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Volume XIII, Number 3, July 2006
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Achille, F., T. J. Motley, P. P. Lowry II & J. Jérémie. 2006.
Polyphyly in Guettarda L. (Rubiaceae, Guettardeae) based on nrDNA ITS sequence data.
Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 93: 103-121.
Andersson, L., M. Kocsis & R. Eriksson. 2006. Relationships of the genus
Azorella (Apiaceae) and other hydrocotyloids inferred from sequence variation in three
plastid markers. Taxon 55: 270-280.
The 21 spp. of Guettarda involved in this study wound up in four separate clades, with
the majority of neotropical spp. in the same clade as the generic type (the paleotropical G.
speciosa L.). This would presumably secure membership in Guettarda for most of
the 10 or so spp. occurring in Costa Rica; however, since only three of these were included in the
study, we can be certain only of G. macrosperma Donn. Sm. This “Guettarda
sensu stricto” clade is “characterized by dichasial cymes (sometimes reduced to solitary
flowers) and a caducous calyx with a circular abscission zone.” At least three other Costa
Rican congeners could well end up in other genera, based on this evidence. Guettarda
crispiflora Vahl and (by association) the closely related G. tournefortiopsis (Rusby)
Standl. occur in a separate clade, sister to the oligotypic Hawaiian genus Bobea.
Were these Guettarda spp. to be accorded generic status (separate from Bobea),
Tournefortiopsis Rusby would be the operative name. Also remote from the
Guettarda s. str. clade is G. acreana K. Krause, sister to the type sp. of
Stenostomum, a genus comprising most of the neotropical spp. formerly referred to
Antirhea (now restricted to the Old World). The authors conclude that “it
might thus be appropriate to include...G. acreana within Stenostomum.”
Their results also confirm the distinctness of Antirhea s. str. from Stenostomum
(as well as from Pittoniotis).
The genus Azorella, as presently conceived, is paraphyletic; however, no resolution is
ventured, in lieu of "denser sampling and more informative data." We cannot even speculate as to the
fate of the sole Costa Rican representative, A. biloba (Schltdl.) Wedd., because the generic
type (A. filamentosa Lam.) was not included in the study. Consistent with previous
results, these analyses portray Hydrocotyle as "closely related to core Araliaceae."
Andersson, S. 2006. On the phylogeny of the genus Calceolaria (Calceolariaceae) as
inferred from ITS and plastid matK sequences. Taxon 55: 125-137.
Tribe Calceolarieae, consisting of Calceolaria and two minor satellite genera (neither
occurring in Costa Rica), has traditionally been classed in Scrophulariaceae, but was recently
elevated to family rank on the basis of molecular studies [see
The Cutting Edge 8(2):
12–13, Apr. 2001]. The present analyses provide strong support for Calceolarieae
as monophyletic (and for one of the satellite genera as nested within Calceolaria), and
moderate support for a sister-group relationship with Gesneriaceae. If the last-mentioned
hypothesis proves to hold water, we’d vote to include Calceolarieae in Gesneriaceae; what
the hey, Calceolaria looks enough like a gesneriad to us, and who needs another little
stray family floating around?
Christenhusz, M. J. M. & H. Tuomisto. 2005. Some notes on the taxonomy,
biogeography and ecology of Danaea (Marattiaceae). Fern Gaz. 17: 217-222.
Danaea was monographed very recently, with 17 spp. accepted for the entire genus
[see The Cutting Edge 12(2):
14, Apr. 2005]. According to the present authors, who are revising Danaea yet
again, that monograph featured “a large degree of synonymization...with which we do not
agree.” Indeed, the second author has already published a paper discriminating 18
Danaea spp. in Ecuador alone, and two other papers proposing eight additional new spp.
from various regions are cited as “in press.” Having said all of that, the
purpose of the present paper is not at all obvious to us. We do learn that the spp. known in
Costa Rica as Danaea nodosa (L.) Sm. will probably wind up being called D. media
Liebm., and that D. alata Sm. (attributed to Costa Rica in the aforementioned monograph)
is in fact “confined to the Lesser Antilles.” For anything more substantive
than that, we’ll have to await the formal revision.
Christenson, E. A. 2006. Brevilongium, a new orchid genus from the
Neotropics. Austral. Orchid. Rev. 71(1): 32-33.
Here the author presents the original English manuscript of a paper already published in
French (and reviewed in this column of our last issue).
-- . 2006. Das frühere Phragmipedium caudatum aus Panama/The former
Phragmipedium from Panama. J. Orchideenfr. 13: 141-143.
This story now rivals or even trumps the celebrated case of Sphagneticola trilobata
(L.) Pruski [see The
Cutting Edge 4(1): 7, Jan. 1997]. The rare, epiphytic orchid long known as
Phragmipedium caudatum (Lindl.) Rolfe or P. warszewiczianum (Rchb. f.)
Garay was rechristened in 1999 as “Phragmipedium humboldtii (Warsz.
ex Rchb. f.) J. T. Atwood & Dressler” (the name used in the Manual), on
the grounds that the first two names had been misapplied. In the same paper, the
Mexican Phragmipedium exstaminodium Castaño, Hágsater & J.
Aguirre was subordinated to P. humboldtii at subspecific rank [see
The Cutting Edge 6(3):
3, Jul. 1999]. More recently, the name P. humboldtii was revealed as
invalid, and replaced by the newly coined Phragmipedium popowii Braem, Ohlund
& Quéné [see
The Cutting Edge 12(1): 4–5, Jan. 2005]. There we thought the story had ended,
but we missed an important subsequent paper by Manual Orchidaceae coordinator Robert L.
Dressler (Orchid Digest 69: 86–91. 2005), acknowledging his error with
respect to P. humboldtii. However, he continued to regard P. exstaminodium
as distinct only at the subspecific level from the taxon known (for the previous year or so) as
P. popowii; thus the latter name became a synonym of P. exstaminodium (which
has priority at sp. rank) under Dressler’s classification. But rather than validate a
new combination based on Phragmipedium popowii for the southern (Panama and perhaps
Costa Rica) subsp. of P. exstaminodium, Dressler created a new taxon name, P.
exstaminodium subsp. warszewiczii Dressler. Cased closed? Not on your
life! Now Florida orchid maven Eric Christenson has unearthed a much
older name, overlooked for more than a century, that exerts priority over all contenders.
This is Selenipedium warscewiczii Rchb. f. (1873), upon which the author bases the
combination Phragmipedium warscewiczii (Rchb. f.) Christenson (and yes, Virginia,
substantival and adjectival epithets based on the same personal name are permissible within a
single genus). Christenson does agree with Dressler’s notion of a subspecific
relationship between the Mexican and Panamanian taxa already alluded to, prompting another new
combination, Phragmipedium warscewiczii subsp. exstaminodium (Castaño,
Hágsater & J. Aguirre) Christenson. This latter action suggests that
Selenipedium warscewiczii was based on material corresponding to the Panamanian subsp.
(as seems probable from the epithet alone), although Christenson, rather curiously, avoids any
mention of types. Indeed, he provides no evidence at all for his equation of S.
warscewiczii with P. exstaminodium sensu Dressler, other than to state that the
former name is “based on the earlier Cypripedium caudatum var. roseum
Hort.,” itself an ambiguously typified entity (in all fairness, though, we should note
that Dressler himself effectively cited the latter name as a synonym of P.
This is, taxonomically as well as nomenclaturally, one of the most volatile and confusing
situations we have yet encountered. If we accept Christenson’s interpretation,
the correct name for the taxon called Phragmipedium humboldtii subsp. humboldtii
in the Manual is currently P. warscewiczii (Rchb. f.) Christenson subsp.
warscewiczii (though you may want to hold off on annotating your copies). But
even if the story really does end here, we are left with a nomenclatural rubble of mind-boggling
perplexity, including three separate, heterotypic entities based on the same personal name
(variously spelled) in the same genus, all of which have been used at one time or another
for the same taxon (we refer to Phragmipedium warscewiczii, P. warszewiczianum,
and P. exstaminodium subsp. warszewiczii), not to mention both Phragmipedium
exstaminodium subsp. warszewiczii and P. warscewiczii subsp.
exstaminodium (which apply to different taxa). By the way, although Christenson
uses the spelling “warszewiczii,” we consulted the protologue and
established that Selenipedium warscewiczii is correct (hence Phragmipedium
Clark, J. L., P. S. Herendeen, L. E. Skog & E. A. Zimmer. 2006. Phylogenetic
relationships and generic boundaries in the Episcieae (Gesneriaceae) inferred from nuclear,
chloroplast, and morphological data. Taxon 55: 313-336.
These are the raw data on which the first author’s reestablishment of Glossoloma,
restricting Alloplectus to just seven spp. [see
The Cutting Edge13(2):
3–4, Apr. 2006], was predicated. Episcieae is the largest tribe of Gesneriaceae,
with 22 genera, all but one of which (the monospecific Lampadaria) were represented in this
study. Most of the sampled genera are supported as monophyletic, in most cases strongly
(though Drymonia received only weak support). Especially significant is the strong
support for Columnea as a single monophyletic genus, as opposed to the five segregate
genera distinguished by the late Hans Wiehler. Alsobia and
Episcia are upheld as separate genera, while Oerstedina and Rufodorsia
are strongly supported as sister taxa (though only one sp. each was studied). Notably, the
evidence for Glossoloma as distinct from Alloplectus—one of the primary
interests of the authors—is equivocal. One of the data-sets weakly supports a
sister-group relationship of these taxa, suggesting that “they could be treated as
congeners following traditional classification.” Nonetheless, the authors “argue
that they should be treated as distinct genera because their recognition is practical since they
are morphologically distinct with well defined morphological synapomorphies.” We
would counter with our maxim that, unless cladistic data provide strong evidence to the contrary,
the nomenclatural status quo should prevail.
Dalton, R. 2006. Cashing in on the rich coast. Nature 442: 567-569.
INBio gets some much-needed attention in a big-time journal, and an even more sorely needed
shot in the arm in the form of $3.5 million in NIH funding over the next four years. This would
appear to bode well for a worthy institution that had recently fallen on hard times, as detailed
herein. At least from our reading of this article, the future looks bright, and we sincerely hope
that it pans out that way!
Dathe, S. & H. Dietrich. 2006. Comparative molecular and morphological studies
in selected Maxillariinae orchids. Willdenowia 36 (Special Issue): 89-102.
Analyses of nuclear ribosomal DNA sequences support Orchidaceae subtribe Maxillariinae as
monophyletic. However, the pivotal genus Maxillaria is itself “clearly
paraphyletic”; nested within it are Cryptocentrum, Mormolyca, and
Trigonidium, all generally accepted as distinct genera, as well as numerous occasional
or former segregates, e.g., Camaridium, Chrysocycnis, Heterotaxis,
Neo-urbania, and Ornithidium. Camaridium, Heterotaxis,
and Ornithidum are themselves polyphyletic, contrary to previous studies that spurred
the recent reestablishment of Heterotaxis
[see The Cutting Edge
13(1): 10, Jan. 2006]. The authors conclude that “further multidisciplinary
studies are required to decide if and how Maxillaria s. l. can be divided in smaller
genera.” Well, obviously it can be! The other question we would ask is not
how, but why?
Drábková, L., J. Kirschner & Č. Vlček. 2006.
Phylogenetic relationships within Luzula DC. and Juncus L. (Juncaceae):
a comparison of phylogenetic signals of trnL-trnF intergenic
spacer, trnL intron and rbcL plastome sequence data. Cladistics
This study corroborates a previous one by the same lab
[see The Cutting
Edge 11(2): 6, Apr. 2004] in portraying Luzula as monophyletic, but
Juncus as non-monophyletic. The problem for Juncus is that the
oligotypic, Southern Hemisphere genera Distichia, Oxychloe,
Patosia, and Rostkovia are all nested within it, in a sister-group
relationship with a clade containing the generic type of Juncus. Taking
these cladograms at face value, the only two Costa Rican representatives of Juncus
included in this study (J. bufonius L. and J. effusus L.) would find
themselves in a different genus under any reclassification scheme that involved
Fior, S., P. O. Karis, G. Casazza, L. Minuto & F. Sala. 2006.
Molecular phylogeny of the Caryophyllaceae (Caryophyllales) inferred from chloroplast
matK and nuclear rDNA ITS sequences. Amer. J. Bot. 93: 399-411.
We gather that Arenaria is quite seriously polyphyletic; however, we cannot assess
the potential impact for us, as no spp. occurring in Costa Rica were included in the study.
González, J. 2005. Plantas comunes de la Reserva Biológica
Hitoy Cerere/Costa Rica/Common plants of the Hitoy Cerere Biological
Reserve. Edit. INBio, Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica. 245 pp.
This most recent of INBio field guides presents superb color photos and informed discussions
for 71 plant spp. occurring at the Reserva Biológica Hitoy Cerere, an area of nearly
10,000 ha, on the Caribbean slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca ranging from ca. 100–1025 m
elevation. The spp. accounts are grouped according to eight categories, based on habit and
basic leaf features. Each sp. photo in the main section is paired with text providing a
brief description, diagnosis, summaries of distribution and phenology, and “notes.”
Featured families are described in a separate section toward the back, followed by miscellaneous
photos of other spp. mentioned in the volume (unaccompanied by text), a glossary, and an index.
In his introduction, the author describes topography and vegetation of the reserve, listing many
common spp. Perplexingly, numerous spp. alleged as conspicuously abundant in the introduction
are not included in the main section of the work, e.g., Acacia ruddiae D. H. Janzen and
Zygia longifolia (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) Britton & Rose
(Acacia/Mimosoideae), Fleischmannia sideritides (Benth.) R. M. King & H. Rob.
(Asteraceae), and Gynerium sagittatum (Aubl.) P. Beauv. and Pennisetum purpureum
Schumach. (Poaceae). Also omitted are a few local specialties, viz., Herpetacanthus
stenophyllus Gómez-Laur. & Grayum (Acanthaceae) and Nyssa talamancana
Hammel & N. Zamora (Cornaceae). On the other hand, we do get excellent color photos
(possibly the first ever published) of several rare or little-known spp., e.g., Clarisia
mexicana (Liebm.) Lanj. (Moraceae), Cleidion castaneifolium Müll. Arg.
(Euphorbiaceae), and Lecointea amazonica Ducke (Fabaceae/Faboideae). For those
fortunate enough to visit Hitoy Cerere, this volume will be an indispensable companion.
Fully bilingual (Spanish/English).
Hágsater, E. 2006. The genus Epidendrum. Part 5.
Species new & old in Epidendrum. Icon. Orchid. 8: pl. 801-900.
Another century of Epidendrum spp. is paraded forth, but this time only 32 are
new; the rest are “old species which are now botanically illustrated with their
precise determination based on the most recent information available.” Eleven of
the new spp. are from Costa Rica: Epidendrum acroamparoanum Hágsater
& L. Sánchez, E. atypicum Hágsater & E. Santiago, E.
chalcochromum Hágsater, E. dolichochlamys Hágsater & E.
Santiago, E. haberi Hágsater & L. Sánchez, E.
microrigidiflorum Hágsater, E. pachytepalum Hágsater & E.
Santiago, E. philowercklei Hágsater & E. Santiago, E. platystomoides
Hágsater & L. Sánchez, E. salpichlamys Hágsater & E.
Santiago, and E. vulgoamparoanum Hágsater & L. Sánchez (the last
applying to the sp. previously known as E. amparoanum Schltr., here revealed as a
synonym of E. barbeyanum Kraenzl.). These novelties are all Costa Rican endemics
with the exception of E. microrigidiflorum, E. pachytepalum, E.
philowercklei, and E. vulgoamparoanum, all shared with Panama. Curiously,
most are from páramo or high elevations, habitats that had not previously yielded many
Epidendrum spp. Among the “old” Epidendrum spp. are most
of those that were treated in the Manual in the genus Oerstedella, since abandoned
by Hágsater [see
The Cutting Edge 12(3): 5, Jul. 2005]. The sp. entries are alphabetically arranged,
and each comprises a full page, front and back; one side features a
composite line drawing, the other typology and synonymy, a formal, bilingual (Spanish/English)
description, specimen citations, a distribution summary and diagnostic paragraph, information
on conservation status (usually indeterminable) and etymology, and a range map. In many
cases, the specimen citations are shunted to an appendix (oddly, in the front of the
volume). Adding Pupulin’s three new spp. (see this column), our running total of
new orchid spp. described from Costa Rica since the inception of this newsletter jumps to
240. Considering also the merger of Oerstedella, the Costa
Rican sp.-total for Epidendrum now hovers in the vicinity of 185 (vs. 158 in the era
of the Manual Orchidaceae treatment).
Hammel, B. 2005. Plantas ornamentales nativas de/Costa Rica/
Native ornamental plants. Ed. 3. Edit. INBio, Santo Domingo de Heredia,
Costa Rica. 269 pp.
Already in its third edition, the best-selling title in INBio’s field-guide series has
a fresh, new look. Compared with the first edition
[see The Cutting Edge
6(4): 6, Oct. 1999], the format is larger (sleeker and not so chunky), and the relative
positions of the English and Spanish texts have been changed. Inevitably, some of the
photos have been upgraded. An appendix provides illustrations of 41 additional spp.,
including some that have never or rarely been cultivated, as a means “to demonstrate
[the] rich potential of Costa Rican native plants.” A key component of any
Costa Rican plant library!
Hofreiter, A. 2006. Bomarea edulis (Tussac) Herb., a nearly
forgotten pre-Columbian cultivated plant and its closest relatives (Alstroemeriaceae).
Feddes Repert. 117: 85-95.
Bomarea edulis was cultivated in pre-Columbian times for its tubers (up to 5 cm
in diameter), which “are eaten like roasted potatoes and also a white cream is produced
from them.” These are said to be still consumed in parts of Mexico and Guatemala,
as are those of B. acutifolia (Link & Otto) Herb. This synoptic treatment
of B. edulis and four similar and closely related spp. features a key to separate the
four subgenera of Bomarea, along with the five spp. here treated (all members of the
autonymic subgenus, which harbors all the spp. with edible tubers). Of the five chosen
spp., only B. edulis and B. obovata Herb. occur in Costa Rica (for some reason,
B. acutifolia is left out). Each sp. entry includes full synonymy and typology
and exsiccatae citations, but only B. edulis merits a detailed morphological description,
distribution summary, and discussion. Illustrated with photos from herbarium specimens
and a range map for B. edulis.
Jenny, R. 2003–2004. The genus Stanhopea. Caesiana 21-22: 1-291.
Although the author refers to this as a “revision,” it does not quite meet our
criteria, as there is no key to spp. and no new taxa. What it is is a rich compendium of
information on all 56 spp. of the neotropical genus Stanhopea (Orchidaceae), as well
as one subsp. and six hybrids; for good measure, both spp. of the segregate genus Embreea
are thrown in. Each taxon entry includes synonymy, a detailed description, specimen
citations, an often extensive discussion, and illustrations (mostly color photos from life).
The introductory part pays lip service to phylogeny (by reproducing borrowed cladograms),
and also addresses generic characteristics, taxonomic history, pollination, culture, and
hybridization and breeding. This is presented in two consecutively paginated parts (with
the spp. ordered alphabetically), and may have been published originally as two separate issues
of Caesiana; however, the MO copy is bound as a single volume.
Jordaan, M. & A. E. van Wyk. 2006. Sectional classification of
Gymnosporia (Celastraceae), with notes on the nomenclatural and taxonomic
history of the genus. Taxon 55: 515-525.
Gymnosporia is once again characterized as “an Old World genus” by these
South African workers [see
The Cutting Edge 6(4): 7, Oct. 1999], but this time they do acknowledge the existence of
“three non-thorny species from the New World” (including the Costa Rican G.
haberiana Hammel), the generic affinity of which “needs to be critically examined...,
as these taxa may constitute a new genus.” The authors admit that both the Old
and New World spp. are “dioecious trees and share the same dichasial cymose inflorescence
and capsule types.” However, in addition to lacking thorns, the New World spp.
differ in having flowers “tending to be 4-merous” and in being “large
rain-forest trees, up to 30 m high.” By contrast, the Old World
Gymnosporia spp. have flowers that are “usually 5-merous” and
“usually grow in arid regions, in savanna and open thicket habitats.”
Kappelle, M. 2006. Structure and composition of Costa Rican montane oak
forests. Pp. 127–139 in, M. Kappelle (ed.), Ecology and conservation
of neotropical montane oak forests. Ecol. Stud. Analysis Synth. 185: 1-483.
This contribution documents the geographical and elevational distribution of
Quercus spp. (Fagaceae) in Costa Rica, as well as the phytogeography,
structure, and floristic composition of Costa Rican oak forests. Surprisingly (to us),
nearly 75% of the vascular plant genera in these forests have a tropical distribution, the
greatest affinity being with the Colombian Andes. About 1300 vascular plant spp. have
been recorded from Costa Rican oak forests, including about 750 spp. of dicots, 250 spp.
of monocots, and over 300 spp. of pteridophytes. Nearly 500 spp. are woody. The
largest angiosperm families are Asteraceae (60+ spp.), Rubiaceae (50+ spp.), Piperaceae
(40+ spp.), Lauraceae and Melastomataceae (each with 35+ spp), and Ericaceae and Solanaceae
(each with 30+ spp.). Considering all vascular plants, the most diverse genera are
Elaphoglossum (30+ spp.), Peperomia (25+ spp.), and Maxillaria
and Miconia (each with 20+ spp.). We focus on this chapter as representative
of this rich and multi-faceted volume, which addresses a fascinating range of topics relevant
to neotropical oak forests. More than half of its 34 chapters deal largely or
exclusively with Costa Rica.
Kathriarachchi, H., R. Samuel, P. Hoffmann, J. Mlinarec, K. J. Wurdack, H. Ralimanana,
T. F. Stuessy & M. W. Chase. 2006. Phylogenetics of tribe Phyllantheae
(Phyllanthaceae; Euphorbiaceae sensu lato) based on nrITS and plastid matK DNA
sequence data. Amer. J. Bot. 93: 637-655.
Phyllanthus “in its traditional circumsciption” is paraphyletic, with
several smaller genera including Breynia and Sauropus (both cultivated in
Costa Rica) nested therein. The authors advocate lumping these smaller genera to
fashion a new Phyllanthus s. l. with “an estimated 1269 species, making it one
of the ‘giant’ genera.” Assuming their cladograms to be substantially
correct, the pursuit of any option involving splitting would segregate the Phyllanthus
spp. occurring in Costa Rica into at least four smaller genera. Phyllanthus
acuminatus Vahl, P. anisolobus Müll. Arg, P. caroliniensis Walter,
P. graveolens Kunth, P. niruri L., and P. salviifolius Kunth might
all remain in Phyllanthus s. str.; however, P. acidus (L.) Skeels (cultivated
in Costa Rica), P. amarus Schumach. & Thonn., and P. urinaria L. would have
to be assigned to three different genera.
Kriebel, R. 2006. A new species and notes on Drymonia (Gesneriaceae)
from Costa Rica. Novon 16: 65-86.
The new sp., Drymonia rubripilosa Kriebel, is endemic to Costa Rica, where it occurs
at 50–300 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera Central and northern Cordillera
de Talamanca, and on the Llanura de San Carlos. It was first found and distinguished at the
Estación Biológica La Selva, where it is sympatric with the very similar D.
multiflora (Oerst. ex Hanst.) Wiehler. As implied by its epithet, Drymonia
rubripilosa differs from D. multiflora (which typically occurs at higher elevations)
in its reddish (vs. whitish) pubescence, but also by its generally larger leaf-blades, shorter
pedicels, and larger calyx lobes. The new sp. was already included as provisionally named in
the author’s Manual draft treatment of Gesneriaceae
[see The Cutting Edge 12(3):
1–2, Jul. 2005]. Illustrated with an excellent composite line drawing by
INBio’s Claudia Aragón.
Lammers, T. G. 2006. Validation of names at subspecific rank in North American
Campanulaceae. Novon 16: 69-73.
Inevitably, some of these novelties impact us in an oblique manner. The validation of two
Mexican subspp. (elevated from varietal rank) in Lobelia irasuensis Planch. & Oerst.
automatically establishes the autonymic subsp. for use in southern Central America. Similarly,
the subordination of Triodanis biflora (Ruiz & Pav.) Greene to T. perfoliata
(L.) Nieuwl. as a subsp. creates the corresponding autonym, which would presumably apply to the
Costa Rican populations of T. perfoliata.
Maas, P. J. M. & L. Y. T. Westra. 2005. Neotropical plant families.
3 ed. Gantner Verlag, Ruggell [Liechtenstein]. 358 pp.
This handy reference provides brief descriptions and other critical details (number of genera
and spp., distribution, uses, literature, etc.) for every family of vascular plants known to occur
in the Neotropics. Many are illustrated with drawings, but there is no key of any sort.
The big innovation, in the latest edition of this vademecum, is that all angiosperm family
circumscriptions are now according to the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG) system
(the previous edition having followed Cronquist). Families are grouped by order and higher
groups (these, for angiosperms, also following APG); as far as we can tell, alphabetical sequencing
is not observed at any level. Includes a glossary and indices to vernacular and scientific
Maas-van de Kamer, H. 2006. (1721) Proposal to conserve Canna tuerckheimii,
nom. cons. (Cannaceae) against an additional name, C. sylvestris.
Taxon 55: 531.
The author has already successfully proposed that Canna tuerckheimii Kraenzl. (used as
an accepted name in the Manual) be conserved against three earlier names
[see The Cutting Edge
12(1): 10, Jan. 2005]. Here she tacks on one more, C. sylvestris Roscoe, at
least as obscure as the names already rejected.
Nicolson, D. H. 2006. (1720) Proposal to conserve the name Caladium
(Araceae) with a conserved type. Taxon 55: 529-530.
A thorough and erudite bibliographic investigation has established that the earliest
effective lectotypification of Caladium Vent. applied that name in the modern sense
of Colocasia [indeed, the name Caladium is derived from keladi, a
Malay word for Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott]. This proposal seeks to uphold
the prevailing and very long-standing usage of two familiar genus names by designating
Caladium bicolor (L.) Vent. as the conserved type of Caladium. In
the exceedingly unlikely event this proposal should fail, then (if we follow the proposal
correctly) the name Caladium would replace Colocasia for an Old World genus
that includes the cultivated taro (now Colocasia esculenta), and would itself be
replaced by Phyllotaenium André (designating a New World genus that includes
the familiar ornamental currently called Caladium bicolor).
Ossenbach, C. 2006. Orchids in Costa Rica. Part I: The era of
Rudolf Schlechter. Orchids (West Palm Beach) 75: 38-47.
This new series runs parallel to a similar one, dealing with Central American orchid
history, recently launched by the same author (see this column in our last issue).
Despite its title, the first installment is mostly devoted to what we could call the Pittier
era, when most of the Costa Rican field work that would fuel Schlechter’s orchid
descriptions was realized. In addition to Pittier himself, Biolley, Tonduz,
Wercklé, the Brade brothers, and Brenes are all discussed in some detail. And
finally we learn something about Guillermo Acosta (1878–1955), a
wealthy businessman! Sidebars address the significance of type specimens and the
cultivation of Ponthieva brenesii Schltr. Features many excellent (mostly
color) illustrations, including a black-and-white photo of Doña Amparo de
Zeledón that is different (and more flattering) than the one used in the
-- . 2006. Orchids in Costa Rica. Part II: Charles H. Lankester and
Oakes Ames. Orchids (West Palm Beach) 75: 120-127.
The focus here is squarely on Lankester, an Englishman long resident in Costa Rica,
whose collections were a principal basis of the many Costa Rican orchid spp. described by
Harvard botanist Ames. It turns out that Ames was in direct competition with “the
Germans” (i.e., Schlechter, working with the collections of Tonduz, Brenes, etc.), and
recruited Lankester as a means “to keep abreast” of their efforts. The
collaboration lasted 20 years, and accomplished its goal (as an appended list of new orchid
spp. collected by Lankester will attest). In a story all too familiar to botanists,
Lankester died (in 1969) “having spent his last years in a difficult economic condition.
” But his was a long and rich life, and anyone interested in the details should
begin with this article. The cultivation of myrmecophilous orchids is addressed in a
sidebar. Among the many illustrations are several rare photos from Lankester’s
-- . 2006. Orchids in Costa Rica. Part III: Rafael Lucas Rodríguez.
Orchids (West Palm Beach) 75: 198-205.
This is an objective consideration of Dr. Rafael Lucas Rodríguez, the
most revered and influential Costa Rica biologist of the mid-20th century. Rodríguez
earned his Ph.D. at the University of California (Berkeley) under the late Lincoln
Constance, who later characterized Don Rafa as a conflicted figure, “‘torn
between a career as a professional biologist...or as an artist.’” Although he
had no aptitude for horticulture, was out of his element in the field, and described just one new
plant sp., Rodríguez played critical founding roles in the establishment of the University
of Costa Rica Department of Botany, the Revista de Biología Tropical, the
Organization for Tropical Studies, the Costa Rican Orchid Society, and the Lankester Botanical
Garden. His dissertation was a masterful study of Myrrhidendron (Apiaceae), but
Rodríguez will best be remembered by botanists for his beautiful and scientifically
accurate watercolors of Costa Rican orchids, over 1000 in all, most of which have never been
published. Rodríguez’s foray into orchid illustration was instigated by
Charles H. Lankester (see previous entry). Copiously illustrated.
-- . 2006. Orchids in Costa Rica. Part IV: the Charles H. Lankester
Botanical Garden. Orchids (West Palm Beach) 75: 284-291.
This contribution (which we gather to be the last in this series) charts the course of
the Lankester Botanical Garden (LBG), near Cartago, from a small, private collection
(purchased ca. 1973 by the University of Costa Rica for $50,000) to “the most important
center for orchid research in Central America and the Caribbean.” This remarkable
transformation has been overseen by just two directors, the late Dora Emilia Mora de
Retana (1979–2000) and Jorge Warner (2000–present).
Mora de Retana produced the illustrated series Icones Plantarum Tropicarum (in
collaboration with John T. Atwood) and a checklist of Costa Rican orchids
(with the late Joaquín B. García Castro), and organized the
first orchidology course at the University of Costa Rica (with Robert L. Dressler).
Under Warner’s watch, the garden achieved the status of “experimental
station” and launched the highly successful taxonomic journal Lankesteriana,
edited by staff-members Franco Pupulin and (later) Carlos O.
Morales. Sidebars by Warner and Diego Bogarín discuss
(respectively) orchid conservation in Mesoamerica and orchid collections at LBG. Features
numerous photos, including several of historical interest.
Persson, C. & E. Ljungstrand. 2006. (1716) Proposal to conserve Duroia,
nom. cons. (Rubiaceae, Gardenieae) against an additional name, Coupoui.
Taxon 55: 227-238.
The overlooked Coupoui Aubl. (1775) threatens Duroia L. f. (1782), an
established name for a neotropical genus of some 20–25 spp., at least one of which
occurs in Costa Rica.
Pirie, M. D., S. Kankainen & P. J. M. Maas. 2005. Revision and phylogeny of
Cremastosperma (Annonaceae). Pp. 87–188 in, M. D. Pirie,
Cremastosperma (and other evolutionary digressions): molecular phylogenetic, biogeographic,
and taxonomic studies in Neotropical Annonaceae. Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. Utrecht,
Netherlands. 256 pp.
This is one of five chapters (and the only one of interest to us) in what we take to be an
effectively published thesis (although one of the other chapters has already been published
elsewhere, and two have been submitted). The revision of Cremastosperma is
state-of-the-art, with moleculary phylogeny, both dichotomous and synoptical keys, and plenty
of maps and illustrations. None of the 31 accepted spp. is newly validated herein, and
two are given only provisional names, “Cremastosperma spec. A” and
“spec. B.” The former designation applies to the only sp. occurring
in Costa Rica, which means that we don’t get no satisfaction! Although we have
known of this apparently endemic sp. for more than 20 years, no one has managed to collect
flowering material, deemed necessary by the authors (though they acknowledge that, “on the
basis of the fruits, Cremastosperma spec. A appears distinct”). We hope to
get to the bottom of this before the Manual Annonaceae treatment goes to press.
Prince, L. M. & W. J. Kress. 2006. Phylogenetic relationships and
classification in Marantaceae: insights from plastid DNA sequence data. Taxon
Calathea, the largest genus in Marantaceae, is paraphyletic, with spp.
occurring in two distinct lineages. Considering only those sampled spp. represented
in Costa Rica, Calathea crotalifera S. Watson occupies the smaller clade, while
the larger clade includes C. foliosa Rowlee ex Woodson, C.
gymnocarpa H. Kenn., C. micans (L. Mathieu) Körn., C. vinosa
H. Kenn., and C. warscewiczii (L. Mathieu) Planch. & Linden. The authors
do not suggest possible synapomorphies for these clades and, pending sampling of the type
sp. (Calathea discolor G. Mey., = C. lutea Schult.), cannot say which
clade should retain the name Calathea. Ischnosiphon and
Pleiostachya emerge as sister taxa, but the resolution of this study was
insufficient to determine whether they should be merged.
Pruski, J. F. & G. Sancho. 2006. Conyza sumatrensis var.
leiotheca (Compositae: Astereae), a new combination for a common Neotropical
weed. Novon 16: 96-101.
Despite its name, Conyza sumatrensis (Retz.) E. Walker (Asteraceae) is
“seemingly native to the Neotropics,” where it has been much confused with
the closely related C. bonariensis (L.) Cronquist and C. canadensis
(L.) Cronquist, more familiar names both. These authors adopt a relatively inclusive
concept of C. sumatrensis, at the expense of the latter two spp., involving two
vars.: the autonymic var., now a pantropical weed, and C. s. var. leiotheca
(S. F. Blake) Pruski & G. Sancho (comb. nov.), restricted to the Neotropics.
The latter var. resembles and has been confused with Conyza canadensis, whereas
the same can be said about the autonymic var. with respect to C. bonariensis.
We know that both vars. of Conyza sumatrensis occur in Costa Rica, because
specimens are cited. We strongly suspect that C. bonariensis and C.
canadensis do as well, based on the authors’ statement that “each species
now occurs pantropically”; however, we cannot be certain in the absence of voucher
citations. A dichotomous key is presented for the four taxa discussed in this
paragraph (all of which have sometimes been included in Erigeron). A fine
composite line drawing (by the second author) depicts capitular and floral features of
C. sumatrensis var. leiotheca.
Pupulin, F. [“and collaborators”]. 2005. Vanishing beauty:
native Costa Rican orchids. Vol. 1. Acianthera–Kegeliella. Edit.
Univ. Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica. 421 pp.
Having already established himself as a superlative artist, Jardín Botánico
Lankester orchidologist Franco Pupulin abundantly demonstrates his equally
accomplished photographic skills in this first volume of his heralded magnum opus on Costa
Rican orchids [see
The Cutting Edge 11(4): 1–2, Oct. 2004]. The introduction consists of an
absorbing, 20-page historical resumé of Costa Rican orchidology, co-authored by
Pupulin and colleague Carlos Ossenbach, who has published much of this
separately (see this column). The genus entries follow, in alphabetical order, and
the volume concludes with a bibliography and index to scientific names. Each genus
entry is anchored by a textual account and features at least one color photo (several, in
most cases). The photos, mostly by Pupulin, are all exquisitely rendered and
detailed. The accounts, written by a wide variety of well chosen and internationally
renowned experts, vary in their length, content, and relevance to Costa Rica, depending on
the genus and the familiarity of the author(s) with the Costa Rican flora. The volume
embraces all the most recent new generic circumscriptions suggested by molecular research,
e.g., Chelyorchis, Cohniella, Cuitlauzina, Cyrtochiloides,
Epilyna, Guarianthe, Heterotaxis, and the Pleurothallis
segregates advocated by Pridgeon & Chase
[see The Cutting Edge
9(1): 9–10, Jan. 2002]. Three new spp. are published, all based on plants
flowering in cultivation: Chondroscaphe yamilethiae Pupulin (as “
yamilethae”), from 1200–1300 m elevation on the Pacific slope of the
Cordillera de Talamanca; Dichaea filiarum Pupulin, from 800 m on the Atlantic slope
of the Cordillera Central (Monumento Nacional Guayabo); and Galeandra arundinis
Garay & G. A. Romero, from the San Carlos region. All three novelties are illustrated
with a composite line drawing, as well as at least one color photo. A new form is also
validated (Comparettia falcata Poepp. & Endl. f. alba Pupulin), as well
as a new combination pertaining to a taxon not recorded from Costa Rica. Some names are
used that are still apparently unpublished (e.g., in Dichaea). At least one
sp., Encyclia amanda (Ames) Dressler, is vouchered for the first time (as far as
we know) for Costa Rica. Additionally, a few spp. are newly (at least from our perspective)
attributed to Costa Rica, e.g., Bletia edwardsii Ames and Heterotaxis sessilis
(Sw.) F. Barros, albeit without voucher citations.
Although this work does not include keys to spp. or even checklists, it will serve as an
invaluable adjunct to the identification of Costa Rican orchids (at least to genus) by virtue
of its many excellent photos. Are only major criticism would be that, in some cases, the
photos are too many. For example, Cattleya dowiana Bateman is depicted
in eight virtually interchangeable (to our undiscerning eyes) color photos, occupying seven
pages; space and considerable expense could have been saved by selecting just one of these.
Also, a few photos portray spp. not known from Costa Rica (e.g., Acineta
sella-turcica Rchb. f.), a fact that is not made evident in every case.
Rakotondrainibe, F. & T. Deroin. 2006. Comparative morphology and rhizome
anatomy of two new species of Zygophlebia (Grammitidaceae) from Madagascar and notes
on the generic circumscription of Zygophlebia and Ceradenia. Taxon
The title gives it away: the discovery of two new Madagascan spp. of Grammitidaceae
blurs the distinction between Ceradenia and Zygophlebia (both of which occur
in Costa Rica), suggesting that a redefinition of the latter genus is needed.
This would appear to be one more strike against the reigning generic classification of
The Cutting Edge 11(4): 12, Oct. 2004], and further reason to return to the traditional
Grammitis s. l.
Robson, N. K. B. 2006. Studies in the genus Hypericum L. (Clusiaceae).
Section 9. Hypericum sensu lato (part 3): subsection 1. Hypericum
series 2. Senanensia, subsection 2. Erecta and section 9b. Graveolentia.
Syst. Biodivers. 4: 19-98.
This is the ninth installment in the author’s protracted monograph of the major genus
Hypericum, and completes his coverage of sect. Hypericum s. l. None of
the spp. treated here reaches Costa Rica; indeed, as far as we are aware, all the Costa Rican
Hypericum spp. have already been dealt with in this series. We cite this paper
mainly because it features “an introduction to the genus and a summary of the aims and
methods of the project.”
Rojas Alvarado, A. F. 2006. Notas sobre Enterosora Baker (Filicales:
Grammitidaceae) en Costa Rica. Lankesteriana 6: 9-13.
Two entities previously regarded as of hybrid origin are here accepted (albeit somewhat
tentatively) as good spp., on the grounds that they are fertile and more abundant locally than
their purported parents. The name Enterosora bishopii A. Rojas sp. nov. is
applied to material that has previously gone by the apparently unpublished name
“Enterosora ×symmicta L. E. Bishop,” supposed to be a
hybrid between E. campbellii Baker subsp. spongiosa (Maxon) L. E. Bishop
and E. trifurcata (L.) L. E. Bishop. Specimens previously considered as hybrids
between Enterosora percrassa (Baker) L. E. Bishop and E. trifurcata may
now be determined as Enterosora enterosoroides (Christ) A. Rojas comb. nov. (based on
Polypodium enterosoroides Christ). Both erstwhile hybrids are widespread in the
Costa Rican cordilleras, principally at elevations of 1200–2000 m, and extend into
westernmost Panama (though only Costa Rican specimens of E. enterosoroides are cited).
Both are illustrated with images from herbarium specimens.
Smith, G. F., A. E. van Wyk, M. Luckow & B. Schrire. 2006. Conserving
Acacia Mill. with a conserved type. What happened in Vienna? Taxon 55:
Well, we’ve been following this story, so why stop here? It was predictable that
the rest of the world would be outraged by the official decision to conserve the name
Acacia with an Australian type. These authors (two of which are based in South
Africa) provide some of the lurid details of the political machinations that went on behind
the scenes in Vienna, culminating in the egregious ruling
[see The Cutting Edge
12(4): 1, Oct. 2005]. It turns out, despite all kinds of nefarious subterfuges, the
majority of members in the Nomenclatural Section (54.9%) actually voted against the conservation
proposal! The authors sagely pronounce that “exceptions should not be made to the
Code unless the case is overwhelming and in this instance it certainly was not”;
they suggest that “a fairer outcome would surely have been to let simple priority and
normal typification rule in this case.” We say, impeach the current rulers and
install these blokes! But the authors sign off with an ominous coda: “Bear
in mind that the ICBN does not prescribe what classification system to use, hence
the end-users of plant names now have a choice as to whether they want to use the name
Acacia in a strict or a wide sense.” Will reckless and ill-advised
decisions by the ruling nomenclatural junta inspire regional boycotts of robust new
classifications? Stay tuned!
Sousa S., M. 2005. Especies nuevas de Lonchocarpus (Millettieae:
Leguminosae) para Costa Rica y Panamá; lectotipificación de la sect.
Densiflori Benth./New species of Lonchocarpus (Millettieae: Leguminosae)
from Costa Rica and Panama; lectotypification of sect. Densiflori Benth. Revista
Mex. Biodivers. 76: 119-127.
Four new Lonchocarpus spp. are described here, of which three occur in Costa
Rica. Two are endemic to Costa Rica and further restricted, as implied by their
epithets, to the Monteverde region of the Cordillera de Tilarán. Curiously,
both Lonchocarpus haberi M. Sousa and L. monteviridis M. Sousa have only
been collected on the Pacific slope, the former at somewhat lower elevations
(600–1200 m) than the latter (1400–1600 m). Lonchocarpus haberi
(the only new sp. described here that does not belong to sect. Densiflori) is most
closely related to L. chiangii M. Sousa and L. oliganthus F. J. Herm.,
while L. monteviridis is nearest to L. luteomaculatus Pittier.
Lonchocarpus latisiliquus M. Sousa sp. nov. occurs in Panama as well as Costa
Rica; in the latter country it is known exclusively from the Estación Biológica
La Selva and environs, where it has previously been called L. heptaphyllus (Poir.)
DC. or L. pentaphyllus (Poir.) Kunth ex DC. It is indeed most
closely related to the latter two spp., which may or may not themselves occur in Costa
Rica. Includes a dichotomous, indented key to the nine spp. of sect.
Densiflori recorded from Costa Rica and Panama. All four new spp. are
illustrated with composite line drawings. Only the title and abstract are bilingual
(the rest is in Spanish).
Specht, C. D. 2006. Systematics and evolution of the tropical monocot
family Costaceae (Zingiberales): a multiple dataset approach. Syst. Bot.
This is one of the cladistic studies upon which the new classification of Costaceae
discussed under the following entry was predicated. Since we are only interested
in the classification...read on!
-- & D. W. Stevenson. 2006. A new phylogeny-based generic classification
of Costaceae (Zingiberales). Taxon 55: 153-163.
Cladistic analyses (see foregoing entry) of molecular data from both chloroplast and
nuclear genomes, in combination with morphological data, have established that the major,
pantropical genus Costus is polyphyletic. On the other hand, the three smaller
genera of Costaceae (including Dimerocostus, represented in Costa Rica) are
upheld as monophyletic. This paper, by two of the original investigators, formally
implements a new generic classification of Costaceae based on these cladograms (one of
which is reproduced). The authors’ solution is to divide Costus s. l.
into four smaller genera, three of which are described as new. Amazingly, this drastic
reconfiguration has minimal consequences for the Costa Rican flora, as all the indigenous spp.
treated under the name Costus in the Manual remain in Costus s. str.; the
three new genera are either paleotropical (Cheilocostus, Paracostus) or
restricted to South America (Chamaecostus). We only need to digest a single
nomenclatural change: the Asian Costus speciosus (J. Koenig) Sm., naturalized
in Costa Rica, becomes Cheilocostus speciosus (J. Koenig) C. Specht.
Dimerocostus remains intact. Other solutions were obviously possible (according
to the cladogram), but this one seems as good as any. Includes full synonymy and typology
(for the family, genera, and all lower names dealt with), family and genus descriptions, a key
to genera, and extensive discussions.
Taylor, C. M. 2006. Rubiacearum americanarum magna hama pars XVIII: new
species of Psychotria subg. Psychotria from Central America and western South
America. Novon 16: 142-154.
This time around the big bucket runneth over with new South American spp., nine in all, just
one of which barely reaches Costa Rica. Psychotria convergens C. M. Taylor is
centered in Colombia and Ecuador, with a disjunct population at about 2350–2600 m
elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca on both sides of the Costa
Rica/Panama border (mainly in the area known as “Valle de Silencio”). In
our area, the new sp. has been confused with Psychotria sylvivaga Standl., from which
it differs in its coarser pubescence and longer corollas, internally pubescent in a medial
ring (vs. above the middle). Illustrated with an excellent composite line drawing.
Weigend, M. 2006. Validating subfamily, genus and species names in
Loasaceae (Cornales). Taxon 55: 463-468.
Horror of horrors! Due to a new ruling implemented at the International Botanical
Congress in Vienna last year, many of the author’s new names in Loasaceae that had
been widely accepted as effectively published in this 1997 Ph.D. dissertation
(Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München) are now lost to us. This ruling
requires that, retroactively to 1 January 1953, “an independent non-serial work stated
to be a thesis submitted to a university or other institute of education for the purpose of
obtaining a degree [is] not effectively published unless it include[s] an explicit
statement...or other internal evidence that it was regarded as an effective publication by
its author or publisher” (quoting Weigend here, not the Code). Thus, not only
are the names of new genera, spp., etc., proposed in Weigend’s thesis now invalid, but
“all species which have since been described in or transferred to the new genera
appearing in the thesis require new publication.” The present paper begins the
task of re-validating all the author’s fallen names, addressing only those proposed in
the thesis itself. Among these, the genus names Nasa and Chichicaste
and the sp. name Chichicaste grandis (Standl.) Weigend are germane to Costa Rican
floristics. The author promises that “the other names [those proposed after his
thesis] will be published elsewhere in the near future.” We hope this is true,
since Loasaceae are due to appear in our next Manual volume! Two sp. names and one
subsp. name (all in Nasa) remain to be validated for Costa Rica. We expect
that this new ruling may impact other families as well.
Zhang, L.-B. & M. P. Simmons. 2006. Phylogeny and delimitation of the
Celastrales inferred from nuclear and plastid genes. Syst. Bot. 31: 122-137.
There is some vindication here for Manual co-PI Barry Hammel and
associates, as the two genera of Lepidobotryaceae (including Ruptiliocarpon)
“were unambiguously supported as a monophyletic group” in these analyses.
However, they are also “unambiguously supported as the sister group of
the Celastraceae/Parnassiaceae clade,” and thus “properly assigned to
Celastrales” (Barry’s team had posited a relationship with Euphorbiaceae or
Sapindales). Also of interest is the status of Perrottetia, traditionally
classed in Celastraceae but long recognized as anomalous within that family. Here,
it “was resolved as the sister group of the monotypic Tapiscia
(Tapisciaceae),” and therefore “should be transferred out of Celastraceae.
” By our reckoning, the closest relative of Perrottetia in
Costa Rica would thus be Huertea, traditionally a member of Staphyleaceae,
but assigned to Tapisciaceae by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group [see
The Cutting Edge
10(3): 5–6, Jul. 2003].