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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 XIX, Number 4, October 2012

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

ALISMATACEAE. In the Manual treatment of this family by Garrett E. Crow (NHA), mention was made in the generic discussion of Sagittaria of certain sterile material from Lago de Cote, representing a submerged aquatic with "hojas…en rosetas basales conectadas por rizomas," that might be confused with Vallisneria (Hydrocharitaceae). This material was referred broadly to Sagittaria on the basis of its septate roots, said to be "una característica buena" of the last-mentioned genus. Last year, Manual correspondent Mario Blanco (JBL) visited the site and collected sterile specimens (including a herbarium voucher) from this mystery population, transplanting some individuals into a rivulet that has its source in his backyard. He can now report that, although the plants at first bear only submerged leaves, they begin to produce emergent leaves (of much the same form) after a few months, followed by inflorescences. When Mario’s plants finally flowered, their membership in Alismataceae was affirmed; however, they turned out not to belong in Sagittaria, but rather to the sp. that was called Echinodorus bolivianus (Rusby) Holm.-Niels. in the Manual, now perhaps better as Helanthium bolivianum (Rusby) Lehtonen & Myllys [see The Cutting Edge 15(3): 8, Jul. 2008]. Mario notes that H. bolivianum also has septate roots, contrary to the Manual (including the key to genera), and that what appear to be rhizomes are actually sterile inflorescences. So while an intriguing mystery has been solved, we have no country record to report, merely a minor in-country range extension (add "vert. Carib. Cord. de Guanacaste" to the distribution summary of Echinodorus bolivianus).

FABACEAE. Manual co-PI Nelson Zamora (INB) has discovered that the illustration captioned as Cojoba valerioi Britton & Rose in his monumental Fabaceae account actually depicts the undescribed sp. treated therein under the name Cojoba sp. A (compare especially the pinna number and peduncle length). Probably we failed to coordinate a last-minute nomenclatural change with our picture captioning. For those who may be interested, Nelson has supplied a photo of the real C. valerioi.

GESNERIACEAE. Former INBio employee Daniel Santamaría, currently in residence at MO (see under "News and Notes"), has called our attention to the fact that Columnea gloriosa Sprague, indicated as a Costa Rican endemic in the Manual Gesneriaceae treatment by Ricardo Kriebel (NY), is now considered to range from Nicaragua to Colombia (and perhaps Venezuela). This conclusion is based on recent determinations in TROPICOS by Fred Barrie (MO), who has been working on Gesneriaceae for Flora mesoamericana, and family specialist Laurence Skog (US). Many of the newly determined specimens had been previously identified as Columnea microcalyx Hanst. (an older name, so synonymy can be ruled out). We expect many developments of this sort as the publication of Flora mesoamericana, by its nature a more revisionary work than the Manual, forges ahead.

ORCHIDACEAE. Pleurothallis cuspidata Luer (also variously referred to Anathallis, Panmorphia, or Specklinia), typified by a Panamanian collection and more recently discovered in Ecuador, was treated in full in Manual Vol. 3 (2003) and attributed to Costa Rica on the sole basis of a 19th-century illustration by A. R. Endrés, lacking specific locality data. Manual correspondent Alfredo Cascante (USJ) has now provided us with a copy of pages from Endrés’s original notes specifying the provenance of the illustrated specimen as "Tapesco," on the route to San Carlos. We are confident that the implicated site is Tapezco de Zarcero, at ca. 1860 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the western Cordillera Central. Even more significantly, Alfredo reports that he has recollected (and photographed) P. cuspidata in Costa Rica, at 1750 m in the Cerros de La Carpintera, flowering in April and August. Vouchers of this new material are now deposited at USJ.

Alfredo’s determination has been confirmed by Costa Rican orchid specialist Mario Blanco (USJ). Based on this new locality information, we offer the following replacement distribution/phenology summary for P. cuspidata:

Bosque muy húmedo y pluvial, 1750–1900 m; vert. Carib. y cerca de la División Continental, O Cord. Central (vecindad de Zarcero), Cerros de La Carpintera. Fl. abr., ago. CR y Pan., Ecua. (Cascante 2306, 2333; USJ)

We do not know how Alfredo obtained a copy of Endrés notes (we didn’t even know they existed), and wonder whether they may shed light on the provenance of other mystery spp. (especially of Lepanthes) known only by Endrés illustrations.



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