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Volume XIX, Number 3, July 2012
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Alves-Araújo, A. & M. Alves. 2012. Two new species and a new combination of Neotropical Sapotaceae. Brittonia 64: 23–29.
The combination Chromolucuma congestifolia (Pilz) Alves-Araújo & M. Alves is validated for the sp. (ranging from Costa Rica to French Guiana and western Brazil) that has been known as Pouteria congestifolia Pilz for the past 30 years. The generic transfer is rationalized by “the presence of stipules and yellow latex, which are uncommon” in Pouteria, but characteristic of Chromolucuma. Supplemented by a dichotomous and indented key to the four spp. of Chromolucuma recognized by these authors, including a Brazilian one described as new (a new Brazilian Pradosia sp. is also described).
Archila, F. 1999. Genero novarum. Revista Guatemal. 2(3): 31–43.
Back issues (including this way-back one!) of this obscure, homemade journal continue to trickle into the MO library. Here the author describes (or attempts to describe) three new monospecific genera of Orchidaceae, and takes a similar stab at validating the new combinations at sp. rank. On the surface of things, just one of the proposed new genera is represented in Costa Rica: Lockhartiopsis Archila, based on Lockhartia hercodonta Rchb. f. ex Kraenzl., and differentiated from Lockhartia on the basis of the kinds of floral details usually deployed only at sp. rank. However, as is the case with at least one of the other new genus names, Lockhartiopsis is dead on arrival (as is the sp. combination), because the author failed to formally designate a type (as required by ICBN Art. 37.6). As far as we can determine, in the 13 years that have elapsed since the publication of this article, the author has not corrected these errors. But this trivial and flawed paper does appear to contain a minor bombshell: contrary to the current indication in IPNI, one of the new genus names, Verapazia Archila, is surely valid (according to the conditions set forth in ICBN Art. 37). The genus Verapazia was regarded by its author as monospecific, with only the sp. formerly known as Pleurothallis exesilabia A. H. Heller & A. D. Hawkes (not known from Costa Rica). Now, it so happens that P. exesilabia—the type sp. of Verapazia (1999)—was definitely included (by citation of the name itself) in the genus circumscribed by Manual contributor Carlyle Luer under the name Muscarella [see The Cutting Edge 13(4): 6, Oct. 2006]. In other words, the genus name Muscarella Luer (2006) is nomenclaturally superfluous and illegitimate, according to ICBN Art. 52.1, with the correct name being Verapazia Archila; and of course, all of the combinations published under Muscarella (some 46 in all) must be similarly disregarded. At least six spp. occurring in Costa Rica are involved in this scenario: the former Pleurothallis aristata Hook., P. herpestes Luer, P. quinqueseta Ames, P. samacensis Ames, P. setosa C. Schweinf., and P. strumosa Ames [those being the names that were accepted in Luer’s (2003) Manual contribution]. In the system of Pridgeon and Chase [see The Cutting Edge 9(1): 9–10, Jan. 2002], perhaps more widely accepted than that of Luer, these spp. would all rest comfortably under the generic moniker Specklinia Lindl. (1830).
Barker, W. R. (B.), G. L. Nesom, P. M. Beardsley & N. S. Fraga. 2012. A taxonomic conspectus of Phrymaceae: a narrowed circumscription for Mimulus, new and resurrected genera, and new names and combinations. Phytoneuron 2012-39: 1–60.
About, face! A recent initiative to resolve the paraphyletic status of traditional Mimulus sought to preserve that genus name for the largest number of North American spp. to which it had been applied, deploying a strategy that involved lumping Hemichaena and Leucocarpus (the only two Costa Rican representatives of the alliance) into Mimulus and, ultimately, proposing conservation of the last-mentioned name with a new type. Our review of that paper [see this column under “Nesom” in The Cutting Edge 18(4), Oct. 2011], while lamenting the loss of Hemichaena and Leucocarpus, expressed skepticism that the last word had been spoken on the matter. Noting cynically that “the rewards in new combinations are potentially so great for the worker who would further break up Mimulus…that somebody is certain to charge down that path,” we predicted that the situation would remain “unsettled for many years to come.” But little did we dream that a complete reversal of position would be published less than a year later, in the same journal, by a team involving the same author (who himself reaps a hefty share of the aforementioned rewards). Suffice it to say that, in this latest contribution (which we sincerely hope will be the final word!), the name Mimulus is applied according to its original type (thus connoting a genus of only seven spp., just two of which are North American) and Hemichaena and Leucocarpus are restored to generic standing (meaning that we are off the hook). The remainder of Phrymaceae (of no concern to Costa Rican floristics) is apportioned among 10 genera, one of which is described as new. We also count nine new sections and seven new combinations at sectional rank. Innumerable new combinations (more than 136, by all indications) are validated at sp. and infraspecific ranks, mainly in Diplacus and Erythranthe for North American taxa traditionally included in Mimulus. The authors have also designated several lectotypes.
Barrington, D. S. 2012. The fern genus Polystichum (Dryopteridaceae) in Costa Rica. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 98: 431–446.
Twelve spp. of Polystichum are attributed to Costa Rica in this contribution, vs. 11 in the author’s (1995) Flora mesoamericana treatment of the genus. The numerical discrepancy is accounted for by the recently described Polystichum lilianiae Barrington [see The Cutting Edge 11(1): 3, Jan. 2004]. Nomenclatural discrepancies are also in evidence, mainly involving the reinterpretation of the names Polystichum fournieri A. R. Sm. and P. lehmannii Hieron., both of which were applied to Costa Rican material in the Meso account. Those names are now reserved for taxa restricted to Mexico and northern Central America (in the former case) or Andean South America (in the latter). The Costa Rican voucher cited under P. fournieri in Meso is now assigned to P. turrialbae Christ, a name omitted entirely from the Meso treatment (although P. lilianiae was evidently also included in the Meso concept of P. fournieri); and the Costa Rican population denominated by P. lehmannii in Meso is now referred to P. nudicaule Rosenst., disjunct from southern Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia (though the Meso voucher, for whatever reason, is not cited in this revision). Includes synonymy, typology, and descriptions for the genus and all of its spp., a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp., discussions, representative (and frustratingly meager) specimen citations, and sections on hybrids and excluded spp. There are no indices. The introductory portion focuses on identification problems and distribution within Costa Rica. Two pages of much reduced composite line drawings account for all 12 spp. There are no taxonomic novelties.
Barros, F. & L. R. S. Guimarães. 2010. New combinations and a new name in Brazilian Orchidaceae. Neodiversity 5: 26–33.
Only one item appears relevant to us here: the new combination Acianthera ciliata (Knowles & Westc.) F. Barros & L. R. S. Guim., based on Pleurothallis ciliata Knowles & Westc. (1837), is promoted as a replacement for (among other names) A. lanceana (Lodd.) Pridgeon & M. W. Chase, based on Pleurothallis lanceana Lodd. (1832). The last-mentioned name (including its date) is actually cited in synonymy. We are unable to fathom what these authors may have been thinking.
Becerra, J. X., K. Noge, S. Olivier & D. L. Venable. 2012. The monophyly of Bursera and its impact for divergence times of Burseraceae. Taxon 61: 333–343.
Responding to recent suggestions that Bursera may be paraphyletic with respect to the largely Old World Commiphora (of myrrh fame), these authors have conducted extensive molecular analyses that debunk said notion. Bursera is reaffirmed as monophyletic.
Borhidi, A. & S. Stranczinger. 2012. Combinaciones nuevas en la familia Rubiaceae de la flora de México. Acta Bot. Hung. 54: 81–84.
It isn’t every day that one encounters an article in Spanish in a Hungarian journal. This one is largely irrelevant to us, save for the new combination Palicourea buchtienii (H. J. P. Winkl.) Borhidi. This is based on Uragoga buchtienii H. J. P. Winkl., and seeks to replace Psychotria buchtienii (H. J. P. Winkl.) Standl., a name in recent use for a sp. occurring in Costa Rica. Peculiarly, the author cites “Psychotria officinalis auct. non (Aubl.) Raeusch. ex Sandwith” in synonymy, together with Palicourea swartziana Borhidi; however, Palicourea swartziana was proposed as a nomen novum based on Nonatelia officinalis Aubl., the basionym of Psychotria officinalis, and is perforce a synonym of (or perhaps even the accepted name for) the last-mentioned name. Worse, the new combination is an illegitimate homonym, predated by Palicourea buchtienii Standl. (1931). So it’s back to the drawing board on this one (something must have gotten lost in the translation).
Cetzal-Ix, W. & R. Balam Narváez. 2012. The identity and distribution of Lophiaris carthagenensis (Orchidaceae, Oncidiinae): two centuries of confusion. J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 139: 9–25.
The name Lophiaris is applied by these authors to a genus of 23 spp., ranging widely in the Neotropics but with a center of diversity in Mexico. This assemblage is a segregate from Oncidium in the sense of the Manual, but is “easily distinguished…by the abbreviated pseudobulbs, succulent conduplicate leaves, flexuous inflorescences, sepals and petals with reticulate venation, and the papillose outer surface of the perianth.” Just one sp. of Lophiaris (in the sense of this paper) was included formally in Robert L. Dressler’s (JBL) Manual treatment of Orchidaceae (2003), under the name Oncidium carthagenense (Jacq.) Sw. (though another was mentioned in the genus discussion as Oncidium luridum Lindl.). However, these authors demonstrate that the name Oncidium carthagenense has been misapplied to Mesoamerican material, and restrict their Lophiaris carthagenensis (Jacq.) Braem to Colombia and Venezuela. Mesoamerican populations heretofore referred to by those names are now separated into two different spp.: Lophiaris oerstedii (Rchb. f.) R. Jiménez, Carnevali & Dressler (cited as a synonym of O. carthagenensis in the Manual, though we got the authorities wrong), ranging from Mexico to southwestern Nicaragua; and L. crispiflora (Schltr.) Cetzal & Balam (a new combination based on Oncidium oerstedii Rchb. f. var. crispiflorum Schltr., nowhere mentioned in the Manual), ranging from eastern Honduras to Panama. In other words, Lophiaris crispiflora (with no combination yet available in Oncidium) becomes the correct name for the Costa Rican plants called Oncidium carthagenensis in the Manual. A new, putative hybrid sp. is also described, but does not concern us. Features a dichotomous key to separate Lophiaris carthagenensis, L. crispiflora, and L. oerstedii (as well as a tabular comparison of same), full synonymy and typology, distribution summaries, diagnostic statements, specimen citations, taxonomic commentaries, and distribution maps. All of the spp. dealt with are illustrated, mainly with line drawings of floral details.
Chiron, G. R. & C. van den Berg. 2012. Révision taxinomique du genre Acianthera (Orchidaceae, Pleurothallidinae). Richardiana 12: 59–77.
This is not at all what the title would lead one to believe: it is a revision of infrageneric taxonomy, dividing Acianthera (on the basis of molecular analyses) into 10 sections (miscounted by the authors as 9), one with three subsections. Nothing is accomplished at the sp. level, save for the validation of nine new combinations of no relevance to us. Moving right along…
Christenhusz, M. J. M., X.-C. Zhang & H. Schneider. 2011. A linear sequence of extant families and genera of lycophytes and ferns. Phytotaxa 19: 7–54.
The “linear sequence” presented here incorporates and (in part) supersedes the “fern” classification of Alan R. Smith (UC) and colleagues [see The Cutting Edge 13(4): 9–10, Oct. 2006] that has reigned over ferndom during the past six years, and involves one of the same authors (Schneider). Recent molecular advancements account for the relatively few changes at family rank, the more substantive of which (that affect us) are as follows: Athyrium, Cystopteris, Diplazium, and Hemidictyum are all moved from Woodsiaceae (left without representation in Costa Rica) into the oligogeneric families Athyriaceae (Athyrium and Diplazium), Cystopteridaceae (Cystopteris), and Diplaziopsidaceae (Hemidictyum; but see the following entry); Didymochlaena is transferred from Dryopteridaceae to the oligogeneric Hypodematiaceae; Lonchitis is removed from Lindsaeaceae to the monogeneric Lonchitidaceae; and the ever-meandering Nephrolepis, most recently in Lomariopsidaceae, is placed “tentatively in its own family” (Nephrolepidaceae). The most noteworthy changes at generic rank involve Eriosorus and Neurocallis (both Pteridaceae), which are at long last sunken into Jamesonia and Pteris, respectively; all of the combinations deemed necessary are validated in the name of the first author, although Eriosorus villosulus (Maxon) Scamman (accepted in Flora mesoamericana for a sp. attributed to Costa Rica) did not make the cut, presumably being regarded as a synonym of E. flexuosus (Christ) Copel. A few other observations at the rank of genus: the “vittarioid ferns” are stated rather alarmingly to be “embedded in the genus Adiantum,” though no changes are made pending “thorough taxonomic revision”; “nearly all segregates of Asplenium [including, e.g., Loxoscaphe and Schaffneria] nest within it” and are not recognized; and the dispecific and recently described genus Dracoglossum [see The Cutting Edge 15(2): 5, Apr. 2008], including the sp. we learned as Tectaria plantaginea (Jacq.) Maxon, shows up here (without comment) as an “insertis sedis” member of Dryopteridaceae. Includes a very useful index to genera, indicating the synonymy (where appropriate) and family placement of every fern genus name. Several suprageneric names (including Diplaziopsidaceae) are newly validated. Other papers in this same issue provide similar treatments for angiosperms and gymnosperms, but appear to break no new ground (at least, where Costa Rica is concerned).
—— & H. Schneider. 2011. Corrections to Phytotaxa 19: Linear sequence of lycophytes and ferns. Phytotaxa 28: 50–52.
Here (among other items that do not interest us) the genus Hemidictyum is removed from its short-lived home in Diplaziopsidaceae (see the previous entry) to the “independent family” Hemidictyaceae, which name is validated here for the purpose. The proposed transfer is based on “recent analysis” (cited as “in press”) showing Hemidictyum “to be sister to Aspleniaceae.” The authors acknowledge that said genus might be optionally included in Aspleniaceae (as it sometimes has been), but argue that “the latter is unwarranted because [morphological] synapomorphies of such a broadly defined Aspleniaceae are not yet known” and that “the separation of Hemidictyum and Aspleniaceae dates back to the Cretaceous…” So go flip a coin.
Cornejo, X., S. A. Mori, R. Aguilar, H. Stevens & F. Douwes. 2012.Phytogeography of the trees of the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. Brittonia 64: 76–101.
A checklist of the flowering plant spp. of the Península de Osa that has been compiled by the authors of this paper and is available at
includes 813 spp. classified as native trees. Among these, 454 spp. were selected for this phytogeographic analysis, which assigns each sp. to one of seven categories based on its overall geographic distribution (ranging from endemic in the Osa region to widespread throughout the Neotropics). The results show that 4.8% of the spp. under consideration are endemic to the Península de Osa and adjacent regions, and nearly 25% to southern Central America, whereas 44.5% are widely distributed throughout tropical America. As we have long been aware, the Osa tree flora has a strong affinity with that of northwestern South America, where 46.2% of Osa tree spp. also occur. The authors speculate on the origins of the Osa tree flora, and stress the importance of the Osa forests as a refuge for many spp. of limited distribution in southern Central America. Includes two extensive tables (one of which enumerates all 454 spp. used in the analysis) and numerous distribution maps.
Couvreur, T. L. P., P. J. M. Maas, S. Meinke, D. M. Johnson & P. J. A. Keβler. 2012. Keys to the genera of Annonaceae. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 169: 74–83.
Identification keys are provided for all 109 genera of Annonaceae currently recognized in the world flora. Separate keys are presented for the three major tropical realms, including one (by Paul Maas) for the 34 genera occurring in the Neotropics. The keys are dichotomous but, quite unfortunately, not indented; thus we will have to type them out and indent them ourselves if we wish to make sense of them. This paper appears in an issue of Bot. J. Linn. Soc. edited by L. W. Chatrou, R. H. J. Erkens, J. E. Richardson, R. M. K. Saunders, and M. F. Fay and dedicated entirely to The natural history of Annonaceae. Readers with a special interest in said family will no doubt find many other of the featured papers to be of interest.
Dressler, R. L. 2012. Sobralia decora: the species and its cousins in Mexico and Central America. Orchids (West Palm Beach) 81: 308–310.
Relentless field and herbarium work by Manual Orchidaceae coordinator Robert L. Dressler (JBL) has gradually unraveled the mysteries of the genus Sobralia, notoriously difficult because of its “delicate and short-lived” flowers. Bob’s latest revelation is that Sobralia decora Bateman, in the sense of its type, is restricted to northern Mesoamerica (southern Mexico to northern Honduras). Costa Rican material treated under the name S. decora in the Manual should (at least for the time being) be referred to Sobralia fenzliana Rchb. f. (which, we assume, includes S. neglecta Schltr. and S. panamensis Schltr. as synonyms, though those names are not mentioned in this paper). Sobralia decora and S. fenzliana differ in their habit and in the color and morphology of their flowers, with most of these aspects depicted in a line drawing and several color phographs of living material. The author characterizes S. fenzliana as “common in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama,” and cites a literature report extending the range southward to Ecuador. But the the story may not end here: the author has not seen authentic (South American) material of Sobralia sessilis Lindl. or S. yauaperyensis Barb. Rodr., names that have been applied to plants quite similar to S. fenzliana—and S. sessilis predates S. fenzliana!
Drew, B. T. & K. J. Sytsma. 2012. Phylogenetics, biogeography, and staminal evolution in the tribe Mentheae (Lamiaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 99: 933–953.
Most of this is out of our realm, but we are intrigued by the following appraisal by the authors: “A striking feature from both the cpDNA and nrDNA analyses is the number of genera that are not monophyletic.” Among the non-monophyletic genera enumerated are three that occur in Costa Rica: Clinopodium, Cunila, and Mentha, each characterized as paraphyletic. However, since none of the Costa Rican representatives of these genera were included in the study, we are unable to speculate on their potential fate.
Fernández-Alonso, J. L. 2011. Bombacaceae neotropicae novae vel minus cognitae IX. Una nueva especie de Matisia Bonpl. del Chocó Biogeográfico/Bombacaceae neotropicae novae vel minus cognitae IX. A new species of Matisia Bonpl. from the biogeographic Chocó. Caldasia 33: 413–426.
Here we learn that the Chocó biogeographic region extends northward into Atlantic Costa Rica and southeastern Nicaragua. That, in any case, is what is implied by the geographic range of the new sp. described in this paper, Matisia pacifica Fern. Alonso. It turns out that the name M. pacifica applies to Central American (and Chocó) populations that have been masquerading as Quararibea bracteolosa (Ducke) Cuatrec. (or Matisia bracteolosa Ducke, for those who do not mind paraphyletic genera). The last-mentioned sp. is restricted by this author to Amazonian South America, from Colombia to Peru and western Brazil. The two entities are separated “con claridad” by various details of the pedicels, bracteoles, calyces, and fruits. The new sp. is depicted in a pair of composite line drawings, Q. bracteolosa by photos of type specimens. Now, if someone will just validate the “necessary” combination for Matisia pacifica in Quararibea, we can get down to business!
França, F. & A. M. Giulietti. 2012. Lectotypifications, neotypifications, and epitypification in the genus Aegiphila Jacq. Neodiversity 6: 1–14.
The following names applicable to taxa occurring in (or that have been attributed to) Costa Rica are affected by these actions: Aegiphila deppeana Steud. (neotypified), A. elata Sw. (lectotypified), A. falcata Donn. Sm. (lectotypified), A. filipes Mart. & Schauer (lectotypified), A. martinicensis Jacq. (lectotypified), and A. mollis Kunth (lectotypified). As far as we can tell, prevailing usages are unaffected by the typifications per se; however, we were surprised to find Aegiphila elata (1788), long the accepted name for a common and widespread sp., synonymized under A. laevis (Aubl.) J. F. Gmel. [based on Manabea laevis Aubl. (1775), also lectotypified here]. Though commonly accepted in South America, the name Aegiphila laevis has rarely been applied to Central American material. The conclusions of this paper evidently derive from a 2003 doctoral thesis by the first author, comprising a taxonomic revision of Aegiphila, that has never been published.
Funk, V. A., C. Kelloff & R. Chan. 2012. Phylogeny and biogeography of the tribe Liabeae (Compositae subfamily Cichorioideae). Taxon 61: 437–455.
Only one item here seems marginally relevant to us: the genus Sinclairia (Asteraceae), which occurs in Costa Rica, is diminished by two spp., both lost to the resurrected Sinclairiopsis (endemic to Mexico).
Hills, H. G. 2012. Taxonomic revision of Dressleria (Orchidaceae, Catasetinae). Phytoneuron 2012-48: 1–28.
Twelve spp. are now recognized for this genus of gaudy orchids, vs. “quizás 8,” as according to the Manual Orchidaceae treatment (2003) by Robert L. Dressler. Otherwise, there are no substantive changes for Costa Rica: the same three spp. featured in the Manual are attributed to the country, under the same names. A few minor in-country range extensions may be detected, but there are no changes to the overall geographic ranges of the spp. occurring in Costa Rica. Includes a brief introduction, synonymy, typology and technical descriptions for the genus and each sp., a dichotomous and indented key to spp., distribution summaries, specimen citations, chemical characterizations of fragrances, illustration citations, and occasional notes. Each sp. is depicted in at least one black-and-white photograph or (in one case) a composite line drawing, sometimes supplemented by rather basic line drawings of flowers. One new sp. is described (from Ecuador).
Hind, N. 2012. 729. Erigeron karvinskianus. Compositae. Bot. Mag. 29: 52–65.
A monographic treatment—featuring a superlative color plate and composite line drawing—of a single sp. that is known from Costa Rica by just one collection, from an ostensibly adventive plant or population [see under “Nesom” & Pruski, this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(4), Oct. 2011]. Includes synonymy and typology, a generous description, and distribution and phenology summaries, as well as historical information and tips on cultivation and propagation. The bibliography is exhaustive.
Karremans, A. P. 2012. Illustrations and studies in Neotropical Orchidaceae. 3. On the identity of Dracontia pachyglossa and D. ramonensis; with a new species, D. lueriana (Pleurothallidinae). Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 113: 119–132.
The three spp. enumerated in the title of this paper are members of a taxon formerly called Pleurothallis subgen. Dracontia Luer, and the first two were treated under Pleurothallis in Carlyle Luer’s Manual account of that genus (2003). By that time, however, molecular evidence had already cast considerable doubt on the prevailing classification of Orchidaceae subtribe Pleurothallidinae, and the spp. of subgen. Dracontia had been transferred to Stelis by other workers [see The Cutting Edge 9(1): 9–10, Jan. 2002], with the relevant names in the latter genus duly included as synonyms in the Manual. A few years later, Luer himself acquiesced to the deconstruction of Pleurothallis s. l. [see The Cutting Edge 11(3): 10–11, Jul. 2004], but went about the task rather differently, with one result being the recognition of Dracontia (Luer) Luer as a genus unto itself. The author of the present paper, while acknowledging the close relationship of Dracontia to Stelis, maintains the former as a separate genus on the grounds that it forms “a well supported monophyletic clade which can easily be defined using morphological features,” and that said action “helps to better define Stelis itself on morphological grounds without loosing [sic] DNA based clade support.” He characterizes Dracontia as comprising “some 20” spp. ranging from Mexico to Panama and the Antilles, of which more than 75% occur in Costa Rica. This paper deals with just two of those spp., treated in the Manual under the names Pleurothallis pachyglossa Lindl. and P. ramonensis Schltr. While taxonomy is not an issue with the Manual entities (at least in terms of their Costa Rican manifestations), nomenclature has proven to be problematic. It turns out that, according to the conclusions of this author, Costa Rican material that has been passing as Pleurothallis pachyglossa should correctly be called Dracontia ramonensis (Schltr.) Luer, while Pleurothallis ramonensis in the sense of the Manual represents a heretofore undescribed sp., formally christened here as Dracontia lueriana Karremans. The real Dracontia pachyglossa (Lindl.) Luer (including Pleurothallis conanthera Rchb. f. and P. formosa Schltr. as synonyms) is restricted to Mexico and Guatemala. We actually gain an endemic sp. in this deal, as Pleurothallis pachyglossa in the sense of the Manual (i.e., Dracontia ramonensis in the sense of this paper) is now endemic to Costa Rica, while Pleurothallis ramonensis in the sense of the Manual (i.e., Dracontia lueriana) remains so. Features synonymy and typology, generous descriptions, specimen citations, distribution and phenology summaries, and photos of living material for all three spp. involved. Some of our readers may wish to peruse the specimen citations with a view to augment the elevational and geographic ranges given in the Manual for these spp. (though the distribution of Dracontia ramonensis appears significantly reduced from that attributed to Pleurothallis pachyglossa in the Manual). Dracontia lueriana and D. ramonensis are depicted in excellent composite line drawings, and critical herbarium specimens of D. ramonensis are variously illustrated.
——, D. Bogarín, M. Fernández, C. M. Smith & M. A. Blanco. 2012. New species and records of Orchidaceae from Costa Rica. II. Lankesteriana 12: 19–51.
This is a potpourri of new spp. and new country records, including three of the former and eight of the latter. Furthermore, one name is liberated from synonymy, yielding a 12th addition to the Costa Rican flora. The three new spp., all endemic to Costa as far as is known, are: Epidendrum alieniferum Karremans & Bogarín, occurring at 1400–1450 m elevation on the Pacific slope of the eastern Cordillera de Talamanca, compared with E. lagenocolumna Hágsater & L. Sánchez; Epidendrum ×sandiorum Hágsater, Karremans & L. Sánchez, known from a single collection from 1900 m in the Zona Protectora Las Tablas (on the Pacific slope of the eastern Cordillera de Talamanca), putatively a natural hybrid between E. ciliare L. and E. oerstedii Rchb. f.; and Lepanthes kabebatae Bogarín, Karremans & Mel. Fernández, known only from the type locality at ca. 1500 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca, compared especially to L. elegans Luer. The most significant of the new country records is Epistephium ellipticum R. O. Williams & Summerh., based on G. Herrera & Sandoval 7605 (CR, MO) from 50–100 m elevation in the Baja Talamanca region (Reserva Nacional de Vida Silvestre Gandoca-Manzanillo). This represents not only a new sp., but a new genus for the Costa Rican flora, neither the sp. nor the genus having been collected (as far as we can tell) from anywhere in the Mesoamerican region except Belize. The seven additional new spp. records for Costa Rica are as follows: Acianthera oscitans (Ames) Pridgeon & M. W. Chase (which would have been treated as Pleurothallis oscitans Ames in the Manual), previously from Honduras and Panama, now known from ca. 300–700 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera Central; Epidendrum cystosum Ames, previously from Mexico to Honduras and (disjunctly) Colombia, now from the Península de Osa; Lepanthes psyche Luer and L. regularis Luer, both previously considered endemic to Panama and now from ca. 1500–1800 m elevation on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca; Masdevallia nicaraguae Luer, previously considered endemic to Nicaragua, now from ca. 600 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera Central; Pleurothallis instar Luer, peviously considered endemic to Panama, now from ca. 1300–1400 m in the southern Fila Costeña (Fila Cruces); and Specklinia duplooyi (Luer & Sayers) Luer (which would have been treated as Pleurothallis duplooyi Luer & Sayers in the Manual), previously considered endemic to Belize, now from ca. 700 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca. The last-mentioned record, however, was already reported in this same journal [see under “Bogarín,” this column, in our last issue]. The sp. liberated from synonymy is Epidendrum concavilabium C. Schweinf., which had been subordinated to E. circinatum Ames in the Manual (and elsewhere). The authors enumerate several differnces they believe may be used to distinguish two spp., and also note a habitat preference (“E. circinatum is typically found in the warm Caribbean lowlands with coastal influence, whereas E. concavilabium grows at higher elevations in the mountainous areas around the Central Valley”). Exsiccatae are cited for both spp., revealing that, while Epidendrum concavilabium may be claimed as a Costa Rica endemic, E. circinatum s. str. has also been collected in southeastern Nicaragua. Both Epidendrum circinatum and E. concavilabium, as well as all the other spp. mentioned in this paragraph as new to science or to Costa Rica, are depicted in the excellent composite line drawings we have come to expect from this crew and/or color photographs of living material (Acianthera oscitans even made the cover!)—except for Epistephium ellipticum, represented only by a photo of the Costa Rican herbarium specimen. As an added bonus (much appreciated by us!), the authors have meticulously compiled three tables enumerating (with bibliographic citations) the genera used in the Manual that have gained or lost spp. since 2003, those that have been split by recent authors, and those that have been lumped into other genera by recent authors.
Koehler, S., R. B. Singer & M. C. E. Amaral. 2012. Taxonomic revision of the neotropical genus Christensonella (Maxillariinae, Orchidaceae). Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 168: 449–472.
Christensonella is one of numerous genera recently segregated (or resegregated) from Maxillaria [see The Cutting Edge 15(1): 15–16, Jan. 2008], in its traditional, broad sense as presented in Manual Vol. 3 (2003). This revision accepts 12 spp. in Christensonella, all but one of which are confined to South America. The exception is C. uncata (Lindl.) Szlach., Mytnik, Górniak & Śmiszek (formerly Maxillaria uncata Lindl.), which ranges practically throughout the Neotropics and is well known in Costa Rica. So virtually nothing has changed for us, except a name. Features synonymy, typology, and technical descriptions at both genus and sp. ranks, a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp., distribution summaries, specimen citations, “notes,” and a section on “excluded and dubious names.” There are no indices. Taxonomic history is briefly summarized in the introduction. Most of the spp. are depicted in composite line drawings. Three new combinations are validated, none of which is relevant to us.
Kriebel, R. & F. Almeda. 2012. Five new species of Miconia (Melastomataceae: Miconieae) from Costa Rica and Panama. Harvard Pap. Bot. 17: 53–64.
The discovery of new Miconia spp. in Costa Rica is certainly no surprise, and was confidently predicted by the second author of this paper in his Manual treatment (2007) of the genus (one of the largest in the country). In fact, at least two of the spp. described in this paper were already known to the authors at the time the Manual Melastomataceae account was under production, though they were not mentioned in the publication. These two spp., which we may now call Miconia cocoensis Almeda & Kriebel and M. diegogomezii Kriebel & Almeda (honoring the late Luis Diego Gómez), are both endemic to Isla del Coco, where they have been known as “Miconia sp. A” and “Miconia sp. B,” respectively [see The Cutting Edge 13(4): 11–12, Oct. 2006]. The latter is compared with Miconia theizans (Bonpl.) Cogn., while the affinities of M. cocoensis are less apparent; the recognition of each is facilitated by the fact that they are the only representatives of their genus on the island. The three other spp. described in this paper are: Miconia hildeana Kriebel & Almeda, of Parque Nacional Tapantí and western Panama, also compared with M. theizans; M. kappellei Almeda & Kriebel, endemic to Costa Rica at 2000–2100 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca, compared with M. tonduzii Cogn. and allies; and M. ricardoi Kriebel & Almeda, endemic to Costa Rica at 2500–3100 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca, compared with M. pittieri Cogn. Miconia hildeana and M. ricardoi are dedicated to the first author’s mother and father, while M. kappellei honors Dutch ecologist Maarten Kappelle, foremost authority on Costa Rican oak forests. Distribution maps are provided, and all spp. are illustrated by excellent composite line drawings and (except for M. kappellei) SEM micrographs of seeds.
Kuijt, J. 2012. Reinstatement and expansion of the genus Peristethium (Loranthaceae). Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 98: 542–577.
Five spp. previously placed in Cladocolea and five others formerly assigned to Struthanthus are cobbled together with five spp. described as new to yield a novel generic concept, for which the name Peristethium Tiegh. is available. This realignment is accomplished exclusively on the basis of morphological and geographical evidence, with little if any phyogenetic rationale proffered. Peristethium, ranging from Costa Rica to Bolivia, western Venezuela, and westernmost Brazil, is characterized by determinate inflorescences (with a single terminal flower flanked by a pair of single-flowered units) bearing generally caducous, basal (and often axial), chartaceous scale leaves, as well as sessile or subsessile, exceedingly small, basifixed anthers inserted well above the middle of each petal. Only one sp. reaches Costa Rica, that being Peristethium leptostachyum (Kunth) Tiegh. (the generic type), which was included in Chico Morales’s Manual Loranthaceae treatment (2007) under the name Struthanthus leptostachyus (Kunth) G. Don (it is surely the most commonly collected sp. in Costa Rica that has generally been referred to Struthanthus). Includes synonymy, typology, and technical descriptions for the genus and each sp., a distribution map, a dichotomous (and indented!) key to all 15 spp., distribution summaries, discussions, and specimen citations. There are no indices. The introductory part addresses mainly taxonomic history and the characterization of the new genus. Each sp. is illustrated by at least one composite line drawing, and the pollen of three spp. by SEM micrographs. In addition to the five new sp. names, nine new combinations are validated (none of these novelties being relevant to Costa Rica).
Majure, L. C., R. Puente, M. P. Griffith, W. S. Judd, P. S. Soltis & D. E. Soltis. 2012. Phylogeny of Opuntia s.s. (Cactaceae): clade delineation, geographic origins, and reticulate evolution. Amer. J. Bot. 99: 847–864.
Consistent with a previous study involving one of these same individuals [see The Cutting Edge 16(2): 5, Apr. 2009], this paper concludes (among other things) that “Opuntia s.s. is a well-supported clade,” and that the deeply nested Nopalea “should not be recognized at the generic level.” We hope that closes the case on this issue, freeing us up to ignore Nopalea for the Manual Cactaceae treatment. On the other hand, it looks like we will be stuck with the redundant Brasiliopuntia brasiliensis (Willd.) A. Berger (cultivated in Costa Rica), as the monospecific Brasiliopuntia must apparently be maintained.
Mendoza-Cifuentes, H. & J. L. Fernández-Alonso. 2011. Análisis cladístico de Centronia (Merianieae/Melastomataceae) con base en caracteres morfológicos. Revista Acad. Colomb. Ci. Exact. 35: 431–450.
The Andean genus Centronia, with about 15 spp. (none of which reaches Costa Rica), appears to be polyphyletic, as do several of the other genera featured in this study (including Adelobotrys, Graffenrieda, and Meriania, all of which do occur in Costa Rica). As a parcial remedy for this debacle, the authors suggest that Centronia be reduced to just two spp., and that 10 spp. be transferred to Meriania; the nomenclatural basis for the latter recommendation (which is not actually implemented) is unclear, however, since the generic type of Meriania [M. leucantha (Sw.) Sw.] was not represented in the analysis. Of potentially greater impact for Costa Rican floristics is the preliminary indication of an uncomfortably close relationship between Centronia s. str. (i.e., the two spp. alluded to previously) and Graffenrieda (including the type sp. of the latter genus). The authors note that Centronia s. str. lacks synapomorphies relative to Graffenrieda, but do not consider their evidence sufficiently compelling to propose a merger of the two genera. Should they ultimately be combined in some manner, the name Centronia (1823) could replace Graffenrieda (1828) for as many as three spp. in Costa Rica.
Moraes, P. L. R. 2012. Linnaeus’s Plantæ Surinamenses revisited. Phytotaxa 41: 1–86.
This is a scholarly evaluation of 117 sp. names used in an early (1775) thesis defended by one Jacob Alm, a student of Linnaeus (to whom, by botanical tradition, the work is credited). The effort yields two new combinations and a nomen novum, as well as 16 lectotypifications (11 of which pertain to synonyms of names used in the thesis). We will not belabor the lectotypifications, which do not appear to affect current usage. The new combinations and the nomen novum do, however, at least ostensibly. Dalbergia ovalis (L.) P. L. R. Moraes & L. P. Queiroz, comb. nov., is based on Pterocarpus ovalis L., which the author contends is effectively homotypic with Dalbergia monetaria L. f., rendering the latter name illegitimate. We are skeptical as to whether the name D. monetaria qualifies as illegitimate according to the stipulations of ICBN Arts. 52.1 and (especially) 52.2; but the fact remains that Pterocarpus ovalis (1775) has priority over D. monetaria (1782), which has long been the accepted name for a widespread and moderately well known (though economically insignificant) sp. that occurs in Costa Rica. The second new combination does not concern us, but the nomen novum, Ludwigia turbinata P. L. R. Moraes, is supposed to. Here is the author’s reasoning: “Rhexia jussioides L. f. is an earlier name for Jussiaea nervosa Poiret (1813: 199), and since the specific epithet ‘jussiaeoides’ is already occupied by the African species Ludwigia jussiaeoides Desrousseaux in Lamarck (1792: 614), Ludwigia turbinata P. L. R. Moraes is coined as an avowed substitute for Rhexia jussioides.” The author would evidently have us replace Ludwigia nervosa (Poir.) H. Hara, a name currently in use for a sp. represented in Costa Rica, with his L. turbinata, even though Jussiaea nervosa Poir. (1813) has priority over L. turbinata (2012) by nearly two centuries! We’re not having any of it; Ludwigia turbinata P. L. R. Moraes is stillborn, an illegitimate name by virtue of the definite inclusion of the type of Ludwigia nervosa (cited in synonymy), the epithet of which ought to have been adopted (see the articles of the Code cited previously in this paragraph).
Moura, T. M., N. A. Zamora, B. M. Torke, V. de F. Mansano & A. M. G. A. Tozzi. 2012. A new species of Mucuna (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae-Phaseoleae) from Costa Rica and Panama. Phytotaxa 60: 1–8.
Another provisionally named Manual sp. can now be properly filed, as “Mucuna sp. C” of co-PI Nelson Zamora’s Fabaceae treatment (2010) has been formally named: Mucuna monticola N. Zamora, T. M. Moura & A. M. G. Azevedo. As was indicated in the Manual, this narrowly distributed and basically montane sp. had been confused (as in Flora of Panama) with the widespread, coastal Mucuna urens (L.) Medik. Curiously, the two spp. are not directly compared in this paper; rather, M. monticola is compared with the equally similar M. mutisiana (Kunth) DC. Based on the wealth of new material cited here, the Manual distribution and phenology summary (under Mucuna sp. C) may be modified more or less as follows:
Bosque muy húmedo, pluvial, nuboso y de roble, (450–)1000–2100(–2400) m; vert. Carib. Cord. de Guanacaste, ambas verts. Cords. de Tilarán, Central y de Talamanca, vert. Pac., Cerros de Escazú, Cerro Caraigres. Fl. ene.–jul., oct.–dic. CR y Pan.
Includes a distribution map and illustrations, the latter comprising a composite line drawing and a black-and-white photographic plate of living material.
Nauheimer, L., P. C. Boyce & S. S. Renner. 2012. Giant taro and its relatives: a phylogeny of the large genus Alocasia (Araceae) sheds light on Miocene floristic exchange in the Malesian region. Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 63: 43–51.
The genus Colocasia is diphyletic, but C. esculenta (L.) Schott, the only sp. occurring (non-indigenously) in Costa Rica, is the generic type and thus not threatened. Geographic origins are postulated for two of the three Alocasia spp. introduced in Costa Rica: A. cucullata (Lour.) G. Don evidently originated on the Asian mainland, while A. macrorrhizos (L.) G. Don hails from the Philippines.
Nepal, M. P. & C. J. Ferguson. 2012. Phylogenetics of Morus (Moraceae) inferred from ITS and trnL-trnF sequence data. Syst. Bot. 37: 442–450.
The combined tree for the two data sets referenced in the title “reveals” that Morus, a widespread genus of 10–13 spp., is non-monophyletic. The rub for us is that Morus insignis Bureau, one of two spp. represented in Costa Rica, is a prime culprit, grouping with an African sp. in a sisterly relationship with a clade that harbors the rest of Morus (including the Asian type sp.) plus Trophis. In other words, Trophis is more closely related to Morus (in the sense of its type) than is M. insignis! The other Morus sp. that purportedly reaches Costa Rica, M. celtidifolia Kunth, is on safer turf, clustering with other basically North American spp. in a clade that is sister to the Asian core of the genus. On the surface, this information appears to present a simple choice of whether to lump Trophis in Morus, or to retain Trophis and split Morus into two (or three) genera. However, the situation is actually more complicated and involves two other genera (the paleotropical Milicia and Streblus) that were not included in the combined tree “because trnL-trnF data were unavailable.” The authors also cite previous studies demonstrating that Trophis (represented in the present study by just two spp.) is itself non-monophyletic. Our readers may recall that there is an additional complication for Costa Rica, as the material assigned to M. celtidifolia in the Manual is most probably not that sp. Additional research is clearly needed to resolve all of these issues.
Øllgaard, B. 2012. New combinations in Neotropical Lycopodiaceae. Phytotaxa 57: 10–22.
By now we have become accustomed (kind of) to the use of three different genus names, Huperzia, Lycopodiella, and Lycopodium, for the large assemblage of spp. that, until a few decades ago, we in the New World were happy to group together under the name last mentioned. But now the author of this paper, a principal instigator in all of this, is asking us to go one step further: “under the impression of” certain molecular studies, he is accepting “a narrower circumscripton of genera”—a total of nine for the Neotropics, with the three taxa we have come to tolerate now elevated, effectively, to the rank of subfamily. It is claimed that these nine genera are “readily recognizable at a glance, and no intergeneric hybrids are known” We have no doubt they are “readily recognizable” to one who has spent a lifetime immersed in this particular group of plants, but their utility to the generalist remains to be tested. A dichotomous (though non-indented) key is presented to separate the nine genera, and 122 new combinations are validated, all but three in Phlegmariurus. A fair number of Costa Rican spp. are referred to the last-mentioned genus, but otherwise we can deduce very little about the new system. To what extent have Huperzia, Lycopodiella, and Lycopodium been restricted, and does each still occur in Costa Rica? What about the other five genera? Taxonomic ranking is, of course, arbitrary; based on a single cladogram, one might defensibly accept a single genus or a dozen. It is understandable that a specialist may wish to discern finer groupings, but wouldn’t infrageneric categories serve just as well?
O’Leary, N. & M. E. Múlgura. 2012. A taxonomic revision of the genus Phyla (Verbenaceae). Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 98: 578–596.
Five spp. of the principally New World genus Phyla are accepted in this revision, which arrives barely in time to be considered for our impending Manual Vol. 7. Just two spp. are attributed to Costa Rica: Phyla betulifolia (Kunth) Greene and P. nodiflora (L.) Greene. A third sp. name that has been used for some Costa Rican material, Phyla fruticosa (Mill.) K. Kenn. ex Wunderlin & B. F. Hansen, is listed in synonymy under P. nodiflora var. reptans (Kunth) Moldenke, one of three vars. recognized for the sp. in question. We are confident that the autonymic var. of P. nodiflora also occurs in Costa Rica, though no Costa Rican vouchers are cited in this paper. Lippia dulcis Trevir., which has often been included in Phyla, is here excluded from that genus on the basis of both morphological and molecular evidence. Features synonymy, typology, and technical descriptions at all ranks, dichotomous (though non-indented) keys to spp. and (for P. nodiflora) vars., distribution and phenology summaries, discussions, representative specimen citations, sections on “incertae taxa” and “excluded taxa,” and an index to exsiccatae. The very terse (two paragraphs) introductory part touches on taxonomic history and generic concepts. Four of the spp. (including all three vars. of P. nodiflora) are depicted in excellent composite line drawings. There is one new combination (at varietal rank).
Ortiz V., P. 2012. Especies colombianas del género Cleistes (Orchidaceae)/Colombian species of the genus Cleistes (Orchidaceae). Orquideólogo Supl. 1: 2–10.
We imagined that the report of a Colombian collection of Cleistes costaricensis Christenson in this paper signified the loss of another Costa Rican endemic sp., but checking in TROPICOS, we discovered that C. costaricensis was already reported from Panama in a 1993 paper of which we had been ignorant. Annotate your copy!
Pastore, J. F. B. 2012. (2062) Proposal to conserve the name Polygala longicaulis against P. brachistachyos (Polygalaceae). Taxon 61: 474–475.
The “forgottten” (“overlooked” might be a more apt description) Polygala brachistachyos Poir. “is unquestionably the correct name” for the widespread savanna sp. (occurring in Costa Rica) long known as P. longicaulis Kunth, prompting this proposal, on the grounds that “a disruption in the nomenclature of this taxon would be disadvantageous.” Let us not lose sight of the fact that this is, in the grand scheme of things, an extremely insignificant sp. of which the general public is profoundly unaware. Conservation of sp. names was originally intended for very well known, economically important spp. such as wheat and tomatoes. But as soon as the door was cracked open just a bit, those good intentions were trampled underfoot in the stampede. The very underpinnings of botanical nomenclature are now being eroded by the abandonment of Principles II (types) and III (priority) of the Code. Modern workers may become emboldened to ignore older names and their types while creating their own “palimpsest” taxonomies—as may already be happening in some taxa (Orchidaceae?) or geographic regions—confident that their newer names will take hold and be upheld, if necessary, by future conservation proposals. Yet, despite the recent flood of conservation proposals for sp. names, name changes based on new phylogenetic insights continue unabated and are unassailable. We submit that a general public that has already absorbed such nomenclatural jolts as the switch from Coleus blumei to Plectranthus scutellarioides, or Lycopersicon esculentum to Solanum lycopersicum (yes, the hallowed tomato itself!), will have very little trouble dealing with the loss of Polygala longicaulis.
Peraza-Flores, L. N. & G. Carnevali. 2012. Things are seldom what they seem: the nomenclature of Polystachya masayensis (Orchidaceae). Phytotaxa 50: 51–54.
Polystachya masayensis Rchb. f. has been regarded as a principally Mesoamerican sp., well characterized in the region by its densely hispid-puberulent inflorescence rachis and ovaries, shared only with the Venezuelan P. cavanayensis Garay & Dunst. (which differs in labellar morphology). An examination by these authors of the types of P. masayensis and P. m. var. elatior Rchb. f.—collected at the same site in Nicaragua by the same individual (Oersted) and mounted on the same sheet—has revealed that P. masayensis in the sense of its type is inseparable from P. cavanayensis (here relegated to synonymy), whereas P. m. var. elatior corresponds to the prevailing concept of P. masayensis and is thus elevated to sp. rank as Polystachya elatior (Rchb. f.) Peraza & Carnevali. Both entities are said to range widely in Mesoamerica and into northern South America, thus it seems highly probable that both occur in Costa Rica; however, we cannot be certain, as there is no detailed breakdown of their geographic ranges and no specimen citations. Features a dichotomous key to the four Central American spp. of Polystachya and a composite line drawing depicting both P. elatior and P. masayensis (clearly showing the labellar differences, by which we are underwhelmed).
Petersen, J. J., I. M. Parker & D. Potter. 2012. Origins and close relatives of a semi-domesticated neotropical fruit tree: Chrysophyllum cainito (Sapotaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 99: 585–604.
The results of this molecular study reveal that Chrysophyllum cainito L. (the caimito) is most closely related to C. argenteum Jacq., rather than C. bicolor Poir. or C. mexicanum Brandegee ex Standl., as has sometimes been imagined. Indeed, C. cainito “is nested within C. argenteum, suggesting that the former species is derived from the latter.” While it might be reasonably concluded on this basis that the name C. argenteum should become a synonym of C. cainito, the authors hold out for “further investigation,” maintaining that “recognition of multiple species within C. argenteum may be most appropriate.” They conclude that C. cainito originated from wild populations on the Panamanian isthmus, where “all of the genetic diversity…is present.”
Peterson, P. M., K. Romaschenko, N. Snow & G. Johnson. 2012.
A molecular phylogeny and classification of Leptochloa (Poaceae: Chloridoideae: Chlorideae) sensu lato and related genera. Ann. Bot. (Oxford) 109: 1317–1329.
We had some advance warning of this contribution, courtesy of its third author, so it does not come as a complete shock: Leptochloa “sensu lato” (i.e., in the sense of the Manual, and that most of us have always known it) is polyphyletic, with the 22 spp. included in this study occurring in five “separate, strongly supported” clades, for each of which generic recognition is here proposed. Of the five spp. treated under the name Leptochloa in the Manual, only L. virgata (L.) P. Beauv.—which happens to be the generic type—retains that disposition. Also included in the reconfigured Leptochloa s. str. (now with just five spp.) are two South American spp. that have comprised the genus Trichloris. The majority of the spp. of Leptochloa s. l., including three of the five Costa Rican representatives, cohabit a clade with two oligospecific Old World genera, Dinebra (3 spp.) and Drake-brockmania (2 spp.). Happily, Dinebra is the older of these two names, and the one that is now applied to all the members of this clade, totaling 23 spp., among which the former Leptochloa panicea (Retz.) Ohwi, L. panicoides (J. Presl) Hitchc., and L. scabra Nees occur in Costa Rica. The fifth Costa Rican sp. involved, the former Leptochloa fusca (L.) Kunth, falls into yet another clade (comprising just two spp.) for which the genus name Diplachne is available and duly deployed. Likewise already available is Diplachne fusca (L.) P. Beauv. ex Roem. & Schult.; however, new combinations at sp. and subspp. rank are required for all the other taxa of Dinebra and Diplachne present in Costa Rica, and are here validated under the names “P. M. Peterson & N. Snow.” The last-mentioned authors are also responsible for a new genus name, needed for one of the five major clades, but this does not concern us. A key is provided to separate the five genera that have been segregated from Leptochloa s. l. in this paper. Four spp. in the complex remain unplaced.
Polatschek, A. 2012. Revision der Gattung Erysimum (Cruciferae), Teil 3: Amerika und Grönland. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 113: 139–192.
We missed the first two parts of this series, dealing with the Asian members of Erysimum (Brassicaceae), but those would have been useful to us only with respect to the introductory material (presumably including a description of the genus). The present installment treats the 44 spp. (as recognized by this author) represented in the New World. As according to our previous understanding, just one of these, Erysimum ghiesbreghtii Donn. Sm., occurs in Costa Rica (as well as Mexico and Guatemala); not surprisingly, it is montane, restricted (or virtually so) to páramo habitats above 3000 m elevation (and in Costa Rica, only on Cerro Chirripó). The New World spp. of Erysimum are apportioned among seven groups, which themselves are not keyed (at least, not in this part), but rather characterized briefly, mainly on the basis of duration (annual, biennial, or perennial) and the pubescence (or lack thereof) of the petals and anthers. The spp. of each group are distinguished using dichotomous (though non-indented) keys. The sp. treatments, organized according to groups, feature synonymy and typology, technical descriptions, distribution summaries, and specimen citations (with occasional remarks). There are sections on dubious and omitted spp., but no indices or illustrations. In German (with an English abstract).
Pruski, J. F. 2012. Compositae of Central America–II. Ortizacalia (Senecioneae: Senecioninae), a new genus of lianas with comose style branches. Phytoneuron 2012-50: 1–8.
Costa Rica scores another endemic plant genus with the description of the monospecific Ortizacalia Pruski, based on Senecio austin-smithii Standl., a very poorly known sp. (described by Standley after the publication of his Flora of Costa Rica) that has passed completely under our radar. The newly christened Ortizacalia austin-smithii (Standl.) Pruski comprises epiphytic or lianescent plants, ascending to at least 5 m, with pendent flowering branches. Just four collections are known to date, from 1300–1900 m elevation (mainly on the Pacific slope) in the Cordilleras de Tilarán and Central. The new genus, the name of which honors Menispermaceae specialist Rosa del Carmen Ortiz (MO), is compared with other genera that have been segregated from a once much more inclusive Senecio, especially Dresslerothamnus and Pentacalia. Features a distribution map and several photographs (including SEM micrographs) of herbarium material.
Pupulin, F. & D. Bogarín. 2012. A taxonomic revision of Encyclia (Orchidaceae: Laeliinae) in Costa Rica. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 168: 395–448.
The genus Encyclia, already deprived of Prosthechea, was represented by just six spp. in Costa Rica according to the 2003 Manual treatment by Robert L. Dressler (then of MO). This contribution ups the ante to 10 with the addition of Encyclia chloroleuca (Hook.) Neumann (mentioned in the Manual as having been reported from Costa Rica too late for our deadline) and (rather tentatively) E. gravida (Lindl.) Schltr., as well as the recently described E. ossenbachiana Pupulin [see The Cutting Edge 13(4): 8, Oct. 2006] and a putatively new sp. (represented by a single cultivated specimen without locality data) that remains undescribed. There are no taxonomic novelties here and no real surprises for us, thanks to a preliminary paper by these authors that was reviewed in our last issue (see the first entry under “Pupulin” in this column). However, new specimen data enhances our understanding of the distribution of each sp. in Costa Rica. Features synonymy, typology, and generous descriptions at both genus and sp. ranks, a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp., distribution maps (including an inscrutable one for the genus as a whole), specimen citations, distribution and phenology summaries, discussions, a section on “excluded species,” and an index to exsiccatae. The introduction is devoted mainly to an extensive consideration of taxonomic history, with reproductions of important original materials. Each sp. is illustrated with an excellent composite line drawing, together with one or more photos of living material and/or other relevant elements.
—— & ——. 2012. A new Oncidium from Costa Rica; a showy species in the Oncidiinae: Orchidaceae. Orchids (West Palm Beach) 81: 176–179.
Oncidium henning-jensenii Pupulin & Bogarín (dedicated to a former administrator at the Universidad de Costa Rica) can only be attributed “presumably” to Costa Rica, the sole known plant having been confiscated by government personnel from an orchid poacher traveling along the Carretera Interamericana over Cerro de La Muerte in July 2009. This plant came into the hands of the authors at JBL, where it flowered in cultivation about nine months later. The authors speculate that the specimen may have originated “in the region of Dota or Pérez Zeledón, on the Pacific watershed of the Talamanca mountain range in central Costa Rica,” based on the fact that it arrived “still growing on the original trunk” in association with “several plants of Trichocentrum ascendens (Lindl.) M. W. Chase & N. H. Williams” (i.e., Oncidium ascendens Lindl. of the Manual). The latter sp. occurs at elevations of 0–1000 m in Costa Rica, though it is not restricted to the Pacific slope nor, for that matter, to Costa Rica. So the authors have made an admirably educated guess, but the fact remains that it is still a guess. The new sp. is compared to Oncidium ansiferum Rchb. f. and O. stenobulbon Kraenzl., and would undoubtedly come out at couplet 16 in the Manual key to Oncidium spp.; it differs from the aforementioned sp. in various details of floral coloration and morphology, here conveniently tabularized. Illustrated with a composite line drawing and color photos of living material (including the authors and the honoree, handsome devils all).
——, C. Ossenbach, R. Jenny & E. Vitek. 2012. Additamenta ad typos endresianos orchidacearum costaricae. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 113: 133–138.
A previous paper by these authors [see under the same names, this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(3), Jul. 2011] sought to catalogue all the names in Orchidaceae based on specimens collected in Costa Rica by the late Auguste R. Endrés (1838–1874). This supplement deals with four names that were overlooked in that paper. Two of these names, Masdevallia gracilenta Rchb. f. [the basionym of Zootrophion gracilentum (Rchb. f.) Luer] and Polystachya cingulata Rchb. f. ex Kraenzl. [a synonym of P. caracasana Rchb. f.; see under “Peraza-Flores” et al., this column, in our last issue], are lectotypified. Both lectotypes are illustrated photographically.
Regalado Gabancho, L. & C. Prada. 2011. The genus Hymenasplenium (Aspleniaceae) in Cuba, including new combinations for the Neotropical species. Amer. Fern. J. 101: 265–281.
Cuban floristics is, of course, well outside of our realm, but there may be something worthwhile to be gleaned from this article regarding the morphological distinctions between the spp. heretofore known as Asplenium delitescens (Maxon) L. D. Gómez and A. laetum Sw., both of which also occur in Costa Rica. Those spp. are members of the taxon that has long been known as Asplenium sect. Hymenasplenium (Hayata) K. Iwats., for which restoration to generic rank has lately been promoted, especially by our friend Noriaki Murakami [MAK; see The Cutting Edge 3(1): 11, Jan. 1996], and supported (if not mandated) by molecular analyses [see The Cutting Edge 11(3): 11–12, Jul. 2004]. However, new combinations in Hymenasplenium have never been validated for the affected New World spp. (11 in total), a situation that is remedied in this paper. Five of these spp. are represented in Costa Rica, including the former Asplenium hoffmannii Hieron., A. riparium Liebm., and A. volubile N. Murak. & R. C. Moran (in addition to the two spp. mentioned previously). All of the new combinations are attributable to “L. Regalado & Prada.”
Rodrigues, R. S. & A. S. Flores. 2012. A new combination in Entada (Leguminosae) from Roraima, Brazil. Phytotaxa 39: 47–50.
The name Entada polystachya (L.) DC. var. simplicata Barneby, denoting a Brazilian taxon, is elevated to full sp. rank. We also learn that, unbeknownst to us, the former E. p. var. polyphylla (Benth.) Barneby (which also does not occur in Costa Rica) has been accepted as a separate sp. for the past decade by various authors, including the late Rupert Barneby himself. What all of this boils down to, for Manual users, is that Costa Rican material of Entada polystachya need no longer be qualified as belonging to the autonymic var. Moreoever, “Entada polyphylla Benth.” should be deleted from synonymy under the sp. heading, and the geographic range of E. polystachya should be restricted to that indicated for E. p. var. polystachya at the end of the discussion.
Rothfels, C. J., M. A. Sundue, L.-Y. Kuo, A. Larsson, M. Kato, E. Schuettpelz & K. M. Pryer. 2012. A revised family-level classification for eupolypod II ferns (Polypodiidae: Polypodiales). Taxon 61: 515–533.
This classification deals with only a small subset of the comprehensive “fern” classification scheme discussed previously in this column (see the two entries under “Christenhusz”), which it appears to corroborate in virtually all comparable aspects (while being “further informed” by more recent “critical data”). The most useful features of this paper are a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to the families, as well as technical descriptions, diagnoses, and discussions for each of the families considered (those represented in Costa Rica being Aspleniaceae, Athyriaceae, Blechnaceae, Cystopteridaceae, Hemidictyaceae, and Thelypteridaceae). The color plate depicting living specimens in situ (mostly) is also nice.
Rouhan, G., P. H. Labiak, E. Randrianjohany & F. Rakotondrainibe. 2012. Not so Neotropical after all: the grammitid fern genus Leucotrichum (Polypodiaceae) is also Paleotropical, as revealed by a new species from Madagascar. Syst. Bot. 37: 331–338.
This is another of those cases in which the title of the paper says everything that needs to be said. For additional information on Leucotrichum, see under “Labiak” et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(1), Jan. 2011.
Sachs, H. 2012. Der Nationalpark Tapanti in Costa Rica/Tapanti National Park in Costa Rica. Bromelie 2012: 18–19.
He went there, and “took the most demanding trail of all.” He “discovered new bromeliads each day,” and took some nice color photos of same. He recommends the place, and hopes to return soon. A journal published his article (in two languages).
Sessa, E. B., E. A. Zimmer & T. J. Givnish. 2012. Phylogeny, divergence times, and historical biogeography of New World Dryopteris (Dryopteridaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 99: 730–750.
It is contended, in the abstract of this paper, that “New World Dryopteris are not monophyletic.” Perhaps so, but the genus as a whole would appear to be monophyletic, as evidenced by all of the cladograms presented herein. From a Costa Rican perspective, it is noteworthy that five of the six Dryopteris spp. occurring in the country are quite closely related, grouping together in one of the five major clades. The exception is D. wallichiana (Spreng.) Hyl., rather distantly removed in the same clade as the generic type, D. filix-mas (L.) Schott.
Simmons, M. P., C. D. Bacon, J. J. Cappa & M. J. McKenna. 2012.
Phylogeny of Celastraceae subfamilies Cassinoideae and Tripterygioideae inferred from morphological characters and nuclear and plastid loci. Syst. Bot. 37: 456–467.
We confess to being somewhat mystified by this paper. Earlier this year, we reviewed an article by this same group [see under “McKenna” et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(1), Jan. 2012] in which three New World spp. formerly included in Gymnosporia (Celastraceae) were shunted to a new genus, Haydenia, characterized as “closely related to Gyminda.” Yet we cannot find the name Haydenia mentioned anywhere in the present paper, which deals intimately with Gyminda as a member of subfam. Cassinoideae. Strange indeed. One of the main conclusions of this study is that both of the subfamilies mentioned in the title are “grossly polyphyletic groups,” wherein probably lies the explanation we seek. Gyminda itself, apparently with just one sp. (G. tonduzii Loes.) in Costa Rica, belongs to “a clade that is only distantly related to Crossopetalum,” in which it has often been included; however, the anagrammatic Myginda (with at least three spp. in Costa Rica) was “resolved as nested within Crossopetalum,” and the authors “recommend that [it] continue to be recognized as a synonym” thereof (rebuking a fairly recent initiative to the contrary, of which we had been contentedly unaware). Various remarks suggest that troubled times may loom ahead for Maytenus, but it would appear that a conclusive resolution is still far in the future.
Sundue, M. A., P. H. Labiak, J. Mostacero & A. R. Smith. 2012. Galactodenia, a new genus of grammitid ferns segregated from Terpsichore (Polypodiaceae). Syst. Bot. 37: 339–346.
This paper is the latest (and the last?) to propose a new fern genus in response to molecular-phylogenetic studies demonstrating the polyphyly of three genera characterized by these authors as “prominent”: Lellingeria, Micropolypodium, and Terpsichore. We would contend that these three genera are not “prominent” in any respect: they have been used widely only for the past 20 years or so, have always been inscrutable even to educated and experienced non-specialists, and ultimately were revealed as non-monophyletic. When we learned that these segregates were not holding up to cladistic scrutiny, we rejoiced at the prospect of a return to Grammitis in something approaching its traditional broad sense (e.g., as in Robert G. Stolze’s Ferns and fern allies of Guatemala; 1981)—just as Grammitidaceae has lately been returned to Polypodiaceae. But alas, fern specialists have headed in the opposite direction, scrambling to carve the grammitids up into yet smaller genera (while at the same time continuing to withhold generic status for subsets of other fern genera—notably Thelypteris—that even we can tell apart). Our opinion is that most of these grammitid “genera” would serve very nicely as subgenera or sections, and perhaps that will be their eventual fate; but in the meantime, on with the show… The new genus Galactodenia Sundue & Labiak, described in this paper, follows Alansmia [see under “Kessler” et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(4), Oct. 2011] and Ascogrammitis [see under “Sundue,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(2), Apr. 2011] as the third recent segregate from Terpsichore. At least Galactodenia is unambiguously characterized, being unique among New World grammitids in having fronds “with large translucent clavate glands that produce a viscid exudate.” Five spp. are referred to Galactodenia at its inception, collectively ranging nearly throughout the Neotropics. Just one sp. is recorded from Costa Rica, that being G. subscabra (Klotzsch) Sundue & Labiak (based on Polypodium subscabrum Klotzsch); however, one of the three spp. described here as new, Galactodenia parrisiae Sundue & Labiak, has been collected very near the international border in westernmost Panama (Prov. Bocas del Toro) and ought to turn up in the Costa Rican portion of the Valle del Silencio. Features synonymy, typology, technical descriptions, distribution summaries, and “Notes” at both genus and species ranks, a dichotomous and indented key to spp., specimen citations, and a distribution map. All five spp. are depicted in composite line drawings, and four of them in a photographic plate (partly in color).
Thulin, M., S. G. Razafimandimbison, P. Chafe, N. Heidari, A. Kool & J. S. Shore. 2012. Phylogeny of the Turneraceae clade (Passifloraceae s.l.): trans-Atlantic disjunctions and two new genera in Africa. Taxon 61: 308–323.
All three genera of the “Turneraceae clade” (to be treated as family Turneraceae in the Manual) occurring in Costa Rica have been considered to be also represented in Africa or Madagascar: Erblichia (one sp. in the New World, four in Madagascar), Piriqueta (44 spp. in the New World, one in South Africa), and Turnera (about 140 spp. in the New World, two in Africa). The molecular-phylogenetic study by these authors upholds this scenario only in the case of Turnera; both Erblichia and Piriqueta are revealed as diphyletic, along hemispherical lines. Fortunately, for our purposes, each of the two last-mentioned genera is typified by a New World sp.; thus new genus names are required for their Old World contingents, Arboa Thulin & Razafim. and Afroqueta Thulin & Razafim. (respectively), both validated here along with the necessary combinations at sp. rank.
Wallnöfer, B. 2012. A revision of neotropical Diospyros (Ebenaceae): part 5. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 113: 223–252.
This installment, part of a series preparatory to a planned revision in Flora Neotropica Monographs, deals with just one sp., Diospyros juruensis A. C. Sm. The name D. juruensis, based on a South American type, may be unfamiliar to workers on the Mesoamerican flora, but is here applied broadly throughout the region to material that has previously gone under various other names. Three names accepted for spp. treated as distinct in the 2010 Manual account of Ebenaceae by José González (LSCR) are now subsumed within D. juruensis, meaning that the sp. total for Diospyros in Costa Rica is reduced from six to four. Our three lost spp. are Diospyros crotalaria Provance & A. C. Sanders, D. hartmanniana S. Knapp, and D. panamensis S. Knapp, all of which, however, survive taxonomically as subspp. of D. juruensis. New combinations at subsp. rank are validated by the author for D. hartmanniana and D. panamensis (with the misspelling “panamense” inexplicably perpetuated for the latter), while D. crotalaria becomes an outright synonym of D. juruensis subsp. juruensis. The last-mentioned taxon occurs disjunctly in Peru and Amazonian Brazil, and two additional subspp. extend the range of the sp. as a whole to southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia; furthermore, the former D. panamensis is now known to occur in Ecuador, based on numerous cited collections. Includes an amended and exceedingly lengthy sp. description, much briefer descriptions of each subsp., a dichotomous key to subspp., distribution summaries, exhaustive specimen citations, and distribution maps. Each subsp. is illustrated with a photograph of its holotype, and the sp. description is complemented by numerous additional photos (including SEM micrographs).