www.mobot.org Research Home | Search | Contact | Site Map  

North America
South America
General Taxonomy
Photo Essays
Training in Latin

Wm. L. Brown Center
Graduate Studies
Research Experiences
  for Undergraduates

Imaging Lab
MBG Press
Climate Change
Catalog Fossil Plants
Image Index
Rare Books

Res Botanica
All Databases
What's New?
People at MO
Visitor's Guide
Jobs & Fellowships
Research Links
Site Map


Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

Main | Family List (MO) | Family List (INBio) | Cutting Edge
Draft Treatments | Guidelines | Checklist | Citing | Editors

The Cutting Edge

Volume XVI, Number 4,October 2009

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

Albach, D. C., K. Yan, S. R. Jensen & H.-Q. Li.  2009. Phylogenetic placement of Triaenophora (formerly Scrophulariaceae) with some implications for the phylogeny of Lamiales.  Taxon 58: 749–756.

We have no idea what Triaenophora is, but one of the implications impinges upon our restricted sphere of interest.  This concerns the classification of the Old World genus Mazus, represented in Costa Rica by the introduced M. pumilus (Burm. f.) Steenis, of Southeast Asia.  Long assigned to the all-encompassing Scrophulariaceae of old, Mazus was later relegated, on the basis of preliminary molecular evidence, to Phrymaceae (as reflected in the latest edition of Mabberley’s plant-book).  However, this study corroborates prior suggestions [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 13(4): 10–11, Oct. 2006] that Mazus (together with the dispecific Asian Lancea) “should be excluded from Phrymaceae,” evidently to a separate family, lacking a name.  Nonetheless, “further analysis is warranted” (which, for us, is another way of saying “Scrophulariaceae of old will continue to prevail”).

Ávila Solera, D. (ed.).  2008. Plantas comestibles de Centroamérica.  Edit. INBio, Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica.  338 pp.

This work, compiled by 11 authors representing every Central American country save Belize, provides detailed information and photos for 104 spp. (according to our crude count) of plants exploited as food in the region.  The spp. are presented alphabetically, by family and genus.  Each entry features common names, important synonyms (irregularly), a botanical description, habitat, distribution, and phenology summaries, bibliographic references (the volume boasts a 25-page bibliography), and information on culinary and other uses and natural history.  In many cases one or more actual recipes are provided—19, in the case of Fernaldia pandurata (A. DC.) Woodson (Apocynaceae).  Most of the featured spp. are native to the region, but a few are not, e.g., Bactris gasipaes Kunth (Arecaceae).  In addition to all of the obvious choices, many unconventional and unexpected spp. were selected, making this an indispensable reference work.  A few such examples are:  Dahlia imperialis Roezl ex Ortgies (Asteraceae; “las hojas tiernas se comen fritas o cocidas”), Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Kunth ex Walp. (Fabaceae/Faboideae; “las flores son comestibles”), and Karwinskia calderonii Standl. (Rhamnaceae; “los frutos se comen maduros y frescos”).  With Manual collaborator Juan Francisco Morales credited for the scientific review, we may assume that the volume is impeccable in that regard.

Baumbach, N.  2009. Wo die Acronias blühen – eine Wanderung im Chirripó Nationalpark, Costa Rica.  Orchidee (Hamburg) 60: 152–165.

Intrepid amateur orchid enthusiast saunters up Cerro Chirripó, taking lots of pretty color pictures along the way, focusing, for some reason not entirely clear to us (this is in German!), on the genus Acronia (a subset of Pleurothallis, to you Manual users).  Bear witness, if you will, to the willingness (dare we say eagerness?) of these horticultural types, of whose wrath we live in perpetual fear, to absorb and deploy all of the most recent name changes.  And please remind us once again of the need for devoting so much time, energy, and expense to conserving and rejecting names, compromising the principle of priority and undermining the very foundation of nomenclatural stability.  We’re all ears.

Berg, C. van den, W. E. Higgins, R. L. Dressler, W. M. Whitten, M. A. Soto-Arenas & M. W. Chase.  2009. A phylogenetic study of Laeliinae (Orchidaceae) based on combined nuclear and plastid DNA sequences.  Ann. Bot. (Oxford) 104: 417–430.

It seems that Schomburgkia was recently synonymized with Laelia, in a paper that we must have overlooked (this orchid literature is really tough to keep track of!).  The combination Laelia lueddemannii (Prill.) L. O. Williams is already available for the sole Costa Rican sp. affected.  Oherwise, this paper seems to include no new information of floristic interest.

Carlsen, M. M. & T. B. Croat.  2007. Taxonomic revision of Anthurium section Semaeophyllium Schott (Araceae).  Harvard Pap. Bot. 12: 173–234.

This revision recognizes 23 spp. in the admittedly artificial (according to the first author’s own unpublished molecular data) Anthurium sect. Semaeophyllium, one of 19 sects. in the huge, neotropical genus Anthurium, and of just three that are characterized by palmately lobed or compound leaves.  We’ve already had a preview of the conclusions of this study, the seven new spp resulting from it having been described in an earlier paper [see The Cutting Edge 12(1): 6, Jan. 2005].  Just one of these new spp., Anthurium rotundatum Croat & Carlsen, figures into the total of three from the sect. recorded from Costa Rica, the other two being A. subsignatum Schott and the rather different (and, we would contend, unrelated) A. tilaranense Standl.  Features a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp., full synonymy and typology at all levels, detailed sp. descriptions, generous discussions, comprehensive specimen citations, and sections on excluded spp. (with Anthurium panduriforme Schott represented from Costa Rica) and specimens of uncertain affinity (none from Costa Rica).  The introductory part addresses taxonomic history, morphology, geographic distribution (with maps), and inter- and ifrasectional relationships.  All 23 spp. are depicted, mainly in black-and-white photos of living material and/or herbarium specimens.  There are no indices.

Carnevali Fernández-Concha, G., R. Duno de Stefano, G. A. Romero-González, R. Balam, W. Cetzal Ix, J. L. Tapia-Muñoz & I. M. Ramírez.  2009. A reappraisal of the turtle-orchids, genus Chelyorchis (Oncidiinae: Orchidaceae):  molecular, phylogenetic, and morphometric approaches.  J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 136: 164–185.

A combined parsimony analysis involving both molecular and morphological data confirms the genus Chelyorchis (an Oncidium segregate, vis-à-vis the Manual Orchidaceae treatment) as “a monophyletic entity that is sister to a clade comprised of the genera Ticoglossum and Rossioglossum,” and a key is provided to distinguish those three genera.  Chelyorchis had been accepted as monospecific, with only the sp. treated as Oncidium ampliatum Lindl. in the Manual.  These authors split off a second sp., described as new, and restricted to South America.  As a result, the geographic range of O. ampliatum in the Manual should be altered to “Guat.–Col.”  The two spp. are contrasted in a key couplet.

Chase, M. W., N. H. Williams, A. D. Faria, K. M. Neubig, M. C. E. Amaral & W. M. Whitten.  2009. Floral convergence in Oncidiinae (Cymbidieae; Orchidaceae):  an expanded concept of Gomesa and a new genus Nohawilliamsia.  Ann. Bot. (Oxford) 104: 387–402.

This is mostly of no interest to us, but we do learn, incidentally, that the genus Sigmatostalix is “now included in Oncidium s.s.”; this move was apparently accomplished in a paper that managed to outflank us (and which we cannot presently locate, according to the reference provided).

Ciciarelli, M. M. & C. H. Rolleri.  2008. Morfología, taxonomía y caracterización de siete especies neotropicales del género Canna (Cannaceae, Zingiberales).  Bot. Complut. 32: 157–184.

Hard to fathom what this is all about.  Siete especies?  What about the rest?  Why were these particular seven selected?  Canna comprises at least 10 spp., by the most conservative estimates, including that of Hiltje Maas-van de Kamer and Paul J. M. Maas (authors of the Manual Cannaceae treatment) in their very recent world monograph of the family/genus [see The Cutting Edge 16(1): 7–8, Jan. 2009], not cited in this paper.  So now, a few months down the line, we are served a dichotomous (non-indented) key to seven of these, along with synonymy and typology and a technical description, habitat summary, and selected specimen citations for each.  This has the flavor of an undergraduate class project.  For those who may be interested, two of the three Costa Rican representatives of the genus are included here (Canna tuerckheimii Kraenzl. being the odd man out).

Clark, J. R. & J. L. Clark.  2008. Drymonia decora (Gesneriaceae), a new species from the Fila Costeña, Costa Rica.  Selbyana 29: 147–151.

We were so preoccupied with processing this paper for our impending Manual Gesneriaceae treatment that we neglected to write it up for the Edge (thanks to Mario Blanco for keeping us honest!).  Apart from (finally) pairing the two John Clark’s specialized on Gesneriaceae, this paper is noteworthy for adding to the list of novelties that have been discovered (mainly by associates of SEL) at the private Refugio de Vida Silvestre Boracayán [see The Cutting Edge 16(1): 6–7, Jan. 2009].  Drymonia decora J. R. Clark & J. L. Clark, known only from the type, is most similar to the sym- or parapatric D. peltata (Oliver) H. E. Moore and D. uninerva Wiehler, as well as to D. submarginalis Gómez-Laur. & Chavarría of the Atlantic slope, from all of which it is distinct by virtue of its pendulous habit and glandular-pubescent pedicels and flowers.  Molecular analysis suggests a sister relationship to D. peltata (and D. decora may occasionally have subpeltate leaves).  Illustrated with an excellent composite line drawing and a photographic plate of living material.

Clement, W. L. & G. D. Weiblen.  2009. Morphological evolution in the mulberry family (Moraceae).  Syst. Bot. 34: 530–552.

Not much we can glean from this.  Clarisia appears nested within Batocarpus (or vice-versa) in most of the trees, and Perebea looks polyphyletic.  These details are not much emphasized by the authors, who are more interested in tribal classification.

Dorr, L. J., G. E. Pilz & J. Boggan.  2009. The transfer of types from the Escuela Agrícola Panamericana to the U.S. National Herbarium in 1956 by Louis O. Williams.  Taxon 58:  993–1001.

The title tells the whole story, in its broad outlines.  The types involved pertain to names that were validated during the early 1950’s by Louis O. Willams and/or Paul C. Standley, or their colleagues (principally Paul H. Allen and Antonio Molina) at the Escuela Agrícola Panamericana (EAP) in Zamorano, Honduras.  Most of these names were published in Ceiba, the EAP’scientific journal, and a few in Allen’s The Rain Forests of Golfo Dulce (1956), with their types specified as deposited in EAP.  The transfer to US, though undertaken with permission, “was neither publicly announced nor otherwise previously well-documented.”  Here it is well-documented indeed, in the context of a fascinating and detailed historical account, prepared by curators at both institutions and informed by archival information from each.  All the types involved in the transfer are critically catalogued, by family (according to the APG system), in an appendix, with a protologue citation for each taxon, and type repositories designated by the authors according to criteria explicitly established in the text (where many special cases are also discussed).  Interestingly, Williams appears to have been motivated by apprehensions of instability at EAP, but that institution “proved to be more durable than [he] could have imagined.  The herbarium, which now numbers 240,000 specimens, is the largest in Central America and one of the larger collections in all of Latin America” (quoting from the epilogue to this paper).

Dressler, R. L. & D. Bogarín C.  2009. Der Trichopilia tortilis Komplex (Orchidaceae: Oncidiinae) mit einer schwierig zu bestimmenden neuen Art/The Trichopilia tortilis complex (Orchidaceae: Oncidiinae) with an elusive new species.  OrchideenJ. 16(2): 56–65.

The largely Mesoamerican Trichopilia tortilis Lindl. complex, characterized by single-flowered inflorescences and flowers with a median groove on the lip, comprises at least three of the seven Trichopilia spp. treated in the first author’s (2003) Manual treatment:  T. galeottiana A. Rich. & Galeotti, T. marginata Henfr., and T. tortilis (we don’t know about T. sp. A, but suspect it may also belong here).  Also included are the more recently described or descried Trichopilia punicea Dressler & Pupulin and T. ×crispa Lindl. [see The Cutting Edge 15(3): 5, Jul. 2008], as well as T. primulina Dressler & Bogarín, described here as new.  The last-mentioned sp. is based on a cultivated specimen “purchased as being from Colombia or Ecuador, but the seller has acquired a reputation for offering Costa Rican and Panamanian plants as being from Colombia or Ecuador”; other, equally tenuous evidence suggests some potential localities in Costa Rica.  Such are the ways of orchidologists.  We would back up a few steps and question even the validity of this entity as a sp., since we are very familiar with the tendency of some horticulturists (including one mentioned specifically in connection with T. primulina) to produce hybrids and try passing them off as new spp. or even genera (Nopalxochia, anyone?).  Suffice it to say that T. primulina will not figure into our running count.  Moving right along, the authors also describe a new form of Trichopilia tortilis, T. t. f. immaculata Dressler & Bogarín, that “is known from Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras [though only a Nicaraguan specimen is cited], and may also occur in Costa Rica” (the evidence for the last conjecture being singularly unreliable).  A dichotomous (but non-indented) key is provided for all the taxa in the complex, as well as full synonymy and typology and a brief diagnostic statement for each.  Replete with color photos and a few nice line drawings, but without specimen citations (excepting types).  Completely (and distractingly) bilingual (German/English).

Fijridiyanto, I. A. & N. Murakami.  2009. Phylogeny of Litsea and related genera (Laureae-Lauraceae) based on analysis of rpb2 gene sequences.  J. Pl. Res. 122: 283–298.

Please see our brief review [The Cutting Edge 16(1): 7, Jan. 2009] of a previous paper (not cited here) on substantially the same subject, every word of which is applicable in the present context.

Giraldo-Cañas, D.  2008. Revisión del género Axonopus (Poaceae: Paniceae):  primer registro del género en Europa y novedades taxonómicas/Revision of the genus Axonopus (Poaceae: Paniceae):  first record of the genus for Europe and taxonomic novelties.  Caldasia 30: 301–314.

First of all, this is not a revision, as implied by the title, just a sort of footnote to one that is ongoing.  Two primary tasks are dispatched:  first, the genus Axonopus is reported for the first time from Europe, on the basis of a collection of A. fissifolius (Raddi) Kuhlm. from Portugal, where it is adventive (so annotate your copy of Manual Vol. 3 to add the phrase “y subtróps.” prior to “del Viejo Mundo” in the distribution statement of A. fissifolius); and second, several names are added to the synonymy of A. compressus (Sw.) P. Beauv. and A. scoparius (Flüggé) Kuhlm.  In this latter category, one new synonym has major consequences for the published Manual Poaceae treatment:  Axonopus micay García-Barr. is now regarded by this author as a synonym of A. scoparius.  Both were accepted as distinct spp. in the Manual, but we’ve always thought they looked suspiciously similar.

Giulietti, A. M., M. J. Gomes de Andrade, L. R. Parra, C. van den Berg & R. M. Harley.  2009. (1902) Proposal to conserve the name Syngonanthus against Philodice (Eriocaulaceae).  Taxon 58: 1008–1009.

Unpublished molecular evidence has shown Syngonanthus, with ca. 200 spp. in both the Neotropics and Africa, to be “a polyphyletic genus composed of two separate lineages.”  One of these lineages contains the bulk of Syngonanthus (including the autonymic section) plus the little-known, dispecific Brazilian genus Philodice, “which can be united in a single genus.”  But of course, Philodice is the older name, prompting this proposal.  The other lineage, comprising 39 spp., entrains the generic name Comanthera L. B. Sm., “which is being re-established.”  We don’t know the sectional affinity of the sole Costa Rican representative of Syngonanthus, S. caulescens (Poir.) Ruhland, but one way or another it is under the gun.

Gontcharova, S. B., A. A. Gontcharov & R. Stephenson.  2008. Analysis of phylogenetic relationships in the family Crassulaceae based on comparisons of ITS region of nuclear rDNA.  Bot. Zhurn. (Moscow & Leningrad) 93: 97–113.

This study reveals a “high level of polyphyly” in Sedum, portending (according to our interpretation of the lone cladogram) either wholesale splitting or the absorption of such familiar genera as Aeonium, Dudleya, Echeveria, Graptopetalum, and Sempervivum.  As luck would have it, both of the spp. occurring (naturalized) in Costa Rica, Sedum dendroideum Moc. & Sessé ex DC. and S. griseum Praeger, were included in the study, together with the generic type, S. acre L.  Thus we can speculate that, under the presumably much more probable splitting scenario, our two spp. would most likely wind up in different genera, neither of which would bear the name Sedum.  In Russian (with English abstract).

Hansen, B. F. & J. F. Morales.  2009. Typifications in the genera Forsteronia and Laxoplumeria (Apocynaceae).  Darwiniana 47: 227–228.

Lecto- or neotypes are designated for the accepted names (or their basionyms, as the case may be) of three spp. occurring in Costa Rica:  Forsteronia acouci (Aubl.) A. DC., F. myriantha Donn. Sm., and F. spicata (Jacq.) G. Mey.  Prevailing usage is not affected; indeed, these same designations were already published (ineffectively) in the first author’s 1985 Ph.D. dissertation, and have been honored since that time.

Kriebel, R. & F. Almeda.  2009. Three new species in the neotropical genus Clidemia (Melastomataceae: Miconieae).  Brittonia 61: 206–217.

These novelties raise the Costa Rican sp. total for this important genus to 48, with the authors’ caveat that their new spp. are “only tentatively placed in Clidemia, since the genus is likely not monophyletic.”  Generic assignment adheres to the traditional definition of Clidemia as characterized by axillary flowers with rounded petal apices.  That said, the new spp. are as follows:  Clidemia aguilarii Kriebel & Almeda (honoring Costa Rican botanist Reinaldo Aguilar), of Costa Rica and western Panama, which comprises all of the material (including the cited voucher) accounting for the Pacific-slope portion of the geographic range of C. quinquenervia (Mill.) Almeda as summarized in the Manual (the latter sp. being now restricted to the Atlantic slope in Costa Rica); Clidemia aurantiaca Almeda & Kriebel, of Costa Rica (400–1100 m, Atlantic slope of the Cordilleras de Guanacaste, de Tilarán, and Central), Panama, and Ecuador, which is compared with C. densiflora (Standl.) Gleason and C. evanescens Almeda; and the very rare Costa Rican endemic Clidemia subpeltata Kriebel & Almeda, from 100–1500 m on the Atlantic slope of the Cordilleras de Guanacaste, Central, and de Talamanca, which is compared with C. septuplinervia Cogn.  Helpfully, the disposition of C. aguilarii and C. aurantiaca in the Manual key to Clidemia spp. (coauthored by the first author of this paper) is discussed.  The distributions of all three new spp. and C. quinquenervia are mapped, and all of the new spp. are depicted in fine composite line drawings, as well as photos from life.

Linares, J. & M. Sousa S.  2007. Nuevas especies de Dalbergia (Leguminosae: Papilionoideae: Dalbergieae) en México y Centroamérica.  Ceiba 48: 61–82.

Of the seven new spp. described in this paper, just one is attributed to Costa Rica, on somewhat tentative grounds:  Dalbergia ruddiae J. Linares & M. Sousa is based on on six collections (including the type) from southern Mexico (Chiapas) and three from Costa Rica, the latter with slightly larger flowers than the rest.  The Costa Rican paratypes have been (and will continue to be) treated as D. melanocardium Pittier by Manual co-PI and Fabaceae contributor Nelson Zamora (INB).  We have corrected the spelling of the authors’ original “ruddae” in accordance with ICBN Art. 60.11, considering that the epithet honors late Fabaceae specialist Velva E. Rudd.  Includes a dichotomous, indented key to all the Dalbergia spp. of Mexico and Central America, plus basic composite line drawings of all seven new spp.

Lorea-Hernández, F. G.  2009. Persea pallescens, a new combination for Phoebe pallescens (Lauraceae, Perseeae), a mistaken taxon of Mexico and Guatemala.  Novon 19: 201–203.

The combination obviously does not affect us, but a key to the Mesoamerican spp. of Persea with pubescent pistils includes P. americana Mill. and P. schiedeana Nees, and supplements the couplet separating those spp. in the Manual treatment of the genus by Jose González (LSCR) and Luis Poveda (JVR).

Lorence, D.  2009. Lectotypification of Didymaea mexicana Hook. f. (Rubiaceae, Rubieae) and the identity of D. alsinoides (Schltdl. & Cham.) Standl.  Acta Bot. Mex. 88: 73–79.

The name Didymaea alsinoides, long used for the only sp. of its genus occurring in Costa Rica, is shown to apply correctly to a Mexican endemic.  It is now replaced, for our purposes, by D. mexicana, provisionally applied (according to the new lectotypification) to a sp. ranging from southern Mexico to Panama (the author acknowledges the possibility that “additional taxa are represented in this complex”).  A key couplet is provided to distinguish the two entities, and both relevant types are depicted in photos.

Luer, C. A.  2009. Systematics of the genus Stelis and Part IV, the conclusion of Stelis of Ecuador.  Pp. 31–237 in, C. A. Luer, Icones pleurothallidinarum XXX.  Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 115: 1–265.

The title of this article appears in three different versions; we’ve chosen, quite arbitrarily, the version given at the head of the article (rather than that on the title page of the volume, or another one, different yet, in the table of contents).  Frankly, though, we haven’t a clue as to how this is supposed to be cited.  But on with the show.  As revealed by the title (two of them, anyway), the show is focused mainly on Ecuador, but a couple of taxonomic decisions impact Costa Rica.  We detected the following two (though undoubtedly there are others):  Stelis jimenezii Schltr. is cited as a synonym of S. ciliaris Lindl. (both names were accepted in the Manual treatment of the genus, by this same author), and S. dressleri Luer is deemed distinct from S. morganii Dodson & Garay, under which it was synonymized in the Manual (though it is not clear which entity occurs in Costa Rica).  The reader may also wish to check this paper carefully vs. the Manual for range extensions, both within Costa Rica (e.g., Stelis microchila Schltr. and S. superbiens Lindl.) and without (e.g., S. ciliaris Lindl., S. glossula Rchb. f., and S. guatemalensis Schltr.).

--.  2009. Addenda:  miscellaneous new combinations.  Pp. 257–260 in, C. A. Luer, Icones pleurothallidinarum XXX.  Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 115: 1–265.

The author’s decision to submerge his recently described genus Panmorphia [see The Cutting Edge 13(4): 6, Oct. 2006] into Anathallis necessitates new combinations in the latter genus, here validated under the author’s name, for spp. still lacking them; in Cosa Rica, these are Pleurothallis caudatipetala C. Schweinf., P. fractiflexa Ames & C. Schweinf., and P. grayumii Luer.

McDill, J., M. Repplinger, B. B. Simpson & J. W. Kadereit.  2009. The phylogeny of Linum and Linaceae subfamily Linoideae, with implications for their systematics, biogeography, and evolution of heterostyly.  Syst. Bot. 34: 386–405.

The blue- and yellow-flowered spp. of Linum fall neatly into two separate clades, the latter also harboring four segregate genera.  This situation could potentially result in the two spp. represented in Costa Rica winding up in different genera, the blue-flowered Linum usitatissimum L. (the generic type) separated from the yellow-flowered L. guatemalense Benth.  However, these authors appear ready to steer in a different direction, noting that the four segregate genera (three of which are already synonymized under Linum in the latest edition of The plant-book) “should be returned to Linum in a conservative taxonomic revision.”

Molina, J. & L. Struwe.  2009. Utility of secondary structure in phylogenetic reconstructions using nrDNA ITS sequences – an example from Potalieae (Gentianaceae: Asteridae).  Syst. Bot. 34: 414–428.

Just one wee tidbit of tangential interest to us:  Lisianthius is paraphyletic (“unambiguously...in all analyses”) with respect to Bisgoeppertia, a Caribbean genus of two spp.  Otherwise, this is all about tribes and subtribes (yawn).

Morales, J. F.  2009. Novedades y notas misceláneas en las Bromeliaceae de Mesoamérica.  J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 3: 113–116.

Although the sole “novedad” does not concern us, all four “misceláneas” have an impact on Costa Rican floristics.  And the impact, in each case, is negative, resulting in the loss of two spp. from the flora and also of two cases of endemicity.  The two spp. lost outright are Aechmea penduliflora André and Guzmania mitis L. B. Sm., the sole Costa Rican records for which prove to have been misidentified specimens of Aechmea angustifolia Poepp. & Endl. and Guzmania blassii Rauh, respectively.  Stripped of their status as Costa Rican endemics are Werauhia brunei (Mez & Wercklé) J. R. Grant and W. camptoclada (Mez & Wercklé) J. F. Morales, both recently collected in the Cerro Punta region of westernmost Panama (Prov. Chiriquí) by the author and INB associate Daniel Santamaría.  Traitors!

--.  2009. La familia Apocynaceae (Apocynoideae, Rauvolfioideae) en Guatemala.  Darwiniana 47: 140–184.

Peripheral, it is true, but we note a few innovations with respect to the author’s earlier companion paper on the Costa Rican members of the family [see The Cutting Edge 13(1): 9–10, Jan. 2006].  First and foremost, the author’s own genus Allotoonia [see The Cutting Edge 12(1): 10–11, Jan. 2005] is returned to Echites, on the basis of recently published molecular evidence [see The Cutting Edge 14(4): 10, Oct. 2007] that might also be invoked to sink Fernaldia into Echites (which is not done).  Also citing molecular studies, the genus Pinochia is recognized as distinct from Forsteronia [see The Cutting Edge 14(4): 7, Oct. 2007] and Tonduzia from Alstonia [see The Cutting Edge 14(4): 13, Oct. 2007], with the names P. monteverdensis (J. F. Morales) M. E. Endress & B. F. Hansen and T. stenophylla (Donn. Sm.) Pittier applying (respectively) to the two Costa Rican representatives involved.  On a somewhat more tenuous basis [see The Cutting Edge 15(4): 10, Oct. 2008], Cascabela is accepted as distinct from Thevetia.  Finally, the sp. that has lately been known in the Mesoamerican region as Aspidosperma spruceanum Benth. ex Müll. Arg. now becomes A. desmanthum Benth. ex Müll. Arg., with the former name reserved for a sp. restricted to the Amazon basin.

-- & M. H. Grayum.  2009. Mollinedia maxima (Monimiaceae), un nuevo nombre para Mollinedia macrophylla.  Darwiniana 47: 229–230.

The name Mollinedia macrophylla J. F. Morales & Q. Jiménez, validated not long ago [see The Cutting Edge 4(1): Jan. 1997] for a distinctively large-leaved sp. then believed endemic to Costa Rica, has been shown to be a much later homonym of M. macrophylla (A. Cunn.) Tul. (1855), based on an Australian type.  It is accordingly replaced by the nomen novum Mollinedia maxima J. F. Morales & Grayum.

-- & Á. Idárraga.  2009. Una nueva especie y notas misceláneas en el género Oreopanax (Araliaceae) en Centroamérica.  J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 3: 117–121.

The first author of this paper is also a coauthor of the Manual Araliaceae draft treatment [see The Cutting Edge 11(2): 1–2, Apr. 2004], which already incorporates all the information here officially published for the first time.  Three names that have sometimes been used for Costa Rican material are rejected as applying to spp. occurring in that country:  Oreopanax geminatus Marchal (associated with Costa Rica mainly because its type was collected by Oersted) ranges from southern Mexico to northern Nicaragua, while O. peltatus Linden (misapplied in Costa Rica and Panama to sterile, juvenile material of Dendropanax spp., with peltate leaves) is in reality restricted to Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador.  Oreopanax nicaraguensis M. J. Cannon & Cannon is properly endemic to northern Nicaragua, but the name has been misapplied in Costa Rica and Panama to at least two distinct spp.:  O. donnell-smithii Standl. and O. paramicola J. F. Morales & Idárraga, the latter described as new in this paper (as “paramicolus,” correctable according to ICBN Art. 23.5).  The new sp., depicted in a black-and-white photo of fresh material, occurs in oak forest and páramo at 2500–3400 m elevation, mainly on the Pacific slope, in the Cordillera de Talamanca of Costa Rica and also on Volcán Barú, in western Panama.

Morawetz, J. J. & A. D. Wolfe.  2009. Assessing the monophyly of Alectra and its relationship to Melasma (Orobanchaceae).  Syst. Bot. 34: 561–569

This paper, a precursor to an impending revision of the hemiparasitic genus Alectra by the first author, establishes that most of the 11 spp. of the genus included in the analysis (out of 12 total) “form a well supported monophyletic group”; however, one African sp. is clearly excluded from the genus, and the disposition of a Madagascan sp. (with respect to Alectra and Melasma) remains unresolved.  Alectra aspera (Cham. & Schltdl.) L. O. Williams, the only sp. recorded from Costa Rica, is “firmly embedded within the genus”; nevertheless, pending additional studies involving more spp., nomenclatural consequences could still loom for A. aspera, and the genus Escobedia (with one sp. in Costa Rica) could also be sucked into the vortex.  As luck would have it, Melasma, not represented in Costa Rica, is the oldest of the three genus names.

Olmstead, R. G., M. L. Zjhra, L. G. Lohmann, S. O. Grose & A. J. Eckert.  2009. A molecular phylogeny and classification of Bignoniaceae.  Amer. J. Bot. 96: 1731–1743.

This study is mainly concerned with tribal classification, and thus is of little concern to us.  We note only that the results “confirm the exclusion” of Schlegeliaceae from Bignoniaceae, if any such confirmation were still needed.  As usual, however, the somewhat aberrant (vis-à-vis Schlegelia) Gibsoniothamnus was not sampled.  We’d be very interested to see Gibsoniothamnus included in a study of this nature

Ossenbach, C.  2009. Orchids and orchidology in Central America:  500 years of history.  Lankesteriana 9: 1–268.

This is, presumably, the author’s magnum opus on regional orchid history, building on several earlier, partial works on the same subject [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 13(2): 9, Apr. 2006, and 13(3): 9–10, Jul. 2006].  You may as well toss those earlier works, if you own them, because this transcends and trumps them all.  Intensively researched, imaginatively written, and wonderfully and abundantly illustrated, this terrific volume will provide endless hours of absorbing reading for anyone even remotely interested in Central American biology.  Though orchids are the tie that binds, the author attempts to profile every worker ever to have collected orchids in the region—which means, in effect, virtually every plant collector!  The text generally delves far deeper than the comparatively skeletal Manual history chapter (in our Vol. 1), so readers starting with the latter may wish to consult this new work for more (or at least different) information or illustrations relevant to individuals or topics of particular interest (their search will be facilitated by an index of “persons and institutions,” and another to scientific and common names of plants).  Very little information is omitted here, yet all is organized in a logical and readable manner.  The author also pulls no punches:  while we were well aware that Tonduz and Wercklé suffered and died from alcoholism, we discreetly left that dirty laundry out of the Manual account; this author, however, includes it (he might also have mentioned that Biolley met the same fate).  Not even his recent colleagues are immune:  we read of the “almost dictatorial way” in which the late Dora Emilia Mora de Retana presided over JBL.  Possibly because of this frank approach, the author suspends his narrative at the level of living individuals, who are generally named only as sources.  Thus, the Manual is nowhere mentioned nor, for that matter, are any recent projects of the author’s own (at least until recently) institution (JBL).  Unfortunately, time and space do not permit us to even so much as scratch the surface in summarizing this stellar piece of work, which we will leave to our readers to discover on their own.  Still no illustrations of Friedrichsthal or Endres, though (but we do finally get to see Guillermo Acosta).

Panja, D., P. Lakshminarasimhan & S. Mandal.  2009. Lectotypification of the name Hexacentris mysorensis Wight (Acanthaceae).  Candollea 64: 85–87.

The action described in the title affects the basionym of Thunbergia mysorensis (Wight) T. Anderson, a sp. that is occasionally cultivated in Costa Rica.  There appear to be no taxonomic consequences.  The lectotype is illustrated with a photo.

Pedraza-Peñalosa, P.  2009. Systematics of the neotropical blueberry genus Disterigma (Ericaceae).  Syst. Bot. 34: 406–413.

First of all, don’t get your hopes up (just yet):  this is not a taxonomic revision, as might reasonably be concluded from the title.  Rather, it is a cladistic analysis of Ericaceae tribe Vaccinieae, focusing on Disterigma, based on parsimony analysis of nrITS and ndhF sequence data.  Disterigma emerges as triphyletic, though 26 of the 31 spp. involved in the study belong to the Disterigma s. str. clade (i.e., including the generic type).  Three of the four spp. occurring in Costa Rica were analyzed, and two of these fell safely into Disterigma s. str.:  D. humboldtii (Klotzsch) Nied. and D. utleyorum Wilbur & Luteyn (the latter sister to the remaining spp. in the group); it seems likely that D. pilosum Wilbur, the omitted Costa Rican representative, would follow suit.  That leaves the anomalous (by virtue of its trimerous flowers) Disterigma trimerum Wilbur & Luteyn which, true to form, is distant from its ostensible congeners in a clade with Vaccinium poasanum Donn. Sm. (similarly anomalous, we gather, with respect to other Vaccinium spp.).  The third Disterigma clade, strictly Andean, is separated from Disterigma s. str. only by Sphyrospermum.  While a case could perhaps be made, based on the author’s cladogram, for maintaining Disterigma largely intact (minus D. trimerum) at the expense of Sphyrospermum, the support for the position of the latter genus is “weak and morphological studies are needed to discover putative synapomorphies that explain it.”  Incidentally, the cladogram also shows Satyria and Thibaudia as polyphyletic, and Psammisia as paraphyletic.  And now you can get your hopes up:  the author’s impending Flora Neotropica Monographs treatment of Disterigma is cited as “in press”!

Provance, M. C. & A. C. Sanders.  2009. An overview of the Diospyros campechiana complex (Ebenaceae) and description of three new species.  J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 3: 85–112.

The latest installment of this ongoing series [see The Cutting Edge 16(2): 9, Apr. 2009, for the last] recognizes seven spp. in the titular complex, of which six are Mesoamerican and one Amazonian (though other South American members may exist, as limited South American material was available to the authors).  Three spp. are described as new, of which two occur in Costa Rica (both endemically):  Diospyros crotalaria Provance & A. C. Sanders (aptly named for its rattling dried fruits), of the Península de Osa, and D. haberi Provance & A. C. Sanders, from 1100–1700 m elevation on the Pacific slope (mainly) of the Cordilleras de Guanacaste, de Tilarán, and de Talamanca.  These had been confused with Diospyros hartmanniana S. Knapp and D. panamensis S. Knapp (misspelled in the protologue and this paper as panamense), both of which also occur in Costa Rica (sometimes sympatrically, in the case of D. haberi).  The four spp. represented in Costa Rica are the subject of a detailed tabular comparison, and all six Mesoamerican spp. in the complex are separated in a dichotomous, indented key (near the end of the paper).  Synonymy, typology, exhaustive descriptions, distribution summaries, and comprehensive specimen citations are provided for all the Mesoamerican spp., and their distributions are mapped.  Morphological features of the complex are summarized in the brief introductory part.  All seven spp. are illustrated, at least by black-and-white photos of herbarium specimens.

We can attest that their Diospyros crotalaria is right on; indeed, Manual contributor José González’s manuscript had already singled out some specimens cited in this paper as fitting uncomfortably in D. panamensis.  But unfortunately, with respect to D. haberi and D. hartmanniana, many Costa Rican specimens were not seen by these authors (judging from their specimen citations), possibly because they were represented only in Costa Rican herbaria (from which no loans were obtained) or were on loan to other specialists.  For these spp., more specimens are present in the INB herbarium than are cited by the authors, at least from certain regions; for example, while the authors cite just one specimen of D. haberi (in fruit) from easternmost Costa Rica, five other virtually identical specimens (several with critical flowering material) from the Coto Brus region are on hand at INB.  Furthermore, neither our contributor nor the authors of this paper have yet been able to examine the type of D. hartmanniana.  We trust and hope that these deficiencies did not affect their taxonomic conclusions.

Pupulin, F.  2007. Contributions toward a reassessment of Costa Rican Zygopetalinae (Orchidaceae).  3.  A systematic revision of Dichaea in Costa Rica.  Harvard Pap. Bot. 12: 15–153.

We somehow missed this important work, as well as two other relevant papers in the same issue (see under Carlsen & Croat, 2007, and Pupulin et al., 2007, this column).  Better late than never!  The 2003 Manual treatment of Dichaea by Robert L. Dressler (JBL) accepted 29 spp. for Costa Rica, and one name, D. diandra Rchb. f., was briefly discussed under the genus heading as“un nombre problemático.”  Those details remain unchanged (though Pupulin suggests that D. diandra “may perhaps be considered a first name for D. oxyglossa”); however, behind the scenes, there has been much ado.  Let us begin with the single sp. described as new in this paper:  Dichaea gomez-lauritoi Pupulin, based on one collection (by the honoree) from 200–250 m elevation near Guápiles (Llanura de Santa Clara) and compared most closely with D. graminoides (Sw.) Lindl. (not recorded from Costa Rica).  To this may added four taxa described since the publication of the Manual treatment:  Dichaea filiarum Pupulin [see The Cutting Edge 13(3): 11–12, Jul. 2006], D. fragrantissima Folsom subsp. eburnea Dressler & Pupulin and D. globosa Dressler & Pupulin [see The Cutting Edge 14(1): 5, Jan. 2007], and D. viridula Pupulin [see The Cutting Edge 13(2): 9, Apr. 2006].  The name Dichaea obovatipetala Folsom, though described in 1994 (on the basis of Panamanian material), was not used in the Manual, but is here applied to a large number of Costa Rican specimens (bosque muy húmedo y pluvial, ca. 200–1750 m; vert. Carib. Cords. Central y de Talamanca, vert. Pac. Cord. de Tilarán).  Two other names deemed synonyms in the Manual are here resurrected for accepted spp., viz., Dichaea amparoana Schltr. (in synonymy under D. lankesteri Ames in the Manual) and D. similis Schltr. (under D. cryptarrhena Rchb. f. ex Kraenzl. in the Manual).  Therefore, this paper adds eight spp. to the Manual treatment, meaning that, to balance the ledger and achieve the same total (29), eight spp. must have been lost.  These are:  Dichaea brachypoda Rchb. f. (now in synonymy under D. panamensis Lindl.), D. ciliolata Rolfe (a synonym of D. hystricina Rchb. f.), D. muricatoides Hamer & Garay (relegated to “Excluded Species” as a name that probably “should be reduced in synonymy under...D. poicillantha”), D. neglecta Schltr. (the Manual voucher for which is cited under D. oxyglossa Schltr.), D. robusta Schltr. (misapplied in the Manual to D. globosa), D. schlechteri Folsom (now in synonymy under D. similis), D. standleyi Ames (in synonymy under D. acroblephara Schltr.), and D. tenuifolia Schltr. (misapplied in the Manual to D. viridula).  We will not take the space to enumerate in-country range extensions (vis-à-vis the Manual treatment), but interested parties should know that there are very many of these.  Of special note:  Dichaea eligulata Folsom, described from cultivated material hypothetically attributed to “CR u O Pan.?” in the Manual, is now confirmed to occur in Costa Rica, with the following distribution:  bosque muy húmedo y pluvial, 400–1150 m; vert. Pac. N Cord. de Talamanca, N Fila Costeña.  It must be considered a Costa Rican endemic, but “possibly” occurs in western Panama.  According to the author, D. eligulata flowers “from July to October.”

The taxonomic section of this revision features synonymy and typology at all ranks, extensive descriptions of the genus and spp., a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp., and, for each spp., a distribution summary, comprehensive specimen citations, and a discussion.  Unlike some contributions by this author, the present one cites many specimens collected by botanists outside his immediate circle  Distribution maps account for nearly every sp., and each sp. is illustrated, minimally with one of the author’s always excellent composite line-drawings. The lengthy introductory portion expounds on distribution of the genus in Costa Rica (with an altitudinal chart), taxonomic history, infrafamilial relationships, morphology (with many drawings and photos), and infrageneric relationships (including a cladistic analysis of morphological and anatomical features).  A section on excluded spp. and indices to scientific names and specimens (including spirit material) are provided near the end of the paper.  This is, all in all, a carefully rendered and very impressive piece of work.

--. 2009. Epidendra, the on-line botanical databases of the Jardín Botánico Lankester.  Orchids (West Palm Beach) 78: 138–139.
--.  2009. Epidendra, la base de datos en línea del Jardín Botánico Lankester de la Universidad de Costa Rica.  Orquideología 26: 89–94.

We’ve read about this before [see The Cutting Edge 16(2): 9, Apr. 2009], and here is is twice more.  This probably won’t be the last time, either.

--.  2009. Typi swartziani orchidacearum indiae occidentalis in Herbario Vindobonense conservandi.  Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 110: 213–247.

It seems that a goodly portion of the orchid specimens collected by Olof Swartz during his Caribbean travels wound up in the collection of Heinrich G. Reichenbach in Vienna (W), though his first set is mainly in Stockholm (S).  Most of the names based on Swartz’s specimens are quite old, hence many are relevant to Costa Rican floristics.  This contribution catalogs the holdings of Swartz’s Orchidaceae at W (including some drawings), most of which are isotypes with a few previously designated lectotypes.  Synonymy is indicated, and each element is depicted in black-and-white photo.  We wonder how contemporary orchid specialists manage to be so skillful at interpreting centuries-old type specimens, while showing little ability (or inclination?) to comprehend modern herbarium collections.

--, D. Bogarín & D. Jiménez.  2009. New species and records in Mesoamerican Lepanthes.  Orchid Digest 73: 136–145.

The new spp. number four, of which three pertain to Costa Rica (boosting our world-famous running count to 278, including the four novelties from Pupulin, 2007, and Pupulin et al. 2007, this column).  The latter are all endemic, and so far known only from a small, poorly explored area at ca. 2100–2250 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca, between Tapantí and Cerro de La Muerte.  These three spp. are Lepanthes gratiosa Pupulin & D. Jiménez, L. machogaffensis Pupulin & D. Jiménez, and L. pelvis Pupulin & D. Jiménez, all based (as usual with this crew) solely upon recent collections by the authors and their cronies.  Two additional spp., previously described from western Panama, are reported for the first time from Costa Rica:  Lepanthes droseroides Luer, from 2773 m elevation along the Carretera Interamericana on Cerro de La Muerte (only the authors have found it there!), and L. mariposa Luer, from 1300–1500 m in the Tarrazú region.  All the spp. discussed in this paragraph are illustrated by the uniformly excellent composite line drawings of the first author, as well as by color photos of living material.

--, G. A. Rojas & J. D. Zúñiga.  2007. Three new species of Acianthera (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) from Costa Rica.  Harvard Pap. Bot. 12: 155–162.

Acianthera is, of course, a recent segregate of Pleurothallis, under which these new spp. would have been treated in the Manual.  Just two of the three may be reliably accepted as occurring naturally in Costa Rica, and, characteristically, both have been collected just once, by horticulturists, at heavily botanized sites:  Acianthera fecunda Pupulin, G. A. Rojas & J. D. Zúñiga (“apparently with no close relatives within the genus”) from near La Suiza, and A. cabiriae Pupulin, G. A. Rojas & J. D. Zúniga (compared only with A. fecunda) from CATIE.  Both locales are in the Turrialba area.  The third novelty, Acianthera hamata Pupulin & G. A. Rojas, is based on material cultivated at JBL, allegedly having been “collected somewhere in Costa Rica.”  Bravo!  It is compared with the sp. treated in the Manual as Pleurothallis cogniauxiana Schltr.  We suspect very strongly that all of these entities have been collected multiple times by the hordes of botanists that have passed through these roadside locales over the past century.  If our hunch is correct, it would follow that these authors are unable, or disinclined, to interpret dried herbarium specimens in this genus.  And if they cannot interpret dried specimens, they would be unable interpret types, and thus would have no way of knowing whether their proposed new spp. were really undescribed.  Such an inability to identify dried specimens would also mean that the authors’ new sp. names, even if merited, could not be linked to the wealth of morphological, distributional and phenological data stored in herbaria; they would instead be limited to a few types and potted plants, and have little or no relevance to the natural world.  For whatever it may be worth, all three new spp. are illustrated with excellent composite line drawings by the second author.

Reveal, J. L. & C. E. Jarvis.  2009. Typification of names of temperate North American plants proposed by Linnaeus.  Taxon 58: 977–984.

As far as we can tell, just two of the typified names pertain even indirectly to Costa Rican floristics:  Croton argenteus L. and Oenothera sinuata L. (the latter a synonym of O. laciniata Hill).  Usage is not affected.

-- & --.  2009. (1905) Proposal to conserve the name Ageratum conyzoides (Asteraceae) with a conserved type.  Taxon 58: 1011.

Because of “an inadvertent typification...on material unseen by the typifier,” hell’s fury has been unleashed on two widespread tropical weeds, Ageratum conyzoides L. and Eclipta prostrata (L.) L., and on the very genera to which they belong.  This is a wild story.  The lectotype of A. conyzoides, which cannot be rejected under ICBN Art. 9.17, turns out to be a collection of E. prostrata.  Should this proposal be rejected, A. conyzoides becomes a synonym of Verbesina prostrata L., the basionym of Eclipta prostrata.  Although the latter epithet retains priority, the genus name Ageratum would have to replace Eclipta; meanwhile, a new genus name (“probably Carelia Fabr.”) would be needed for the taxon currently known as Ageratum, together with a new sp. name for the former A. conyzoides.  Needless to say, none of this mayhem can be tolerated, hence this proposal.  It seems to us that certain restrictions on typification are in order.

Rojas-Alvarado, A. F.  2009. Two new species and a new combination in Elaphoglossum sect. Polytrichia subsect. Apoda (Dryopteridaceae) from Costa Rica and Panama.  Brittonia 61: 293–300.

The two new spp. are Elaphoglossum alvaradoanum A. Rojas, endemic to Isla del Coco, and E. pendulum A. Rojas, endemic to Costa Rica, where it occurs at 700–1600 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera Central and northern Cordillera de Talamanca.  The former commemorates the late Joaquín Alvarado, former director of Parque Nacional Isla del Coco.  Both new spp. are compared with Elaphoglossum auripilum Christ, the type of which is from Costa Rica.  The new combination, Elaphoglossum longipilosum (Atehortúa) A. Rojas (based on E. auripilum var. longipilosum Atehortúa), pertains to a spp. ranging from 1100–1800 m on the Pacific slope (mainly) of Costa Rica (Cordillera de Talamanca, Cerro Turrubares, Fila Costeña) into western Panama.  One collection is cited from the Atlantic slope, and two from Isla del Coco.  Features a tabular comparison of all four spp. mentioned in this paragraph, supplemented by detailed drawings of stipe, costa, and blade margin indumentum of each spp., as well as habital drawings for both new spp.

Salazar, G. A., L. I. Cabrera, S. Madriñán & M. W. Chase.  2009. Phylogenetic relationships of Cranichidinae and Prescottiinae (Orchidaceae, Cranichideae) inferred from plastid and nuclear DNA sequences.  Ann. Bot. (Oxford) 104: 403–416.

Ponthieva, as currently circumscribed, appears to be polyphyletic, with the spp. falling into two groups.  Of the spp. represented in Costa Rica, P. racemosa (Walter) C. Mohr (effectively the generic type) is in a different group from P. formosa Schltr. and P. tuerckheimii Schltr. (P. brenesii Schltr. was not included in the study).  Nested within the latter group is Baskervilla colombiana Garay (which also occurs in Costa Rica), suggesting “that all these species might be grouped under Baskervilla.”  However, “the sampling in this clade is still too sparse, and making nomenclatural changes seems inadvisable at this time.”  Prescottia is paraphyletic, but neither of the alternative solutions proffered would impact Costa Rican floristics.

Sanchez, A. & K. A. Kron.  2009. Phylogenetic relationships of Afrobrunnichia Hutch. & Dalziel (Polygonaceae) based on three chloroplast genes and ITS.  Taxon 58: 781–792.

The results of this study most intriguing to us are of only incidental interest to the authors:  Polygonum in the traditional sense does indeed appear polyphyletic, with Persicaria (including most of the Costa Rican spp. in the group) well removed from the clade containing the generic type (a relationship probably long accepted by family specialists); and Muehlenbeckia is “closely related to Fallopia” (another erstwhile component of Polygonum s. l.), and, indeed, is nested within it in some of the cladograms.

--, T. M. Schuster & K. A. Kron.  2009. A large-scale phylogeny of Polygonaceae based on molecular data.  Int. J. Pl. Sci. 170: 1044–1055.

Ditto (see foregoing entry).  Also, in one of the cladograms, Ruprechtia is paraphyletic with respect to Triplaris.

Sousa S., M.  2009. La sect. Punctati del género Lonchocarpus (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae, Millettieae) para Mesoamérica.  Novon 19: 239–255.

Lonchocarpus sect. Punctati Benth. comprises a total of about 22 spp., of which 12 are represented in the Mesoamerican region.  Just one of these, Lonchocarpus acuminatus (Schltdl.) M. Sousa, is attributed to Costa Rica.  We would see that, but up the ante:  Manual co-PI and Fabaceae contributor Nelson Zamora currently recognizes L. peninsularis (Donn. Sm.) Pittier, including L. nicoyensis (Donn. Sm.) Pittier in synonymy, as distinct from L. acuminatus (under which both names are listed in synonymy by Sousa), yielding two spp. in sect. Punctati for Costa Rica.  It is also worth noting that a third (or second, fide Sousa) spp. occurs rather near the Costa Rican border and might be expected, viz., Lonchocarpus chiricanus Pittier, recorded from Prov. Bocas del Toro, Panama.  This is a synoptic treatment featuring an informal description of the section, a dichotomous and indented key to spp., complete synonymy and typology, and representative specimen citations, with technical descriptions, distribution summaries, comprehensive specimen citations, and illustrations (composite line drawings) provided only for the taxonomic and nomenclatural novelties (five new spp. and one new combination).  The brief introductory part is concerned mainly with taxonomic history.

--. 2009. El género Deguelia (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae, Millettieae) en Mesoamérica, una especie nueva y una combinación nueva/The genus Deguelia (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae, Millettieae) in Mesoamerica, a new species and a new combination.  Revista Mex. Biodivers. 80: 303–308.

The genus Deguelia Aubl. is resegregated from Lonchocarpus, from which it differs in its lianescent (vs. arborescent) habit, leaves with stipels (vs. lacking stipels), and various floral details.  This paper comprises a “revision” of the Mesoamerican sp. of the group, which number just two:  Deguelia alata M. Sousa sp. nov., of eastern Panama and Colombia, and D. densiflora (Benth.) A. M. G. Azevedo ex M. Sousa comb. nov. (based on Lonchocarpus densiflorus Benth.), widespread from southeastern Nicaragua to Bolivia and Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil (a Friedrichsthal collection cited from “Guatemala” was almost certainly collected in Nicaragua or Costa Rica).  Features technical descriptions of the genus and both spp., a key to spp. (supplemented by a tabular comparison), synonymy and typology, and, for each sp., a summary of distribution and phenology and comprehensive specimen citations.  The brief introduction recounts the taxonomic history of the genus and provides a thumbnail diagnosis.  Deguelia alata is depicted in a composite line drawing.  N.B.:  Deguelia will not be accepted in the impending Manual Fabaceae treatment by co-PI Nelson Zamora; although Nelson recognizes and comments upon the distinctiveness of Lonchocarpus densiflorus, he does not agree that it belongs in Deguelia.

Sweeney, P. W.  2008. Phylogeny and floral diversity in the genus Garcinia (Clusiaceae) and relatives.  Int. J. Pl. Sci. 169: 1288–1303.

We had glossed over this paper, but it does provide solid cladistic support for “the unification of the genus Rheedia with Garcinia” (in case there were any doubters).  Alternatively, Rheedia could be restored, but only if it were to absorb numerous spp. traditionally classed in Garcinia.  Such a strategy would require “more than 60 new combinations or names...which seems undesirable, especially since the two genera would not be easily distinguished.”  Hence, “a better alternative would be to treat these lineages as subgenera” of Garcinia sensu lato, in which case “few nomenclatural changes would be required” (many having been made in recent years).  We are on board!

Torke, B. M. & B. A. Schaal.  2008. Molecular phylogenetics of the species-rich neotropical genus Swartzia (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae) and related genera of the swartzioid clade.  Amer. J. Bot. 95: 215–228.

Of principal interest to us is the demonstration that Swartzia is polyphyletic if it includes S. panamensis Benth., widespread in very wet lowland forests on the Pacific slope of Costa Rica.  Judging from the cladograms in this paper, Swartzia s. l. could be easily made monophyletic with the addition of three mono- or oligospecific genera; however, the authors instead recommend that S. panamensis “should be treated as a separate genus under the preexisting name Fairchildia.”  Rigorous morphological characterization of Fairchildia is deferred to a subsequent paper, but it appears to differ from all (or nearly all) Swartzia spp. by its seeds entirely lacking an aril.

Tripp, E. A., T. F. Daniel, J. C. Lendemer & L. A. McDade.  2009. New molecular and morphological insights prompt transfer of Blechum to Ruellia (Acanthaceae).  Taxon 58: 893–906.

For our purposes, the cart preceded this horse by nearly two years, when the nomenclatural changes relevant to Costa Rica were unveiled [see The Cutting Edge 15(1): 8–9, Jan. 2008].  But at least now we can inspect the hard data on which those changes were based, and as a bonus we get a dichotomous (though unindented) key to “species of Ruellia in the Blechum lineage”; these total six, and synonymy and typology are provided for all.  A section on “doubtful or excluded names” closes the show.

Väre, H. & M. Häkkinen.  2009. (1903) Proposal to conserve the name Musa velutina against M. dasycarpa (Musaceae).  Taxon 58: 1009.
-- & --.  2009. (1904) Proposal to conserve the name Musa balbisiana against M. rosacea (Musaceae).  Taxon 58: 1010.

Musa velutina H. Wendl. & Drude is an aggressive invader in Costa Rica [see The Cutting Edge 14(3): 13, Jul. 2007], while M. balbisiana Colla is one of the parent spp. of M. ×paradisiaca L. (the plátano).  Their names are threatened respectively by Musa dasycarpa Kurz, “very rarely used,” and M. rosacea Jacq., “almost universally misapplied since 1822.”  Both proposals were prompted by the authors’ own astute lectotypifications.

Vasco, A., R. C. Moran & G. Rouhan.  2009. Circumscription and phylogeny of the Elaphoglossum ciliatum group (E. sect. Lepidoglossa, Dryopteridaceae) based on cpDNA sequences.  Taxon 58: 825–834.

With a view to chop the huge (ca. 600 sp.) genus Elaphoglossum into manageable blocs for monographic purposes, molecular analysis is used to identify a clade of ten spp. (comprising a portion of E. sect. Lepidoglossa Christ) subsequently revised by this same group (see following entry).  One of these is a “sp. nov.” from Ecuador.

--, -- & --.  2009. Monograph of the Elaphoglossum ciliatum group (Dryopteridaceae).  Brittonia 61: 241–272.

The titular group, circumscribed with the assistance of molecular analyses (see preceding entry), comprises nine spp., of which six are neotropical and three endemic to the South Atlantic island of St. Helena.  Four spp. are attributed to Costa Rica:  Elaphoglossum burchellii (Baker) C. Chr., E. ciliatum (C. Presl) T. Moore, E. huacsaro (Ruiz) Christ, and E. nigrescens (Hook.) T. Moore ex Diels.  All of these are more or less widespread within and outside Costa Rica.  The only item of moderate significance to us is the synonymization, under Elaphoglossum nigrescens, of the name E. palmense Christ, which has often been used for Costa Rican material; this decision also is supported by molecular evidence.  Includes a dichotomous, indented key to spp., and full synonymy and typology for each sp., as well as technical descriptions, distribution summaries, representative (for the neotropical spp.) specimen citations, discussions of varying length, and distribution maps for the neotropical spp. (and the group as a whole).  Images from herbarium specimens (some detailed) are provided for all nine spp., and the spores of several are depicted in SEM micrographs.  No new taxa are described.

N.B.:  the Ecuadorian “sp. nov.” mysteriously disappeared during the infinitesimal time-span separating the publication of this monograph from that of the molecular analysis (preceding entry); however, by indirect evidence, we deduce that it was integrated into Elaphoglossum ciliatum (a decision for which the cladogram in the molecular paper offers no support).

Vitek, E.  2009. Lectotype of Utricularia endresii Rchb. f. (Lentibulariaceae).  Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 110: 259.

In which an individual specimen undergoes the transformation from holotype, to syntype, to lectotype, in the span of a single paragraph

Ward, D. B.  2009. The typification of Crotalaria rotundifolia and Crotalaria maritima (Fabaceae).  J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 3: 219–225.

Crotalaria rotundifolia J. F. Gmel. could prove to be an accepted name for a sp. occurring in Costa Rica, if such an entity can defensibly be pried loose from the widespread and variable C. sagittalis L.  The author designates a new neotype for C. rotundifolia, superseding a previously designated neotype which, he contends, differs taxonomically from the holotype (or rather, from what the holotype would have been, had it existed in the first place).  This action “obviates all uncertainty as to applicaton of the name” C. rotundifolia, setting the stage for future taxonomic decisions.

Wurdack, K. J. & C. C. Davis.  2009. Malpighiales phylogenetics:  gaining ground on one of the most recalcitrant clades in the angiosperm tree of life.  Amer. J. Bot. 96: 1551–1570.

The major controversy for Clusiaceae during the past quarter century has revolved around the inclusion or exclusion of Hypericaceae.  Now it has worse problems:  even without Hypericaceae, Clusiaceae is diphyletic, with subfam. Kielmeyeroideae sister to Hypericaceae + Podostemaceae, and subfam. Clusioideae sister to Bonnetiaceae.  Rather than unite “all of the clusioids as a heterogeneous Clusiaceae s.l.,” these authors prefer to elevate Clusiaceae subfam. Kielmeyeroideae to familial rank under the name Calophyllaceae J. Agardh.  The classification of Flacourtiaceae s. l. remains unsettled, validating our decision to maintain the family in its traditional sense for the Manual.  These authors agree with most others in recognizing Achariaceae and Lacistemataceae as distinct, but split off Samydaceae from Salicaceae, as previously proposed by Mac Alford [USMS; see The Cutting Edge 11(4): 4, Oct. 2004], mainly (as far as we can tell) to preserve the distinctive, monospecific, Bornean Scyphostegiaceae.  In Costa Rica, Samydaceae would include Casearia, Laetia, Lunania, Ryania, Tetrathylacium, and Zuelania.  Finally, the separation of Phyllanthaceae from Euphorbiaceae is upheld, and Peraceae (with only Pera in Costa Rica) is also spun off as a separate family, apparently to condone continued recognition of Rafflesiaceae (in the strict sense, i.e., with only Old World genera), which is nested within Euphorbiaceae s. l.

Zmarzty, S.  2009. (1908) Proposal to conserve Xylosma nom. cons. (Salicaceae) against an additional name, Apactis.  Taxon 58: 1014.

Apactis Thunb., a name “that has apparently never been used since publication,” has priority over Xylosma, long applied to a widespread tropical genus of “about 100 spp.”  There must be a more efficient and cheaper alternative to these endless ad hoc conservation proposals.  Here’s an idea:  why not simply conserve, in blanket fashion, all the generic names accepted in, say, Mabberley’s plant-book, against all of those not accepted there?  This would not obviate all future conservation proposals, but most or all of the no-brainers.  It all sounds vaguely familiar.


© 1995-2022 Missouri Botanical Garden, All Rights Reserved
4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 577-5100

Technical Support