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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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The Cutting Edge

Volume XXIV, Number 3, July 2017

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

Acevedo-Rodríguez, P., K. J. Wurdack, M. S. Ferrucci, G. Johnson, P. Dias, R. G. Coelho, G. V. Somner, V. W. Steinmann, E. A. Zimmer & M. T. Strong. 2017. Generic relationships and classification of tribe Paullinieae (Sapindaceae) with a new concept of supertribe Paullinioidae. Syst. Bot. 42: 96–114.

This represents a substantial contribution that will be of consummate interest to Sapindaceae specialists, and while we are notoriously uninterested in such things as tribes (let alone "supertribes"), we still expect to make good use of the keys to genera (nested under each tribe though they may be) and revised genus descriptions. The new classification, based of course on molecular and cladistic analyses, does inevitably have some repercussions that filter down to our level. Fourteen new combinations at sp. rank are validated, mainly involving transfers from Cardiospermum (or segregate genera) into Serjania or Urvillea. But only one new combination is germane to Costa Rican floristics: Thinouia trifoliolata (Radlk.) Acev.-Rodr. & Ferrucci (incorrectly as "trifoliata"), based on Allosanthus trifoliolatus Radlk. (cited incorrectly as "trifoliatus"). The synonymization of the monospecific Allosanthus in Thinouia was apparently based solely on morphological considerations, as A. trifoliolatus was not included in the molecular analyses. The "only differentiating character" of Allosanthus, spicate inflorescences, had been deemed "not...worthy of generic recognition" in a prior work; however, as far as we know, the fruits of Allosanthus remain unknown, so perhaps the jury is still out on this one.

Aguirre-Santoro, J. 2017. Taxonomy of the Ronnbergia Alliance (Bromeliaceae: Bromelioideae): new combinations, synopsis, and new circumscriptions of Ronnbergia and the resurrected genus Wittmackia. Pl. Syst. Evol. 303: 615–640.

Previous molecular and morphological studies, some involving this same author, have established that neither Aechmea nor Ronnbergia is monophyletic [see, e.g., under both "Aguirre-Santoro" and "Heller," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(4), Oct. 2015]. The "highly supported and morphologically identifiable Ronnbergia Alliance" comprises 70 spp. and is "composed by two robust lineages with high geographic structure": The so-called "Pacific clade," ranging from Costa Rica to Peru, with 26 spp. classed traditionally in Aechmea and Ronnbergia; and the "Atlantic clade," occurring mainly in the Caribbean region, northern South America, and eastern Brazil, with 44 spp. that have been classed in the two aforementioned genera, as well as in Hohenbergia. The taxonomic resolution presented in this paper redefines Ronnbergia as congruent with the Pacific clade (thereby nearly quadrupling the sp. total for the genus, as indicated in Manual Vol. 2), while deploying the genus name Wittmackia (most recently considered a synonym of Aechmea) for the Atlantic clade. The new concept of Ronnbergia includes "all the extra-Brazilian species" previously included in the genus, plus three spp. from Aechmea subg. Chevaliera (Gaudich. ex Beer) Baker and nine from A. subg. Pothuava (Baker) Baker, as well as "four unpublished new species" (which remain unpublished in this article). Ronnbergia hatheway L. B. Sm. is the only Costa Rican sp. previously attributed to its genus, and remains therein (though its range is extended to northwestern Colombia); however, the Costa Rican sp. total for Ronnbergia is tripled with the addition of two spp. transferred from Aechmea, the former A. tonduzii Mez & Pittier and A. veitchii Baker (with both new combinations in the author's name). The geographic range of Wittmackia (the "Atlantic clade") largely skips Costa Rica, as indicated previously, with the exception of W. lingulata (L.) Mez [treated as Aechmea lingulata (L.) Baker in the Manual], the generic type sp., for which there is one somewhat dubious Costa Rican record. Features an "artificial key for the identification of Ronnbergia and Witttmackia within the Core Bromelioideae" and sp. keys for both genera (all the keys being dichotomous but unindented), plus synonymy and typology at all ranks, detailed descriptions of both genera, distribution summaries, representative specimen citations, notes (as needed), and a single distribution map. There are no indices. Two plates of color photos depict selected spp. in life.

Applequist, W. L. 2017. Report of the Nomenclature Committee for Vascular Plants: 69. Taxon 66: 500–513.

These installments are getting longer and longer, as priority no longer means anything and politics have come to rule the day. The following recommendations pertain to us: after much waffling and several reversals, conservation of Malus domestica Borkh. (Rosaceae; the cultivated apple) against several prior names (including M. pumila Mill., accepted in the Manual) is recommended (albeit in a split decision); this contradicts a prior recommendation published by this same committee, hence the final decision must rest with the General Committee. Conservation of the genus name Trisetum (Poaceae) over the prior Trisetaria is not recommended, so the latter would prevail if the two were ever combined; the former name was employed in the Manual. The genus name Casearia (Flacourtiaceae in the Manual, Salicaceae or Samydaceae more recently) is recommended for conservation against Laetia and Samyda, which will minimize the necessary new names and combinations if (when?) the three are combined [see under "Samarakoon," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(4), Oct. 2015]. Conservation of Forsteronia and Pinochia (Apocynaceae) is recommended (the former with a conserved type), in order to maintain the prevailing application of both genus names [see under "Endress," this column, in The Cutting Edge 23(3), Jul. 2016]. The familiar genus name Stellaria (Caryophyllaceae) is recommended for conservation with a conserved type, so as to retain it for the largest group of spp. when the traditional taxon is inevitably broken to bits [see under "Tikhomirov," this column, in The Cutting Edge 23(3), Jul. 2016]. The genus name Iochroma (Solanaceae) is recommended (in another split decision) for conservation against the prior Acnistus and Pederlea [see under "Shaw," this column, in The Cutting Edge 23(3), Jul. 2016], meaning that our beloved Güitite [Acnistus arborescens (L.) Schltdl.] will probably be rebranded one day. Conservation of the name Miconia (Melastomataceae), currently in use for a genus of more than 1000 spp., is recommended against the prior Maieta and Tococa (by a virtually unanimous vote), so as to avert a calamitous scenario in the event of their merger [see under "Michelangeli," this column, in The Cutting Edge 23(4), Oct. 2016]. And finally, the rejection of the name Aristolochia cordata L. (Aristolochiaceae) is recommended, forestalling a threat [see under "Barrie," this column, in The Cutting Edge 24(1), Jan. 2017] to A. odoratissima L. (which occurs in Costa Rica).

Berger, A. 2017. Two new combinations, lectotypifications and a new name for Costa Rican Palicourea s.l. PhytoKeys 80: 53–63.

It is worth noting that this contribution was published after (and cites) the two papers by Borhidi reviewed below. Two new combinations and one nomen novum are validated herein, all of which will supplant names accepted in the Manual Rubiaceae treatment (2014) helmed by Charlotte M. Taylor (MO). Palicourea horquetensis (Dwyer & M. V. Hayden) A. C. Berger & C. M. Taylor, based on Rudgea horquetensis Dwyer & M. V. Hayden (type from western Panama), exerts priority over P. nebulosa (Dwyer) C. M. Taylor, the name used in the Manual treatment and here deemed synonymous. The new combination Palicourea tonduzii (K. Krause) A. C. Berger (based on Cephaëlis tonduzii K. Krause) marks the latest in a dizzying series of name-changes for the distinctive sp. we first learned as Cephaëlis discolor Pol., in our early La Selva days. It subsequently became Psychotria guapilensis (Standl.) Hammel, when the genus Cephaëlis was incorporated in Psychotria (where the epithets discolor and tonduzii were both preoccupied), and most recently Palicourea guapilensis (Standl.) Borhidi (in the first of the two papers reviewed below), when a major chunk of Psychotria was shunted into Palicourea. However, while the prior epithet tonduzii had not been available in Psychotria, it remains so in Palicourea, rendering Borhidi's combination superfluous and Palicourea tonduzii the name to now use. In the course of all this, the names Cephaëlis discolor and C. tonduzii are both lectotypified. Whew! Finally, Palicourea hispidula (Standl. ex Steyerm.) Borhidi, an illegitimate homonym (see below), is replaced by the somewhat cumbersome nomen novum Palicourea longiinvolucrata A. C. Berger, applicable henceforth to the sp. that was treated as Psychotria hispidula Standl. ex Steyerm. in the Manual. Palicourea longiinvolucrata "and related species" are depicted in color photos of living material.

Bohley, K., P. J. D. Winter & G. Kadereit. 2017. A revision of Sesuvium (Aizoaceae, Sesuvioideae). Syst. Bot. 42: 124–147.

The most noteworthy innovation here is the decision (based on cladistic evidence) to include the trispecific, neotropical Cypselea (not represented in Costa Rica) in Sesuvium, boosting the sp. total for the latter genus to 14. Otherwise, it is business as usual for us, with only the cosmopolitan Sesuvium portulacastrum (L.) L. attributed to Tiquicia. Features dichotomous keys to the genera of subfam. Sesuvioideae Lindl. (Trianthema being the only other one in Costa Rica) and the spp. of Sesuvium, synonymy, typology, and technical descriptions at all ranks below subfam., distribution summaries, notes, representative specimen citations (with more extensive lists available in a supplemental appendix), distribution maps, and sections on insufficiently known and excluded taxa. There are no indices. The well-illustrated introductory portion addresses taxonomic history, morphology, phenology, ecology, and phylogenetics. Two spp. (though not ours!) are illustrated with composite line drawings. New combinations are validated for the three spp. transferred from Cypselea.

Borhidi, A. L. 2017. El subgénero Heteropsychotria (Rubiaceae, Palicoureeae) in México y Mesoamerica [sic]. Acta Bot. Hung. 59: 13–23.

——. 2017. La circunscripsión [sic] de Palicourea subgen. Heteropsychotria (Rubiaceae Palicoureeae). Acta Bot. Hung. 59: 25–61.

Folks have been chipping away at transferring names from Psychotria subgen. Heteropsychotria Steyerm. to Palicourea for some time now, but this bloke would appear to have summarily wiped the slate clean with these contributions. The first paper cited above seals the deal for the Mesoamerican region, with 35 new combinations at sp. and subsp. rank. Twenty-five of these apply to spp. occurring in Costa Rica, but five are (at least arguably) dead on arrival: the combinations based on Psychotria gracilenta Müll. Arg., P. longicuspis Müll. Arg., and P. microbotrys Ruiz ex Standl. are all illegitimate isonyms, preoccupied by identical combinations validated by the last authors to have entered this fray (see under "Delprete," this column, in our last issue), while that based on Psychotria hispidula Standl. ex Steyerm. is an illegitimate homonym (but see the "Berger" entry, above). The author's new combination in Palicourea based on Psychotria platypoda DC. is legitimate, but would be unnecessary according to other recent authors (see again the "Delprete" entry), who synonymize the last-mentioned name under Palicourea dichotoma (Rudge) Delprete & J. H. Kirkbr. The present author also accepts three prior combinations in Palicourea that are of dubious status: Palicourea capitata (Ruiz & Pav.) Borhidi [synonymized under P. violacea (Aubl.) A. Rich. in the "Delprete" paper], Palicourea chiapensis (Standl.) Borhidi [the basionym of which was synonymized under P. tetragona (Donn. Sm.) C. M. Taylor & Lorence in the Manual Rubiaceae treatment], and Palicourea montensis Dwyer (cited as a synonym of Psychotria croceovenosa Dwyer in the Manual).

The second paper considered here validates new combinations in Palicourea for the remaining members of Psychotria subgen. Heteropsychotria (those not occurring in the Mesoamerican region), creating some additional isonyms in the process (including yet another based on Psychotria microbotrys). It also formally transfers the subgenus name to Palicourea and implements a new infra-subgeneric classification, featuring 11 sections (though no sound phylogenetic rationale is proffered, nor is a key provided). This paper is thus of lesser interest to us, although the comprehensive compendium of spp. ("más de 220") here assigned to subgen. Heteropsychotria is of some utility. By our calculations, and blithely assuming this author's taxonomic opinions to be correct and final, 49 spp. treated under Psychotria in the Manual now belong rightfully to Palicourea (including "Psychotria sp. A," based on its alleged similarity to Psychotria deflexa DC.). This means that Palicourea and Psychotria have effectively traded places in the ranking of Costa Rican seed-plant genera: Palicourea surges from 44 to 93 spp., seizing eighth place on the list (the rank formerly held by Psychotria), while Psychotria plummets from 92 to 43 spp. and out of the top 20.

Calviño, C. I., M. Fernández & S. G. Martínez. 2016. Las especies de Azorella (Azorelloideae, Apiaceae) con distribución extra-Argentina. Darwiniana n. s., 4: 57–82.

We thought there would be something here for us, but the title is a bit deceptive: this is a treatment of the exclusively extra-Argentinian spp. of Azorella, that is to say, those that do not also occur in Argentina. Counterintuitively, the only Costa Rican representative of the genus, A. biloba (Schltdl.) Wedd., though largely omitted from this account of "extra-Argentinian" spp., was treated in full in an earlier (1989) contribution (by the third author) that considered only the "Argentinian" spp.! Go figure. The present paper treats in full just 11 out of the total of 26 spp. attributed to the genus (though the key to spp. is comprehensive). The omission of A. biloba is unfortunate, because, it has been suggested recently that the Costa Rican population may be taxonomically distinct [see, e.g., under "News and Notes" in The Cutting Edge 22(4), Oct. 2015], and we were hoping for resolution. So, while this contribution will no doubt prove useful to others, it is of little interest to us. Moving right along...

Carvalho-Sobrinho, J. G., W. S. Alverson, S. Alcantara, L. P. Queiroz, A. C. Mota & D. A. Baum. 2016. Revisiting the phylogeny of Bombacoideae (Malvaceae): novel relationships, morphologically cohesive clades, and a new tribal classification based on multilocus phylogenetic analyses. Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 101: 56–74.

Analyses of both nuclear and plastid DNA regions support a prior study [see under "Alverson," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(4), Oct. 2015] in concluding that the monospecific genus Pochota is distinct from Pachira (including Bombacopsis). However, this study portrays Pochota as sister to Pseudobombax, rather than Bombax or Spirotheca, as previously suggested. Pachira itself is paraphyletic with respect to the moderately large (ca. 20 spp.) neotropical genus Eriotheca, suggesting that the former genus will either have to absorb the latter or be split up in some manner. The authors do not address that issue. The new tribal classification is of no concern to us.

Hassemer, G. 2017. Taxonomic and nomenclatural notes on neotropical Commelina (Commelinaceae), and an identification key for Brazil, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname and Uruguay. Phytotaxa 303: 101–117.

Among many other inconsequential (to us) nomenclatural trivialities: the name Commelina rufipes Seub., accepted for a wide-ranging neotropical sp. that occurs in Costa Rica, is lectotypified, with no noteworthy consequences. Of greater significance is the author's decision to reject the infraspecific classification of C. rufipes embraced in the Manual treatment (2003) of Commelinaceae, wherein both the autonymic var. and C. r. var. glabrata (D. R. Hunt) Faden were accepted and attributed to Costa Rica. The present author could find "no suitable character to distinguish between these two varieties." Indumentum and leaf size were observed to "vary greatly within this species," with leaf sheaths ranging from "completely glabrous to completely covered in a dense red indumentum"; however, "intermediates linking these two extremes are common," and the "variation does not follow a geographic pattern." We're hopping aboard this bandwagon! Manual users willing to accept unvouchered country records will be able to augment the geographic ranges of all four Costa Rican representatives of Commelina (C. diffusa Burm. f., C. erecta L., C. obliqua Vahl, and C. rufipes) included in the titular key.

Hilje, L. & H. Jiménez Saa. 2017. Leslie R. Holdridge: un botánico que vio muy lejos/Leslie R. Holdridge: a botanist who saw very far. Revista Ci. Amb. 51: 181–194.

A brief appreciation of the famed botanist and dendrologist, on the occasion of the 110th anniversary of his birth, by two authors who knew the man and have written about him in the past. Inevitably, we learn many new facts from this account. A New England product of humble origin, Holdridge was born in southeastern Connecticut and obtained his bachelor's degree in Forestry at the University of Maine in 1932. Following that, he embarked upon a series of odd jobs that involved frequent travel to various regions of the New World, culminating in long-term employment as a forester in Puerto Rico and Haiti. Considering himself a field scientist, he expressed considerable disdain for academicians, but nonetheless returned to the United States to complete (in 1947) a Ph.D. in Botany at the University of Michigan. Union card in hand, Holdridge first accepted a position in Guatemala, then moved to Costa Rica in 1949, and most of what follows is well documented in the annals of Costa Rican botany (see, e.g., Vol. 1 of the Manual). In his later years, Holdridge lost his eyesight, so the title of this article is a bit of intentional irony. The most amazing fact about Leslie Holdridge that we did not know: married three times, the man begat an astounding total of 17 children! One of his (six) sons, Lee Holdridge, has attained fame as a composer and orchestrator (his Wikipedia entry dwarfs that of his father) and worked with many of the biggest names in Hollywood.

Revista de Ciencias Ambientales is a publication of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma, Heredia, Costa Rica.

Kolanowska, M. & D. L. Szlachetko. 2017. Synopsis of the genus Pterichis (Orchidaceae) in Colombia. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 102: 87–124.

This contribution, while not directly relevant to the Mesoamerican region, seems to undo everything that was accomplished in a recent treatment of Costa Rican Pterichis (not cited here) by the first author [see under "Kolanowska," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(1), Jan. 2015]. Although four of the five spp. attributed to Costa Rica in the prior work are also included in the new paper, three of those four—Pterichis galeata Lindl., P. parvifolia (Lindl.) Schltr., and P. pauciflora Schltr.—are no longer indicated as occurring in Costa Rica (or anywhere outside South America). The distribution of Pterichis habenarioides (F. Lehm. & Kraenzl.) Schltr. is duly extended to Costa Rica and Panama, but the infraspecific classification of that sp. implemented in the earlier paper has vanished without a trace. We strongly suspect that a timing issue is involved.

Maurin, O., J. Gere, M. Van der Bank & J. S. Boatwright. 2017. The inclusion of Anogeissus, Buchenavia and Pteleopsis in Terminalia (Combretaceae: Terminaliinae). Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 184: 312–325.

Prior work from this same group [see under "Maurin," this column, in The Cutting Edge 17(3), Jul. 2010] indicated that Buchenavia (the only affected genus of the title of interest to us) was nested in Terminalia and "should be included in an expanded circumscription" of the latter genus. Having reassessed and confirmed that work (as reported in the present paper) and ratified its conclusions, they are now ready to deal with the nomenclatural nuts and bolts. For us, this means the validation of new combinations in Terminalia for the two spp. treated under Buchenavia in the Manual Combretaceae account (2010). These now become Terminalia costaricensis (Stace) Gere & Boatwr. and T. tetraphylla (Aubl.) Gere & Boatwr., augmenting the Costa Rican sp. total for Terminalia by 50%. With the addition of the other two genera mentioned in the title, Terminalia gains more than 40 spp. worldwide. This also means that we no longer have to wait for flowering material in order to come to a final conclusion about the generic placement of certain specimens discussed in the Manual under (and included tentatively in) Buchenavia costaricensis. Terminalia mauriniana looms nigh...!

Melo, A. L., S. M. Athiê-Souza & M. F. Sales. 2017. A new combination and typifications in Sebastiania (Euphorbiaceae) from Mexico, Central America, and the Antilles. Phytotaxa 308: 118–124.

The titular nomenclatural maneuvers do not concern us. We cite this paper only because it features a key (dichotomous and indented!) to the five Mexican and Central American spp. accepted by the authors as members of Sebastiania. Included in the key is S. pavoniana (Müll. Arg.) Müll. Arg., one of the two Costa Rican spp. that have been attributed to the genus, but not the other, S. panamensis G. L. Webster. Even in the Manual treatment (2010) of Euphorbiaceae, the last-mentioned sp. was qualified as "de afinidad incierta." Here it is relegated to a list of 44 "Excluded names," and though we had hoped for some kind of taxonomic resolution, we get only "= Gymnanthes?" The answer can perhaps be found in a 2014 Brazilian doctoral thesis on the systematics of Gymnanthes cited by the authors, although, in our experience, Brazilian theses are rarely published and virtually imposssible to obtain (and, in any case, new combinations and such would probably not be published effectively). A compendium of "Additional specimens examined" also includes Sebastiania pavoniana, but again, not S. panamensis.

Morales, J. F., M. E. Endress & S. Liede-Schumann. 2017. Sex, drugs and pupusas: disentangling relationships in Echiteae (Apocynaceae). Taxon 66: 623–644.

This is the first significant published product of Francisco Morales's Ph.D. research (see under "New and Notes"), and it comes as no surprise that it is rigorously molecular in nature. The authors' analyses (involving four molecular markers and 70 ingroup spp. representing 17 genera) yielded many significant conclusions relevant to infrafamilial classification and character evolution, but (as usual) we will confine our discussion to those of greatest import to Costa Rican floristics. Apocynaceae tribe Echiteae Bartl. consisted of 19 genera a priori, but is limited by these authors to just 14, distributed thoughout the Neotropics, tropical and subtropical Asia, and the southwestern Pacific region. Three of the five lost genera comprise a subtribe (not represented in Costa Rica) that proved not to belong to Echiteae, and is thus transferred to another tribe. The other two lost genera (both of which occur in Costa Rica) are casualties of paraphyly: Fernaldia is nested within Echites, and Peltastes within Macropharynx. These results were suggested by previous studies [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 14(4): 10, Oct. 2007], but are cemented here through denser sampling and (most importantly to us!) nomenclatural action, with new combinations in Echites and Macropharynx validated (in the names of "J. F. Morales, M. E. Endress & Liede") as needed for spp. heretofore included in Fernaldia and Peltastes (respectively). Such new combinations may now be deployed for the former Fernaldia speciosissima Woodson and Peltastes isthmicus Woodson, two of the three affected Costa Rican spp.; the name Echites panduratus A. DC. is already available for the third, hitherto Fernaldia pandurata (A. DC.) Woodson (of pupusa fame). The generic limits of Echites (described in 1756) are pronounced to be "stable at last"; once a "nebulous catch-all," it now comprises 11 spp. (according to the current definition), ranging from Florida through Mesoamerica and the West Indies. A new subtribe of Echiteae is also formally proposed, for what it may be worth.

We were already aware (courtesy of the first author of this paper, and coauthor of the Manual Apocynaceae treatment) of the impending demise of Fernaldia and Peltastes, and had modified the Manual Apocynaceae draft accordingly, so are much pleased by the timely publication of this paper (especially as regards the new combinations!).

Orejuela, A., G. A. Wahlert, C. I. Orozco, G. Barboza & L. Bohs. 2017. Phylogeny of the tribes Juanulloeae and Solandreae (Solanaceae). Taxon 66: 379–392.

We do not care, of course, about these tribes (which, in any case, the authors end up combining under the second name in the title); rather, it is the potential repercussions at the rank of genus that whet our appetites. And on that score, this paper definitely opens more doors than it closes. Of the genera represented both in Costa Rica and this study, three—Juanulloa, Merinthopodium, and Schultesianthus—are clearly or apparently non-monophyletic. This would have no direct consequences, where Costa Rica is concerned, for the first two genera, because in each case our only sp. (ignoring "Merinthopodium sp. A") is the generic type. Schultesianthus is another matter: as currently circumscribed (e.g., in the Manual Solanaceae treatment), it is (according to the results of this study) sister to the Andean Juanulloa speciosa (Miers) Dunal and paraphyletic with respect to the Colombian Rahowardiana globifera S. Knapp & D'Arcy. According to the authors, their "molecular results suggest that J. speciosa should be transferred to Schultesianthus and that glandular trichomes are a synapomorphy of the Schultesianthus s.l. clade." However, were that transfer to be effected, the oldest available name for the resulting genus would become Sarcophysa Miers (1849), of which Juanulloa speciosa is the effective type (though some committee would surely have the final say). The authors seem to question their data regarding Rahowardiana, noting that "there are no obvious morphological characters that link [it] to this clade." And they do not mention that Rahowardiana D'Arcy (1974)—surely one of the most awkward genus names ever contrived—also has priority over Schultesianthus Hunz. (1977), in the event Juanulloa speciosa were to be left out in the cold (though it bears mentioning that the type sp. of Rahowardiana, R. wardiana D'Arcy, was not included in the study). Anything remains possible in this group, and the authors emphasize that "a complete re-evaluation is needed of the morphology and character distribution among species in the Schultesianthus s.l. clade." But Schultesianthus, as we know it, is clearly under the gun. Two new combinations at sp. rank are validated here, but they do not concern us. Features a composite plate of color photos from life.

Ortiz, O. O. & T. B. Croat. 2017. A new species of Dieffenbachia (Araceae) from Limón Province, Costa Rica. Webbia, DOI: 10.1080/00837792.2017.1330008.

So it has come to this: journals dispensing not only with page numbers, but with volume and issue numbers as well, leaving us with no choice but to cite articles in the stomach-churning style employed above (according to the suggestion of the journal itself). We wonder how this will be accommodated in TROPICOS, and similar data-bases. Not our problem, for the moment. As to the actual content of this article: the new sp., Dieffenbachia rodriguezii Croat & O. Ortiz, is known only from the type, collected at 1400 m elevation on Fila Matama (Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca). Said specimen (imaged in color) is immediately and quite strikingly distinctive by virtue of its leaves that are rather deeply cordate (by the standards of the genus) at the base. Other spp. of Dieffenbachia may have cordulate or subcordate leaf-bases, but we have seen none that could be described as fully cordate. The authors compare their new sp. to three congeners (especially D. oerstedii Schott), in each case enumerating differences beyond the most obvious one. We have a vague recollection of having seen comparable material at some point in time (the type was collected well after the 2003 publication of the Manual Araceae treatment). In cases like this, one always wonders whether a single aberrant specimen may be involved; however, the type locality is quite remote, and known to harbor other rare and interesting spp. The epithet of the new sp. honors Alexánder Rodríguez (CR), collector of the type and a principal Manual collaborator. Features a checklist ("synopsis") and key (non-indented) to the Dieffenbachia spp. of Costa Rica (which now number 14). The article can be accessed (if your institution has a subscription) by means of the following URL:


Pederneiras, L. C., V. F. Mansano & S. Romaniuc-Neto. 2017. Taxonomic synopsis of the [sic] Ficus sect. Pharmacosycea (Moraceae) from Colombia. Phytotaxa 313: 1–22.

Ficus sect. Pharmacosycea is a subset of subgen. Pharmacosycea, which comprises spp. that, generally speaking, are terrestrial and have the syconia solitary at the nodes. The section itself is entirely neotropical, with "approximately 31 species" (according to these authors) "characterized by one pair of glandular spots in the axils of the basal lateral veins, monoecious syconia, axillary and generally solitary, three basal bracts and two stamens." This treatment recognizes 21 spp. for the section in Colombia alone. A few of the authors' sp. concepts differ from those embraced in the Manual Moraceae account (2007) by José González. Most notably, Ficus torresiana Standl., synonymized under F. macbridei Standl. in the Manual (as well as in Flora costaricensis and Flora mesoamericana), is here recognized as distinct on the basis of syconial bract number and length. Overall geographic distributions (outside Colombia) are not indicated in this work, but because F. macbridei is said to be "centered on the South Brazilian province" (and is not even present in Colombia) and F. torresiana is based on a Costa Rica type, we would presume that only the latter is attributable to Costa Rica. In a similar vein, these authors resurrect the names Ficus mexicana (Miq.) Miq. and F. segoviae Miq. from synonymy under (fide Flora mesoamericana) F. maxima Mill. and F. insipida Willd., respectively. Once again, the synoptic nature of this treatment and its focus on Colombia permit few robust conclusions relevant to Costa Rica; however, because both F. mexicana and F. segoviae are typified by collections from countries to the north (Mexico and Nicaragua, respectively) and also occur to the south (in Colombia), it stands to reason that they are likely to be found in Costa Rica (though whether or not F. maxima and F. insipida are also found there is less certain). The taxonomy of these authors may very well have other implications for Costa Rica that we are unable to detect from the information presented. Features a key (non-indented) to spp., synonymy (not necessarily complete) and typology, brief sp. descriptions, distribution summaries and specimen citations (for Colombia), notes, and distribution maps. The very brief introduction addresses mainly historical aspects. All the spp. are illustrated with color photos from herbarium specimens. There are no taxonomic novelties, but ten lectotypes [including one each for F. glabrata Kunth (a synonym of F. insipida) and F. segoviae] and two neotypes (one for F. mexicana) are designated.

Pena, N. T. L., J. Freitas & A. Alves-Araújo. 2017. Elaphoglossum maya and E. rojasii (Dryopteridaceae), replacement names for E. angustifrons and E. reptans, respectively. Phytotaxa 307: 159–160.

Two names published in the same article [see The Cutting Edge 11(1): 9, Jan. 2004] by Costa Rican pteridologist Alexander Rojas (JVR) have proven to be illegitimate later homonyms, and are here replaced as indicated in the title. Only one of the replaced names, Elaphoglossum reptans A. Rojas, applies to a sp. occurring in Costa Rica—more specifically, on the Isla del Coco, where it is endemic. Its new name fittingly honors the original author (and collector of the type specimen). Both nomina nova are ascribed solely to "N. T. L. Pena" (and we wonder why two others had to be conscripted for this little note).

Ponce, M. M., C. del Rio, A. Ebihara & J.-Y. Dubuisson. 2017. Discussion on taxonomy of the fern genera Crepidomanes and Polyphlebium (Hymenophyllaceae) in Argentina and south-eastern South America, and description of a new local variety for Crepidomanes pyxidiferum. Bot. Lett. 164: 5–18.

The new var. of the title hails from southeastern Brazil and northern Argentina, and is thus of no concern to us, except insofar as it automatically establishes its autonymic counterpart, which would apply to Costa Rican material of Crepidomanes pyxidiferum (L.) Dubuisson & Ebihara. The last-mentioned sp. has also been known as Polyphlebium pyxidiferum (L.) Ebihara & Dubuisson or, more commonly (and perhaps most sensibly), Trichomanes pyxidiferum L. The separation of Crepidomanes from Polyphlebium is briefly discussed.

Rojas-Alvarado, A. F. 2017. Four new species and additional distributions of Elaphoglossum section Elaphoglossum (Dryopteridaceae) from the Neotropics. Amer. J. Pl. Sci. 8: 1234–1247.

None of the "additional distributions" is of direct relevance to Costa Rican floristics, and just one of the new spp. concerns us: Elaphoglossum luciae A. Rojas (honoring the author's daughter). Endemic to the country, E. luciae has been collected on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera Central (Volcán Turrialba) and both slopes of the Cordillera de Talamanca, at elevations of (2000–)2600–3450 m. It has been confused and is compared with Elaphoglossum atrosquamatum Mickel and E. hoffmannii (Mett. ex Kuhn) Christ; indeed, all Costa Rican records heretofore attributed to E. atrosquamatum [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 10(4): 12, Oct. 2003] evidently involve E. luciae, meaning that the former sp. must be expunged from the Costa Rican flora and restricted again to South America. Illustrated with drawings depicting the growth habit and indument.

Rova, J., C. Persson, E. Ljungstrand & A. Antonelli. 2017. Lectotypification of Pentagonia macrophylla (Rubiaceae) revisited. Phytotaxa 311: 288–292.

The authors argue (somewhat convincingly) that the reigning "lectotypification" of Pentagonia macrophylla Benth. (the type sp. of its genus) did not involve original material, hence was actually a neotypification. They also argue (somewhat less convincingly) that two Panamanian specimens found at K really do comprise original material, and proceed to lectotypify P. macrophylla on one of those (thereby superseding the previous neotypification). However, we learn nothing as to whether or how the new typification may affect the prevailing application of the name, even though the authors preface their discussion with a lot of diatribe regarding vacillating sp. concepts and the importance of typification in resolving same. A full-page color plate of the chosen specimen may help.

Santamaría-Aguilar, D., J. M. Chaves-Fallas & R. Aguilar. 2016. Two new species of Chrysophyllum (Sapotaceae) endemic to Costa Rica. Brittonia 68: 222–230.

This is another of those Brittonia papers that we have been sitting on for a long while, waiting for the journal to assign the page numbers required for proper bibliographic citation. The lag time between online and hard-copy publication has become absurd: more than six months for this article, which was first posted on 30 December 2016. Chrysophyllum moralesianum Aguilar, D. Santam. & J. M. Chaves (honoring Manual Sapotaceae author Juan Francisco Morales) and C. sierpense Aguilar, D. Santam. & J. M. Chaves, both endemic to the Golfo Dulce region (and the latter known only by the type collection), correspond to Chrysophyllum sp. B and C. sp. A (respectively) of Chico's Manual treatment (in which they were the only provisionally named Chrysophyllum spp.). Chrysophyllum moralesianum is compared most closely to the Panamanian C. striatum T. D. Penn., and C. sierpense to C. hirsutum Cronquist and the Brazilian C. januariense Eichler. Both new spp. are illustrated with composite line drawings and color plates.

As an aside: while the editors of Brittonia are presumably not worried about delayed reviews in The Cutting Edge, they may be more concerned to know that IPNI also waits before incorporating the names of new taxa published in that journal in their database; in fact, as of this writing, the names of these two new Chrysophyllum spp. remain MIA in IPNI!

Taylor, C. M. 2017. Another taxonomic review of the Neotropical genus Joosia (Rubiaceae, Cinchoneae). Novon 25: 214–237.

This treatment follows rather closely (by taxonomic standards!) on the heels of the last revision of Joosia (cited in the Manual Rubiaceae treatment), which was published in 1997. There are no substantive changes relevant to Costa Rica, vis-à-vis the Manual treatment (by this same author), with J. panamensis Dwyer still the only sp. attributed to the country. The Manual was a last-minute beneficiary of the author's work toward this review, which resulted in the name of our sp. being changed from Joosia umbellifera H. Karst. (as according to the prior revision) to J. panamensis at the page-proof stage. The sp. total for Joosia now stands at 19 (vs. 13, fide the Manual), including one "incompletely known" entity that remains undescribed. Features synonymy and typology, a dichotomous and indented key to spp., descriptions of new or redefined spp. (including J. panamensis), distribution summaries, and notes. The introduction is concerned mainly with taxonomic history, morpology, and distribution. Three new sp. names and two new combinations are validated (none pertinent to us). Selected spp. (not including J. panamensis) are depicted in a single composite line-drawing.

——. 2017. Rubiacearum americanarum magna hama pars XXXVI: new species and taxonomic changes in Palicourea (Palicoureeae). Novon 25: 238–258.

The big bucket tippeth yet again, but this time yields little if any new information (that we can detect) germane to Costa Rican floristics. Among this Palicourea miscellany, only the following morsel caught our attention: the report of two Honduran collections of Palicourea albocaerulea C. M. Taylor, ostensibly a Costa Rican endemic, at least according to Flora mesoamericana Vol. 4, Parte 2 (2012); however, the Honduran material of P. albocaerulea was accounted for in the author's Manual treatment (Vol. 7) of Rubiaceae (2014), so we have already had a few years to absorb this loss.

Wilson, K. L. 2017. Report of the General Committee: 17. Taxon 66: 478–480.

We now have final(?) decisions on the following issues that impact Costa Rican floristics: the genus name Bidens (Asteraceae) is conserved with feminine gender; Momordica lanata Thunb. [the basionym of Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai; Cucurbitaceae] and Bambusa vulgaris Schrad. ex J. C. Wendl. (Poaceae) are both conserved, ending threats to the names used in the Manual for two spp. cultivated in Costa Rica; the genus names Sporobolus (Poaceae) and Palhinhaea (Lycopodiaceae) are conserved, the former against various prior names including Spartina (which was accepted in the Manual); the genus names Sacoglottis (Humiriaceae) and Sarcoglottis (Orchidaceae), both used in the Manual, are officially non-confusable, hence both will prevail; and the name Acacia multipinnata Ducke (Fabaceae) is not conserved, meaning that the sp. treated as Senegalia multipinnata (Ducke) Seigler & Ebinger in the Manual becomes S. paniculata (Willd.) Killip. Annotate your copies!



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