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The Cutting Edge
Volume IX, Number 4, October 2002
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Aedo, C., J. J. Aldasoro & C. Navarro. 2002. Revision of
Geranium sections Azorelloida, Neoandina, and Paramensia
(Geraniaceae). Blumea 47: 205-297.
South America is the world's richest area for Geranium,
with over 150 spp. out of a global total of ca. 430. This contribution
treats 25 spp. comprising the three sections mentioned in the title, all
basically Andean and belonging to Geranium subgen. Geranium.
Section Neoandina Aedo harbors 22 of these spp., including
Geranium costaricense H. E. Moore, of Costa Rica and western Panama,
the only non-South American member of this assemblage. There is nothing
new here for us. Includes a combined key to spp., synonymy and formal
descriptions at all levels, distribution maps, excellent composite
line-drawings, a section on excluded names, and indices to exsiccatae
(not otherwise cited) and scientific names. The introductory section,
addressing morphology, phylogeny and biogeography, features SEM and light
Alves, M. V. & W. W. Thomas. 2002. Four new species of
Hypolytrum Rich. (Cyperaceae) from Costa Rica and Brazil. Feddes
Repert. 113: 261-270.
Just one of the new spp. is Costa Rican, that being
Hypolytrum amplissimum Alves & W. W. Thomas, endemic to Isla del
Coco. There it is well known, having been collected, it seems, by virtually
every botanist to have visited the island during the past century. Previous
authors have accommodated this entity in some other sp., e.g., Hypolytrum
nicaraguense Liebm. (Flora of Costa Rica) or H. amplum
Poepp. & Kunth (Flora mesoamericana). Indeed, it is closely related
to the latter, from which it differs subtly in several mensural characters
(including, counterintuitively, narrower leaves), here tabularized.
Illustrated with a fine, composite line drawing.
Andersson, L. 2002. Re-establishment of Carapichea (Rubiaceae, Psychotrieae). Kew Bull. 57: 363-374.
Analysis of sequence variation in the rps16 intron (cpDNA),
involving just 24 spp., suggests that three spp. presently included in
Psychotria subg. Heteropsychotria Steyerm. “form a strongly
supported monophyletic group.“ As this group is also “diagnosable
in morphological terms,“ the author proposes generic rank, notwithstanding
that the relationships among the various groups within the “Palicourea
complex“ are still unresolved. The proposed genus, comprising three
neotropical spp., must be called Carapichea Aublet (a name that no Costa
Rican will be able to utter with a straight face); the necessary new combinations
are here validated. Two of the spp. occur in Costa Rica: Carapichea affinis
(Standl.) L. Andersson [formerly Psychotria borucana (A. R. Molina) C. M.
Taylor & W. C. Burger or Cephaelis affinis Standl.] and Carapichea
ipecacuanha (Brot.) L. Andersson [formerly Psychotria ipecacuanha
(Brot.) Stokes or Cephaelis ipecacuanha (Brot.) A. Rich.], the latter
being the commercial source of ipecac. These spp. were recognized as anomalous
in previous studies [see, e.g.,
The Cutting Edge 6(4): 7-8, Oct. 1999]. Diagnostic characters for Carapichea
include: non-caducous stipules, leaves drying greenish or grayish, aperturate pollen,
and planoconvex pyrenes with an adaxial furrow and distinct germination slits on
abaxial ridges (as opposed to marginally), but without ethanol-soluble pigment in
Beardsley, P. M. & R. G. Olmstead. 2002. Redefining Phrymaceae: the
placement of Mimulus, tribe Mimuleae, and Phryma. Amer. J. Bot.
This analysis of chloroplast trnL/F and nuclear ribosomal ITS
and ETS sequence data results in a somewhat tenuous tying-up of loose ends. The
on-again-off-again Verbenaceae segregate Phrymaceae is back on, somewhat enlarged
to accommodate several other genera, including the widely distributed (but absent
from Costa Rica) Mimulus, recently exiled from its long-standing home in
The Cutting Edge 8(2): 12-13, Apr. 2001]; entrained with Mimulus (as
members of tribe Mimuleae) are Hemichaena and Leucocarpus, both present
in Costa Rica. Also of interest to us is the Australasian genus Mazus,
adventive in Costa Rica, which here emerges in a well-supported sister relationship
with the oligotypic Chinese genus Lancea. Together, the latter two genera
(both also formerly in tribe Mimuleae) evince a weakly supported sister relationship
with the previously mentioned members of the reconstituted Phrymaceae, in which
their membership as a separate subfamily is accordingly proposed. Lastly, it would
appear that several genera, including Hemichaena and Leucocarpus as
well as Phryma itself, are actually nested within Mimulus. The authors
discuss but take no firm stance on the two usual main options, i.e., to lump all the
nested genera into a single, expanded Mimulus, or to break traditional
Mimulus into several smaller genera (which “would require 105 to 185 name
changes“). From a strictly Costa Rican viewpoint, the latter option would be the
Berg, C. C. 2001. Moreae, Artocarpeae, and Dorstenia (Moraceae);
with introductions to the family and Ficus and with additions and corrections
to Flora Neotropica Monograph 7. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 83: 1-348.
According to the author's classification, five tribes of Moraceae are
represented in the Neotropics. Two of these, Olmedieae and Brosimeae, were the
subject of Berg's 1972 FNM contribution referenced in the title; however, neither
name has survived three decades of relentless research: Olmedieae, due to the merger
of its type genus with Trophis (tribe Moreae), must now be called Castilleae,
while Brosimeae, by virtue of a wholesale tribal merger, yields to Dorstenieae,
previously restricted in the Neotropics to the type genus. The present monograph
updates the original accounts of Castilleae (shorn of Olmedia) and Dorstenieae,
and provides novel treatments of the tribes Moreae and Artocarpeae and the genus
Dorstenia (completing the revision of the redefined tribe Dorstenieae). With
the addition of a family introduction, the author has now tied up all the outstanding
loose ends to set the stage for his final installment, a revision of the daunting
Ficus (the only genus of tribe Ficeae), here briefly introduced.
The taxa here covered for the first time in FNM comprise 10 genera (including the
cultivated Old World Artocarpus, treated informally) and 79 spp. All but one
of the genera (the monospecific Bagassa) are represented in Costa Rica, by a
total of 18 spp. (including two spp. of Artocarpus), according to the author's
taxonomy. There are no taxonomic novelties relevant to Costa Rica, and very little
that is new to us, as we have mostly kept pace with the author's research over the
years. Tribe Moreae embraces three neotropical genera: Morus and Maclura
(including Chlorophora), each with a single sp. attributed to Costa Rica, plus
Trophis (including Olmedia) with 4 Costa Rican spp. Not cited is Costa
Rican material that has been determined as Morus celtidifolia Kunth, a putative
addition to our flora. The genera of tribe Artocarpeae indigenous to Costa Rica are
Batocarpus (1 spp. accepted from Costa Rica), Clarisia (2 spp.),
Sorocea (3 spp.), and Poulsenia (1 spp.). The author persists in treating
Clarisia mexicana (Liebm.) Lanj. as a synonym of C. biflora Ruiz & Pav.,
though we regard them as distinct and both present in Costa Rica (in addition to
C. racemosa Ruiz & Pav.). Dorstenia, by far the largest genus revised
here with 46 neotropical spp., contributes just three to the Costa Rican flora; but
again, material of a putative fourth Costa Rican sp. [see
The Cutting Edge 8(1): 3-4, Jan. 2001] was not seen. None of the 16 indigenous
Costa Rican spp. of this assemblage is endemic, although Trophis involucrata
W. C. Burger comes close, known by just one extraterritorial (Panamanian) collection.
Features synonymy, descriptions, discussions, and keys at every level, representative
specimen citations, and line drawings of most (if not all) indigenous spp.
The family introduction includes discussions of taxonomic history, morphology,
pollination, dispersal, distribution and ecology, classification, and uses, as well
as a formal family description and separate keys to the tribes and genera. The
“additions and corrections“ to the earlier monograph comprise revised
descriptions of selected spp. and subspp., range extensions, complete entries for
12 spp. or subspp. added to the treatment, supplementary comments, and revised sp.
keys for several genera, including Brosimum, Maquira, Naucleopsis, Perebea, and
Pseudolmedia. Five of the added spp. are illustrated. At least one tidbit is
new to us: the vouchered attribution to Costa Rica of Naucleopsis straminea
C. C. Berg, previously known only from Panama and Colombia. On the other hand, some
new Costa Rican records are omitted, e.g., that of Perebea guianensis Aubl.
[see The Cutting Edge 1(4): 4, Oct. 1994]. It seems to us that the introduction to
Ficeae, comprising formal descriptions and discussions for the tribe as well as the
sole genus Ficus and its two American sections, would have been more
appropriately withheld for the volume containing the revision of that group.
The present volume concludes with a full set of distribution maps and indices to
exsiccatae, common names, and scientific names, all of which serve jointly for the
two main taxonomic portions of the book
Chase, M. W., S. Zmarzty, M. D. Lledó, K. J. Wurdack, S. M. Swensen &
M. F. Fay. 2002. When in doubt, put it in Flacourtiaceae: a molecular
phylogenetic analysis based on plastid rbcL DNA sequences. Kew Bull. 57:
Analyses including a wide range of genera from the orders Celastrales
and Malpighiales confirm that the well known but loosely characterized tropical
family Flacourtiaceae is diphyletic, and must henceforth cease to exist (under
that name, at any rate). Of the two major clades, the one that includes
Flacourtia also contains Salix, which entrains the older family
name Salicaceae. The other major clade has recently been denominated by the
oldest available family name, Kiggelariaceae; however, the name Achariaceae must
instead prevail, according to Appendix IIB of the Code. In a refreshing departure
from many other molecular works, the nomenclatural changes suggested by this study
are presented formally and explicitly. Synonymy and descriptions are provided for
both families and all their component tribes, and the complete generic composition
of each tribe is indicated in the tribal heading and cross-referenced in an appendix.
One new taxon and one new combination are validated at the tribal level. For the
record, all genera of traditional Flacourtiaceae occurring naturally in Costa Rica
are now referred to Salicaceae, with the exception of Carpotroche, Chiangiodendron,
Lindackeria, and Mayna, all assigned to Achariaceae. Lacistema
and Lozania, sometimes included in Flacourtiaceae, “were strongly
supported as monophyletic,“ but “did not consistently cluster with any
other family.“ Although these genera are tentatively retained in Lacistemataceae,
the authors predict that “with more data“ they will eventually prove to
be members of Salicaceae. Some incidental results: both Lepidobotrys and
Ruptiliocarpon were included in this analysis, as putative members of
Celastrales, and appear as sister taxa (contrary to some previous indications) in
the single cladogram published here; both Phyllanthaceae and Putranjivaceae
(Drypetes) appear distinct from Euphorbiaceae, and strong arguments could be
made for submerging Quiinaceae in Ochnaceae and Erythroxylaceae in Rhizophoraceae.
The opening quote in the article's title is attributed to the late Louis O.
Denham, S. S., F. O. Zuloaga & O. Morrone. 2002. Systematic revision and
phylogeny of Paspalum subgenus Ceresia (Poaceae: Panicoideae:
Paniceae). Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 89: 337-399.
Paspalum is a largely New World genus of ca. 330 spp., classed
in two subgenera. This revision of the smaller (25 spp.) Paspalum subgen.
Ceresia (Pers.) Rchb. complements two previous treatments by the same lab
of informal sp. groups in subgen. Paspalum [see
The Cutting Edge 2(2): 8, Apr. 1995, and
3(4): 7, Oct. 1996]. Brazil, with 22 spp. including 10 endemics, is the center
of distribution for the strictly neotropical subgen. Ceresia, characterized
by a foliaceous inflorescence rachis and densely pilose spikelets and here divided
into two sections: sect. Ceresia (Pers.) Nees (18 spp.) and sect. Pectinata
Chase ex Rodr.-Rodr. Although several spp. of subgen. Ceresia occur in the
Mesoamerican region, just three are here reported from Costa Rica, in accord with
our previous knowledge: Paspalum humboldtianum Flüggé and P.
stellatum Humb. & Bonpl. ex Flüggé (both of sect. Ceresia) and
Paspalum pectinatum Nees ex Trin. (sect. Pectinata). Includes a brief
description of the subgenus (apparently), a non-indented key to spp., typology,
synonymy and lengthy descriptions for each sp., representative specimen citations,
distribution maps, indices to exsiccatae and scientific names, and excellent composite
line drawings of about half the spp. The introductory part is dominated by a cladistic
analysis involving 58 morphological characters, with some critical spikelet features
depicted in SEM micrographs.
Ehlers, R. 2002. Tillandsia butzii. Bromelie 2/2002: 55-56.
The formal description of the Mexican Tillandsia butzii Mez var.
roseiflora Ehlers (Bromeliaceae) automatically establishes the corresponding
autonym, which would be applicable to Costa Rican material of the genus.
Freckmann, R. W. & M. G. Lelong. 2002. Nomenclatural changes and innovations
in Panicum and Dichanthelium (Poaceae: Paniceae). Sida 20: 161-174.
The only innovations that (mildly) concern us involve changes in status
from variety to subspecies for numerous taxa belonging to the genera mentioned in
the title. The affected Costa Rican spp. are Dichanthelium acuminatum (Sw.)
Gould & C. A. Clark, D. strigosum (Muhl.) Freckmann and Panicum hirticaule
J. Presl, each represented in Tiquicia by only the autonymic infraspecific taxon.
Freire-Fierro, A. 2002. Monograph of Aciotis (Melastomataceae).
Syst. Bot. Monogr. 62: 1-99
Aciotis is a neotropical genus comprising 13 spp. of herbs and
shrubs. Just three spp. are recorded from Costa Rica: Aciotis indecora
(Bonpl.) Triana [formerly known as A. rostellata (Naudin) Triana] and A.
rubricaulis (Mart. ex DC.) Triana [formerly A. caulialata (Ruiz & Pav.)
Triana and, before that, A. levyana Cogn.], both widespread; and A.
purpurascens (Aubl.) Triana, known by a single, old collection from the Coto
Colorado region and a more recent one (possibly a cultivated specimen) from the
Estación Biológica Las Cruces. A typical tour-de-force contribution from
this fine journal, with all the trimmings. The specimen citations are comprehensive,
and every sp. is mapped, and illustrated with a composite line-drawing. No new taxa
are validated here (though several were dispatched by the author in a preliminary
Golding, J. & D. C. Wasshausen. 2002. Begoniaceae, Edition 2. Part I:
Annotated species list. Part II: Illustrated key, abridgment and supplement.
Contr. U. S. Natl. Herb. 43: 1-289.
Essentially a nomenclator for Begoniaceae, cited here chiefly because
it contains a comprehensive key to spp. and is replete with useful photos and
illustrations (albeit mainly of exsiccatae).
Häsler, B. & T. W. Baumann. 2000. Henri Pittier: Leben und Werk eines Schweizer Naturforschers in den Neotropen. F. Reinhardt, Basel, Switzerland.
Here is a veritable treasure trove of information, 455 profusely
illustrated and annotated pages' worth, on every aspect of both the professional
and domestic lives of Henri Pittier, the patron saint of Costa Rican botany.
The book is divided into five main parts, the first of which covers the initial
thirty years of Pittier's life in his native Switzerland. The remaining four parts
span successive intervals of roughly 15 years each (Pittier lived to the age of 92),
as follows: Costa Rica (1887-1904), United States (1905-1919), Venezuela 1919-1935,
and Venezuela 1936-1950. Although he was over 60 when he moved to Venezuela, Pittier
achieved even greater stature there than in Costa Rica. Nonetheless, the part on
Costa Rica occupies nearly 30% of the book, and contains many rare photos (a young
Tonduz fully decked out in his field apparel) and insights. Of special interest are
Pittier's frank (and presumably self-serving) appraisals of some of his colleagues:
Adolphe Tonduz was “a laborious and painstaking collector,“
responsible for about 60% of the 20,000 numbers of the Instituto Físico-geográfico
series, but “his collections contain again and again the same species and
comparatively few new things“; on the other hand, Carlos Wercklé was
“a good observer and few rare species escape his notice,“ but he was a
“poor preparator.“ But the two men had at least one characteristic in
common: both were (like Pablo Biolley) legendary alcoholics!
Sound familiar? Read on. Like many a hard-driving scientist, Pittier led a
tumultuous domestic life, marrying three times (his first wife died during their
second year in Costa Rica, probably of tuberculosis). He produced six children, four
girls and two boys, none of whom appears to have followed in his footsteps. As he
prepared to leave Costa Rica in 1904, his family was drifting apart, like “islands
lost in the immensity of the ocean“ (translating from Pittier's French). Two of
the three children from his first marriage had returned to Switzerland for schooling.
The third, Mathilde, was living in Philadelphia, in forced separation from a charismatic
and resourceful Costa Rican suitor (some things never change!). A heavy-handed 1904
letter to the suitor, reproduced in its entirety, communicated Pittier's verdict and
sentence in florid Spanish: “Sólo el modo furtivo empleado por Ud....
demuestra su carencia de honor y buena educación“; “...es hecho
comprobado que en la actualidad no es Ud. hombre de conducta intachable, que no posee
medios para fundar un hogar digno del nombre, que ni me puedo fiar de la palabra dada
por Ud. a mi hija de casarse con ella“; “...he decidido poner por ahora
término a relaciones que han seguido hasta la fecha a pesar de mi disgusto y a
poner entre ella y Ud. el catégorico obstáculo de la distancia. Mi hija no
volverá a Costa Rica mientras no esté mayor de edad." Mathilde soon married
a promising young botanist in Philadelphia (the closest filial approach to dad's
profession), but both quickly faded into oblivion. Pittier's second wife, the
Colombian-born Guillermina de Fábrega, whom he married in Costa Rica and
who bore him three children there, refused to accompany the family's migration to the
United States in 1905, and was eventually rejoined in Costa Rica by their eldest
daughter, Margarita (who would go on to marry a Nicaraguan millionaire, against her
father's will). Pittier's second marriage is described (by his grandson) as “a
tragedy of two strong-willed personalities constantly clashing about something over
which neither was going to give in.“ On his deathbed in Caracas, in 1950,
Pittier's final words (spoken to his daughter and third wife in the next room) were
appropriately bilingual: “What are you two sinvergüenzas doing in there?“
Two years later, Margarita, her marriage on the rocks, was killed in an automobile
This is but a tiny sampling of the wealth of fascinating lore available from this
rich source, especially to readers proficient in German (which we are not). The
minutely researched portrayal of Pittier's personal life paints a vivid, heretofore
dimly imaginable backdrop, essential to a full appreciation of his professional
activities (also exhaustively detailed) during the Golden Age of Costa Rican botany.
A loving and glorious monument to a great man's life, this exquisitely wrought volume
will be coveted by any scientist who has worked extensively in either Costa Rica or
Higgins, W. E. 2002. Oestlundia: a new orchid genus honoring Erik Östlund.
Orchid Digest 66: 119-121.
A popular reprise of the author's formal description of Oestlundia
[see The Cutting
Edge 9(1): 6, Jan. 2002], but here he omits Costa Rica from the list of countries in
which O. luteorosea (A. Rich. & Galeotti) W. E. Higgins is known to occur.
Kelly, L. M. & F. Almeda. 2002. Three new species of Symplocos (Symplocaceae)
from Panama and Costa Rica. Novon 12: 369-374.
Just one of these pertains to Costa Rica, the endemic Symplocos naniflora
L. M. Kelly & Almeda, with a bipolar distribution in the lowlands (35-700+ m) of the
northern Atlantic slope (Llanuras de Los Guatusos and de San Carlos) and the southern
Pacific slope (Valle de El General and Golfo Dulce region). The new sp., distinguished by
its membranaceous leaves, small flowers with densely villous styles, and small fruits, is
perhaps most closely related to Symplocos bicolor L. O. Williams, ranging from southern
Mexico to Nicaragua. Illustrated with an excellent composite line-drawing.
Knapp, S. 2002. Solanum section Geminata (Solanaceae). Fl. Neotrop.
Monogr. 84: 1-404.
Solanum sect. Geminata (G. Don) Walp., with 126 spp. recognized
in this contribution, is one of the largest sections in this vast genus of perhaps 1700
spp. (fide The plant-book). Taxonomic chaos has long reigned in sect. Geminata,
which comprises generally nondescript and morphologically very similar spp. While many
new spp. have been described since the most recent (1852) generic monograph, little insight
has been gained on the phylogeny and circumscription of the section. This work by
Flora mesoamericana associate editor Sandra Knapp (BM) is a traditional
taxonomic treatment, firmly grounded on many years of field experience in the Neotropics
(where all but one sp. in the section are native). The circumscription of sect.
Geminata and its internal relationships remain hazy; it is acknowledged that the
section “may not be monophyletic,“ and several spp. traditionally treated as
members of other sections are included somewhat speculatively. Nonetheless, the author's
intimate knowledge of the assemblage has facilitated the recognition of 16 informal
“species groups,“ which serve as the pigeon-holes for her account. An unusual
feature of this revision is that it lacks a dichotomous key to spp. Rather, three separate
keys are provided to approximate that function: an artificial key to “woody, similar
groups of non-spiny solanums“; an artificial key to the 16 sp. groups; and a synoptic
key to spp. The sp. entries are nested alphabetically within their sp. groups. We count a
total of just 14 spp. of sect. Geminata in Costa Rica, representing seven sp. groups
(the section is said to be most diverse on the eastern slopes of the Andes and in the Amazon
basin), with Solanum roblense Bitter the sole Costa Rican endemic. A typically lush
FNM piece, with lengthy descriptions, specimen citations, many line drawings and photos
(including SEM micrographs of seeds and trichomes), distribution maps, and indices to
exsiccatae and scientific names. The introductory part features discussions of taxonomic
history, morphology, ecology and natural history (with special emphasis on pollination and
herbivory), and internal relationships. There are few taxonomic novelties here, and none
relevant to Costa Rican floristics.
Krings, A. 2002. A new species of Gonolobus (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadeae,
Gonolobinae) from southern Costa Rica. Sida 20: 105-108.
Gonolobus tenuisepalus Krings, based on a single collection (the
author's) from the Estación Biológica Las Cruces, appears most closely related
to the Mexican G. jaliscensis B. L. Rob. & Greenm., with which it is both compared
and contrasted. A key is presented to separate the nine spp. of Gonolobus currently
known from Costa Rica, including two that remain undescribed. Illustrated with a composite
photographic plate of both living and dried material.
Morales, C. O. 2002. Lankester-Garten, der Botanische Garten in Cartago, Costa
Rica. Orchidee (Hamburg) 53: 205-209.
A popular introduction, replete with vivid color photos, to the Jardín
Botánico Lankester, near Cartago, officially established in 1973. It is said to
harbor the largest orchid collection in Central America. Includes a brief historical
account, as well as a description of the present setting. In German, with English
Morales, J. F. 2002. Studies in neotropical Apocynaceae II: a review of the
genus Fernaldia. Rhodora 104: 186-200.
Fernaldia, not revised since 1936, is an endemic Mesoamerican genus
of three spp. Two of these occur in Costa Rica: Fernaldia pandurata (A. DC.)
Woodson, which ranges southward from Mexico to the Guanacaste region; and F.
speciosissima Woodson, long known by a single, fragmentary Panamanian specimen but
recently rediscovered (by the author) in the Acosta region of central Costa Rica [see
The Cutting Edge
6(3): 2, Jul. 1999]. Includes synonymy and full descriptions for the genus and all
spp., a key to spp., comprehensive specimen citations, and indices to scientific names
and exsiccatae. Two lectotypes and a neotype are here designated. The brief
introductory section consists mainly of observations on floral morphology. Illustrated
with line drawings by the author.
Muasya, A. M. & D. A. Simpson. 2002. A monograph of the genus Isolepis
R. Br. (Cyperaceae). Kew Bull. 57: 257-362.
Isolepis is a genus of 69 spp., essentially cosmopolitan but best
represented in east and South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Although commonly
thought of as a dubiously distinct Scirpus segregate, Isolepis is here
shown (through separate and combined cladistic analyses of morphological and DNA
sequence data) to be more closely related to Cyperus. The classification here
proposed recognizes three subgenera, one of which is further divided into three
sections. Just two spp. of Isolepis are recorded from Costa Rica (consistent
with previous accounts): Isolepis nigricans Kunth, endemic to the New World,
and I. setacea (L.) R. Br., an Old World sp. adventive in the Americas. The
former sp. has generally gone by the name Isolepis inundata R. Br. (e.g., in
Flora mesoamericana 6: 447. 1994), here reserved for an Australasian entity
distinctive in its highly reduced leaf-blades and reticulate achenes. Includes
typology, synonymy, and descriptions (rather telegraphic) at all levels, a key to
“infrageneric groups“ (subgenera and sections), a key to spp. (by
infrageneric group), and indices to Latin names and exsiccatae. The spp. entries
are nested non-alphabetically within the infrageneric groups, and each features a
distribution summary, specimen citations, and a brief diagnostic statement. A few
spp. are illustrated with excellent composite line drawings, and the introductory
part contains some SEM micrographs (e.g., of achenes). There are very few taxonomic
novelties at sp. rank (and none that pertain to Costa Rica).
Pennington, R. T. 2002. (1533) Proposal to change the authorship of
Andira, nom. cons. (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae) and to conserve it with a
conserved type. Taxon 51: 385-386.
This one is difficult for us to follow, but suffice it to say that, should
this proposal be rejected, then the name Andira inermis (W. Wright) Kunth ex
DC., long applied to the most widespread sp. of its genus (and the only one occurring
in Costa Rica), might have to be replaced by the obscure A. racemosa Lam. ex J. St.-Hil.,
dormant since 1825.
Pridgeon, A. M. & M. W. Chase. 2002. Nomenclatural notes on Pleurothallidinae
(Orchidaceae). Lindleyana 17: 98-101.
In which the authors rectify the numerous nomenclatural errors perpetrated
in their massive reclassification of Orchidaceae subtribe Pleurothallidinae [see
The Cutting Edge 9(1): 9-10, Jan. 2002]; well, most of them, anyway. New names are provided for 26
later homonyms created in Stelis with the transfer of names from Pleurothallis,
including eight applicable to spp. occurring in Costa Rica. The combination Stelis
megachlamys (Schltr.) Pridgeon & M. W. Chase is trotted out for the sp. formerly
known as Pleurothallis tuerckheimii Schltr. (the epithet tuerckheimii
being preoccupied in Stelis), but must yield to Pupulin's (2002) prior coinage
(see below). The generic name Echinella, recently published by the authors for a
small group of spp. segregated from Pleurothallis, turns out to have been used
twice before (for a green alga and a fungus). It is here replaced by Echinosepala
Pridgeon & M. W. Chase, with eight new combinations validated at the sp. level;
overlooked is the recently published Myoxanthus vittatus Pupulin & M. A. Blanco,
AKA Pleurothallis grammata Dressler [see
The Cutting Edge 9(2): 4-5, Apr. 2002, as well as Pupulin (2002), below].
Pupulin, F. 2001. Presence of the orchid Oncidium maduroi
(Orchidaceae: Oncidiinae) in Costa Rica. Revista Biol. Trop. 49: 1261-1262.
Oncidium maduroi Dressler, recently described from Prov. Bocas del
Toro, Panama, is here reported for the first time from Costa Rica. The sole Costa
Rican specimen, prepared by the author from a plant brought to flower in cultivation,
was allegedly obtained from near the Río La Vieja, in the San Carlos region, at
about 1000 m elevation. Illustrated with an excellent composite line-drawing.
--. 2002. Catálogo revisado y anotado de las Orchidaceae de Costa Rica.
Lankesteriana 4: 1-88.
Pupulin steals a bit of our impending thunder with this comprehensive,
annotated checklist, accounting for 180 genera and 1360 spp. That is six more genera
(he indulges in some splitting here) and 41 more spp. than are included in Robert L.
Dressler's Manual treatment of the family. Based on “listas anteriores,“
287 “informes nuevos“ are alleged to be represented here. Costa Rican
endemics are said to account for 26% of the total (although the checklist contains no
distributional information). At least three new combinations are validated, one of
which, Echinella vittata (Pupulin & M. A. Blanco) Pupulin, is dead on arrival
(see under Pridgeon & Chase, above). Another, Stelis megachlamys (Schltr.)
Pupulin (31 May), aces out Pridgeon & Chase's isonym (28 Jun.) by less than a month.
The third, not mentioned in the abstract, is Rossioglossum schlieperianum
(Rchb. f.) Garay & G. C. Kenn. f. flavidum (Rchb. f.) Pupulin, based on
Odontoglossum schlieperianum Rchb. f. var. flavidum Rchb. f. While
this checklist was initiated in conjunction with early drafts of the Manual orchid
treatment, it is evident that the two projects soon went their separate ways. Some
of the extra names in Pupulin's list are “ined.,“ or appear as synonyms
in the Manual, or are based on specimens of cultivated or dubious origin; however,
many are undoubtedly bona fide new records. By the same token, the Manual treatment
has incorporated many new records not acounted for by Pupulin. For example, where
Pupulin lists eight spp. of Pleurothallis not treated by the Manual, the Manual
includes 10 Pleurothallis spp. omitted by Pupulin. These discrepancies could
have been avoided by improved communication. For the purposes of the Manual, it is
now much too late to evaluate the specimens upon which Pupulin's ostensible new
records are based and (if necessary) to incorporate these spp. into the treatment.
We knew something like this would happen in Orchidaceae, but not on this scale.
The utility of this contribution could have been much improved by the inclusion of
an index, at least to synonyms, though this would have increased its size considerably.
Roguenant, A. 2001. Les Tillandsia et les Racinaea. Belin, Paris.
We generally avoid mention of these gaudy, coffee-table tomes targeting
the horticultural community, but this one appears more useful, and more authoritative,
than most. About 60% of its 816 pages are devoted to an encyclopedic coverage of all
the currently accepted spp. in both genera named in the title. The sp. accounts,
ordered alphabetically (though with Tillandsia first) and varying greatly in
length according to the information available, contain information on morphology,
culture, ecology, and distribution, with bibliographic references. The introductory
part of the volume enlarges on these and some other themes, and presents non-indented
(but illustrated) keys to the orders of Zingiberidae, the subfamilies of Bromeliaceae,
the genera of subfam. Tillandsioideae, the subgenera of Tillandsia, and the spp.
of Tillandsia and Racinaea. As far as context is concerned, this guy
has touched all the bases! Additional features include a glossary, a list of hybrids,
an index to scientific names, a bibliography, and a multilingual lexicon of frequent
terms. Chock full of color photos (mostly from life) and black-and-white illustrations.
Smith, A. R. & R. B. Cranfill. 2002. Intrafamilial relationships of the
thelypteroid ferns (Thelypteridaceae). Amer. Fern J. 92: 131-149.
DNA sequence analysis of three chloroplast genes shows Thelypteridaceae to
be monophyletic “with a high degree of certainty“ (a notion that has not
been questioned in recent years). Taxon sampling was insufficient to select among
alternative classifications that accept from as few as one to as many as 32 genera in
the family, but the results suggest that “recognition of an intermediate number
of genera may be a reasonable taxonomic course.“ Although the phrase
“intermediate number“ is not defined in this context, the first author's
system, which recognizes five genera, is elsewhere characterized as “an
Szlachetko, D. L. & H. B. Margo?ska. 2001. Genera et species orchidalium.
3. Polish Bot. J. 46: 113-121.
Playing fast and loose with names, the authors describe five new genera
of Orchidaceae and elevate one subgeneric and one sectional name to generic status,
all with nary a word of rationale or commentary (presumably to be provided in a
forthcoming publication, referenced in the opening paragraph). Two nomina nova and
112 new combinations are validated based on these generic names, and several other
previously existing ones. Ten of the new combinations, one in Rhynchopera
Klotzsch and nine in Zosterophyllanthos Szlach. & Magro?ska (both synonyms of
Pleurothallis s. l.), apply to spp. occurring in Costa Rica.
Warner, R. H. 2002. Systematics of the genus Monolena (Melastomataceae)
in Central America. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 53: 95-116.
Congratulations to our old pal Richard ('Omar') Warner, long-time
resident of Costa Rica during his tenure with The Nature Conservancy, on the
much-anticipated publication of his botanical magnum opus. The Central American
complement of eight spp. accounts for approximately half the total for Monolena,
a neotropical genus of rhizomatous, generally epiphytic herbs. Actually, the Central
American range of the genus is virtually limited to Panama, which boasts six endemic
spp. (all newly described here) as well as the widespread Monolena primuliflora
Hook. f. The latter is the only sp. occurring in Costa Rica, where it is so far known
from a single population. The remaining sp., M. guatemalensis Donn. Sm., is
endemic to Guatemala. Features detailed generic and sp. descriptions, a key to spp.,
comprehensive specimen citations, a distribution map for Panama, and composite line
drawings of two Panamanian spp. The introduction includes sections on taxonomic
history, distribution, morphology, pollination, and cytology.
Weigend, M. & H. Förther. 2002. A revision of the Central American genus
Solenophora (Gesneriaceae). Harvard Pap. Bot. 7: 37-78.
This study, involving ca. 1000 herbarium specimens and field work in
Guatemala by the second author, recognizes 16 spp. of Solenophora, as well as
three subspp. The genus is strongly centered in southern Mexico and Guatemala, where
all the spp. occur save one. The latter is the subarborescent Solenophora calycosa
Donn. Sm., also the only sp. found south of Honduras and, hence, the only Costa Rican
representative of the genus (it also by far the best-collected Solenophora sp.,
accounting for perhaps 50% of all herbarium specimens). As luck would have it, S.
calycosa harbors all three of the subspp. mentioned above, of which two occur in
Costa Rica: the autonymic subsp., much collected though nearly endemic (three specimens
are cited from Prov. Chiriquí, Panama), and the less frequent, endemic S. c.
subsp. purpurascens Weigend & Förther subsp. nov., distinguished mainly by
its leaf coloration. The latter subsp. is sympatric with the former, and was thus
described “after considerable hesitation“; the third subsp. is Panamanian.
Features synonymy, typology, and formal descriptions at all levels, a non-indented key
to spp. and subspp., comprehensive specimen citations, photographs of exsiccatae, and
some composite line drawings.
Werff, H. van der. 2002. A synopsis of Ocotea (Lauraceae) in Central
America and southern Mexico. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 89: 429-451.
This valuable precursor to the author's forthcoming Flora mesoamericana
treatment of Lauraceae provides critical, basic information on all the 102 Ocotea
spp. to be accepted for the region, including a key (non-indented) to spp., typology and
synonymy, diagnostic notes, and distribution summaries. Characterizing Ocotea as
“the catchall genus for species with 4-celled stamens that do not fit in the other,
better-defined genera of Lauraceae,“ the author concedes that the genus, as
currently circumscribed, should be considered polyphyletic; nonetheless, he retains it
as such, presumably for practical reasons, while expressing his distaste for the
classificatory option that would impose monophyly by submerging within Ocotea
“several quite distinct genera,“ including Nectandra, Pleurothyrium,
Aniba, and Licaria. Scarce direct mention is made of the obvious alternative,
i.e., carving Ocotea into various smaller monophyletic genera; however, the
author characterizes four more-or-less well defined sp. groups (accounting for 63 of
the Mesoamerican spp.) that correspond with putative clades. We count 53 Ocotea
spp. for Costa Rica, including the tentatively attributed O. guatemalensis
Lundell and the provisionally recognized O. sp. A (the only unnamed sp. accepted here).
The two last-mentioned spp. partially account for the discrepancy from the total of 49
Costa Rican Ocotea spp. treated in the Manual Lauraceae draft submitted two
years ago [see
The Cutting Edge 7(3): 2, Jul. 2000] by Jose González (INB) and
Luis J. Poveda (JVR). Further inflating the total are five spp. described only
last year by van der Werff [see The Cutting Edge 9(1): 15, Jan. 2002], from which must
be subtracted a few spp. accepted by our guys but synonymized here, including Ocotea
ira Mez & Pittier [under O. insularis (Meisn.) Mez] and O. wedeliana
C. K. Allen (under O. atirrensis Mez & Donn. Sm.). Counting sp. A, 13
Ocotea spp. qualify as Costa Rican endemics.