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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 XXII, Number 4, October 2015

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

ASTERACEAE. This wins our "irony of the month" award: just a few days following MO curator John Pruski's authoritative rejection of the sole ostensible Costa Rican voucher for Tilesia baccata (L.) Pruski [formerly Wulffia baccata (L.) Kuntze] as a sterile specimen of dubious identity, the genuine article was collected, with abundant flowers and fruits, by CR curator (and Manual Asteraceae author) Alexánder Rodríguez on Fila Retinto (above Palmar Norte). Todo en su lugar! See under "Season's Pick" for more details.

BALANOPHORACEAE. Our present issue features several significant recent discoveries from the Guanacaste region by Esteban Jiménez (thanks to Esteban for the fine photos here linked to his vouchers), resulting from his thesis research in that region. His collection of Langsdorffia hypogaea Mart. (J. E. Jiménez & Calderón 2523, USJ) from the Zona Protectora Volcán Miravalles is the first record of that sp. from the Cordillera de Guanacaste.

FABACEAE. Esteban Jiménez has collected Desmodium angustifolium (Kunth) DC. growing on calcareous soil in Parque Nacional Barra Honda (J. E. Jiménez 3427, USJ), the first record of this uncommon sp. from the Guanacaste lowlands (or anywhere, in Costa Rica, below ca. 750 m).

ORCHIDACEAE. The widespread Liparis vexillifera (Lex.) Cogn. has long been documented from Costa Rica on the basis of a single collection, made 90 years ago (almost to this very day!) by Alberto Brenes in the near vicinity of San Ramón. Thus its recent finding by Esteban Jiménez (J. E. Jiménez 3155, USJ) in a savanna in the Zona Protectora Volcán Miravalles would be noteworthy merely as a rediscovery, but also extends the range of the sp. into the Cordillera de Guanacaste.

RUBIACEAE. Crusea hispida (Mill.) B. L. Rob. occurs from Mexico to northwestern Costa Rica, whence it has been found only in Parque Nacional Santa Rosa. Based on a recent collection by Esteban Jiménez (J. E. Jiménez 3428, USJ), the range of the sp. may now be extended southward to Parque Nacional Barra Honda (in "bosque seco," a new life-zone for the Manual distribution summary). Hammel et al. 25424, from the savannas of Cerro Rayos in the Turrubares region of the central Pacific slope, has now been determined by its collector as the first Costa Rican record for Spermacoce pumilio (Standl.) Govaerts (AKA Borreria tenera DC.; syn. B. pumilio Standl.). The sp. in question can be confused with Spermacoce prostrata Aubl., but differs in its retrorsely pubescent internodes and consistently 4-lobed (vs. variably 2- and 4-lobed) calyces, with the lobes often longer (vs. always shorter) than the fruits, and more shallowly foveolate seeds. It is in many ways similar to S. suaveolens (G. Mey.) Kuntze (also with retrorsely pubescent internodes), but comprises much smaller plants that are obviously annual (vs. at least potentially perennial). Spermacoce pumilio is apparently quite rare throughout its range, being otherwise known only by scattered collections from central Panama, Colombia, Bolivia, and Brazil. It was discovered in Costa Rica on the very day and spot as Drosera cayennensis Sagot ex Diels [see under "Droseraceae," this column, in The Cutting Edge 16(4), Oct. 2009], which was squeezed at the last moment into Manual Vol. 5 (2010); however, the identification of S. pumilio came too late for its inclusion in the Manual Rubiaceae treatment (Vol. 7; 2014).

SAPINDACEAE. Manual correspondent Paul Foster reports that a recent visit by liana maestra Robyn Burnham (MICH) to the private reserve he operates in the Sarapiquí lowlands produced the first record of Thinouia myriantha Triana & Planch. (Burnham 3807) from the Atlantic slope of Costa Rica.

TRIURIDACEAE. A collection from Volcán Orosí by Esteban Jiménez (J. E. Jiménez & Herrera 3385, USJ) marks the first record of the tenuous and easily-overlooked saprophyte Sciaphila picta Miers from the Cordillera de Guanacaste.

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