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The Cutting Edge
Volume X, Number 4, October 2003
News and Notes | Recent Treatments | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature | Season's Pick
Amorim, A. M. 2003. Five new species of Heteropterys
(Malpighiaceae) from Central and South America. Brittonia 54: 217-232.
Only one of these novelties need concern us, that being
Heteropterys minutiflora Amorim, endemic in the humid Pacific
lowlands of Costa Rica from Parque Nacional Carara to the Golfo Dulce
region. The new sp. has been confused with Heteropterys obovata
(Small) Cuatrec., "a polymorphic species found throughout Central
America," but differs in its strongly striate stems and smaller
flowers. The "real" H. obovata is apparently restricted,
in Costa Rica, to the Guanacaste region. A key couplet is provided to
facilitate the comparison. Illustrated with a fine composite line drawing.
Arce, H. G., L. A. Sánchez, J. Slaa, P. E. Sánchez-Vindas,
A. Ortiz M., J. W. van Veen & M. J. Sommeijer. 2001. Árboles
melíferos nativos de Mesoamérica. Herbario Juvenal Valerio
Rodríguez, Heredia, Costa Rica. 207 pp.
This handsome and well organized volume, the product of a team
of Costa Rican and Dutch workers, fills a unique niche in the literature of
Mesoamerican economic botany. Information is here presented on 63 spp. of
trees native to the region, selected on the basis of their importance to
the maintenance of bee populations (e.g., as sources of nectar and/or pollen).
The spp. are arranged in alphabetical order by genus name; each entry
comprises two facing pages, featuring a color photo, a description, and
paragraphs on phenology, reproductive biology, ecological importance,
importance to bees (native and non-native alike), conservation status,
distribution, and propagation. Introductory chapters (also with abundant
color photos) discuss the biodiversity of bees, floral biology and pollinators,
and conservation issues. A bibliography and index to common and scientific
names round out the volume. The information in this book is not generally
available from other sources, and makes for highly interesting reading.
Thanks to co-author (and former CR director) Pablo Sánchez-Vindas
(JVR) for sending this our way.
Arias, S., T. Terrazas & K. Cameron. 2003. Phylogenetic analysis
of Pachycereus (Cactaceae, Pachycereeae) based on chloroplast and
nuclear DNA sequences. Syst. Bot. 28: 547-557.
According to the results of this study, two spp. that have been
most recently included in Stenocereus are excluded from that genus,
and "strongly supported" as sister taxa to the Pachycereus
group (which also includes Carnegiea). One of these spp. is the Costa
Rican endemic Stenocereus aragonii (F. A. C. Weber) Buxb. [which we
originally learned as Lemaireocereus aragonii (F. A. C. Weber) Britton
& Rose], a huge, columnar cactus with silvery chevron markings, common in the
Guanacaste region and well known as an ornamental throughout the country.
Although the authors warn that "further evidence is needed to assess
[the] exact phylogenetic and taxonomic status" of our sp., some
morphological commonalities with Pachycereus are mentioned, and the
possibility of eventual inclusion in the last-mentioned genus (perhaps
together with Carnegiea) is implied. Should this eventuate, the
combination Pachycereus aragonii (F. A. C. Weber) P. V. Heath is
Arriagada, J. E. 2003. Revision of the genus Clibadium
(Asteraceae, Heliantheae). Brittonia 55: 245-301.
Finally we get the full, definitive published version of the
author’s Ph.D. dissertation [see
Cutting Edge 3(4): 4, Oct. 1996], a revision of this ubiquitous
neotropical genus of somewhat weedy shrubs and treelets. Of the 29 spp.
total, the following eight occur in Costa Rica: Clibadium acuminatum
Benth., C. anceps Greenm., C. eggersii Hieron., C.
glomeratum Greenm., C. grandifolium S. F. Blake, C.
leiocarpum Steetz, C. surinamense L., and C. sylvestre
(Aubl.) Baill. A few of these are endemic to southern Central America,
though none to Costa Rica alone. An interesting case is that of C.
acuminatum, known also from Colombia and Venezuela, with the only
Central American specimens (including the type) from Isla del Coco.
Several Costa Rican collections previously determined by the author himself
as Clibadium erosum (Sw.) DC. (now restricted to the West Indies)
are here referred to various other spp. The names Clibadium pittieri
Greenm. and C. polygynum S. F. Blake, often used for Costa Rican
material, are both synonymized under C. eggersii. A new infrageneric
classification comprises two subgenera (one described as new), with a total
of six sections (three described as new). Includes a generic description
and key to spp., synonymy and typology at all levels, sp. descriptions,
mostly representative specimen citations, discussions, a section on doubtful
and excluded names, and indices to exsiccatae and scientific names. The
introductory section discusses taxonomic history, generic affinities, and
morphology. Two of the more widespread spp. (C. eggersii and C.
surinamense) are depicted in composite line drawings. No new spp. are
Berg, C. C. 2003. (1587-1590) Proposals to conserve the names
Ficus citrifolia against F. caribaea, F. maxima with a
conserved type, F. aurea against F. ciliolosa, and F.
americana against F. perforata (Moraceae). Taxon 52: 368-370.
All of these proposals involve spp. occurring in Costa Rica.
According to the author’s interpretation, Ficus caribaea Jacq.
(1767), a name that "has never come into use," is based on
material of the widespread sp. commonly known as F. citrifolia
Mill. (1768); the former name is here neotypified accordingly, prompting
an immediate proposal for conservation of the latter. Ficus aurea
Nutt. (1846), another well established name for a widespread sp., is
assailed on two fronts: the original material of Ficus maxima Mill.
(1768), itself a familiar name for a different sp., instead represents
F. aurea, and the same is true for original material of the
long-neglected name Ficus ciliolosa Link (1822). To avert mayhem,
the author proposes to conserve F. maxima with a new type, chosen
to uphold prevailing usage, and to conserve F. aurea against F.
ciliolosa (for the record, Ficus radula Willd. would become
the correct name for the sp. presently known as F. maxima, should
this proposal be rejected). The last case is not quite so cut-and-dry,
by our reckoning: the names Ficus americana Aubl. and F.
perforata L., applying to the same sp., were both published in 1775;
however, there appears to be some uncertainty as regards their exact
publication dates, "making it impossible to confidently apply the
principle of priority in choosing the correct name." The author
here proposes conservation of F. americana, which "has been
used for a longer period of time," over "the long-neglected
F. perforata, which came only recently into use." However,
from our perspective (limited in both time and space), the reverse is
true: we initially learned this sp. as Ficus perforata, the name
used in William Burger’s Flora costaricensis Moraceae
treatment (Fieldiana, Bot. 40: 94-215), and have only recently substituted
F. americana, on the basis of Berg’s herbarium determinations.
Camelbeke, K., A. A. Reznicek & P. Goetghebeur. 2003. (1580)
Proposal to conserve the name Scleria reticularis with a conserved
type (Cyperaceae). Taxon 52: 355-356.
The apparent type specimen of Scleria reticularis Michx.
(possibly the most widely used Scleria sp. name in the New World)
does not correspond to the original description, nor to recent and historic
usage of the name, but instead is identifiable as the sp. commonly called
S. triglomerata Michx. Should this proposal be rejected, then
authors (including Manual Cyperaceae contributor Jorge Gómez-Laurito)
adopting an inclusive concept of the sp. presently known as S.
reticularis will have to substitute the rarely used name Scleria
Fan, C. & Q.-Y. (J.) Xiang. 2003. Phylogenetic analyses of Cornales
based on 26S rRNA and combined 26S rDNA-matK-rbcL sequence data. Amer.
J. Bot. 90: 1357-1372.
Although their cladograms would appear to condone a Cornaceae s.
l. (i.e., including Nyssaceae, as well as other groups), the authors note
that bootstrap support for that particular clade is very low. Thus, they
advocate family rank for Nyssaceae, consisting of Camptotheca and
Davidia, in addition to the nominate genus.
Freytag, G. F. & D. G. Debouck. 2002. Taxonomy, distribution, and
ecology of the genus Phaseolus (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae) in North
America, Mexico and Central America. Sida, Bot. Misc. 23: 1-300.
The New World genus Phaseolus, to which belong common, Lima, and
scarlet runner beans, ranges from the southern and eastern United States to
Argentina. Apparently, the genus is of enough economic importance to merit
two taxonomic revisions in less than 20 years (the North and Central American
spp. were last revised in 1985). The present work is concerned principally
with wild populations, and does not cite collections known or believed to be
from plants in cultivation. The authors accept 74 spp. from the region
indicated in the title, more than twice as many as were attributed to the
entire genus in The plant-book (1997). The spp. are classified in
15 sections, one of which is further divided in two subsections. Mexico is
the regional center of diversity for Phaseolus; just nine spp. are
recorded from Costa Rica, representing seven sections. One of these spp.
is not considered indigenous in Costa Rica: Phaseolus coccineus L.
(the scarlet runner bean), known by a single non-cultivated collection of
P. c. subsp. coccineus var. coccineus from near Zarcero.
However, among the spp. with apparently indigenous populations in Costa
Rica are two of great economic importance: Phaseolus vulgaris L.
(the common bean), from the Cerros de Escazú and near Zarcero, and
P. lunatus L. (the Lima bean), widespread on the Pacific slope
see the Cutting Edge 6(1): 9, Jan. 1999]. The remaining spp. native
to Costa Rica are Phaseolus costaricensis Freytag & Debouck
(Cordilleras Central and de Talamanca, Cerros de Escazú), P.
leptostachyus Benth. (with var. leptostachyus from scattered
sites on the Pacific slope), P. oligospermus Piper (Cordilleras
Central and de Talamanca), P. talamancensis Debouck & Torres Gonz.
(Cordillera de Talamanca), P. tuerckheimii Donn. Sm. (Pacific
slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca), and P. xanthotrichus Piper
(Cordilleras Central and de Talamanca, Cerros de La Carpintera and de
Escazú). Most Costa Rican collections of the genus are from the
slopes above the Valle Central (in the Cordillera Central, Cerros de
Escazú, Cerros de La Carpintera, etc.) and the Pacific slope of
the Cordillera de Talamanca, and several spp. occur sympatrically at
various sites. Only Phaseolus talamancensis is endemic to
Costa Rica [see
The Cutting Edge 8(3): 10, Jul. 2001], though P. costaricensis
otherwise occurs only in western Panama [see
Cutting Edge 3(3): 5, Jul. 1996]. The biggest taxonomic surprise for
us is the replacement of the familiar name Phaseolus polyanthus
Greenm. with P. dumosus Macfad., based originally on a Jamaican
collection (it is here neotypified on a Guatemalan collection); though not
recorded as wild in Costa Rica, P. dumosus is well known locally as
a culinary sp. under the name "cubá."
The taxonomic novelties validated in this work comprise 10 sections,
two subsections, 22 spp., 19 vars., and two formas; new combinations are
made for three sections, one sp., three subspp., and four vars. None of
these, below the level of subsection, pertains to Costa Rica. The taxa
are in some cases rather finely subdivided, with vars. subordinated to
subspp. in one sp., and formas subordinated to vars. in another. Includes
keys at all levels, full synonymy and typology, lengthy, formal descriptions,
specimen citations, extensive commentary, distribution maps, composite line
drawings of many taxa, six color plates, a list of additional collections
examined, and an index. The comparatively brief introductory section
discusses the history of classification, taxonomic criteria, various
aspects of morphology, breeding systems, and recent molecular research.
García-Mendoza, A. & F. Chiang. 2003. The confusion of Agave
vivipara L. and A. angustifolia Haw., two distinct taxa. Brittonia
This careful and detailed analysis definitively resolves the
disposition of the obscure Linnaean name Agave vivipara, putting an
end to its short-lived reign as pretender to the throne of A. angustifolia
Haw. (Agavaceae), a widespread sp. that is well known throughout the Mesoamerican
region. The former name is revealed to correspond to a distinct sp.,
restricted to Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, and other islands off the coast
of Venezuela. Agave angustifolia is re-neotypified, as the original
neotype was found to be in conflict with the protologue; the new neotype is
illustrated with a photograph.
The conclusions of this study confirm, in a general way, our independent
rejection of Agave vivipara as the correct name for A. angustifolia
The Cutting Edge 6(4): 8, Oct. 1999]; however, we had wrongly interpreted
A. vivipara as an older name for the Mexican A. cantala Roxb.
Whatever the case, the important thing (in our view) is that the Manual
Agavaceae treatment uses the correct name for the most common Costa Rican
Grant, J. R. & R. E. Weaver, Jr. 2003. De Macrocarpaeae Grisebach
(ex Gentianaceis) speciebus novis IV: eleven new species of
Macrocarpaea (Gentianaceae: Helieae) from Central and South America, and
the first report of the presence of stipules in the family. Harvard Pap. Bot.
All of these novelties are South American, with the exception of
Macrocarpaea auriculata Weaver & J. R. Grant, endemic to Costa Rica
(and without stipules). The aforementioned sp. has been confused with
Macrocarpaea macrophylla (Kunth) Gilg and M. valerioi Standl.,
and these last two have been confused with one another. While allowing that
"the differences are subtle," the authors note that the morphological
distinctions are supported by molecular data in distinguishing three
"well-defined" entities that are "not even sister species."
A key is provided to separate the three indicated spp., of which only M.
auriculata and M. valerioi occur in Costa Rica (M. macrophylla
being now restricted to Panama and Colombia). Like its congeners,
Macrocarpaea auriculata is a montane sp.; it has been found at 1500-2150 m
elevation in the Cordilleras de Tilarán (especially Monteverde) and Central.
Five spp. of Macrocarpaea are now attributable to Costa Rica, the others being
M. acuminata Weaver, M. browallioides (Ewan) A. Robyns & S. Nilsson,
and M. subcaudata Ewan. An excellent, composite line-drawing portrays
Hammel, B. E., M. H. Grayum, C. Herrera & N. Zamora (eds.). 2003.
Manual de plantas de Costa Rica. Vol. II. Gimnospermas y
monocotiledóneas (Agavaceae-Musaceae). Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri
Bot. Gard. 92: 1-694.
Volume II of this series, the first to be published, treats a
total of 1136 native, naturalized, or commercially cultivated spp., in the
groups specified in the title. These are apportioned among 190 genera and
40 families. Gymnosperms account for just 13 of the spp., representing six
genera and five families. The largest monocot families covered here, harboring
nearly half the spp. in the volume, are Araceae (248 spp.), Bromeliaceae
(195 spp.), and Arecaceae (109 spp.). Within each of the two major groups,
families are presented in strict alphabetical sequence. Includes keys to the
major groups of vascular and flowering plants, to the families of gymnosperms
and monocots, and to genera and spp. (when more than one), as well as formal
descriptions, distribution information, and discussions at all levels.
Infraspecific taxa are addressed within the sp. discussions. Basionyms and
important synonyms are listed, but bibliographic information is provided only
for basionyms, replaced names, and accepted names. The largely bilingual
introductory pages feature a table of contents, presentation (by INBio
director Rodrigo Gámez and new Museo Nacional director Francisco
Corrales), prologue (by MO director Peter H. Raven), preface, list
of contributing authors, schematic plan of the Manual, and list of abbreviations
and symbols. Indices to common and scientific names terminate the volume. At
least one sp. of virtually every genus is illustrated with a line drawing, and
a representative black-and-white photo appears in each family heading. Eight
pages of color plates liven things up, and four different colored maps grace the
end-papers. A few new combinations are validated herein, as well as one nomen
novum. In Spanish (except as indicated).
Apart from the editors, contributors of family treatments for this volume
are: Garrett Crow (NHA; Alismataceae, Hydrocharitaceae, Limnocharitaceae,
Mayacaceae); Robert B. Faden (US; Commelinaceae, pro parte); Peter
Goldblatt (MO; Iridaceae); Jorge Gómez-Laurito (USJ; Cyperaceae);
Jason R. Grant (NEU; Commelinaceae, pro parte); Nancy Hensold
(F; Eriocaulaceae, pro parte); Helen Kennedy (UBC; Marantaceae); W.
John Kress (US; Heliconiaceae); Paul J. M. Maas and Hiltje Maas-van
de Kamer (U; Burmanniaceae, Cannaceae, Costaceae, Haemodoraceae); Alan W.
Meerow (U.S.D.A., Miami; Amaryllidaceae); Mary Merello (MO; all
gymnosperm families); and J. Francisco Morales (INB; Alstroemeriaceae,
Bromeliaceae). Silvia Troyo (INB) is responsible for the vast majority
of the drawings.
Hufford, L., M. M. McMahon, A. M. Sherwood, G. Reeves & M. W. Chase.
2003. The major clades of Loasaceae: phylogenetic analysis using the
plastid matK and trnL-trnF regions. Amer. J. Bot. 90: 1215-1228.
The results of this study confirm that Loasa s. l. is
paraphyletic, while at the same time providing support for most of the new
segregate genera recently proposed by Maximilian Weigend and
The Cutting Edge 7(2): 6, Apr. 2000] on the sole basis of morphological studies.
With respect to those new genera occurring in Costa Rica, support for the monophyly
of Nasa (with two spp. in Costa Rica) was "very strong," whereas
the monotypic Chichicaste (comprising the former Loasa grandis Standl.)
was unavailable for study.
Jang, C. G. & M. Pfosser. 2002. Phylogenetics of Ruscaceae sensu
lato based on plastid rbcL and trnL-F DNA sequences. Stapfia 80:
The families (sensu Dahlgren) Convallariaceae, Dracaenaceae, Nolinaceae
and Ruscaceae are all deemed non-monophyletic, according to this study; indeed,
the first of these is characterized as "highly polyphyletic."
Nevertheless, all four taxa taken together do form a "clearly defined"
and "highly supported" clade, which, in the authors’ view, should be
recognized as a family under the oldest available name, viz., Ruscaceae. This
evidence supports previous arguments for an identical Ruscaceae s. l. [see, e.g.,
Cutting Edge 8(1): 9, Jan. 2001].
Källersjö, M. & B. Ståhl. 2003. Phylogeny of
Theophrastaceae (Ericales s. lat.). Int. J. Pl. Sci. 164: 579-591.
Separate and combined cladistic analyses of morphological characters
and sequences from two chloroplast genes (ndhF and trnL-F) concur
that Jacquinia is not monophyletic: the white-flowered spp. (restricted
to the Caribbean) belong to a different lineage from the (mostly) orange-flowered
spp. (which are widespread). Furthermore, both Deherainia (which occurs
in Costa Rica) and Votschia (which does not) are nested within
Jacquinia, as currently circumscibed, where they group with the
orange-flowered clade. Both of the principal classificatory options entail
unsavory nomenclature consequences: either to sink both Deherainia and
Votschia into Jacquinia, or to divide the latter into two smaller
genera. The authors favor the last-mentioned option and, as luck would have it,
the name Jacquinia belongs to the white-flowered (strictly Caribbean)
clade. The operative generic name for the orange-flowered species-including
Jacquinia nervosa C. Presl, the only Costa Rican representative of the
group, and a well known sp. in the Guanacaste region-is Bonellia Bertero
ex Colla, published in 1824 "but never used since." Indeed, it would
appear that no sp. names have ever been validated under Bonellia (but
the authors promise to remedy this situation "in a separate article").
Happily, Clavija appears to be monophyletic, as does the family as a
whole (which now includes the herbaceous and cladistically basal Samolus,
formerly considered a solid member of Primulaceae, and potentially present in
Lellinger, D. B. 2003. Nomenclatural and taxonomic notes on the
pteridophytes of Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia, III. Amer. Fern J. 93:
The author resurrects this series after nearly two decades,
presumably in anticipation of a second installment of his unfinished work
on the ferns of Costa Rica, Panama, and the Chocó (Pteridologia 2A:
1-364. 1989). Here he publishes two new spp., seven new combinations,
and three new lectotypifications. Both of the new spp. occur in Costa Rica,
one exclusively and the other nearly so. The jaw-breaking Hypolepis
rubiginosopilosula Lellinger occurs at 1150-1650 m elevation on the
Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Central and both slopes of the Cordillera
de Talamanca (with one collection from westernmost Panama). This sp. has
been previously known by the name Hypolepis rigescens (Kunze) T. Moore,
which the author restricts (on the basis of a photo) to coastal Brazil.
Polypodium chirripoense Lellinger, distinguished from P. ursipes
Moritz ex C. Chr., is endemic to Costa Rica, where it grows on both slopes of
the Cordillera de Talamanca at 2900-3400 m elevation.
None of the new lectotypifications appears to have consequences for Costa
Rican floristics, but all save one of the new combinations do, as follows:
Blechnum lehmannii Hieron., synonymized under B. lherminieri
(Bory) C. Chr. in Flora mesoamericana (Vol. 1; 1995), is here partly
disinterred as B. lherminieri (Bory) C. Chr. subsp. lehmannii
(Hieron.) Lellinger (apparently, both this and the autonymic subsp. occur in
Costa Rica); the South American Blechnum loxense (Kunth) Hook. ex
Salomon var. stenophyllum (Klotzsch) Lellinger automatically establishes
the autonymic var. for Central American material; Lastreopsis squamifera
(C. Chr.) Lellinger [based on the Costa Rican-typified Dryopteris exculta
(Mett.) C. Chr. var. squamifera C. Chr.] is distinguished from L.
exculta (Mett.) Tindale (with no indication of the overall geographic
distribution of either sp.); Lomariopsis salicifolia (Kunze) Lellinger
(based on Lomaria salicifolia Kunze) is equated somewhat speculatively
with L. fendleri D. C. Eaton, and is the older name; Pteridium
caudatum (L.) Maxon subsp. arachnoideum (Kaulf.) Lellinger is the
name to be used by this author for a taxon accepted at sp. rank in Flora
mesoamericana; and the merger of Dictyoxiphium in Tectaria
necessitates the combination Tectaria ×michleriana (D. C. Eaton)
Lellinger for the natural hybrid T. incisa Cav. × T. panamensis
(Hook.) Tryon (AKA Dictyoxiphium panamense Hook.), otherwise generally
known as ×Pleuroderris michleriana (D. C. Eaton) Maxon.
León Arguedas, J. 2003. La exploración botánica
de Costa Rica en el siglo XIX. Pp. 129-186 in, G. Peraldo Huertas
(compilador), Ciencia y técnica en la Costa Rica del siglo XIX.
Edit. Tecnol. de Costa Rica, Cartago, Costa Rica.
A convenient overview of the most interesting and least complicated
period of Costa Rican botanical history. The stage is set with a brief summary
of events prior to 1800, followed by a description of 19th century Costa Rica
in terms of its principal population centers and routes of transit. The
contributions of individual explorers and collectors are then considered
individually, with the activities of the Instituto Físico-geográfico
detailed in a separate section. The Isla del Coco, with a distinct history of
exploration, is addressed at the end. In his epilogue, the author states that
botanical exploration of Costa Rica in the 19th century was pursued
first by individual scientists and collectors, then (after 1887) by the Instituto
Físico-geográfico, but that, in both cases, the major players were
foreigners; just two Costa Ricans, Anastasio Alfaro and Juan José
Cooper, made significant botanical collections during this period. Costa
Rica received more attention than neighboring countries and, by the turn of the
century, was the best known Latin American country floristically. This was due
mainly to the efforts of Henri Pittier. Features four tables, various
maps, rare photos of Anders Oersted, Carl Hoffmann, and Adolfo Tonduz,
and a glossary of Costa Rican botanical localities from the period (which are also
mapped). The glossary was previously published elsewhere, but we have lost the
citation, and it is not given here.
This fine new book is a must-have for anyone with an interest in the history
of Costa Rican science. Several other chapters are of particular interest
botanically, especially "Dos colosos de la biología costarricense del
siglo XIX: Anastasio Alfaro y Henri Pittier," by J. Monge-Nájera and
V. H. Méndez-Estrada (pp. 323-343).
Luther, H. E. 2003. Miscellaneous new taxa of Bromeliaceae (XVI).
Brittonia 54: 279-285.
This is where the nomen novum Werauhia moralesii H. Luther,
alluded to in our last issue, is validated. Honoring INBio specialist
Francisco Morales, the new name replaces Chico’s illegitimate Vriesea
simulans, while rendering superfluous (by a matter of weeks) his Werauhia
The Cutting Edge 10(3): 8, Jul. 2003].
McCook, S. 2002. ‘Giving plants a civil status’: scientific
representations of nature and nation in Costa Rica and Venezuela, 1885-1935.
Americas 58: 513-536.
This contribution provides some additional insights on the evolution
of botanical institutions in Costa Rica [see also
Cutting Edge 7(1): 8, Jan. 2000]. The same piece appears (apparently
verbatim) as a chapter in McCook’s recent book, States of nature: science,
agriculture and environment in the Spanish Caribbean, 1760-1940 (Univ.
Texas Press, Austin, TX, U. S. A. 2002).
Miller, J. T., J. W. Grimes, D. J. Murphy, R. J. Bayer & P. Y. Ladiges.
2003. A phylogenetic analysis of the Acacieae and Ingeae (Mimosoideae:
Fabaceae) based on trnK, matK, psbA-trnH, and trnL/trnF sequence
data. Syst. Bot. 28: 558-566.
While aiming to present "a more balanced analysis... in terms
of taxon sampling" than previous molecular investigations on the same
taxa, this study "still lacks key Ingeae genera" (i.e., 22 of the 35
total!). Nonetheless, the conclusions of this paper figured prominently in the
proposal by this Australian team to split Acacia into five smaller genera,
as detailed previously in these pages [see
Cutting Edge 10(2): 9-10, Apr. 2003]. Formal nomenclatural changes are
still withheld, pending the resolution of a proposal to conserve the name
Acacia with a new (Australian) type (see under Orchard & Maslin, below).
Nakazato, T. & G. J. Gastony. 2003. Molecular phylogenetics of
Anogramma species and related genera (Pteridaceae: Taenitidoideae).
Syst. Bot. 28: 490-502.
Analyses of rbcL sequences suggest that Anogramma-an oligotypic
fern genus with two or three spp. (depending on taxonomy) represented in
montane regions of Costa Rica-is polyphyletic. Two species, including
Anogramma chaerophylla (Desv.) Link (occurring in Costa Rica), belong
to a lineage apart from the rest, and must be removed. Although these spp.
appear more closely related to certain Pityrogramma spp. than to
Anogramma s. str., the authors caution that "their precise
relationship to Pityrogramma should be examined in the context of additional
species of that genus... to determine whether [they] should be considered
congeneric with Pityrogramma or treated as a coordinate independent
genus." Should the former view prevail, the combination Pityrogramma
chaerophylla (Desv.) Domin is available. On a more minor note, Anogramma
guatemalensis (Domin) C. Chr. proves to be "firmly" embedded
within A. leptophylla (L.) Link, confirming the views of several previous
authors (and limiting Costa Rica to two spp. of Anogramma).
Orchard, A. E. & B. R. Maslin. 2003. (1584) Proposal to conserve the
name Acacia (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae) with a conserved type. Taxon 52:
As most of our readers will be aware (see, e.g., under Miller et al.,
above), Acacia, one of the largest and best known genera of flowering
plants, is on the chopping block. Indeed, these authors emphasize that
"consensus among specialists…is now such that the formal division [into
five smaller genera] will take place in the near future." Name changes,
inevitable under any scenario, would be especially extensive by strict adherence
to the type principle, under which "Acacia would be correctly
applied to only 161 of the 1352 currently accepted species (less than 12%)."
The authors seek to avert this calamity by conserving Acacia with a new type,
according to which the name would apply to 960 spp. (ca. 71%)-specifically,
those comprising the overwhelmingly Australian subg. Phyllodineae (DC.)
Ser. The authors’ case-setting aside regional bias, and assuming one accepts
the basic premise of conservation (which we do not)-is extremely persuasive.
In addition to including the majority of spp. in Acacia s. l., subg.
Phyllodineae harbors most of the economically important spp., "grown
in over 70 countries." Rejection of this proposal would require 870 new
combinations in Racosperma, presently the correct name at genus rank for
subg. Phyllodineae. And even if the proposal fails, 231 spp. (including
125 of the ca. 185 New World spp. in Acacia s. l.) will receive new
binomials in either Senegalia, Acaciella, or a genus name yet to be
The Cutting Edge 10(2): 9-10, Apr. 2003]. A more minor consideration favoring
this proposal is that usage of the name Racosperma-of neuter gender despite
ending in "a"-would require neuter epithets (e.g., ending in
"-um"), which "naïve users would be tempted to ‘correct’."
Opposition to this proposal will no doubt come mainly from botanists working in
areas other than Australia, especially Africa and the New World (or from radical
anti-conservationists, such as ourselves). In the latter regions, the familiar
name Acacia would cease to be used for native spp., all of which are
referrable either to one of the splinter genera mentioned above (excluding
Racosperma) or to Vachellia, the correct name for Acacia
s. str. (according to the present type) should this proposal succeed. For
Costa Rica, the situation breaks down as follows: of ca. 12 native spp.,
half [the thorn acacias and the A. farnesiana (L.) Willd. group] belong
to Acacia s. str., and thus could either remain in Acacia or be
transferred to Vachellia, depending on the Committee vote; the remainder
will be shunted off to other genera, under the new classification, regardless
of the ruling on this proposal. Our primary concern is that the situation be
resolved, one way or the other, before the Manual Fabaceae treatment goes to
Persson, C. 2003. Agouticarpa, a new neotropical genus of tribe
Gardenieae (Rubiaceae). Brittonia 55: 176-201.
Morphological and molecular studies suggest that the currently
recognized spp. of Genipa comprise two distinct groups that are better treated
as separate genera. One group (represented in Costa Rica by G. americana
L.) clusters with the Old World genera of tribe Gardenieae, the other
(represented in Costa Rica by G. williamsii Standl.) with Alibertia
and allies. The latter group, comprising six spp., is here distinguished under
the name Agouticarpa C. Perss., alluding to fruit predation by the rodent
Agouti paca (called "tepezcuintle" in Costa Rica).
Agouticarpa differs from Genipa s. str. in having rapidly caducous
stipules, a poorly developed calyx, included style and stamens, somewhat different
pollen, 4-locular (vs. 2-locular) ovaries, and in being strictly dioecious
(though G. americana is, in our experience, also dioecious). Three spp.
of Agouticarpa are described as new, and two new combinations are validated,
including Agouticarpa williamsii (Standl.) C. Perss. for the only sp.
occurring in Costa Rica (on the Atlantic slope of the eastern Cordillera de
Talamanca). Includes a key to spp., synonymy, typology and generous descriptions
at all levels, comprehensive specimen citations, distribution maps, superb
composite line drawings of five spp. (and a photo of the type of the sixth), and
SEM micrographs of pollen. The introductory part summarizes morphological variation
and addresses relationships and distribution.
Pupulin, F. 2003. Two new species of Stellilabium (Orchidaceae:
Telipogoninae) from Costa Rica. Harvard Pap. Bot. 8: 29-34.
Stellilabium anacristinae Pupulin and S. tsipiriense
Pupulin are both Costa Rican endemics known from a single site, the former
from 830 m elevation between Puerto Quepos and San Marcos de Tarrazú, the
latter from 1090 m elevation near Moravia de Chirripó. Stellilabium
anacristinae is critically distinguished from a complex including S.
boylei J. T. Atwood, S. distantiflorum Ames & C. Schweinf., S.
erratum Dressler, and S. smaragdinum Pupulin & M. A. Blanco, while
S. tsipiriense is compared principally with S. minutiflorum
(Kraenzl.) Garay. The Costa Rican total for this mysterious genus now stands
at 14 spp., 10 of which have been described since 1989. A key is provided to
all the Costa Rican spp. of Stellilabium. Unfortunately, the two newest,
together with the recently published S. smaragdinum [see
Cutting Edge 10(1): 9, Jan. 2003], will be omitted from our forthcoming
Manual treatment. Both new spp. are illustrated with superbly detailed,
composite line drawings by the author.
--. 2003. A second look at the genus Sigmatostalix (Orchidaceae:
Oncidiinae) in Costa Rica. Harvard Pap. Bot. 8: 35-59.
The "first look" implicit in the title was that of the
late Dora Emilia Mora de Retana, in the penultimate installment of
Flora costaricensis [see
Cutting Edge 6(3): 4, Jul. 1999]. Her treatment of Sigmatostalix,
followed in most details for the Manual, recognized five spp. in Costa Rica
[later augmented to six with the description of S. pseudounguiculata Pupulin
& Dressler; see
The Cutting Edge 7(3): 8, Jul. 2000]. In this reconsideration of the genus
for his upcoming Flora mesoamericana account, Franco Pupulin nearly
doubles the Costa Rican sp. total. Of the 11 Sigmatostalix spp. he
attributes to the country, three are new to science (bringing our running total
of new orchid spp. described from Costa Rica since 1993 to 201, including
the two discussed in the foregoing entry). Two of the new spp. are endemic, and
known only from a single site or region: Sigmatostalix cardioglossa Pupulin
has been collected once at 1050 m elevation near San Isidro de El General, while
S. savegrensis Pupulin is known from three collections at 1300-1700 m in
the Río Savegre basin. Both are segregated from the Sigmatostalix picta
Rchb. f. complex, together with S. guatemalensis Schltr. and S.
poikilostalix Kraenzl.; the two last-mentioned names are treated in the
Manual as synonyms of S. picta, regarded by Pupulin as "a very
distinctive taxon endemic of South American Andes." The third new sp.
described here is Sigmatostalix integrilabris Pupulin, which corresponds
to all extant Costa Rican and Panamanian specimens heretofore referred to S.
hymenantha Schltr. The latter name is provisionally restricted to its type,
comprising drawings based on the original (now lost) collection from "Costa
Rica, Curillo, 300 m" (the place-name being obviously a mistranscription of
"Carrillo," a classical collecting site on the Atlantic slope of the
Cordillera Central). Finally, Sigmatostalix picturatissima Kraenzl.,
otherwise known only from Panama to Ecuador, is newly attributed to Costa Rica
on the basis of what must be regarded as highly speculative evidence: a single
specimen, without collection data, flowering in cultivation at "the Orchid
Exhibition of Alajuela" in 2001.
Features a key to all 11 spp., plus synonymy and typology, full descriptions,
comprehensive specimen citations, and discussions for each. Except in the case
of S. hymenantha (for which the original drawings are reproduced), each
spp. is illustrated with one of the author’s characteristically excellent
composite line drawings.
Rojas-Alvarado, A. F. 2002. New species, new combinations and new
distributions in neotropical species of Elaphoglossum (Lomariopsidaceae).
Revista Biol. Trop. 50: 969-1006.
Ten new spp. are described in Elaphoglossum, three new
combinations are validated, and 86 spp. are newly reported from various
countries. Two of the new spp. occur in Costa Rica: Elaphoglossum adrianae
A. Rojas, widespread in all the main cordilleras at (850-)1000-1900 m elevation
(and extending to westernmost Panama), has apparently been confused with E.
curtii Rosenst.; the endemic E. caridadiae A. Rojas (which must be
corrected from "caridadae"), known only from the Tapantí region
at 1300-1700 m, is compared with E. cuspidatum (Willd.) T. Moore and
E. furfuraceum (Mett.) H. Christ. None of the new combinations pertains
to Costa Rica.
Four previously described Elaphoglossum spp. may be added to the
Costa Rican flora on the basis of records cited herein: E. atrosquamatum
Mickel (formerly from Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela), on the Atlantic slope of
the Cordillera Central (Volcán Turrialba) and both slopes of the Cordillera
de Talamanca, at 2400-3300 m elevation; E. burchellii (Baker) C. Chr.
(formerly from Colombia and Brazil), on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de
Talamanca at 1500-1600 m; E. corderoanum (Sodiro) H. Christ (formerly
from Ecuador), on both slopes of the Cordilleras Central and de Talamanca, at
2000-3050 m; and E. inaequalifolium (Jenman) C. Chr. (formerly from
Mexico, Venezuela, and Jamaica), on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de
Talamanca at 2400-3000 m. At the same time, Costa Rica loses four putative
endemics: Elaphoglossum fuliginosum Mickel (now in Venezuela); E.
herrerae A. Rojas (now in most other Mesoamerican countries); E. moralesii
A. Rojas (now in Panama); and E. orosiense A. Rojas (now in Colombia).
Costa Rican specimens previously determined as Elaphoglossum gratum
(Fée) T. Moore are here reinterpreted as juvenile material of E.
All the new spp. are illustrated with photographic images of the type
specimen. For the country records, the previously known geographic range
and "material of new distribution" are clearly indicated in all
Sánchez-Vindas, P. E. 2001. Flórula arborescente
del Parque Nacional Cahuita. 2. ed. EUNED, San José, Costa Rica.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years now since the
first edition of this valuable work was published. Despite the absence of
the word arborescente from the title of the first edition (and from the
cover of this one!), this is and has always been a tree guide. The main
section of the new edition features 144 spp., one less than the original
edition (mysteriously lost is the sp. identified as Matayba livida
Radlk.). The sp. entries are alphabetized by family name (using "-aceae"
endings exclusively this time around); each entry comprises two facing pages,
one bearing a black-and-white photo (usually from life), the other descriptions
of growth form, leaves, flowers, and fruits, as well as common names and
information on distribution and (usually) uses. There has been some slight
textual revision for the new edition, but the photos in the main section are
all the same (although some have been oriented or cropped differently, and a
few have been omitted). The major changes here involve nomenclatural and
taxonomic updating, including the correction of a few outright
misidentifications-e.g., of Campnosperma panamense Standl. (Anacardiaceae),
called Bucida buceras L. (Combretaceae) in the first edition. There
seems to be no explicit cross-referencing to link different names used in the
two editions (though this can always be calculated from the photos). Most of
the supporting features of the original edition remain in place and largely
intact, including a set of dichotomous keys, an illustrated glossary (much
condensed, but with the illustrations now integrated), and an index to common
and scientific names. Eight color plates (with 13 photos total) appear in the
back of the volume, but these are mostly different from the 12 color photos in
the front of the first edition. One shortcoming of this work is that it
contains no detailed map of the park, nor any information of a general nature
on vegetation or habitats, or on the distribution of individual tree spp.
within the park (although it must be admitted that Cahuita is a smallish and
relatively homogeneous reserve). That said, this book is absolutely a "must
have" for any visitor to Parque Nacional Cahuita with the desire or need to
identify its trees; along these lines, we heartily endorse the new, more
conventional, ergonomic and field-friendly design of the second edition.
Takizawa, H. 2003. Three new albino forms of Tillandsia from
Honduras and Costa Rica. J. Bromeliad Soc. 53: 51-56.
The bad news is that two of these aberrations occur in Costa Rica;
the good news is that it’s too late to even think about them for the Manual!
Tillandsia bulbosa Hook. fa. alba Takiz. (Bromeliaceae) and
T. flexuosa Sw. fa. alba Takiz. are both described on the basis
of a single collection, the former from near Turrialba, the latter from the
Península de Osa. In each case, the new form "has an unmistakable
bright yellow inflorescence and pure white flower." Illustrated with
color photos from life.
Wallace, R. S. & S. L. Dickie. 2002. Systematic implications of
chloroplast DNA sequence variation in subfam. Opuntioideae (Cactaceae).
Pp. 9-22 in, D. Hunt & N. Taylor (eds.), Studies in the Opuntioideae
(Cactaceae). D. Hunt, Sherborne, England, U.K.
The results of cladistic analyses of DNA variation of the rpl16
intron, together with an evaluation of seed anatomy and other morphological and
biogeographical evidence, convince the authors that Opuntia should be
restricted to "those taxa with flattened stems and reticulate pollen
exines." A five-tribe subfamilial classification is proposed, with one
tribe described as new. Noteworthy is that Cylindropuntia (not occurring
in Costa Rica) is removed not only from Opuntia s. l., but to a different
tribe from Opuntia s. str. According to a cross-referenced list of accepted
spp. conveniently appended to this volume (pp. 250-254), Opuntia s. str.
includes (among many other spp.) the familiar O. ficus-indica (L.) Mill.,
cultivated in Costa Rica and throughout the New World. The only spp. of
Opuntia s. l. indigenous to Costa Rica O. guatemalensis Britton &
Rose and O. lutea (Rose) D. R. Hunt, belong to the segregate genus
Nopalea, together with the cultivated O. cochenillifera (L.) Mill.
Opuntia brasiliensis (Willd.) Haw., another exotic spp. commonly planted
in Costa Rica, is referrable to Brasiliopuntia. It should be noted that
the authors’ new classification was already employed (in its broad strokes) in
a recent book by Edward F. Anderson [see
Cutting Edge 8(4): 2-3, Oct. 2001], on the basis of information then
Zuloaga, F. O., O. Morrone, G. Davidse, T. S. Filgueiras, P. M. Peterson,
R. J. Soreng & E. J. Judziewicz. Chief eds.: R. J. Soreng & S. J. Pennington.
2003. Catalogue of New World grasses (Poaceae): III. Subfamilies
Panicoideae, Aristidoideae, Arundinoideae, and Danthonioideae. Contr. U. S.
Natl. Herb. 46: 1-662.
This work compiles typological and bibliographic information,
together with synonymy, for 1613 "tentatively accepted" spp. in
119 accepted genera, according to the parameters specified in the title.
Geographic distribution within the New World is also indicated. Native,
naturalized and cultivated taxa are all included. Eighteen names are
lectotypified, and one new combination is validated; none of these appears
to affect the usage of names in Costa Rica.