).
Orchid Rev. 112: 155–159, 171.
Features the standard photographic portrait of Warszewicz, as well as biographical
information of general interest; however, much of this article is a litany of
Warszewicz’s numerous orchid discoveries throughout the Neotropics, illustrated
with the gaudy plant photos that are de rigueur for these orchid journals.