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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 XIV, Number 4, October 2007

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

SEASON'S PICK: Achimenes misera Lindl. (Gesneriaceae) featured also this season as a new country record, is small, but like most other spp. in the family, photogenic.

We first came across bunches of what appeared to be dried up seedlings, and a few miserable dry-season survivors of this sp. a few years ago (at most, with immature or aborted fruits), while examining crevices in our favorite limestone outcrop in the region of Cerro Caraigres.   We even had a few of the survivors alive at home for several months, but they, too, eventually expired before flowering.  Our hypotheses, at the time were two: either it would turn out to be depauperate material of a sp. already known from the country (e.g., Achimenes candida Lindl.—Hammel & Morales 19884), or something inherently small, and certainly new.  Finally, on our most recent trip to this always-productive spot, abundant plants in full flower proved the second hypothesis.


Achimenes misera Lindl. (Gesneriaceae)
Achimenes misera Lindl. (Gesneriaceae)
Achimenes misera Lindl. (Gesneriaceae)
Achimenes misera Lindl. (Gesneriaceae)
Achimenes misera Lindl. (Gesneriaceae)
Achimenes misera Lindl. (Gesneriaceae)

Although the specimens have not yet been examined by any Gesneriaceae expert, our initial ID gleaned from the Flora of Guatemala is confirmed by María Angelica de La Paz Ramírez Roa's 1987 revision of the genus (unpubl. "biólogo" thesis) .  Odd  that we should discover this disjunct before  A. erecta (Lam.) H. P. Fuchs, a widespread species with numerous collections from adjacent Nicaragua and Panama, but none yet known from Costa Rica (as discussed in Ricardo Kriebel's draft treatment of the family for the Manual).  We'll find that one next trip!  Plant photos by B. Hammel, vouchered by Hammel et al. 24362; scene photo by J. F. Morales.

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