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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 XXI, Number 4, October 2014

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

Assis, F. C. & B. Zimmer. 2014. Notes concerning the nomenclature of Polypodium ptiloton and its correct spelling in Pecluma. Taxon 63: 641–642.

The sp. (rarely collected in Costa Rica) that we have come to know (e.g., from Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1) as Pecluma ptilodon (Kunze) M. G. Price (Polypodiaceae) is correctly Pecluma ptilota, at least according to the interpretation of these authors. They maintain that Kunze's original Polypodium ptiloton was corrected erroneously to ptilodon by Hieronymus more than a century ago. Price accepted that "correction" in transferring the name to Pecluma, treating the epithet as a noun in apposition. Instead (these authors contend), Kunze's ptiloton was properly adjectival ("meaning winged or feathery") and declinable, becoming ptilota under the feminine Pecluma.

Austin, D. F. & J. A. McDonald. 2014. Relationships and taxonomy of Ipomoea variabilis (Convolvulaceae). Phytoneuron 2014-67: 1–4.

The name Ipomoea variabilis (Schltdl. & Cham.) Choisy was applied in Manual Vol. 5 (and most other recent floristic works) following contemporary family authorities, none of whom, as it turns out, had ever seen actual type material. Now, examination of an image of the holotype of Convolvulus variabilis Schltdl. & Cham. reveals that I. variabilis and its basionym are synonyms of Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam. Ipomoea mitchellae Standl. (type from Honduras) is instated as the correct name for the sp. called I. variabilis in the Manual. Illustrated with photos of segments of critical types.

Calderón Sanou, I. 2014. Primer registro de Astrocasia peltata (Euphorbiaceae) en Costa Rica. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 8: 165–168.

The author's startling discovery of the erstwhile Mexican endemic Astrocasia peltata Standl. on the Peninsula de Nicoya has already been discussed in these pages [see under "Leaps and Bounds" in The Cutting Edge 19(4), Oct. 2012]. That initial find comprised only fruiting material, but a subsequent expedition in May of 2013 yielded both staminate and pistillate flowers (the sp. being monoecious). The technical description provided here includes the pistillate sepals and petals, both of which, it seems, were previously unknown. A key couplet separates the two spp. of Astrocasia represented (both quite sparingly) in Costa Rica [the other being A. tremula (Griseb.) G. L. Webster]. Illustrated with a composite plate of color photos taken in the field (which, rather curiously, does not depict the poorly known pistillate flowers).

Castro-Castro, A., G. Vargas-Amado, M. Harker & A. Rodríguez. 2014. Análisis macromorfológico y citogenético del género Cosmos (Asteraceae, Coreopsideae), con una clave para su identificación. Bot. Sci. 92: 363–388.

Cosmos comprises 35 New World spp., according to these authors, and is centered in Mexico. At least two spp. have been recorded from Costa Rica, though not necessarily as native elements of the flora. This paper is of interest to us mainly because of the dichotomous, indented, and comprehensive key to spp. A brief discussion of the "Límites morfológicos entre Cosmos y Bidens" is not very convincing.

Cialdella, A. M., S. M. Sede, K. Romaschenko, P. M. Peterson, R. J. Soreng, F. O. Zuloaga & O Morrone. 2014. Phylogeny of Nassella (Stipeae, Pooideae, Poaceae) based on analyses of chloroplast and nuclear ribosomal DNA and morphology. Syst. Bot. 39: 814–828.

Nassella, a New World genus of nearly 120 spp., is paraphyletic with respect to Amelichloa, recently cobbled together from five spp. (none occurring in Costa Rica) previously accommodated in various genera. One might presume that this would be the death knell for Amelichloa, but comments by the authors suggest otherwise: Amelichloa is "strongly supported as monophyletic," and combining the two genera "would result in a poorly circumscribed Nassella." A final resolution awaits "additional analyses, based on more intensive sampling, and the addition of other morphological and molecular data." Speculation on the potential consequences for us are futile, since neither Nassella linearifolia (E. Fourn.) R. W. Pohl (the only sp. of its genus represented in Costa Rica) nor N. trichotoma (Nees) Hack. ex Arechav. (the generic type) were included in the study. The largely South American genus Jarava (with 32 spp.) was recovered as paraphyletic. This may or may not eventually affect J. ichu Ruiz & Pav. [treated as Stipa ichu (Ruiz & Pav.) Kunth in Manual Vol. 3], the only Costa Rican representative, which happens to be the type sp.

Cornejo, X. & H. H. Iltis. 2013. New combinations in Capparaceae for Flora Mesoamericana. Harvard Pap. Bot. 18: 147.

Of the two new combinations validated here, one probably concerns us: Steriphoma paradoxum (Jacq.) Endl. subsp. macranthum Cornejo (based on S. macranthum Standl., type from eastern Panama), said to range "from southern Mexico (Chiapas) and Mesoamerica to Colombia." Clearly, that would include Costa Rica; however, from this source, we cannot ascertain whether the autonymic subsp. may also occur in our area. The type of S. paradoxum is from Venezuela, but an endemic Venezuelan subsp. also exists [see The Cutting Edge 14(2): 4–5, Apr. 2007].

Dressler, R. L., M. Fernández & F. Pupulin. 2014. Sobralia abel-arayae, a new and scarce species from Costa Rica. Orchid Digest 78: 146–148.

Sobralia abel-arayae Dressler, Mel. Fernández & Pupulin (Orchidaceae) hails from 1400 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of Costa Rica in the vicinity of Orosi, Prov. Cartago, near Parque Nacional Tapantí. The epithet honors an individual who "lives in the area...and who gave us a division of the plant." The new sp. is most similar to Sobralia bradeorum Schltr. [i.e., S. warszewiczii Rchb. f. in the sense of the Manual, at least in part; see under Dressler, this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(2), Apr. 2012], "from which it mainly differs by the ovate leaves, the larger flowers with longer sepals and column, the petals distinctly broader than the sepals, and the presence of four low keels on the disc of the lip." This novelty nudges our running count (of new orchid spp. published from Costa Rica since ca. 1993) up a notch, to 344. A range map is provided. Illustrated with a composite line drawing and several color photos.

Estrada Ch., A. & G. Rivera. 2014. Passiflora soliana, una especie nueva de Passiflora (Passifloraceae) del Pacífico Sur de Costa Rica. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 8: 19–24.

Passiflora soliana A. Estrada & G. Rivera, compared (in narrative and tabular form) with the parapatric P. brevifila Killip, is known by just two collections from a single locality: at ca. 300 m elevation, apparently in the southern Fila Costeña, at "La Florida, finca Bellavista, a orillas de río Bellavista" (we find none of these localities in the vicinity of the coordinates provided, but there is a Quebrada Florida and Río Ballestera). Illustrated with a composite line drawing and excellent color photos of living material.

Greuter, W. & A. Troia. 2014. (2292) Proposal to conserve the name Palhinhaea against Lepidotis (Lycopodiaceae). Taxon 63: 680–682.

The name Palhinhaea (L.) Franco & Vasc. (1967) has been used for a segregate of Lycopodium (in the traditional sense) in a radical new classification that accepts nine genera of Lycopodiaceae in the Neotropics [see under "Øllgaard," this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(3), Jul. 2012]. However, it "is an illegitimate name, being based on the previously designated type of Lepidotis P. Beauv. [1802]," a circumstance leading to the present proposal. The authors allow that "it may be argued [as we certainly would!] that the name Palhinhaea is not widely used and the single species in it that is generally known, P. cernua, already has been named under Lepidotis..." Indeed, who among us that is not a fern specialist has even heard of Palhinhaea? A quick check in TROPICOS reveals a grand total of seven neotropical specimens determined using that name. Conservation of a scarcely known genus name over another that has priority by more than 150 years seems to us rather extreme. The authors counter by pointing out that Lepidotis also has priority over Lycopodiella Holub (1964), a name that has been widely used in recent years, and that acceptance of this proposal would remove "the threat to Lycopodiella in the wider sense" (i.e., as according the now familiar system that recognizes only a few genera of Lycopodiaceae, viz., Huperzia, Lycopodiella, and Lycopodium). We could stomach a proposal for the conservation of Lycopodiella against Lepidotis, but have no sympathy whatsoever for Palhinhaea. As for the "± 30 new species-level combinations" that would have to be proposed in Lepidotis for "all species currently placed in Palhinhaea": some eager soul would dash those off in a third the space that was needed for this conservation proposal! And our final salvo: shouldn't conservation proposals be contingent upon the acceptance of a particular classification, just as (for example) proposed new combinations? These authors are sitting on the fence.

Groppo, M., M. P. Simmons, J. J. Cappa, L. Biral & J. A. Lombardi. 2014. A new species of Maytenus (Celastraceae) with fleshy fruits from eastern Brazil, with notes on the delimitation of Maytenus. Syst. Bot. 39: 478–484.

The new sp. is of no concern to us, nor is a "Key to the species of Maytenus with spinose leaves from the Neotropics" (since none of the 11 spp. occurs in Costa Rica). However, the "notes on the delimitation of Maytenus" do provoke our interest. There it is revealed that two small South American genera with indehiscent fruits, Fraunhofera and Plenckia, "are highly supported as nested within Maytenus." Pending "ongoing study," the authors postpone a decision as to "whether Maytenus should be expanded to include Fraunhofera and Plenckia or whether those taxa should be retained as genera and the name Maytenus restricted to the least inclusive clade that includes the type species..." One Costa Rican sp., Maytenus woodsonii Lundell, is mentioned in connection with the generic type, and should thus be unassailable; we are unable to speculate on potential consequences for the others.

Grusz, A. L., M. D. Windham, G. Yatskievych, L. Huiet, G. J. Gastony & K. M. Pryer. 2014. Patterns of diversification in the xeric-adapted fern genus Myriopteris (Pteridaceae). Syst. Bot. 39: 698–714.

The genus Myriopteris, comprising (now) 47 spp. recently segregated from Cheilanthes [see under "Grusz," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21 (1), Jan. 2014], is (re)confirmed as monophyletic, "with maximal support." Good news, that! There isn't much else here that impinges upon our narrow field of interest.

Kainulainen, K. & B. Bremer. 2014. Phylogeny of Euclinia and allied genera of Gardenieae (Rubiaceae), and description of Melanoxerus, an endemic genus of Madagascar. Taxon 63: 819–830.

An incidental result of this study suggests that the important genus Randia is "not monophyletic as presently circumscribed." Instead, R. aculeata L. (represented in Costa Rica) pairs with a sp. of the oligospecific Casasia in a clade that is separated from the other two spp. of Randia included in the study [one of these being R. armata (Sw.) DC., which also occurs in Costa Rica]. If confirmed, this could conceivably result in Randia aculeata being transferred to Casasia, or else in several smallish genera (including Tocoyena) being subsumed within Randia; however, the sample size for these analyses is too small for jumping to conclusions.

Kaur, P., S. Banga, N. Kumar, S. Gupta, J. Akhatar & S. S. Banga. 2014. Polyphyletic origin of Brassica juncea with B. rapa and B. nigra (Brassicaceae) participating as cytoplasm donor parents in independent hybridization events. Amer. J. Bot. 101: 1157–1166.

The title says it all. Both Brassica juncea (L.) Czern. and B. rapa L. occur adventively in Costa Rica.

Kirkbride, J. H., Jr. 2014. Hexasepalum teres (Rubiaceae), a new combination. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 8: 17–18.

The recent rejection of a proposal to conserve the genus name Diodella over Hexasepalum [see under "Applequist," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(2), Apr. 2014] means that the latter becomes the operative name for the taxon in question. That being the case, we can expect the "necessary" new combinations to be supplied in short order. This is the first of which we are aware, with Hexasepalum teres (Walter) J. H. Kirkbr. based on Diodia teres Walter. The latter is the accepted name for the sp. in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 4(2), as well as in the upcoming Manual Vol. 7, neither of which recognizes the segregate genus Diodella (or rather, Hexasepalum). This new combination ought to appear (as a synonym) in the Manual treatment (we marked the page-proofs accordingly), but any subsequent ones in Hexasepalum probably will not.

Kolanowska, M., D. L. Szlachetko & M. Kras. 2014. Synopsis of the genus Psilochilus (Orchidaceae) in Colombia. Syst. Bot. 39: 750–758.

This is of interest to us principally for the dichotomous key to all spp. of the genus accepted by the authors, five of which occur in Colombia and are treated more fully. Of the latter group, two spp. are also attributed to Costa Rica: P. carinatus Garay and P. macrophyllus (Lindl.) Ames. Neither of those names was used in the Manual treatment of Psilochilus by Robert L. Dressler, which recognized two spp. under provisional names (sp. A and sp. B) while tentatively rejecting P. macrophyllus for Costa Rican material. Subsequently, the name P. carinatus was applied (in herb.) to Psilochilus sp. A of the Manual [see The Cutting Edge 15(3): 12–13, Jul. 2008]. Because no Costa Rican vouchers are cited in the present work, we can say no more about the authors' application of the aforementioned names to our material.

Kuijt, J. 2014. Five new species, one new name, and transfers in Neotropical mistletoes (Loranthaceae), miscellaneous notes, 61–68. Novon 23: 176–186.

Only the first two "notes" (61 and 62) are of direct relevance to Costa Rican floristics. The first of these definitively answers a question we had raised in a recent issue of this rag [see under "Kuijt," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(2), Apr. 2014]. The former Oryctina costaricensis Kuijt (O. "sp. A" of the Manual) is indeed transferred to the genus Maracanthus, with the combination M. costaricensis (Kuijt) Kuijt accordingly validated. The critical characters involve the bracteoles and stamens. Note 62 mandates yet another name change for the sp. (rare in Costa Rica) that we originally learned (from Flora costaricensis) as Phthirusa retroflexa (Ruiz & Pav.) Kuijt. Said sp. subsequently became Phthirusa stelis (L.) Kuijt (as in Manual Vol. 6) then, most recently, Passovia stelis (L.) Kuijt [see under "Kuijt," this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(4), Oct. 2011]. Now and (we hope!) henceforth, it is to be called Passovia pedunculata (Jacq.) Kuijt [comb. nov.; based on Loranthus pedunculatus Jacq. (1760)]—a rare case of a Linnaean name being trumped by virtue of priority. Actually, that feat is pulled off by two Jacquin names published simultaneously, the other being Loranthus sessilis Jacq., here formally synonymized; at the same time, both Jacquin names are neotypified on the same specimen previously designated as the neotype of Loranthus stelis L., guaranteeing the taxonomic synonymy of all three.

Labiak, P. H., M. Sundue, G. Rouhan, J. G. Hanks, J. T. Mickel & R. C. Moran. 2014. Phylogeny and historical biogeography of the lastreopsid ferns (Dryopteridaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 101: 1207–1228.

The term "lastreopsid" is used a priori by these authors for a clade in Dryopteridaceae comprising three genera: Lastreopsis, Megalastrum, and Rumohra. The first two of these are represented in Costa Rica by three and ca. 17 spp., respectively, while Rumohra does not occur naturally in the country but is well known in cultivation. The results of this study spell trouble, especially for Lastreopsis, which proves paraphyletic with respect to the other two genera. Species that have been included in Lastreopsis were "recovered in at least three clades," with none of the Costa Rican spp. occurring in the clade (Lastreopsis s. str.) that harbors the type sp. In order "to preserve the monophyly of Lastreopsis," the authors propose to segregate at least one of the other two clades at genus rank, under the name Parapolystichum (Keyserl.) Ching. The recognition of Parapolystichum is somewhat troubling, as acknowledged by the authors, because it is defined by "no morphological synapomorphy." The two commonest Lastreopsis spp. in Costa Rica, L. effusa (Sw.) Tindale and L. exculta (Mett.) Tindale, will both wind up in Parapolystichum, the new combinations in which are to "be provided in a forthcoming publication" (N.B.: a combination is already available for L. effusa). Lastreopsis killipii (C. Chr. & Maxon) Tindale, the remaining Costa Rican sp., occupies a third clade, the relationships of which "were not clearly established" by this study; it could remain in Lastreopsis or, conceivably, be split off as yet another distinct genus. The authors do not directly address the possibility of lumping to preserve monophyly anywhere in the article, but various statements suggest that no amount of lumping would obviate the problem of an absence of morphological synapomorphies. Combining Lastreopsis and Megalastrum with Rumohra (the oldest name) would yield a monophyletic genus, but the authors "found no morphological synapomorphies that distinguish [the lastreopsids] from other clades within the Dryopteridaceae." Indeed, the family Dryopteridaceae itself "is not supported by any known morphological, anatomical, or cytological synapomorphies." So it's "pick your poison" when attempting to classify this recalcitrant group of ferns.

One interesting aside: the main cladogram presented here shows Olfersia basal to a clade harboring Cyclodium, Maxonia, and Polybotrya. We had long believed Olfersia to be sister to Polybotrya and, as such, an optional genus; however, if the relationships expressed here are correct, Olfersia cannot be included in Polybotrya unless both Cyclodium and Maxonia are also subsumed.

Liede-Schumann, S., M. Nikolaus, U. C. S. Silva, A. Rapini, R. D. Mangelsdorff & U. Meve. 2014. Phylogenetics and biogeography of the genus Metastelma (Apocynaceae-Asclepiadoideae-Asclepiadeae: Metastelmatinae). Syst. Bot. 39: 594–612.

Lots going on here, but for us, the nitty-gritty boils down to this: Metastelma is polyphyletic, and a few taxonomic changes are ventured accordingly, but no Costa Rican spp. are affected or (as far as we can tell) threatened (though M. sepicola Pittier was the only one included in the study).

Machado, A. F. P., L. P. Queiroz & J. Prado. 2014. (12) Request for a binding decision on whether Swartzia Schreb. (Leguminosae) and Schwartzia Vell. (Marcgraviaceae) are sufficiently alike to be confused. Taxon 63: 695.

What? We've never confused them; the thought never even occurred to us, though both genera are present in Costa Rica. Perhaps this is because they are in different families, have different life forms, and are rarely mentioned in the same breath. Surprisingly, and despite their different spellings, both names commemorate the same individual, Olof Swartz. We'll be interested to see the Committee ruling on this one.

Mayo, S. J. & I. M. Andrade. 2014. A morphometric and taxonomic study of Monstera (Araceae) in Bahia, Brazil. Feddes Repert. 124: 7–30.

While it would not seem germane, this study does have consequences for Costa Rican floristics, in that the vars. of the widespread and protean Monstera adansonii Schott are all elevated to subsp. rank. The only one of these represented in Costa Rica, M. a. var. laniata (Schott) Madison, does not reach Bahia, but still becomes M. a. subsp. laniata (Schott) Mayo & I. M. Andrade, for the sake of consistency.

Moran, R. C., P. H. Labiak, J. G. Hanks & J. Prado. 2014. The phylogenetic relationship of Tectaria brauniana and Tectaria nicotianifolia, and the recognition of Hypoderris (Tectariaceae). Syst. Bot. 39: 384–395.

This study corroborates a prior one [see under "Wang" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(2), Apr. 2014] in portraying Tectaria brauniana (H. Karst.) C. Chr. as occupying a clade together with the monospecific Hypoderris, extraneous to Tectaria and sister to Triplophyllum. The authors of the original study had validated a new combination for T. brauniana in Hypoderris, a move endorsed by the authors of the present paper. The chief revelation of this new paper is that Tectaria nicotianifolia (Baker) C. Chr. (which was not included in the first study) is in the same boat, prompting the new combination Hypoderris nicotianifolia (Baker) R. C. Moran, Labiak & J. Prado. So reconfigured, Hypoderris differs from Triplophyllum by its non-tripartite leaf-blades and spiny perispores (vs. tripartite leaf-blades and spiny perispores), and from Tectaria by its creeping rhizomes and distichous leaves (vs. generally erect or decumbent rhizomes and radially arranged leaves). Distribution maps and excellent composite line-drawings are furnished for all three Hypoderris spp., which are also separated in a dichotomous key. Assorted spp. of Hypoderris and Tectaria are depicted in supplemenary photos (including SEM micrographs of spores).

Perrie, L. R., R. K. Wilson, L. D. Shepherd, D. J. Ohlsen, E. L. Batty, P. J. Brownsey & M. J. Bayly. 2014. Molecular phylogenetics and generic taxonomy of Blechnaceae ferns. Taxon 63: 745–758.

This study, featuring "sampling of taxa and characters...much greater than in previous published phylogenetic studies of the Blechnaceae," reveals that "Blechnum is not monophyletic in its present circumscription." In particular, two of its spp. are "more closely related to Stenochlaena and Salpichlaena than...to other Blechnum species." The decision is made to segregate these spp. under a new genus name, Telmatoblechnum Perrie, D. J. Ohlsen & Brownsey, under which the two new combinations at sp. rank are validated by the same authorities. One of these new combinations applies to the former Blechnum serrulatum Rich., which occurs in Costa Rica. The authors profess a conservative philosophy toward classification, having chosen to lump two oligospecific Old World genera (including Doodia) into Blechnum rather than recognize each of the seven subclades of the "core-Blechnum clade" as separate genera. However, they balked at similar treatment for Brainea and Sadleria, leaving Salpichlaena, Stenochlaena, and Telmatoblechnum out on a limb. Consideration was given to the possibility of including the two Telmatoblechnum spp. in the otherwise Old World Stenochlaena (to which they are sister), but the latter genus is evidently "well-established and morphologically distinctive" as it stands.

Razafimandimbison, S. G., C. M. Taylor, N. Wikström, T. Pailler, A. Khodabandeh & B. Bremer. 2014. Phylogeny and generic limits in the sister tribes Psychotrieae and Palicoureeae (Rubiaceae): evolution of schizocarps in Psychotria and origins of bacterial leaf nodules of the Malagasy species. Amer. J. Bot. 101: 1102–1126.

This is mostly well beyond our scope, but we do glean two interesting tidbits relevant to Costa Rican floristics. First, the African genus Chazaliella "is paraphyletic with respect to Margaritopsis" and is formally transferred thereto, with all the outstanding combinations validated. And second, neotropical material of Geophila repens (L.) I. M. Johnst. does not group with paleotropical material that has been treated under the same sp. name, with the result that the latter material is summarily excluded (under the name G. uniflora Hiern). Both of these developments augur changes to the geographic ranges of the affected taxa (Margaritopsis and Geophila repens) as expressed in the in-press Manual Rubiaceae treatment.

Reis, A. C., S. M. Sousa, A. A. Vale, P. M. O. Pierre, A. L. Franco, J. M. S. Campos, R. F. Vieira & L. F. Viccini. 2014. Lippia alba (Verbenaceae): a new tropical autopolyploid complex? Amer. J. Bot. 101: 1002–1012.

The hypothesis expressed in the title arose from observations of 2n = 30, 38, 45, 60, and 90 in Lippia alba (Mill.). N. E. Br. ex Britton & P. Wilson, a well-known sp. used medicinally in Costa Rica.

Renner, S. S., G. Chomicki & W. Greuter. 2014. (2313) Proposal to conserve the name Momordica lanata (Citrullus lanatus) (watermelon, Cucurbitaceae), with a conserved type, against Citrullus battich. Taxon 63: 941–942.

As in the case of many cultivated plants, the nomenclatural history of the watermelon is convoluted. It turns out that, according to the original description of its basionym, Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai, the generally accepted name for the watermelon (and the name used in the Manual Vol. 5), does not actually apply to the cultivated watermelon itself, rather to a wild South African taxon traditionally consigned to varietal rank. But recent work (including molecular analyses) by the present authors has shown that the two taxa in question are "not immediately related," and that each is sister to a different, distinct sp. In that case, the name Citrullus lanatus would properly belong to the wild "citron melon" (now provisionally C. amarus Schrad.), while the cultivated watermelon would have to be called by the "utterly unused" name C. battich Forssk. This development "must not be permitted," opine these authors, who propose to conserve C. lanatus with a conserved type (one of the modern specimens from which DNA was extracted and sequenced).

Reveal, J. L. & B. Ertter. 2014. First valid place of publication of Duchesnea indica (Rosaceae: Potentilleae). J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 8: 83–84.

Internet sleuthing has permitted accreditation for the first valid publication of the titular combination to one J. E. Teschemacher, who accomplished the feat in 1835, more than 50 years before W. O. Focke, to whom it has traditionally been attributed. Thus, Duchesnea indica (Andrews) Teschem. is the correct citation for this name, which will appear in synonymy, in the upcoming Manual Vol. 7, under Potentilla indica (Andrews) Th. Wolf, our accepted name for a sp. that is rarely naturalized in Costa Rica [see under "Leaps and Bounds" in The Cutting Edge 18(4), Oct. 2011].

Samper-Villarreal, J., A. Bourg, J. A. Sibaja-Cordero & J. Cortés. 2014. Presence of a Halophila baillonii Asch. (Hydrocharitaceae) seagrass meadow and associated macrofauna on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Pacific Sci. 68: 435–444.

The meadow of the title occurs in Golfo Dulce, at Rincón de Osa, and is evidently the first seagrass meadow reported from that body of water. It is also said to be the only "currently existing seagrass meadow of H. baillonii for the Eastern Tropical Pacific," a previously reported (e.g., in the Manual Vol. 2) Costa Rican site having "disappeared after a severe storm in 1996." This seagrass literature seems to exist in a parallel universe of which we are only vaguely aware. For example, we missed a 2001 publication (cited here) reporting Ruppia maritima L. (Ruppiaceae) from Bahía Culebra. But, by the same token, these authors seem ignorant of our work, and do not cite the Manual; as a result, Manual reports of R. maritima from Parque Nacional Santa Rosa and near Tivives are glossed over, and the occurrence of seagrasses at the "Sierpe River" is deemed "anecdotal," even though an actual herbarium voucher of Halophila engelmannii Asch. from Boca Río Sierpe is cited in the Manual (as well as in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 6). And if they had bothered to consult the Manual, their consistent misspelling of Halophila baillonis might have been prevented.

Santamaría Aguilar, D., R. Aguilar & N. A. Zamora. 2014. Una especie nueva de Couepia (Chrysobalanaceae) con pétalos pubescentes y endémica de la Península de Osa, Costa Rica. Phytoneuron 2014-64: 1–7.

Not much left for us to say, that isn't already in the title! Couepia osaensis Aguilar & D. Santam., known by just two collections (both recently made by Reinaldo Aguilar), is compared in the diagnosis with the South American C. parvifolia Prance and C. ulei Pilg., and in a table with its four Central American congeners (just one of which, the Panamanian C. scottmorii Prance, also has pubescent petals). In case you were wondering, the authors do cite the recent paper by Sothers et al. (2014; see this column), and are adhering to the revised concept of Couepia espoused therein. Illustrated with numerous color photos of living material.

Schulte, L. J., J. L. Clark, S. J. Novak, M. T.-Y. Ooi & J. F. Smith. 2014. Paraphyly of section Stygnanthe (Columnea, Gesneriaceae) and a revision of the species of section Angustiflorae, a new section inferred from ITS and chloroplast DNA data. Syst. Bot. 39: 613–636.

Columnea sect. Stygnanthe (Hanst.) Benth. & Hook. f. is shown to be paraphyletic, and consequently restricted to a handful of its original 18 spp. [see The Cutting Edge 2(1): 11, Jan. 1995]. A new section, Columnea sect. Angustiflorae Schulte & J. F. Sm., is established for the remainder of the group, and without any further ado, is revised in full. While we have no interest in the niceties of infrageneric classification, the revision does appeal to us. However, just of one of the 15 accepted spp. occurs in Costa Rica, viz., Columnea angustata (Wiehler) L. E. Skog. Add "Ven." to the overall geographic range given for C. angustata in the Manual Gesneriaceae treatment by Ricardo Kriebel, but otherwise there is nothing new here for us. Features technical descriptions of the section and two of its spp. (those not previously treated in a revision of sect. Stygnanthe), a dichtomous and indented key to spp. (at the end), full synonymy and typology, distribution and phenology summaries, comprehensive specimen citations, and distribution maps. The introductory part, mainly devoted to the phylogenetic analyses, includes photos (from life) of selected spp. in both of the above-mentioned sections.

Shinwari, Z. K., K. Jamil & N. B. Zahra. 2014. Molecular systematics of selected genera of subfamily Mimosoideae-Fabaceae. Pakistan J. Bot. 46: 591–598.

The authors' analyses of DNA sequence data show "that Acacia [in the traditional sense] and Albizia are polyphyletic." A consensus would seem to be emerging.

Simmons, M. P. & F. R. Barrie. 2014. Haydenoxylon, a replacement name for Haydenia (Celastraceae). Novon 23: 224–225.

A few years ago [see under "McKenna" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(1), Jan. 2012], the first author of this paper was involved in an initiative to segregate three neotropical spp. (that were previously included in the otherwise Old World Gymnosporia) from Gyminda (with which they have a sister-group relationship) under the new genus name Haydenia M. P. Simmons. But that has turned out to be a later homonym of Haydenia Seward (1912), based on a fern fossil. Hence the validation, in this paper, of Haydenoxylon M. P. Simmons and three new combinations at sp. rank thereunder, including Haydenoxylon haberianum (Hammel) M. P. Simmons for the only Costa Rican representative.

Sothers, C., G. T. Prance, S. Buerki, R. de Kok & M. W. Chase. 2014. Taxonomic novelties in Neotropical Chrysobalanaceae: towards a monophyletic Couepia. Phytotaxa 172: 176–200.

As a result of molecular analyses showing Couepia to be non-monophyletic, several of its spp. are removed to other genera (including one that is newly described). There is just one outfall for Costa Rican floristics: Couepia platycalyx Cuatrec. becomes Licania platycalyx (Cuatrec.) Sothers & Prance. Unfortunately, this transfer must be qualified as "tentative": although the results of this study "clearly refute the inclusion of this species in core Couepia," they are not sufficient "to clarify [its] placement...and understand its relationships to Licania and other genera of Chrysobalanaceae." So what's the rush?

Souza, I. M., L. S. Funch & L. P. Queiroz. 2014. Morphological analyses suggest a new taxonomic circumscription for Hymenaea courbaril L. (Leguminosae, Caesalpinioideae). PhytoKeys 38: 101–118.

The most recent revision of the genus Hymenaea discriminated six vars. under the widespread H. courbaril. This new circumscription elevates two of those vars. (both Brazilian) to sp. rank, and dispenses with the remaining four. For us, this means that Costa Rican material of H. courbaril need no longer be qualified as belonging to the autonymic var., as was done in Manual Vol. 5.

Tucker, G. C. 2014. Notes on Cyperus sect. Incurvi (Cyperaceae) from the New World Tropics. Willdenowia 44: 253–261.

Several developments here, but only one that directly concerns us: a new sp., Cyperus conservator-davidii G. C. Tucker, is segregated from wide-ranging material that has mostly been identified as C. simplex Kunth. Specimens are cited from southern Mexico to Bolivia and Venezuela and the Guayanas, including two from Costa Rica (both from the same area, at 750–900 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera Central). For the Manual, the Costa Rican records of C. conservator-davidii were certainly attributed to the real Cyperus simplex which, we gather, does indeed also occur in the country. The new spp. may be "quickly separated" from C. simplex "by its rays shorter than the culms, its lanceolate floral scales and its ellipsoid achenes." The unusual epithet honors David A. Simpson, "currently keeper [i.e., conservator] of the Herbarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew..." A key (non-indented) is provided to the 10 spp. of Cyperus sect. Incurvi Kük. found in the New World tropics, including C. miliifolius Poepp. & Kunth (in addition to the spp. already mentioned). The new sp. is depicted in a composite line-drawing.

——. 2014. Cyperus stewartii (Cyperaceae), a new species from Cocos Island, Costa Rica. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 8: 25–29.

Cyperus stewartii G. C. Tucker is known by just two specimens, both collected near Wafer Bay in 1905 by Alban N. Stewart (1875–1940), honored in the epithet. The new sp. is compared (in text and table) with Cyperus lentiginosus Millsp. & Chase, of northern Mesoamerica, and C. panamensis (C. B. Clarke) Britton ex Standl., widespread from Guatemala to Peru and Paraguay. It seems curious (verging on suspicious) that this spp. has not been recollected in 110 years on such a small and relatively well-botanized island, with very low floristic diversity. Illustrated with photographic images of the holotype specimen.

Zhong C.-X., Li W.-P., Yang X.-L., Tang M., Liao W. & Chen S.-M. 2014. Molecular phylogeny of Chinese Conyza, Microglossa and Thespis (Asteraceae: Astereae) based on two nuclear ribosomal DNA regions. Pl. Sci. J. 32: 216–227.

The "American Conyza species," including C. bonariensis (L.) Cronquist, C. canadensis (L.) Cronquist, C. primulifolia (Lam.) Cuatrec. & Lourteig (syn. C. chilensis Spreng.), and C. sumatrensis (Retz.) E. Walker (all represented in Costa Rica), were found to be "closely related to Erigeron," ostensibly supporting their placement in the latter genus; however, just one sp. of Erigeron (not the generic type) was included in the study. The Chinese spp. emerged as diphyletic, suggesting that they be removed to two different genera.

Zhou, S., W. Dong, X. Chen, X. Zhang, J. Wen & H. Schneider. 2014. How many species of bracken (Pteridium) are there? Assessing the Chinese brackens using molecular evidence. Taxon 63: 509–521.

We are hard-pressed to reconcile the conclusions of this paper, relevant mainly to the Chinese flora, with Robbin Moran's treatment of Pteridium (Dennstaedtiaceae) in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1 (1995), wherein three spp. were accepted: P. arachnoideum (Kaulf.) Maxon, P. caudatum (L.) Maxon, and P. feei (W. Schaffn. ex Fée) Faull. These authors appear to accept just two spp., and use none of the foregoing names, rather Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn and P. esculentum (G. Forst.) Cockayne. Reading between the lines, and consulting some of the cited literature, we learn that P. arachnoideum has lately been subordinated to Pteridium esculentum, as P. e. subsp. arachnoideum (Kaulf.) J. A. Thomson. In the present study, "P. caudatum was found to be polyphyletic," with "all Chinese samples nested within the P. aquilinum clade." We would thus assume that P. caudatum has been included (at least partly) in P. aquilinum by these authors, which might explain their attribution of the latter sp. to "Central America." The fate of P. feei, nowhere mentioned in this paper, continues to elude us [see also The Cutting Edge 16(3): 3, Jul. 2009]. The names Pteridium caudatum and P. feei do not appear as synonyms anywhere in the "Proposed classification of Pteridium in China," near the end of this paper.


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