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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

Main | Family List (MO) | Family List (INBio) | Cutting Edge
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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

SEASON'S PICK: Couratari guianensis Aubl. -- LECYTHIDACEAE

Couratari guianensis Aubl. Couratari guianensis Aubl.

As usual (!), nothing unusual, but a superb photo by INBio curator Francisco Morales, wins pick of the season for this issue.

Although not uncommon in Costa Rica, this species is listed on the 2000 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as "vulnerable...due to overexploitation and habitat loss." The species reaches no further up the Central American isthmus than Costa Rica, but otherwise has a solidly Amazonian distribution, occurring in all countries of the Amazon watershed. In Costa Rica it is known only from the Pacific lowlands (100-500 m), from south of San José to the Osa Península. This photo is vouchered by J. F. Morales 9879.

In any case, the species is appropriate for this season since the peak flowing time appears to be September; all of the flowering specimens from Costa Rica, on TROPICOS and ATTA, were collected during that month. At this time of year, in certain areas of the Osa Península (eg., the forested hills at the end of the abandoned air strip near Rincón de Osa), the flowering canopy of this large tree colors the hillsides with spectacular dollops of pink.

Side note: please ignore the "Limón" locality for Hammel 21066 on the INBio website for this species; the correct coordinates for that and hundreds of other collections of Hammelís (in the range of #ís 21000--22710, now incorrectly as "Limón" province) have not yet been entered into the INBio database.

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