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The Cutting Edge
Volume VIII, Number 4, October 2001
News and Notes | Recent Treatments | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature | Season's Pick
Anderson, E. F. 2001. The cactus family. Timber Press,
Portland, OR. 776 pp.
This is not a formal taxonomic monograph, but nonetheless a
comprehensive and authoritative consideration of the entire Cactaceae,
richly illustrated with color photographs, mostly taken in the wild. The
main part of the volume is an encyclopedic treatment of all 125 genera and
1810 spp. of Cactaceae (as accepted by the author), in strict alphabetical
sequence. Each genus entry features an informal discussion, generic synonymy,
a brief formal description, and a distribution summary, followed by individual
species entries. The latter include synonymy, plus a description and
distribution statement. There are no keys anywhere in the book. Introductory
chapters discuss morphology, ethnobotany, conservation, cultivation, and
classification. In the back are a glossary and separate indices to scientific
and common names. Designed to be “scientifically accurate and readable,“
this work succeeds on both counts, and will be a valuable reference for hobbyists
and professional taxonomists alike.
Andersson, L. 2001. Margaritopsis (Rubiaceae, Psychotrieae)
is a pantropical genus. Syst. Geogr. Pl. 71: 73–85.
The circumscription of tribe Psychotrieae and its component genera
has long been problematic, but investigators keep chipping away (see also under
Taylor, this column). With the tribal delimitation by now apparently more or
less settled, the focus has shifted to the generic level. In this study, a
cladistic analysis of nucleotide sequence variation in the rps16 intron of
chloroplast DNA among 40 spp. of tribe Psychotrieae reveals one strongly
supported, pantropical clade that the author suggests should be treated at
generic rank. The oldest available name for such a genus would be
Margaritopsis, heretofore restricted to three spp. of the Greater
Antilles. Reinvigorated as here proposed, Margaritopsis “may
comprise some 50 species,“ with ca. 25 in Africa, ca. 12 in New Caledonia
and Fiji, ca. 10 in the Neotropics, and a few in Southeast Asia through New
Guinea. Except for Margaritopsis s. str., all of the neotropical spp.
have usually been classed in Psychotria.
The newly conceived Margaritopsis is well characterized by a
combination of several rather obscure (and admittedly plesiomorphic) traits,
which remain to be systematically evaluated over the very wide range of spp.
in tribe Psychotrieae potentially involved. Partly for this reason, the
author validates just three new combinations in Margaritopsis (for
the type spp. of three genera newly synonymized). No new name is provided
for what is, as far as we can tell, the only sp. of this group occurring in
Costa Rica, Psychotria microdon (DC.) Urb., already recognized as
anomalous in previous studies [see
The Cutting Edge 6(4): 7–8, Oct. 1999]. Features a formal generic description with
synonymy, various cladograms, a valuable summary of the history of both
tribal and generic classification, and a discussion of classificatory options
(specifically, as to why lumping was preferred over splitting).
Buitenhuis, A. G. & J. F. Veldkamp. 2001. Revision of Eremochloa
(Gramineae—Andropogoneae—Rottboelliinae). Blumea 46: 399–420.
Eremochloa is a genus of 11 spp., restricted to South and
Southeast Asia. One sp., E. ophiuroides (Munro) Hack., is widely
cultivated as a lawn grass and has been recorded from Costa Rica (at the
Jardín Botánico Wilson). Includes a generic description, key to
spp., descriptions for all spp., with notes on distribution and habitat,
drawings of spikelet details, a section on “Excluded or Doubtful Taxa,“
and an index to exsiccatae (but no formal specimen citations). Two new spp. and
two new vars. are described, and one new name is validated; none of the novelties
is relevant to us. The introductory section is mainly concerned with taxonomic
history and nomenclatural details.
Cascante-Marín, A. & J. Gómez-Laurito. 2000. Las especies
costarricenses del género Panopsis (Proteaceae). Brenesia 53: 17–27.
William Burger's 1983 Flora costaricensis treatment of
Proteaceae (Fieldiana, Bot. n. s., 13: 8–14) accounted for just one sp. of
Panopsis, under the name P. suaveolens (Klotzsch & H. Karst.)
Pittier. The present authors embrace a less inclusive concept of P. suaveolens
[see The Cutting Edge 1(3): 4, Jul. 1994] that entails the resurrection of the name
Panopsis costaricensis Standl. (synonymized by Burger) for populations from
Costa Rica and westernmost Panama. They are also able to triple Burger's Costa Rican
sp. total for Panopsis, based on a revision of abundant material that has
accumulated during the past decade (for the most part). The two new additions are
Panopsis cinnamomea Pittier, previously known only from Venezuela, and
P. mucronata Cuatrec., ranging southward to Peru. In Costa Rica, the former
sp. is known by a single collection, from ca. 1500 m on the Atlantic slope of the
Cordillera de Talamanca [see
The Cutting Edge 4(2): 2–3, Apr. 1997], while the latter has been much collected,
especially in the Golfo Dulce region. Includes a key to the three Costa Rican spp.,
generous descriptions and discussions, comprehensive specimen citations, a distribution
map, and black-and-white photos of herbarium specimens.
Crow, G. E. 2001. Utricularia myriocista (Lentibulariaceae) in
Costa Rica: a new record for Central America. Rhodora 103: 227–232.
Utricularia myriocista A. St.-Hil. & Girard, a purple-flowered
aquatic widely distributed in South America from Venezuela to Bolivia and northeastern
Argentina, is reported from Central America for the first time. The seven Central
American collections cited are from a single locale, a shallow pond surrounded by
pineapple fields near Buenos Aires, in the southern Valle de El General, Costa Rica.
Dating only from 1984, this material had been previously determined as U. purpurea
Walter, a closely related and extremely similar North American sp. ranging south to
Nicaragua. Other noteworthy angiosperm disjuncts from the same pond are enumerated,
and the potential impact of a proposed hydroelectric dam [see
The Cutting Edge
7(2): 1, Apr. 2000] is discussed. Features photographs from life of U. myriocista
and U. purpurea, and a tabularized comparison of those sp. and U. cucullata
A. St.-Hil. & Girard, another South American member of the same group.
Dorr, L. J. 2001. The identity of Westphalina A. Robyns & Bamps (Tiliaceae).
Kew Bull. 56: 497–499.
The principal conclusions of this paper come as no surprise: that the
monospecific Westphalina is a synonym of Mortoniodendron, with
W. macrocarpa A. Robyns & Bamps a synonym of M. pentagonum (Donn. Sm.)
Miranda. This we had guessed long ago. But we must admit to being taken aback by
the author's cryptic parting comment: “Records in herbaria of M. pentagonum
from Costa Rica are based on misidentifications.“ Misidentifications of
what? We are certainly wide open to the suggestion that we've misapplied the
name Mortoniodendron pentagonum to Costa Rican material, but what should we
now call the species with very large, thick-walled fruits that is restricted (at
least in Costa Rica) to the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca? This
distinctive entity, represented by at least 10 collections, is clearly different
from any other Costa Rican Mortoniodendron sp., and has no other name known
to us. Perhaps the author intends to describe it as new.
Dressler, R. L. 2001. Two sobralias. Orchids 70: 750–751, 770.
A well-known ornamental Sobralia (Orchidaceae) with golden-lipped
flowers, ranging along the Atlantic slope from Nicaragua to central Panama, has long
been called either S. leucoxantha Rchb. f. or S. powellii Schltr.
The latter name has been established as applying to a rather different sp. of central
Panama. Now, examination of the type of S. leucoxantha (one of the two entities
alluded to in the title) reveals that this name has also been misapplied; correctly,
Sobralia leucoxantha is the oldest name for a more humble sp., of Costa Rica
and Panama, heretofore known as S. macra Schltr. The flashier, golden-lipped
sp., momentarily nameless, is here formally christened as Sobralia chrysostoma
Dressler (the second entity of the title). No specimens are cited other than the type.
Features fine close-up color photos of flowers of both S. chrysostoma and
S. leucoxantha, by Kerry A. Dressler.
Giudice, G. E. 2001. Revisión del grupo Adiantum lunulatum
(Pteridaceae–Pteridophyta) en América. Bol. Soc. Argent. Bot. 36: 131–140.
Nothing new for us here. The group referenced in the title is
characterized by pinnate leaf-blades with petiolulate, flabellate to cuneate
ultimate segments, with free veins. It is represented by just four spp. in the
New World, of which only Adiantum deflectens Mart. and A. lunulatum
Burm. f., both widespread, are recorded from Costa Rica. Includes a key to spp.,
synonymy and typology, a tabular comparison of the four spp. (but no formal
descriptions), specimen citations (from a small range of herbaria), a distribution
map, and some line-drawings and SEM micrographs.
Gottschling, M. & H. H. Hilger. 2001. Phylogenetic analysis and
character evolution of Ehretia and Bourreria (Ehretiaceae, Boraginales)
and their allies based on ITS1 sequences. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 123: 249–268.
“Ehretiaceae?“ Well, anyway, Bourreria seems to be
okay, but (wouldn't you know it) Ehretia is paraphyletic. The authors'
solution is to sink two satellite genera (neither occurring in Mesoamerica) into
Ehretia. However, even if further splitting of Ehretia were the
option of choice, we would be unaffected, because E. latifolia DC., the
only sp. recorded from Costa Rica, belongs to the same clade as the generic type.
Lehnert, M., M. Mönnich, T. Pleines, A. Schmidt-Lebuhn & M. Kessler. 2001.
The relictual fern genus Loxsomopsis. Amer. Fern J. 91: 13–24.
This article probably sets some kind of record for the ratio of
authors to spp. in a traditional taxonomic revision. Loxsomopsis is the
only New World representative of Loxomataceae, a family with just one other genus,
Loxoma (restricted to the North Island of New Zealand). Four spp. have been
described in Loxsomopsis, ranging in the mountains from Costa Rica to Bolivia.
However, the characters used to separate them appear to vary independently, leading
the authors to conclude that the genus is monotypic, with Loxsomopsis pearcei
(Baker) Maxon the operative name. Thus we officially lose the ostensibly endemic
L. costaricensis H. Christ. Features a sp. description, comprehensive
specimen citations, two composite line-drawings, SEM spore micrographs, and a map.
The introductory part embodies a detailed consideration of morphological variation
in the genus, with remarks on taxonomy, geographic distribution, and ecology.
Linares, J. 2001. Nuevas especies del género Ateleia
(Leguminosae: Papilionoideae) de México y Centroamérica. Anales Inst.
Biol. Univ. Nac. Autón. México, Bot. 72: 85–114.
None of the novelties pertains to Costa Rica, leaving intact our complement
of just two Ateleia spp. Useful to us is a key to all 18 spp. presently known
from Mexico and Central America.
Lu B.–R., Ge S., Sang T., Chen J.-K. & Hong D.-Y. 2001. The current
taxonomy and perplexity of the genus Oryza (Poaceae). Acta Phytotax. Sin.
Summarizes past treatments of this economically important genus and
presents a revised version of the first author's recent (1999) system, recognizing
24 spp. A morphological key to spp. is here provided but, like the rest of the paper
(abstract excepted), it is in Chinese.
Luer, C. A. 2001. Miscellaneous new species in the Pleurothallidinae.
Revista Soc. Boliv. Bot. 3: 37–63.
Fifteen new spp. and one new combination are validated in subtribe
Pleurothallidinae (Orchidaceae), four in Masdevallia and the rest in
Pleurothallis. As befits the journal, most of these novelties are South
American. Just one pertains to Costa Rica: Pleurothallis luis-diegoi
Luer, known by a single collection from the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de
Talamanca at ca. 300 m elevation. Our newest endemic, dedicated to its principal
collector Luis Diego Gómez, is a tiny, epiphytic sp. apparently most
closely related to the Colombian P. cycecis Luer & R. Escobar. Illustrated
with a detailed composite line-drawing.
Pupulin, F. 2001. Addenda orchidaceis quepoanis. Lankesteriana 1: 1–28.
The author's orchid florula of Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio [see
Edge 7(2): 12, Apr. 2000] is here retooled to cover a somewhat larger region,
corresponding politically to the Cantón de Aguirre (Puerto Quepos and vicinity)
in Prov. Puntarenas. Sixteen spp. are added, all fully described, keyed (where
appropriate), vouchered, and illustrated with very fine composite line-drawings.
Generic descriptions are provided for six genera not previously recorded from the
area (Coeliopsis, Gongora, Hexisea, Prosthechea, Stanhopea, and Xylobium).
One new sp. is described: Epidendrum montis-narae Pupulin & L. Sánchez
(type from Cerro Nara), a member of the E. difforme Jacq. complex, compared
most closely with E. hameri Hágsater & L. Sánchez of Nicaragua and
northern Costa Rica.
--. 2001. New taxa in Costa Rican Lepanthes (Orchidaceae). Harvard Pap.
Bot. 6: 289–294.
This handsome new journal, edited to high standards by Carlos O. Morales (USJ)
and Franco Pupulin (SEL/USJ), is the scientific organ of the Jardín
Botánico Lankester, near Cartago. Lankesteriana mirrors Selbyana in being mainly
devoted to original research on the systematics and ecology of Mesoamerican epiphytes,
with an emphasis on orchids. We are indebted to Jorge Gómez-Laurito (USJ)
for making us aware of this publication and for providing a copy of the maiden issue,
underwritten by the Cleveland Botanical Garden.
Two spp. and one subsp., all endemic, are here described as new. Lepanthes
rafaeliana Pupulin, known by a single collection from ca. 2800 m elevation near the
Continental Divide in the Cordillera de Talamanca, is not diagnosed in any way. Better
characterized is L. spadarii Pupulin (correctly spadariae), from a single
site (but several collections), at ca. 1600 m elevation on the Pacific slope of the
Cordillera de Talamanca. Costa Rican material of Lepanthes johnsonii Ames,
recorded only from Parque Nacional Tapantí, is distinguished as subsp.
costaricensis Pupulin, characterized as having longer and wider lateral sepals
than the autonymic subsp. (of Mexico and Guatemala). Illustrated with excellent
composite line-drawings. The addition of two Lepanthes spp. to the flora
brings the Costa Rican total for the genus to 93 spp., and our running total of new
orchid spp. described from Costa Rica since the inception of this newsletter (1993) to
170 [including also Epidendrum montis-narae (see above), as well as
Pleurothallis luis-diegoi and Sobralia chrysostoma (see under Luer and
Dressler, respectively, this column)].
Radcliffe-Smith, A. 2001. Genera euphorbiacearum. Royal Botanic
Gardens, Kew, UK. 455 pp.
This is a rigorous taxonomic treatment of the entire family Euphorbiaceae,
with keys and generous formal descriptions at all levels down to genus. The genera are
organized hierarchically, under six principal divisions (five subfamilies plus
“incertae sedis“). The account is based primarily on an unpublished
manuscript, by the late John Hutchinson, intended for the third volume of that
author's The genera of flowering plants (terminated after the second volume).
However, Hutchinson's infrafamilial classification system is abandoned in favor of a
somewhat modified version of the more recent and widely accepted system of Grady L.
Webster (DAV). Hippomaneae, the only tribe not finished by Hutchinson, is here
contributed by Hans-Joachim Esser (HBG). Genus entries include synonymy, a
distribution summary, and notes on classification and (irregularly) other details.
Song, B.-H., X.-Q. Wang, F.-Z. Li & D.-Y. Hong. 2001. Further evidence for
paraphyly of the Celtidaceae from the chloroplast gene matK. Pl. Syst. Evol.
This study supports previous molecular work [see
Edge 5(4): 8, Oct. 1998] portraying the traditional Ulmaceae as diphyletic, with
Ulmaceae s. str. sister to Celtidaceae plus the remainder of Urticales. Moreover,
Cannabaceae “are consistently nested within the Celtidaceae,“ prompting
the authors to “suggest that the Cannabaceae be merged with Celtidaceae to form
a monophyletic Celtidaceae.“ As further evidence, they note that “the
basic chromosome number x = 10 is shared by portions of Celtidaceae and Cannabaceae
alone in the traditional Urticales.“ [N.B.: according to Appendix IIB of the
Code, the family formed by the merger of Cannabaceae and Celtidaceae would have to
be called Cannabaceae.]
Taylor, C. M. 2001. Overview of the neotropical genus Notopleura
(Rubiaceae: Psychotrieae), with the description of some new species. Ann. Missouri
Bot. Gard. 88: 478–515.
Taking the bull by the horns on the heels of compelling molecular evidence
[see, e.g., The
Cutting Edge 6(4): 7–8, Oct. 1999], Manual Rubiaceae contributor Charlotte M.
Taylor (MO) formally recognizes the genus Notopleura (as distinct from
Psychotria), and provides a synoptic treatment. Morphologically, Notopleura
differs from Psychotria s. str. in its low, succulent habit, stipules with a
distinctive interpetiolar appendage, usually pseudoaxillary inflorescences, and pyrenes
with two germination slits on the adaxial face. The 73 spp. (all neotropical) are
classed in two subgenera: Notopleura subgen. Notopleura, with 63
terrestrial spp., and N. subgen Viscagoga (Baill.) C. M. Taylor (comb.
nov.), with 10 epiphytic spp. We tote 17 spp. attributed to Costa Rica, 12 in subgen.
Notopleura and five in subgen. Viscagoga. The taxon formerly well known
as Psychotria macrophylla Ruiz & Pav. is here resolved as seven distinct spp.,
of which two [Notopleura anomothyrsa (K. Schum. & Donn. Sm.) C. M. Taylor and
N. tolimensis (Wernham) C. M. Taylor] occur in Costa Rica. Features a detailed
discussion of morphology, generic and subgeneric descriptions, a key to subgenera and
nested keys to species and infraspecific taxa, synonymy, illustrations of all new spp.,
and an index to scientific names. Eighteen new spp. are described, with only
Notopleura nepokroeffiae C. M. Taylor pertaining to Costa Rica. New combinations
total 53 at sp. rank and four at infraspecific levels; a new combination was required
for every taxon occurring in Costa Rica save Notopleura uliginosa (Sw.) Bremek.
Williams, N. H., M. W. Chase, T. Fulcher & W. M. Whitten. 2001. Molecular
systematics of the Oncidiinae based on evidence from four DNA sequence regions:
expanded circumscriptions of Cyrtochilum, Erycina, Otoglossum, and
Trichocentrum and a new genus (Orchidaceae). Lindleyana 16: 113–119.
Parsimony analyses of combined data from nrITS DNA and three plastid regions
were used to address the major issue of whether any concept of Cyrtochilum could
be supported. The study involved 77 ingroup taxa of subtribe Oncidiinae Benth., which
harbors more than 1700 spp. altogether. A tenable concept of Cyrtochilum did
emerge, however none of its spp. apparently occurs in southern Central America. The
new genus mentioned in the title likewise does not concern us—but just about all of the
other incidental results do. Erycina, formerly with just two spp. in western
Mexico, is here expanded to accommodate all the spp. of the now defunct Psygmorchis,
plus Oncidium crista-galli Rchb. f., which seems to bridge the two groups. The
odyssey of the so-called "rat-tail" spp. of Oncidium [e.g., O. cebolleta
(Jacq.) Sw. and relatives, with terete leaves] continues. These resided quietly in
Oncidium until 1997, when they were abruptly transferred to a new genus, called
The Cutting Edge 5(2): 4–5, Apr. 1998]. Shortly thereafter, the long-neglected
Cohniella was resurrected to supplant Stilifolium, with all the indicated
combinations duly validated [see
The Cutting Edge 7(1): 6, Jan. 2000]. Now, Cohniella is synonymized with
Trichocentrum (an older name than the contending Lophiaris), which also
absorbs the so-called “mule-ear“ spp. of Oncidium, of which only
O. carthagenense (Sw.) Jacq. is definitely known from Costa Rica. Finally, the
members of Oncidium sect. Serpentia (Kraenzl.) Garay (with only O.
globuliferum Kunth occurring in Costa Rica) are transferred to Otoglossum.
All of the necessary new combinations in Erycina, Trichocentrum, and Otoglossum
are here validated, in the names of N. H. Williams & M. W. Chase (or vice-versa). Although
the foregoing changes were influenced mainly by cladistic considerations, morphological
correlates are also invoked, and classificatory criteria are discussed explicitly.
The authors emphasize that much additional work remains to be done on the group, and
that additional changes in generic classification are inevitable. They allude to some
possibilities: Leucohyle should probably be merged with Trichopilia,
together with several other genera (but not Psychopsis, which should be recognized
as distinct); and Odontoglossum and Oncidium may or may not merit
distinction, but if they are kept separate, then Oncidium obryzatum Rchb. f.
(or is it O. klotzschianum Rchb. f.?) would be the only Central American member
of the former genus.