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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 XIII, Number 4, October 2006

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

CECROPIACEAE (or Urticaceae, if you insist).  What, a new Cecropia sp. for Costa Rica?  That indeed appears to be the case, as reported by INB curator Alexánder Rodríguez, who has positively identified an unusual collection as C. hispidissima Cuatrec.  This would be the sixth Cecropia sp. for the Costa Rican flora.  The material in question, from the Atlantic coastal plain east of Los Chiles (near the Nicaraguan border), is noteworthy for its dense pubescence of stiff, somewhat irritating setae, covering the young stems, petioles and leaf-blades.  Cecropia hispidissima was previously known from eastern Panama to Ecuador, and while it may seem odd that a basically South American sp. should turn up at the northern edge of Costa Rica, we are aware of numerous precedents.  Already this sp. is endangered in Costa Rica, according to Alex, as the discovery site is located in an area slated to host a potentially devastating mining operation.

MYRSINACEAE.  Ardisia eurubiginosa (Lundell) J. F. Morales can now be officially reported from Costa Rica, having been collected there 10 years ago by the extraparenthetical authority, who has only recently realized the identity of his specimen.  This sp. was already included hypothetically in Chico’s Manual draft treatment of Myrsinaceae [see The Cutting Edge 7(1): 3, Jan. 2000], on the basis of a Panamanian specimen from the Cordillera de Talamanca, just a stone’s throw from the Costa Rican border.  Now we can legally claim it, with a specified range of 2450–2900 m on the Atlantic slope (and near the Continental Divide) in the eastern portion of the Talamanca range.  Although Ardisia eurubiginosa was synonymized under A. palmana Donn. Sm. in a recent revision [see The Cutting Edge 10(3): 9–10, Jul. 2003], Chico reports that it is distinct by virtue of its well-differentiated petioles, shorter inflorescences, and pink (vs. white or cream) petals.

SABIACEAE.  Meliosma dentata (Liebm.) Urb., previously known to range from Mexico to Nicaragua (and vouchered from the latter country by a single, sterile specimen), has turned up in Costa Rica.  Our only record, collected on 12 October, 1971, is Holdridge 6557 (CR), from the Pacific slope of Volcán Irazú between Rancho Redondo and Llano Grande.  The indicated locality would suggest an elevational range of ca. 2050–2300 m.  According to INB curator Francisco Morales, who reports this herbarium find, M. dentata differs from the very similar Meliosma idiopoda S. F. Blake by its larger flowers.  Calculating from Chico’s previous regional treatments of Meliosma [see The Cutting Edge 10(3): 7–8, Jul. 2003], the sp.-total for Costa Rica now stands at 15.

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