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Volume XXII, Number 4, October 2015
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Adhikary, D. & D. B. Pratt. 2015. Morphologic and taxonomic analysis of the weedy and cultivated Amaranthus hybridus species complex. Syst. Bot. 40: 604–610.
This is evidently the time for rethinking recalcitrant complexes of agronomically significant taxa (see especially under "Ohri," "Patil" et al., and "Walker" et al., this column), though the results have been mixed. Let's hope they have gotten this out of their collective systems! The complex centering on Amaranthus hybridus L. has been treated variously as mono- or polyspecific, in the latter case spawning such spp. as A. caudatus L., A. cruentus L., and A. hypochondriacus L. These authors adduce morphological evidence that suffices to distinguish two major groups—Group 2 comprising A. hypochondriacus and part of A. hybridus s. str., Group 1 all the rest—as well as the individual entities (A. cruentus, A. caudatus, etc.) within Group 1. However, they offer no clear taxonomic resolution, adding that "the number and complexity of features needed to accurately identify species of the hybridus complex does not lend itself to easy identification using traditional dichotomous keys and will ultimately require a computer-guided polyclave key." It is also worth noting that Amaranthus hybridus s. str. is diphyletic, according to these analyses, and one would thus need to establish the affinity of the type specimen in order to apply the name correctly (in the splitting scenario). Amaranthus hybridus is treated in the broad sense in the Manual Amaranthaceae draft by José González.
Aguirre-Santoro, J., J. Betancur, G. K. Brown, T. M. Evans, F. Salgueiro, M. Alves-Ferreira & T. Wendt. 2015. Is Ronnbergia (Bromeliaceae, Bromelioideae) a geographically disjunct genus? Evidence from morphology and chloroplast DNA sequence data. Phytotaxa 219: 261–275.
Molecular and morphological analyses support "the polyphyly of Ronnbergia, either independently or in combination," suggesting that "the geographic disjunction of this genus is most likely a product of taxonomic misinterpretation." Inasmuch as the polyphyly of Ronnbergia is concerned, let it be said that R. hathewayi L. B. Sm., the only sp. represented in Costa Rica, is very closely affined to the generic type sp., and thus should be safe from this perspective. That said, all the spp. curently assigned to Ronnbergia appear deeply nested (along with spp. of other genera) in a seriously paraphyletic Aechmea [see also under "Heller" et al., this column], a dilemma that the present study does not have "enough resolution power" to address.
Alverson, W. S. & M. C. Duarte. 2015. Hello again Pochota, farewell Bombacopsis (Malvaceae). Novon 24: 115–119.
The spiny-trunked tree called Pochote in Costa Rica—where it is very familiar, especially in the Guanacaste region—had been known for many years by the Latin binomial Bombacopsis quinata (Jacq.) Dugand. A brief flurry of activity some years back, spearheaded by MO curator Doug Stevens, sought to replace the genus name Bombacopsis Pittier (1916) with the prior Pochota Ram. Goyena (1909) and produced numerous new combinations, including both Pochota quinata (Jacq.) W. D. Stevens and (for a second, less familiar sp. in the group that also occurs in Costa Rica) P. sessilis (Benth.) W. D. Stevens. However, this movement was quashed in short order with the acceptance of a proposal to conserve Bombacopsis over Pochota, and there the matter stood for several more years. At that point, molecular data and other considerations began to suggest that the traditional generic concept of Bombacopsis could no longer be maintained, and that it should be included (along with other elements) in an expanded Pachira Aubl. (1775). This was the classification embraced by Manual Bombacaceae author Alfredo Cascante (CR), who used the names Pachira quinata (Jacq.) W. S. Alverson and P. sessilis Benth. in the second (i.e., current) draft of his treatment [see The Cutting Edge 6(3): 6; Jul. 1999]. But more recent molecular data (some still unpublished) have altered the scenario: it now appears that our Pochote is, after all, "not embedded within Pachira s.l. but instead shows a closer affinity to the Paleotropical genus Bombax s. str. and the Neotropical genus Spirotheca Ulbr.," or "may be closer to Ceiba Mill." (perhaps significantly, most or all spp. in the last three genera have prickles on their trunks and branches, while these are uniformly absent in Pachira). Based on these developments, the present authors propose to class Pochote in a monospecific genus. However, this genus cannot be called Bombacopsis, because the type sp. of that name, B. sessilis (Benth.) Pittier, "is morphologically typical of the Pachira s.l. clade"; entrained as it is to B. sessilis, Bombacopsis therefore must remain a synonym of Pachira. And with the competition from Bombacopsis suddenly removed, the genus name Pochota—typified by P. vulgaris Ram. Goyena, a name applicable to our Pochote—is back in the saddle! But there is a further complication, involving the epithet: it turns out that Bombax quinatum Jacq., the ostensible basionym for Bombacopsis quinata, Pochota quinata, etc., is in fact illegitimate and does not even apply to our sp., being instead "a superfluous renaming" of the Old World Bombax ceiba L. A wholesale name-change for Pochote is therefore in order, and it becomes Pochota fendleri (Seem.) W. S. Alverson & M. C. Duarte, the authors basing their new combination on the oldest available synonym, Pachira fendleri Seem. (1853). Well and good. We'll see how long it takes for someone else to stamp their name(s) on yet another new combination, in Bombax, Ceiba or Spirotheca.
Archila, F. & G. R. Chiron. 2015. Note sur le genre Dichaea, complexe "Dichaea graminoides" (Orchidaceae). Richardiana 15: 326–332.
If we are to accept the identification of these authors (who include a color photo for good measure), the geographic range of Dichaea elliptica Dressler & Folsom must be augmented so as to include Guatemala. The sp. was previously known only from Costa Rica and Panama.
——, F. Jiménez R. & M. Véliz. 2015. Adiciones taxonómicas para la orquideoflora neotropical. Moscosoa 19: 14–21.
A paper on Guatemalan orchids published in a Dominican journal unexpectedly yields information (really it is just hearsay) relevant to Costa Rica. Restrepia valverdei Archila, Jiménez Rodr. & Véliz, one of the four new spp. described, is characterized in the abstract (and nowhere else) as ranging "from Guatemala to Costa Rica." However, apart from the Guatemalan type, no specimens are cited in support of this allegation. The other three novelties are evidently Guatemalan endemics (though only type specimens are cited).
Austin, D. F., G. W. Staples & R. Simão-Bianchini. 2015. A synopsis of Ipomoea (Convolvulaceae) in the Americas: further corrections, changes, and additions. Taxon 64: 625–633.
This is the second supplement (we seem to have overlooked the first) to the original nomenclator referenced in the title [see The Cutting Edge 3(2): 6, Apr. 1996]. A quick perusal reveals nothing that is new to us. This strikes us as the type of resource that would be presented most effectively online, where it could be updated continuously. Why require users to collate all of this miscellaneous information?
Bedigian, D. 2015. Systematics and evolution in Sesamum L. (Pedaliaceae), part 1: evidence regarding the origin of sesame and its closest relatives. Webbia 70: 1–42.
This scholarly contribution, authoritative and exhaustive though it may be, is largely beyond our scope, as Sesamum indicum L. (sesame) is only sparingly cultivated (and rarely escaped) in Costa Rica, and we are not interested in infrageneric classification (a major concern of this paper). Sesame is affirmed as having an Asian (rather than African) origin (we somehow got this right for the Manual Pedaliaceae treatment), and as comprising the autonymic subsp. of Sesame indicum [as already established by the present author; see under "Bedigian," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(2), Apr. 2014]. Among the many fine features of this treatment, the technical descriptions of the genus Sesamum and S. indicum subsp. indicum would be (or would have been) particularly useful for our purposes. Also of some interest: the author cites unpublished molecular studies (in which she was involved) "showing that the genus Sesamum appears to be paraphyletic," and suggests that it may eventually have to absorb the oligospecific genera Ceratotheca and Dicerocaryum (African and Madagascan, respectively).
Bogarín, D. 2015. A new Campylocentrum (Orchidaceae, Angraecinae) from Parque Internacional La Amistad, Costa Rica. Novon 24: 120–125.
Campylocentrum amistadense Bogarín is based on two collections, from 1250–1600 m elevation on both slopes of the Cordillera de Talamanca. Actually, just one of these (the type) is from the eponymous park (on the Pacific slope), the other being from the northern end of the cordillera in the Tapantí region (on the Atlantic slope). The new sp. is compared mainly with Campylocentrum brenesii Schltr. and C. tenellum Todzia, and illustrated with black-and-white photos (showing also the two last-mentioned spp.) and an excellent composite line-drawing by the author. A dichotomous (though non-indented) key to all the Costa Rican representatives of Campylocentrum is provided.
—— & D. Jiménez. 2015. Lepanthes novae Durikaensis. Orchids (West Palm Beach) 84: 430–440.
As the JBL crew moves into the more remote parts of the Cordillera de Talamanca with Lepanthes in mind, we can expect all heck to break loose. Here, four new spp. of Lepanthes are described from above 2000 m elevation in the Reserva Biológica Dúrika and adjacent regions, and one ostensible country record is reported. The novelties are Lepanthes garciae Bogarín & D. Jiménez (compared with L. dolabriformis Luer), Lepanthes siboei Bogarín & D. Jiménez (compared with L. falcifera Luer), Lepanthes talamancana Bogarín & D. Jiménez (compared with L. stenorhyncha Luer), and Lepanthes utyumii Bogarín & D. Jiménez (compared with L. selliana Endrés ex Luer). Lepanthes antilocapra Luer, originally described from western Panama (Prov. Chiriquí), is an addition to the Costa Rica flora, as according to a prior paper from this group [see the second entry under "Karremans," this column, in The Cutting Edge 20(4), Oct. 2013]; however, this time we get actual voucher citations documenting its distribution in the country (ca. 2100–2500 m, vert. Pac. y cerca de la División Continental, E Cord. de Talamanca). Habitat photos and a map showing the location of the Dúrika reserve are provided, along with color photos from life and excellent composite line drawings of all the novelties mentioned above (including the country record).
—— & A. P. Karremans. 2015. Prosthechea tinukiana sp. nov. (Orchidaceae: Laeliinae): an update of the Prosthechea prismatocarpa complex. Türk Bot. Derg. 39: 499–505.
Prosthechea tinukiana Bogarín & Karremans is based on just two specimens, collected by the authors and their buddies at 2412 m elevation on Cerro Tinuk, a remote peak (actually, the name refers only to a benchmark) on the Pacific slope of the eastern Cordillera de Talamanca. The new sp. is compared especially to P. ionocentra (Rchb. f.) W. E. Higgins, from which it differs in the origin of the inflorescences and numerous floral details. A key provided in a prior study of the titular complex [see The Cutting Edge 9(2): 8, Apr. 2002] is updated to include P. tinukiana, and all seven members of the group are compared in a tabular format. The new sp. is illustrated with a composite line drawing and color photos from life, all of fine quality. Don't ask us why these authors thought that a Turkish botanical journal would be an appropriate place to publish a new Costa Rican orchid sp. (or, for that matter, why the editors of the journal were of the same mind).
Bone, R. E., P. J. Cribb & S. Buerki. 2015. Phylogenetics of Eulophiinae (Orchidaceae: Epidendroideae): evolutionary patterns and implications for generic delimitation. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 179: 48–56.
Tribe Eulophiinae comprises nine genera, but only two of these, Eulophia and Oeceoclades, are represented in Costa Rica, each by a single sp. (introduced, in the case of the latter genus). Oeceoclades is upheld as more or less monophyletic (with a single sp. of Eulophia embedded) in this molecular study, but Eulophia—by far the largest genus in the tribe with ca. 164 spp.—is not. The Old World genus Geodorum, with 12 spp., is nested within Eulophia with solid support, and the authors propose to merge the two genera. The problem with this scenario (which could affect us) is that Geodorum is the older name, which has prompted the authors to submit a proposal to conserve Eulophia. We'll see how that pans out. Another potential complication is that Eulophia appears markedly diphyletic in one of the analyses. However, we are unable to assess the possible consequences for our neck of the woods, as Eulophia alta (L.) Fawc. & Rendle, the only sp. occurring in Costa Rica (and the New World), was not included in the study (insofar as we are able to decipher the infinitesimal print of the cladograms).
Calles, T., G. P. Lewis, C. Berlingeri & M. B. Crespo. 2015. Lectotypification of Macroptilium atropurpureum (Leguminosae). Kew Bull. 70(1): 14(1–4).
Phaseolus atropurpureus DC., the basionym of Macroptilium atropurpureum (DC.) Urb. ("an economically important forage species" that is widespread in the Neotropics and introduced in the Paleotropics), is lectotypified, as are four synonyms. Usage is unaffected.
Cardoso, L. J. T. & J. M. A. Braga. 2015. A new Caribbean species of Helosis (Balanophoraceae) with a revised key to the genus. Syst. Bot. 40: 597–603.
We cite this only because of the key to spp.
Carvalho, F. A., D. Filer & S. S. Renner. 2015. Taxonomy in the electronic age and an e-monograph of the papaya family (Caricaceae) as an example. Cladistics 31: 321–329.
This paper announces and extols the virtues of what "may be the first taxonomic monograph of a plant family completely published online." Benighted and wood-wafer dependent though we may be, we had somehow already stumbled onto this ourselves, at the following URL:
Of course, the novel medium does not obviate the incorporation of all the time-honored features basic to taxonomic monographs, viz., keys, descriptions, and specimen data. Ultimately, the value of any taxonomic revision hinges on its applicability to wild populations in the real world, not the manner in which it is presented. Nonetheless, the considerable advantages of online publication—including accessibility, searchability, linkage to sundry data sources, and ease of updating—are not to be ignored, and clearly, this is the wave of the future. These authors present a cogent consideration of these advantages, and also of the challenges involved in producing an e-monograph.
Chaves-Falles, J. M., R. C. Moran & F. Oviedo-Brenes. 2015. Serpocaulon ×rojasianum (Polypodiaceae): a new fern hybrid from Costa Rica. Brittonia 67: 185–190.
Serpocaulon ×rojasianum J. M. Chaves, R. C. Moran & F. Oviedo is alleged to be a hybrid involving S. dissimile L. and S. triseriale Sw., to which it is intermediate morphologically (in many respects) and with which it grows sympatrically at the type locality, the Jardín Botánico Wilson. One other specimen is cited from a nearby site, yielding an elevational range of ca. 900–1200 m. The three entities are compared by means of a table and several illustrations and photos (one of which depicts all three growing together in situ). The epithet honors Costa Rica fern guru Alexander Rojas (JVR).
Christenhusz, M. J. M., M. S. Vorontsova, M. F. Fay & M. W. Chase. 2015. Results from an online survey of family delimitation in angiosperms and ferns: recommendations to the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group for thorny problems in plant classification. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 178: 501–528.
Once a robust phylogeny has been established, classification becomes rather arbitrary, assuming all parties are in agreement that poly- and paraphyletic taxa are verboten. So it makes sense that contentious issues should be settled by consensus, as these authors have sought to accomplish. We somehow missed out on their survey, which involved "a total of 441 responses from 42 countries." Is that a quorum of practicing plant taxonomists? Who knows. We would not have been in agreement with all the results, which showed "a good balance between lumping and splitting," but that is the nature of consensus decisions; no one will be happy with everything. However, we will be happy to embrace whatever is decided upon by APG. That said, some of these recommendations run contrary to Manual usage (in already-published volumes) and/or APG III, e.g.: expand Dioscoreaceae to include Burmanniaceae, Taccaceae, and Thismiaceae; place Stixaceae in Resedaceae (which would vindicate Flora mesoamericana on this score, and leave the Manual as perhaps the only flora ever to recognize Stixaceae); separate Rivinaceae from Phytolaccaceae; segregate Portulacaceae into Montiaceae, Talinaceae, etc.; merge Fouquieriaceae (not represented in Cosa Rica) into Polemoniaceae; enlarge Gesneriaceae to include Calceolariaceae and Peltanthera, and Orobanchaceae (sensu APG III) to include Mazaceae, Paulowniaceae, and Phrymaceae; and accept Peraceae as separate from Euphorbiaceae. In the final analysis, the authors "estimate that APG IV will not differ substantially from APG III." Ferns were included in this survey, with recommendations to be proferred to the "PPG," i.e, Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group, a recently established entity of which we had been unaware. There are just two fern recommendations, but both are bombshells: to accept a two-family concept for eupolypods, recognizing only Aspleniaceae and Polypodiaceae (and sinking Athyriaceae, Cystopteridaceae, Davalliaceae, Didymochlaenaceae, Dryopteridaceae, Hemidictyaceae, Hypodematiaceae, Lomariopsidaceae, Oleandraceae, Tectariaceae, Thelypteridaceae, Woodsiaceae, etc.); and to treat the entire Cyatheales as a single family, Cyatheaceae (while sinking Culcitaceae, Dicksoniaceae, Loxsomataceae, Metaxyaceae, Plagiogyriaceae, etc.). Sounds eminently sensible to us!
Côrtes, A. L. A., A. Rapini & T. F. Daniel. 2015. The Tetramerium lineage (Acanthaceae: Justicieae) does not support the Pleistocene Arc hypothesis for South American seasonally dry forests. Amer. J. Bot. 102: 992–1007.
The genus Pachystachys (among others of no interest to us) is "nonmonophyletic" and "need[s] to be recircumscribed" (at least, according to the abstract; we are hard-pressed to find any such statements in the body of the paper). This scarcely concerns the Manual, as just one sp. of Pachystachys (P. lutea Nees) occurs in Costa Rica, and only as a cultivated ornamental. Moreover, it appears to occupy the same clade as the generic type sp. Enough said.
Croat, T. B. & L. P. Hannon. 2015. A revision of the genus Chlorospatha (Araceae). Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 101: 1–259.
This monumental contribution, long in the making, is finally in hand. For more than a century, Chlorospatha Engl. (1878) was regarded as a monospecific genus restricted to C. kolbii Engl., known until recently only by its long-lost Colombian type. Then, in 1981, Chlorospatha was redefined and enlarged, mainly by the absorption of the oligospecific, Andean Caladiopsis Engl. (1905), which differed merely by having simple (rather than pedately compound) leaves. When the Manual Araceae treatment was published in 2003, a total of 16 validly described spp. could be attributed to Chlorospatha. But now we have a truly quantum leap, as this new revision formally recognizes 68 spp. in the genus (39 described as new), and appends four others, provisionally named ("sp. indet. 1," etc.), that "are distinct and validly new, but were collected in sterile condition..." Having said that, all of the novelties are from Andean South America, and there is almost nothing new here for Costa Rica, at the northern extremity of the geographic range of Chlorospatha and still with a single sp., C. croatiana Grayum. Well, there is one puzzling innovation that may affect us: Chlorospatha croatiana subsp. enneaphylla Grayum is demoted to varietal rank, while, according to some sort of pretzel logic, its autonymic infraspecific counterpart (to which Costa Rican material would be assigned) is maintained as a subsp. Go figure! Most of the features one would expect of a proper systematic revision are on full display here: extensive descriptions at all ranks (the genus description occupies three full pages), dichotomous and indented keys to spp. and infraspecific taxa, synonymy and typology, distribution and phenology summaries, discussions, comprehensive specimen citations, and an index to exsiccatae. The introductory section includes brief discussions of taxonomic history, fossil history, and cytology, and much more extensive considerations (sometimes verging on exhaustive) of collecting history, intergeneric relationships, morphology and anatomy, pollination biology, phenology, and geographical distribution and endemism. In addition to many new spp., a new subgeneric classification (based solely on traditional morphological and biogeographical analyses) is debuted, with three sections (C. croatiana is included in the autonymic section, for what it may be worth). Most (if not all) the spp. are illustrated with black-and-white photos of living plants or herbarium specimens.
Delprete, P. G. 2015. Typification and etymology of Aublet's Rubiaceae names. Taxon 64: 595–624.
Careful and painstaking bibliographic and herbarium investigations by the author have significantly clarified the typification of Rubiaceae described by Aublet, mainly from French Guiana. Many previously unrecognized typfications are restored, some new ones are proposed, and two new combinations are validated. However, as far as we can tell, all of these innovations apply to spp. that do not occur in Costa Rica and/or do not affect prevailing usage. Nonetheless, the author's absorbing and scholarly accounts of Aublet's biography and collecting itineraries, as well as his discussions (often speculative) of the origins of Aublet's genus names, make for fascinating reading. Carapichea, by the way, is derived from "carapiche," a name used by Caribbean peoples.
—— & J. H. Kirkbride, Jr. 2015. New combinations in Eumachia (Rubiaceae) for species occurring on the Guiana Shield. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 9: 75–79.
Our readers may be excused for asking what Eumachia and the Guiana Shield have to do with Costa Rica. With respect to Eumachia, the answer is that it replaces (by virtue of priority and a failed conservation proposal) the genus name Margaritopsis (accepted in both the Manual and Flora mesoamericana), as already announced in these pages [see under "Applequist," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(2), Apr. 2015]. With respect to the Guiana Shield, the answer is: nothing whatsoever, except insofar as certain spp. are common to both places—two, in the case of Margaritopsis, for which we inherit the new combinations Eumachia kappleri (Miq.) Delprete & J. H. Kirkbr. and E. microdon (DC.) Delprete & J. H. Kirkbr. The third sp. of Margaritopsis occurring in Costa Rica, M. haematocarpa (Standl.) C. M. Taylor, has not had the good sense to extend itself to the Guiana Shield, so we must await a combination in Eumachia from some other source.
De Smet, Y., C. Granados Mendoza, S. Wanke, P. Goetghebeur & M.-S. Samain. 2015. Molecular phylogenetics and new (infra)generic classification to alleviate polyphyly in tribe Hydrangeeae (Cornales: Hydrangeaceae). Taxon 64: 741–753.
"Extensive paraphyly" in the genus Hydrangea, with respect to eight smaller genera, was suggested by a preliminary study from this same lab. The authors professed an inclination toward the lumping option, and in our review of their paper [see under "Samain" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 17(4), Oct. 2010] we estimated that, were all the eight nested genera to be included in Hydrangea, "the genus total for Hydrangeaceae [in the Manual treatment] would have to be corrected from 17 to 9, and the sp. total for Hydrangea from 21 to something on the order of 60." Well, we (and most other standard sources) were way off on the last two figures, or else these authors are splitters in the extreme: they tote 140 recognized spp. of Hydrangea s. str., and 208 for the expanded version! The present paper marshals additional cladistic evidence and forges ahead with the formal implementation of the lumping option, with all the necessary new names and combinations validated (including 12 at sectional rank). None of this, of course, concerns us, as only Hydrangea s. str. occurs in Costa Ric
Dressler, R. L. & F. Pupulin. 2012. Una corrección al complejo Sobralia leucoxantha/The Sobralia leucoxantha complex, with a correction. Orquideología 29: 28–30.
This issue of the Colombian journal Orquideología has only now trickled into the MO library, hence our belated review of this article. The main subject here is the sp. recently described by these authors as Sobralia pendula Dressler & Pupulin [see The Cutting Edge 16(1): 4, Jan. 2009]. In the interim, the authors were able to visit the type locality (Los Ángeles de Heredia) of Sobralia macra Schltr. (synonymized under S. leucoxantha Rchb. f. in the first author's Manual treatment of Sobralia), where they encountered just one sp. of Sobralia, viz., their S. pendula. Based at least partly on that seemingly circumstantial evidence (we suppose there must be some morphological correlates as well), the authors install Sobralia macra as the accepted name for the sp. briefly known as S. pendula, now a synonym. We are also informed that S. macra ranges into Panama (though no vouchers are cited). Illustrated with a photo of a flower.
—— & ——. 2015. Sobralia lentiginosa (Orchidaceae: Sobralieae). Orchids (West Palm Beach) 84: 374–376.
Sobralia lentiginosa Dressler & Pupulin sp. nov. is based on just two specimens collected by its first author from Navarro (a site that has been heavily botanized for over a century), at ca. 1100–1150 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca. The new sp. is compared with S. macrantha Lindl., of northern Mesoamerica. Features a distribution map and color photos of fresh material.
Global Carex Group. 2015. Making Carex monophyletic (Cyperaceae, tribe Cariceae): a new broader circumscription. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 179: 1–42.
The subsumption of the genera Cymophyllus, Kobresia, Schoenoxiphium, and/or Uncinia within the vast Carex has been suggested off and on for many years, was supported by molecular data during the last decade [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 16(2): 13, Apr. 2009], and is finally implemented nomenclaturally in the paper presently under review (which exhaustively considers and rejects two different splitting options as not "optimal to meet the goals of nomenclatural stability, generic monophyly and ease of use"). For Costa Rica, we need worry only about Uncinia, which has three spp. represented in the country. Carex hamata Sw. is already available as the basionym for what is by far the most common of these, and C. koyamae (Gómez-Laur.) J. R. Starr is a straightforward new combination for one of the two rarer spp. The remaining sp., which we have known as Uncinia tenuis Poepp. ex Kunth, becomes Carex firmula (Kük.) J. R. Starr, based on U. t. f. firmula Kük., an acknowledged synonym (the epithet tenuis being inevitably preoccupied in Carex).
Hammel, B. E. 2015. Three new species of Pentagonia (Rubiaceae) from southern Central America, one foreseen, two surprising. Phytoneuron 2015-46: 1–13.
The "foreseen" novelty is Pentagonia gomez-lauritoi Hammel, which equates to Pentagonia sp. A of the Manual Rubiaceae treatment (2014), the Pentagonia portion of which was co-contributed by this author. As documented in the Manual, this is a sp. of the southern Atlantic lowlands in Costa Rica (whence it squeaks into westernmost Panama). It is compared, especially, with P. donnell-smithii (Standl.) Standl. and P. wendlandii Hook. Both of the "surprising" novelties hail (perhaps unsurprisingly) from the Golfo Dulce region. Pentagonia gambagam Hammel & Aguilar, based on two collections from Fila Gamba above Golfito, is compared most closely with P. macrophylla Benth. and the sympatric P. wendlandii; its epithet reproduces the name of the reserve in which it grows. The epithet of Pentagonia osapinnata Aguilar, N. Zamora & Hammel speaks for itself: this stunning discovery represents one of just two spp. in the huge family Rubiaceae with fully pinnately compound leaves, that could not be interpreted as merely "lobed" by the wildest stretch of the imagination. Except (occasionally) at the distal extreme, all the leaflets (on leaves of adult plants) have well-defined petiolules (to ca. 1.5 cm long!), and there is no laminar tissue decurrent on the rachis. Pinnately lobed leaves are well-known in Pentagonia (though rare elsewhere in Rubiaceae), but we had thought pinnately compound leaves to be unique in the genus (as well as the family), until the recent description of the Colombian P. imparipinnata Cornejo (which differs in having fewer leaflets and bracteate inflorescences). Pentagonia osapinnata was first collected in 1991 by revered field botanist Gerardo Herrera, but his specimen was sterile and written off as juvenile or aberrant material of P. lobata C. M. Taylor. The new sp. is restricted, so far as we know, to forests at the head of Golfo Dulce, from Bahía Chal eastward toward Los Mogos. The opening fragments of the Manual Pentagonia key are presented in modified form, to accommodate P. gambagam and P. osapinnata, and all three new spp. are depicted in color photographs from life.
Hawkins, J. S., D. Ramachandran, A. Henderson, J. Freeman, M. Carlise, A. Harris & Z. Willison-Headley. 2015. Phylogenetic reconstruction using four low-copy nuclear loci strongly supports a polyphyletic origin of the genus Sorghum. Ann. Bot. (Oxford) 116: 291–299.
It is diphyletic, to be specific, with one clade sister to Miscanthus + Saccharum. This study supports separate generic status for that particular clade which, in fact, has already been accorded under the name Sarga Ewart. However, we are quite certain that the three taxa occurring in Costa Rica all belong to the other clade—the one harboring the type sp., Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench—and are thus unaffected.
Heller, S., E. M. C. Leme, K. Schulte, A. M. Benko-Iseppon & G. Zizka. 2015. Elucidating phylogenetic relationships in the Aechmea alliance: AFLP analysis of Portea and the Gravisia complex (Bromeliaceae, Bromelioideae). Syst. Bot. 40: 716–725.
These analyses "consistently retrieved the Portea/Gravisia group as a monophyletic clade...comprising spp. from the genera Aechmea, Canistrum and Portea," and including the type spp. of the genus names Canistrum, Gravisia, and Portea. Polyporate pollen is adduced as a synapomorphy for the clade. Only one sp. occurring in Costa Rica is referable to this clade (or, at least, was included in this study), that being the very rare Aechmea aquilega (Salisb.) Griseb. (effectively, the type sp. of Gravisia). Were this clade to be recognized at the rank of genus (as seems likely), the operative name would presumably be Portea Brongn. ex K. Koch (1856). Two other Costa Rican representatives of Aechmea sensu lato were included in the outgroup sampling: A. lueddemanniana (K. Koch) Brongn. ex Mez, itself the type of the genus name Podaechmea (Mez) L. B. Sm. & W. J. Kress (1990), but which comes out very near the type spp. of Chevaliera Gaudich. ex Beer (1856) and Aechmea Ruiz & Pav. (1794) (and could thus remain in Aechmea sensu stricto in one scenario); and A. nudicaulis (L.) Griseb., itself the type of the genus name Pothuava Gaudich. (1860), and which groups rather closely with the type sp. of Quesnelia Gaudich. (1842).
Jones, R. L., H. Jiménez-Saa & A. C. Risk. 2015. A survey of the woody and climbing plants of the Refugio de Aves Dr. Alexander Skutch, "Los Cusingos," Pérez Zeledón Canton, Costa Rica. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 9: 149–165.
"Los Cusingos," the home base of the illustrious field biologist Alexander Skutch for 63 years (until his death at age 99 in 2004), now stands as one of the last vestiges of primary forest in the northern Valle de General. And, at just 77 ha, it really merits the term "vestige," being undoutedly too small to support viable populations of many spp., especially of larger trees. The vouchered and annotated (with respect to habit) checklist presented as an appendix to this paper accounts for 314 spp. (in the groups defined in the title) on the small property, which ranges in elevation from 650–750 m. These are mainly dicots (289), with a much smaller number of monocots (18 spp.) and pteridophytes (7 spp.); collectively, these spp. represent 217 genera and 84 families. The lion's share of the sp. total goes to vines (57 spp.), shrubs (61 spp., 11 being epiphytic or parasitic), and treelets or trees (154 spp.); just 17 spp. of emergent trees were found on the property. Also included are 16 spp. "that were naturalized or with the potential to become naturalized." Ten spp. are categorized as "rare and endemic." This is an invaluable contribution, a veritable snapshot in time, as many of the spp. in this tiny preserve (now managed by the Tropical Science Center) will probably disappear at some point, even assuming continued protection. The main part of this paper (exclusive of the appendix) delves into the history and physical characterization of the site and brief floristic analyses of the various habital groups and habitat types, with some biogeographical observations.
Karremans, A. P. 2015. Visualizing pleurothallids - Lankesteriana. Orchids (West Palm Beach) 84: 304–312.
This is a popularized explication of the author's recent segregation of the genus Lankesteriana (Orchidaceae) from Anathallis and (ultimately) Pleurothallis [see under "Karremans," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(3), Jul. 2014]. All of its spp. are enumerated and briefly discussed, and a cladogram and distribution map are provided. Well illustrated, mostly in color.
Kirkbride, J. H., Jr. & P. G. Delprete. 2015. New combinations in Hexasepalum (Rubiaceae: Spermacoceae). J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 9: 103–106.
The opening salvo having been fired with the validation of Hexasepalum teres (Walter) J. H. Kirkbr. [see under "Kirkbride," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(4), Oct. 2014], it was only a matter of time before the courtesy was extended to the remaining spp. that had been grouped (at least by some workers) under the banished genus name Diodella. This group was subsumed in an inclusive concept of Diodia in the Manual Rubiaceae treatment (2014) by Charlotte M. Taylor (MO). For the record, the new combinations validated in this paper for spp. occurring in Costa Rica are: Hexasepalum apiculatum (Willd.) Delprete & J. H. Kirkbr., H. sarmentosum (Sw.) Delprete & J. H. Kirkbr., and D. serrulatum (P. Beauv.) J. H. Kirkbr. & Delprete. Hexasepalum teres was already available, as mentioned previously, and Diodia virginiana L. is a member of the genus Diodia sensu stricto.
Knapp, S., G. E. Barboza, L. L. Giacomin & J. R. Stehmann. 2015. (2374–2380) Proposals to reject the names Cestrum subsessile, Solanum ambrosiacum, S. coronatum, S. diantherum, S. jujeba, S. multiangulatum and S. perianthomega (Solanaceae) from Vellozo's Flora Fluminensis. Taxon 64: 854–856.
All the Vellozo names mentioned in the title are very old (1829), rarely if ever used, and generally of ambiguous application, and threaten (at least potentially) junior names that have become widely accepted. However, only the first, Cestrum subsessile Vell., could spell problems for a sp. that occurs in Costa Rica, viz., the one currently known as Cestrum schlechtendalii G. Don. At first blush we were not sympathetic with the proposed rejection of Cestrum subsessile, given that the name C. schlechtendalii has itself been in widespread use for only the last decade or so (the sp. having been previously known as C. megalophyllum Dunal). But the dubious application of C. subsessile (which "the quality of Vellozo's illustrations makes...difficult to determine") seals the deal.
——, ——, M. V. Romero, M. Vignoli-Silva, L. L. Giacomin & J. R. Stehmann. 2015. Identification and lectotypification of the Solanaceae from Vellozo's Flora Fluminensis. Taxon 64: 822–836.
Sixty-eight names, many of which are synonyms of accepted names for spp. treated or mentioned in the Manual, are reviewed and lectotypified. None of this action results in nomenclatural upheaval (but see the prior entry re the case of Cestrum subsessile Vell.). Vellozo was perhaps using several names in the sense of earlier authors (or intending to do so), but gave no explicit indications in that regard, yielding such redundancies as Datura stramonium Vell. (= D. stramonium L.) and Nicotiana tabacum Vell. (= N. tabacum L.).
Köcke, A. V., A. N. Muellner-Riehl, O. Cáceres & T. D. Pennington. 2015. Cedrela ngobe (Meliaceae), a new species from Panama and Costa Rica. Edinburgh J. Bot. 72: 225–233.
It turns out that Cedrela ngobe Köcke, T. D. Penn. & Muellner, though new to science, does not represent a net addition to the Costa Rica flora: rather, it equates with C. fissilis Vell., in the sense of Manual Vol. 6 (2007). The real C. fissilis, "which is not native in Central America, is clearly separable by its more numerous leaflets..., longer petals..., and much larger fruit..." The sole Costa Rican specimen cited under C. ngobe, Allen 5280 (from along the Río Grande de Térraba), happens to be one of the two vouchers for C. fissilis in Paul Allen's (1956) Rain forests of Golfo Dulce. A second specimen attributed to Costa Rica (Pittier 3729) is actually from Panama. These authors evidently did not see Allen's second voucher (Tonduz 4740, also from the Río Grande de Térraba), nor the Manual voucher for C. fissilis (Zamora et al. 1509, from the Atlantic slope). Therefore, in our view, the occurrence of the real C. fissilis in Costa Rica (at least in cultivation) has not been fully falsified. Includes a distribution map, as well as a composite line drawing and color photomicrographs of epidermal features. The African-sounding epithet of the new sp. alludes to the Panamanian Comarca de Ngöbe-Buglé (or, perhaps more correctly, Ngäbe-Buglé), recently (1997) cobbled together from portions of the Provincias de Bocas del Toro, Chiriquí, and Veraguas.
We also learn (indirectly) from this source that Cedrela odorata L. is on the rocks as well. Previous work involving this same team (see Koecke et al., 2013; Amer. J. Bot. 100: 1800–1810) resolved "at least three evolutionary lineages" from material currently included in C. odorata: "Group I," distributed from Mexico to Nicaragua and in the West Indies; "Group II," ranging from Costa Rica to Bolivia, French Guiana, and Paraguay; and "Group III," which is endemic to Ecuador. The type being from Jamaica, a name-change could be on the horizon for Costa Rica. However, the three groups, though distinct genetically, "currently cannot be distinguished by morphological characters"; thus, no nomenclatural changes have yet been formalized (as far as we are aware!).
Lagomarsino, L. P., D. Santamaría Aguilar & N. Muchhala. 2015. Two new species of Burmeistera (Campanulaceae: Lobelioideae) from the Cordillera de Talamanca of Costa Rica and Panama, with a key to the Central American species. Syst. Bot. 40: 914–921.
Just one of these novelties is recorded from Costa Rica and is thus of immediate concern to us, that being Burmeistera monroi D. Santam. & Lagom., which also enters (or verges upon) westernmost Panama. The new sp. is most similar to the Colombian B. nigropilosa Luteyn ex Garzón & F. González and, among Costa Rican congeners, B. chirripoensis Wilbur. From the latter it differs in corolla color and morphology and in having "largely glabrous" (vs. densely pubescent) anthers. The Manual draft treatment of Campanulaceae by Alexánder Rodríguez (CR) and Daniel Solano includes three provisionally named Burmeistera spp., but as far as we can tell, none of these corresponds to B. monroi. The epiphet of the new sp. honors Alexandre K. Monro (BM), who led the series of expeditions into the Cordillera de Talamanca that yielded this and many other exciting new records. TROPICOS reveals that the never-published name "Burmeistera altoculubrensis Wilbur" was deployed in a 1986 identification of one of the paratypes. The key mentioned in the title is both dichotomous and indented. Illustrated with composite line drawings and (for B. monroi) color photos of living material.
Linares, J. L. 2015. Nuevas especies de Macherium [sic] (Leguminosae: Papilionoideae: Dalbergiae) en México y Centroamérica. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 9: 49–61.
As a consequence of his ongoing work on a Flora mesoamericana treatment of Machaerium (it is spelled correctly throughout most of the paper), the author describes five new spp. in the genus. Three of these are represented in Costa Rica, as follows: the endemic Machaerium excavatum J. Linares (compared to M. darienense Pittier), restricted to the Pacific slope, south from Parque Nacional Carara and the Valle de General, at 0–1000 m elevation; M. paucifoliolatum J. Linares (compared to M. pittieri J. F. Macbr.), known by three Costa Rican collections from the northern part of the country, on both slopes, at 0–900 m elevation (as well as six others from Honduras and Nicaragua); and the endemic M. rubrinervum J. Linares (briefly diagnosed, but not compared with any other sp.), based on a single collection from the Península de Osa at 150 m elevation. The first two spp. are illustrated with composite line drawings, the last with a photograph of the type specimen. For the purposes of Manual co-PI Nelson Zamora's Fabaceae treatment (2010), the specimens cited in this paper under Machaerium excavatum were included in M. pittieri, those cited under M. paucifoliolatum in M. acuminatum Kunth, and the type of M. rubrinervum in M. leiophyllum (DC.) Benth.; however, in no case did these specimens comprise the sole basis for Nelson's sp. concepts, as far as we can tell (in other words, M. acuminatum, M. leiophyllum, and M. pittieri should still be attributed to Costa Rica, and the new spp. do indeed represent net additions to the flora, assuming they pass muster).
Mabberley, D. J. 2015. Rapid publication in the mid-nineteenth century: John Lindley's "New Plants" column in the Gardeners' Chronicle. Taxon 64: 841–844.
"Six inexplicably overlooked names published [in the column mentioned above] are listed and disposed of," but only one of these would appear to have significant consequences for us. That would be Acropera batemannii Lindl (1848), yielding Gongora batemanni (Lindl.) Henshall ex Mabb. & Jenny comb. nov., which (if we get the author's drift) must replace G. cassidea Rchb. f. (1864) as the accepted name for a sp. that occurs in Costa Rica (the matter is addressed rather obliquely).
Mill, R. R. 2015. A monographic revision of the genus Podocarpus (Podocarpaceae): III. The species of the Central America and Northern Mexico Bioregions. Edinburgh J. Bot. 72: 243–341.
This series was announced earlier this year in an introductory installment [see under "Mill," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(1), Jan. 2015], and around the same time we gained some inkling of the author's taxonomic concepts for Costa Rica by intercepting loans returned to MO. As we indicated in our initial review, the author accepts the same spp. as did Mary Merello (MO) in her Manual treatment of Podocarpaceae (2003), with one qualification: our material of P. oleifolius is here sequestered in P. o. subsp. costaricensis (J. Buchholz & N. E. Gray) Silba which, as it turns out, harbors all the Mesoamerican populations of that (otherwise South American) sp. The Silba combination was not validated until 2010, but its basionym was synonymized in the Manual under P. oleifolius, for which no infraspecific taxa were accepted. Clearly, however, the taxonomy of the "Podocarpus oleifolius group" still cannot be described as definitively resolved; in particular, the author suggests that Podocarpus monteverdeensis de Laub. might yet prove to be a distinct taxon, even while provisionally synonymizing it under P. oleifolius (as was done in the Manual). This is an impressively scholarly piece of work that adroitly synthesizes the contributions of previous authors and recounts their taxonomic opinions. The author examined many herbarium specimens, but appears to have little if any field acquaintance with Podocarpus, at least, in the Mesoamerican region (no collections by the author are cited anywhere in this revision). Features include synonymy and typology, a dichotomous key to spp. (and separate keys to infraspecific taxa), diagnostic statements, lengthy descriptions, distribution and phenology summaries, specimen citations (evidently comprehensive), appraisals of conservation status, discussions on various topics, distribution maps, sections on doubtfully recorded and cultivated spp., as well as misapplied and excluded names, and indices to scientific names and exsiccatae. Of a general or introductory nature are discussions on taxonomic history, sp. groups, infrageneric classification, and (coming at the end) interspecific relationships, biogeography, paleohistory, and "distribution and phenology...in relation to altitude and climate." All the accepted taxa are illustrated, at least with composite line drawings. No new names or combinations are validated. Incidentally, we are most gratified to learn that someone has been able to make good use of the Manual gazetteer!
Mitchell, J. D. & D. C. Daly. 2015. A revision of Spondias L. (Anacardiaceae) in the Neotropics. PhytoKeys 55: 1–92.
Few important neotropical plant genera have been more in need of a modern revision than Spondias, so it is good to have this on hand. That said, there is little here that is new for us: Spondias dulcis Parkinson, S. mombin L., S. purpurea L., and S. radlkoferi Donn. Sm. remain the correct names for the only four bona fide spp. attributed (here and elsewhere) to Costa Rica. The only minor revelation, from our perspective, concerns a mysterious entity known principally from a small population near the ranger station on Isla San José, off the south coast of the Península de Santa Elena. These plants bear a general resemblance to S. mombin, but unlike that sp., have pink flowers. One of the vouchers from this population (Grayum 11809) is here cited (p. 10) as an exemplar of a putative hybrid, combining "the small, obovate leaflets and pink corolla of S. purpurea with the much more lax inflorescence and very different remaining flower morphology of S. mombin," and for which the name Spondias × robe Urb. (typified by a Haitian collection) is available. Satisfaction at last! All told, 11 Spondias spp. are accepted for the Neotropics and treated in this revision (including S. dulcis, an introduction from the Old World), of an estimated total of 18 for the genus. Features synonymy, typology, generous descriptions, and distribution summaries at all ranks, separate dichotomous (though unindented) keys to fertile and vegetative (based on leaflets) material, and (for each sp.) representative specimen citations, an evaluation of conservation status, and a discussion, as well as lists of excluded and dubious taxa. There are no indices to names, but an index to exsiccatae is available as "supplementary material." The introductory portion addresses taxonomic history, phylogeny, anatomy and morphology, breeding systems, hybridization, ecology, economic botany, and conservation. Interestingly, it has proven "exceedingly difficult to purify and amplify DNA even from fresh leaf samples of Spondias," and partly as a consequence (we gather), the generic classification of Anacardiaceae subfam. Spondioideae Takht. remains somewhat contentious. The graphics for this paper, grouped together at the end, comprise distribution maps, composite line drawings, and photomicrographs of leaf architecture, with most or all of the treated spp. represented in each of these formats. Three new spp. are described, all South American.
Molinari-Novoa, E. A. 2015. Homage to Christenson: combinations under Maxillaria. Richardiana 15: 291–305.
Responding to the decision in a recent consensus classification of Orchidaceae to embrace an inclusive concept of Maxillaria [see under "Chase," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(2), Apr. 2015], this author wastes no time in churning out all of the implicitly necessary new combinations and nomina nova. Many of the latter were required, on account of the large size of the genus, and quite a few of these honor friends and relatives of the author. All the novelties relevant to Costa Rica are occasioned by the inclusion in Maxillaria of Cryptocentrum, Mormolyca, and Trigonidium, all of which were recognized as distinct in the Manual Orchidaceae treatment (2003); this was the inevitable alternative to accepting a boatload of splinter genera. New combinations in Maxillaria, in the name of the author, are straightforward in the case of the following spp.: the former Cryptocentrum calcaratum (Schltr.) Schltr., C. gracillimum Ames & C. Schweinf., C. standleyi Ames, and Trigonidium egertonianum Bateman ex Lindl., as well as Mormolyca fumea Bogarín & Pupulin, described post-Manual [see under "Bogarín & Pupulin," this column, in The Cutting Edge 17(2), Apr. 2010; see also under "Schuiteman," this column, in the present issue]. However, nomina nova are required (or at least, provided) in all the remaining cases, viz.: Cryptocentrum flavum Schltr., now Maxillaria cryptocentroides Molinari; C. latifolium Schltr., now M. amplifoliata Molinari; C. lehmannii (Rchb. f.) Garay, now M. jacquelineana Molinari (we have corrected the author's "jacqueliniana" in accordance with the Code); Mormolyca ringens (Lindl.) Schltr., here converted to Maxillaria kellyana Mayta & Molinari (but see under "Schuiteman," this column); Trigonidium lankesteri Ames, now Maxillaria luisae Molinari; and T. riopalenquense Dodson, now M. soulangeana Molinari. Given that "this paper was inspired by and is dedicated to Eric Christenson," we wonder that its author did not provide a new combination in Maxillaria based on Trigonidium seemannii Rchb. f., promoted by Christenson as the accepted name for T. riopalenquense [see The Cutting Edge 13(3): 15, Jul. 2006].
Ohri, D. 2015. The taxonomic riddle of Chenopodium album L. complex (Amaranthaceae). Nucleus (Calcutta) 58: 131–134.
The complex of the title is a "taxonomist's nightmare because of cosmopolitan distribution, various polyploid cytotypes having originated by hybridization and phenotypic plasticity." Tell us something we didn't know! As might reasonably be concluded by the length of the paper, this is a brief review of recent research (in which the author has been involved) and offers no definitive solution to the riddle.
Pasini, E., L. Katinas & M. R. Ritter. 2014. O gênero Chaptalia (Asteraceae, Mutisieae) no Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil/The genus Chaptalia (Asteraceae, Mutisieae) in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Rodriguésia 65: 141–158.
In our last issue, we reported on a 2014 paper in which Chaptalia runcinata Kunth (very rare in Costa Rica) was newly synonymized under C. piloselloides (Vahl) Baker [see under "Katinas," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(3), Jul. 2015]. Now along comes this paper, also dated 2014, in which both spp. are maintained as distinct—and to top it off, the two papers have one author (Katinas) in common! So what gives? It turns out that the chronological order of our reviews is apparently opposite that of the publications themselves: the paper in which C. runcinata is relegated to synonymy cites the present paper, but the reverse is not true. Thus we conclude that the present thinking—at least of Liliana Katinas (LP)—is that just one sp. should be recognized. Perhaps this reflects a sudden epiphany, though more likely (we think) a disagreement among the authors of the paper presently under review.
Patil, P., S. Sutar, J. John K., S. Malik, S. Rao, S. Yadav & K. V. Bhat. 2015. A systematic review of the genus Abelmoschus (Malvaceae). Rheedea 25: 14–30.
This is by no means a taxonomic revision, as might be anticipated from the title, but rather a brief review of recent developments in several fields, mainly from an agronomic perspective. The authors provisionally recognize 11 spp. in Abelmoschus (vs. "6+" in the Manual Malvaceae treatment), while acknowledging that "the authentic number...is still uncertain." This they attribute to "the lack of strong morphological characters for the delimitation of species," which "is mainly due to the polyploid nature of genome, morphological plasticity, intermediate breeding system, long history of cultivation and dispersion." Number one on the authors' list of "important aspects" that "still needs [sic] to be addressed" for Abelmoschus is the "need for taxonomic revision in the context of defining species boundaries critically..." Bring it on!
Pérez-García, E. A. & E. A. Mó Mó. 2015. Die Cypripedioideae von Mesoamerika: Teil 2b Phragmipedium. Orchidee (Hamburg) 66: 216–225.
This treatment accepts two spp. of Phragmipedium for the Mesoamerican region, both of which are attributed to Costa Rica, in accord with the Manual account of the genus (2003) by Robert L. Dressler (which also employs the same nomenclature). We were hoping (nay, dreading!) some additional twist to the never-ending saga of "Phragmipedium humboldtii (Warsz. ex Rchb. f.) J. T. Atwood & Dressler" (citing here the Manual version of the name), but none is forthcoming. Instead, these authors acquiesce to the argument of Pupulin & Dressler [see under "Pupulin," this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(4), Oct. 2011] to essentially restore the Manual usage (though they evidently did not get the message to delete the parenthetical "ex Rchb. f.); they do not cite, and are presumably ignorant of, a subsequent argument by Braem in favor of Phragmipedium popowii Braem, Ohlund & Quéné, not to mention our reinterpretation of same that would reinstate P. warscewiczii (Rchb. f.) Christenson as the correct name for the sp. in question [see under "Braem," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(3), Jul. 2014]. We do get, from this article, a distribution map, lots of color photos, and two new combinations at subsp. rank (though these correspond to Guatemalan taxa that do not concern us).
Peterson, P. M., K. Romaschenko & Y. Herrera Arrieta. 2015. A molecular phylogeny and classification of the Eleusininae with a new genus, Micrachne (Poaceae: Chloridoideae: Cynodonteae). Taxon 64: 445–467.
Analysis of multiple plastid and nuclear sequences for 28 genera establishes that Dinebra, Eleusine, and Eustachys (to mention only the genera represented in Costa Rica) are monophyletic. Both Chloris and Cynodon are mildly paraphyletic, but the proposed resolutions for these situations do not affect any spp. occurring in Costa Rica. The only significant change for us involves the once-collected (in Costa Rica) Enteropogon mollis (Nees) Clayton, which is cladistically well separated from the rest of Enteropogon (including the type sp.) and nested among members of the genus Leptochloa. The indicated transfer is duly effected with the validation of the new combination Leptochloa anisopoda (Scribn. ex B. L. Rob.) P. M. Peterson, based on Chloris anisopoda Scribn. ex B. L. Rob. (the epithet mollis being preoccupied in Leptochloa). The new genus of the title is African.
Piwczyński, M., R. Puchałka & K. Spalik. 2015. The infrageneric taxonomy of Chaerophyllum (Apiaceae) revisited: new evidence from nuclear ribosomal DNA ITS sequences and fruit anatomy. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 178: 298–313.
This study provides corroboration, if any were needed, that Oreomyrrhis (with a single sp. in Costa Rica) is nested not only within Chaerophyllum, but within the autonymic section thereof. The merger of the former genus into the latter has already been accomplished nomenclaturally [see The Cutting Edge 14(4): 5, Oct. 2007].
Rodrigues, R. S. 2015. Are seedlings diagnostic in Neotropical Entada (Leguminosae)? Seedling morphology supports the reinstatement of Entada polyphylla. Phytotaxa 220: 287–294.
The recognition of Entada polyphylla Benth. (Fabaceae) as a distinct sp. has indirect and minor consequences for Costa Rican floristics [see under "Rodrigues," this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(3), Jul. 2012], even though it does not occur in the country. Includes a key to the seedlings of New World Entada spp.
Romero-González, G. A. & G. Aymard. 2015. Reconsidering Strychnos gubleri (Loganiaceae). Harvard Pap. Bot. 20: 29–37.
The overlooked name Strychnos gubleri G. Planch. (it was not present in TROPICOS), based on Venezuelan material, is resurrected and interpreted as applying to the widespread sp. (occurring in Costa Rica) that has commonly been called S. panurensis Sprague & Sandwith. The latter name, trumped by 47 years of priority, is summarily relegated to synonymy. An "epitype" is proposed for Strychnos gubleri (wethinks it is more appropriately a neotype), selected (Venezuelan) specimens are cited, and the diagnostic features and distribution of the sp. are reevaluated. Numerous illustrations (including photos of critical specimens) are provided.
Samarakoon, T. & M. H. Alford. 2015. (2373) Proposal to conserve the name Casearia against Laetia and Samyda (Samydaceae). Taxon 64: 853.
Unpublished phylogenetic studies (the Ph.D. dissertations of the two authors) have shown Casearia (Flacourtiaceae in the Manual, Salicaceae to most everyone else) to be non-monophyletic, with one section more closely related to Ryania and the other sections nested among several small genera, e.g., Samyda, Zuelania, and "most of the polyphyletic Laetia" (including the type sp.). The authors have designs to recognize this second group as a single genus, for which Laetia (1759) would be the oldest name. Therein lies the problem (or their problem): this newly envisioned super-Laetia would harbor ca. 215 spp., less than 30 of which have names already available in Laetia. From this perspective, it would be more logical to use the genus name Casearia (1760), under which only 18 new names or combinations would be required. Hence the proposal to conserve Casearia over Laetia, but there is another complication: the genus name Samyda has priority equal to that of Casearia, but was the name used by early authors (including Linnaeus) who united the two, and thus ought to hold sway over Casearia. However, usage of the name Samyda in this scenario would require over 100 new names or combinations, resulting in the second part of this proposal. We are still awaiting an explanation for this "Samydaceae" business.
Here's an idea: why not just expunge the principle of priority from the Code, and replace it with a mandate to employ whatever name requires the fewest new combinations, or produces the most hits on Google? Because that's how taxonomists are proceeding nowadays anyway.
Schuiteman, A. & M. Chase. 2015. A reappraisal of Maxillaria (Orchidaceae). Phytotaxa 225: 1–78.
Here the authors come to grips with the nomenclatural nuts and bolts of a recent decision by their team [see under "Chase," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(2), Apr. 2015] to accept Maxillaria in the broad sense and synonymize a host of splinter genera, many recently baptized (though the more widely accepted of these retain taxonomic recognition at the rank of section). Lamentably, most of the new combinations (and nomina nova) they had planned for this paper were vulturized [see under "Molinari-Novoa," this column] by an author who played no role in any of the preliminary research. It is fortunate that the authors of the present paper got wind of this in time to avoid perpetrating any isonyms or stillborn synonyms. Still, they were left a few crumbs, especially at sectional rank, where new combinations are validated, in the names of "Schuit. & M. W. Chase," based on the genus names Cryptocentrum Benth., Cyrtidiorchis Rauschert, Mapinguari Carnevali & R. B. Singer, Nitidobulbon Ojeda, Carnevali & G. A. Romero, Pityphyllum Schltr., and Trigonidium Lindl. Names for the remaining sections were already available, although, in most cases [excepting sect. Camaridium (Lindl.) Christenson, sect. Ornithidium Salisb. ex R. Br.) Christenson, and the autonymic section], these differ from the generic names, as follows: sect. Digammae Christenson (= Rhetinantha); sect. Erectae Pfitzer (= Maxillariella); sect. Iridifoliae Pfitzer (= Heterotaxis); sect. Polyphyllae Christenson (= Inti); sect. Repentes Pfitzer (= Brasiliorchis); sect. Rufescens Christenson (= Mormolyca); sect. Trigonae Christenson (= Sauvetrea); and sect. Urceolatae Christenson (= Christensonella). One nomenclatural novelty at sp. rank is pertinent to Costa Rica, viz., Maxillaria leptopus Schuit. & M. W. Chase, based on Cryptocentrum gracilipes Schltr., which was considered a synonym of C. lehmannii (Rchb. f.) Garay in the Manual Orchidaceae treatment (2003)—and, presumably, by Molinari-Novoa as well. Two of Molinari-Novoa's combinations succumb to synonymy: Maxillaria fumea (Bogarín & Pupulin) Molinari, synonymized under M. aureoglobula Christenson, as according to the author of the latter name [see under "Christenson," this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(2), Apr. 2011]; and Maxillaria kellyana Mayta & Molinari, synonymized under M. lineolata (Fenzl) Molinari [the basionym of which has long been considered a synonym of Mormolyca ringens (Lindl.) Schltr., with which M. kellyana is homotypic]. These authors likewise neglect to validate a combination in Maxillaria for Trigonidium seemannii Rchb. f. (see our comments under the "Molinari-Novoa" entry), which they list in synonymy under M. egertoniana (Bateman ex Lindl.) Molinari. Under the heading "Incertae sedis," they suggest (among other things) that both Maxillaria cobanensis Schltr. and M. muscoides J. T. Atwood are misplaced in sect. Erectae (or the genus Maxillariella), and would be more appropriately classed in sects. Maxillaria and Camaridium, respectively.
This work is invaluable as a nomenclator, or compendium of all the 634 accepted sp. names in Maxillaria sensu lato, organized according to sections and with synonymy indicated at all levels. A revised description of the genus is provided, together with a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to sections. The brief introductory portion explains and defends the authors' classification, and includes a cladogram and table of equivalent names at generic and sectional ranks.
Silva, C., C. Snak, A. S. Schnadelbach, C. van den Berg & R. P. Oliveira. 2015. Phylogenetic relationships of Echinolaena and Ichnanthus within Panicoideae (Poaceae) reveal two new genera of tropical grasses. Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 93: 212–233.
Both Echinolaena and Ichnanthus emerge as polyphyletic, with respect to their current circumscriptions, in these analyses. "In order to make them monophyletic," two new genera are proposed (the authors appear to give no consideration to a lumping alternative). We are on safe ground with Echinolaena, as E. gracilis Swallen, the only Costa Rican representative of the genus, groups with the type sp. But Ichnanthus is another matter: of the six spp. recorded from Costa Rica, three will be lost to one of the new genera, Hildaea C. Silva & R. P. Oliveira (the name of which honors Brazilian agrostologist Hilda Maria Longhi-Wagner). These are: Ichnanthus nemorosus (Sw.) Döll, I. pallens (Sw.) Munro ex Benth., and I. tenuis (J. Presl) Hitchc. & Chase—precisely the three commonest spp. in Costa Rica!— for all of which combinations in Hildaea are validated in the names of "C. Silva & R. P. Oliveira" [a similar combination is also validated, somewhat speculatively, for Ichnanthus pallens var. majus (Nees) Stieber, a taxon that was not accepted in the Manual and not even mentioned in Flora mesoamericana]. As for our remaining three Ichnanthus spp., I. calvescens (Nees ex Trin.) Döll, I. nemoralis (Schrad.) Hitchc. & Chase, and I. panicoides P. Beauv. all occupy the same clade as the generic type sp. (which happens to be I. panicoides) and are thus safe. We will ignore the other new genus, as it harbors no spp. known to occur in Costa Rica. Revised descriptions and distribution summaries are presented for the genera addressed in this paper, together with a dichotomous and indented key to distinguish them "from other genera of Panicoideae with rachilla appendages." Echinolaena is now "restricted to the species bearing inflorescences composed of a single unilateral raceme, main axis ending in a sterile prolongation, spikelets laterally compressed, and an upper anthecium with long scars"; Hildaea to "species with paniculate inflorescences, main axis ending in a single spikelet, spikelets laterally compressed, and an upper anthecium with short scars"; and Ichnanthus to "species with paniculate inflorescences, main axis ending in a single spikelet, spikelets usually laterally compressed..., and an upper anthecium with wings." Somewhat cryptically, the authors comment that "the phylogenetic placement of...Panicum venezuelae is still uncertain and needs to be further investigated..." This comes off as a gratuitous observation, since Panicum venezuelae Hack. [recently discovered in Costa Rica; see The Cutting Edge 14(4): 3, Oct. 2007] was not even included in this study.
Sobral, M., F. F. Mazine & A. Giaretta. 2015. Correction: "A note on Eugenia maritima and Myrcia polyantha (Myrtaceae)". Phytoneuron 2015-54: 1–2.
In which the authors "fulfill the unpleasant and embarrassing obligation of admitting" their "wrong interpretation" and restore "the valid names for the species considered." For further enlightenment, see under "Sobral" et al., this column, in our last issue. Suffice it to say that the name Eugenia acapulcensis Steud. prevails for a sp. that is well-known in Costa Rica.
Su, H.-J., J.-M. Hu, F. E. Anderson, J. P. Der & D. L. Nickrent. 2015. Phylogenetic relationships of Santalales with insights into the origins of holoparasitic Balanophoraceae. Taxon 64: 491–506.
Balanophoraceae are shown to be diphyletic, with three Old World, southern hemisphere genera sister to Loranthaceae. These are removed to a separate family, Mystropetalaceae. Other than to reduce the overall size of the family, this action has no consequences for the Costa Rican members of Balanophoraceae.
Sunojkumar, P. & A. K. Pradeep. 2015. Salvia misella (Lamiaceae)—a new record for Asia from the southern Western Ghats of India. Phytotaxa 230: 281–286.
In the Manual Lamiaceae treatment by Amy Pool (MO), Salvia misella Kunth was indicated as ranging from Mexico south to Peru. And while that may stand as a definitive expression of its native distribution, evidently the sp. has been introduced in disparate regions throughout the tropics. These authors document the occurrence of S. misella in south India, but also cite previous reports from the southeastern United States, the Antilles, central Africa, New Guinea, and Australia. So annotate your copy, and take note also of alleged (i.e., unvouchered) Indian records for certain other spp., e.g., Chloris barbata Sw. and Sporobolus indicus (L.) R. Br. (Poaceae).
Szlachetko, D. L. & M. Kolanowska. 2015. Notes on the generic delimitation within the Brassia-alliance with description of a new Mesospinidium species (Orchidaceae-Vandoideae-Oncidieae) from Colombia. Phyton (Horn) 55: 121–130.
Splitters to the bitter end, these authors continue to buck the international powers-that-be, rejecting in this case the recent submergence of Ada and Mesospinidium into Brassia [see under "Chase," this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(2), Apr. 2011] preparatory to their description of the new sp. mentioned in the title. A short discussion and "Key to the genera of Brassia-clade" conjure all the morphological characters (rather few, in fact) that have traditionally been employed to define these concepts. The only surprise is that no additional genera are proposed!
Thomas, J. R. 2015. Revision of Dichanthelium sect. Lanuginosa (Poaceae). Phytoneuron 2015-50: 1–58.
On the basis of "phenetic analysis, principal components analysis, and pair-wise t-tests of character states that were conducted with 285 specimens using 32 morphological characters," 16 spp. are discriminated in the titular section. These are restricted to the New World (as is the genus itself), mostly to North America, with only Dichanthelium acuminatum (Sw.) Gould & C. A. Clark extending as far south as Costa Rica. Although "many of the entities" that had been subsumed within the D. acuminatum complex "are here interpreted to represent distinct species," evidently only the sp. corresponding to the type specimen is represented in Costa Rica. So there is no significant change for us, except that this author foregoes the recognition of infraspecific taxa for D. acuminatum, meaning that Costa Rican material need no longer be qualified as belonging to the autonymic var. (as was done in Manual Vol. 3). Features technical descriptions at all ranks, a combined dichotomous (and indented) key to spp. and subspp., full synonymy and typology, distribution summaries, representative specimen citations, discussions, and distribution maps. There are no indices. The introductory part focuses on taxonomic history and (especially) the methodology and results of the statistical analyses. There are plenty of graphs and charts, but just one actual illustration, depicting "the four ligule types and the four pubescence types found within section Lanuginosa."
Thulin, M. & S. Phillips. 2015. The identity of Pennisetum longistylum (Poaceae). Willdenowia 45: 173–175.
A few issues ago, we reported that an IAPT committee had declined to recommend the conservation of Pennisetum clandestinum Hochst. ex Chiov. against P. longistylum Hochst. ex A. Rich. (Poaceae) because their supposed taxonomic synonymy had been provisionally refuted [see under "Applequist," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(2), Apr. 2015]. Meaning that the name Cenchrus clandestinum (Hochst. ex Chiov.) Morrone would prevail, even without conservation, as the accepted name for a well-known weed (treated under Pennisetum in Manual Vol. 3) that thrives in the Costa Rican uplands. For those who may be interested (it is really tangential to our interests), here is the final(?) word: Pennisetum longistylum is revealed as "a rare hybrid," involving Cenchrus clandestinum and C. longisetus M. C. Johnst. (formerly Pennisetum villosum R. Br. ex Fresen.), that is "only known from a few gatherings from the highlands of Ethiopia and Eritrea." The new combination Cenchrus ×longistylus (Hochst. ex A. Rich.) Thulin & S. M. Phillips is validated, and lectotypes are designated for the names of the two parent spp.
Tripp, E. A. & D. M. Koenemann. 2015. Nomenclatural synopsis of Sanchezia (Acanthaceae), fifty years since last treated. Novon 24: 213–221.
The genus Sanchezia is largely South American, though with a few spp. well-known in cultivation. Of the latter, Sanchezia parvibracteata Sprague & Hutch. is a familiar sight in Costa Rica, planted and occasionally escaped, as is also (perhaps) S. oblonga Ruiz & Pav. Thus, the genus will need to be treated in full for the Manual. This source provides bibliographic citations and typology for all the 55 spp. (and one form) accepted, as well as their indicated synonyms. Lectotypes are newly designated for 10 names (including S. oblonga, one of its synonyms, and a synonym of S. parvibracteata). Occasional discussions are concerned mainly with typification issues.
Walter, J., T. Vekslyarska & C. Dobeš. 2015. Flow cytometric, chromosomal and morphometric analyses challenge current taxonomic concepts in the Portulaca oleracea complex (Portulacaeae [sic], Caryophyllales). Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 179: 144–156.
Like that of Chenopodium album L. (see under "Ohri," this column), the complex centered on Portulaca oleracea L. (Portulacaceae) is beset by many taxonomic difficulties, including "the syndrome of annual life form, autogamous breeding system (inbreeding lines), high phenotypic plasticity, hybridization and variation in ploidy..." The group has variously been "considered as a single polymorphic species" (e.g., in the Manual, and other general floristic and taxonomic works) or "classified into several subspecies and mircospecies" (particularly by authors with a more agronomic bent). The present authors conclude that their "combined karyological and morphological data" support "treating the P. oleracea complex (provisionally at least) as a single polymorphic species..." This accords substantially with the view expressed in the Manual Portulacaceae treatment by José González, with the notable exception of Portulaca nicaraguensis (Danin & H. G. Baker) Danin (the basionym of which was cited as a synonym of P. oleracea by José) and (perhaps) P. impolita (Danin & H. G. Baker) Danin. These taxa (or at least P. nicaraguensis) deviate "in base chromosome number and monoploid genome size," and exhibit "distinct seed features," the "most prominent being the waxy cover of epidermal cells, albeit not existing on all seeds." We have no idea at the moment what P. nicaraguensis looks like or what its distribution may be, but its epithet suggests the strong possibility that it may occur in Costa Rica, and two Costa Rican specimens (both from the Río Tempisque basin) are so determined (at subsp. rank) in TROPICOS (presumably by their collector, Garrett E. Crow). Portulaca impolita is an even greater mystery.
Will, M., N. Schmalz & R. Classen-Bockhoff. 2015. Towards a new classification of Salvia s.l.: (re)establishing the genus Pleudia Raf. Türk Bot. Derg. 39: 693–707.
While the conclusions of this study have no direct or immediate impact on Costa Rican (or even New World) floristics, they may be a harbinger of future developments. It has been known for more than a decade that the vast genus Salvia, as traditionally circumscribed, in non-monophyletic, with several much smaller genera embedded therein [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 11(4): 14, Oct. 2004]. According to the present paper, these nested genera number five, and are all mono- or oligospecific (with a combined total of only about 14 spp.); just two, Perovskia and Rosmarinus, are within the public realm of consciousness, and several spp. have combinations already available in Salvia. Despite these considerations, the authors opt to embark on the splitting option, on the grounds that "Salvia is already highly heterogeneous in species distribution, morphology, and chormosome number." They proceed, on somewhat of a trial basis, by granting generic status under the name Pleudia Raf. to an Old World assemblage of about 15 spp. (none of which is even cultivated in Costa Rica, as far as we can tell), for which a formal genus description is provided and all the "necessary" new combinations validated. It will be interesting to see how (not to mention if) this plays out, and what may be the eventual consequences for the Mesoamerican spp. presently accommodated in Salvia.
Yesilyurt, J. C., T. Barbará, H. Schneider, S. Russell, A. Culham & M. Gibby. 2015. Identifying the generic limits of the Cheilanthoid genus Doryopteris. Phytotaxa 221: 101–122.
Analysis of cpDNA sequence data suggests that Doryopteris (Pteridaceae) is best divided into three smaller genera, a change that is effected herein. The three genera are distinguished by means of a dichotomous key, and each is provided with full synonymy and typology, a technical description, a distribution summary, "Notes," and a list of spp. From a Costa Rican perspective, change is negligible, since the only sp. recorded from the country, Doryopteris palmata (Willd.) J. Sm., happens to be the generic type. Indeed, both of the segregate genera (one of which required a new combination) are endemic to South America (mainly Brazil). Numerous spp. of still unresolved taxonomic disposition are appended as "Incertae sedis."
Zhang, L., C. J. Rothfels, A. Ebihara, E. Schuettpelz, T. Le Péchon, P. Kamau, H. He, X.-M. Zhou, J. Prado, A. Field, G. Yatskievych, X.-F. Gao & L.-B. Zhang. 2015. A global plastid phylogeny of the brake fern genus Pteris (Pteridaceae) and related genera in the Pteridoideae. Cladistics 31: 406–423.
The results of this manifold study of greatest relevance to our work are the demonstrations that "Jamesonia is paraphyletic with respect to a monophyletic Eriosorus," and that Neurocallis is nested in Pteris. These conclusions have, of course, already been embraced by previous workers, and implemented nomenclaturally [see, especially, under "Christenhusz," this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(3), Jul. 2012], with Eriosorus having been sunk into Jamesonia and Neurocallis into Pteris. The present authors are on board with the latter maneuver, but balk at combining Eriosorus and Jamesonia, as their results suggest that "simply transferring J. scammaniae A. F. Tryon to Eriosorus would make both genera monophyletic..." (and, we suspect, undefinable morphologically). However, they acknowledge that their taxon sampling was relatively small, and prefer to await "larger sampling of both taxa and characters" before arriving at a resolution of the problem.
Zona, S. 2015. The correct gender of Schinus (Anacardiaceae). Phytotaxa 222: 75–77.
It is correctly feminine, the author argues cogently, largely on the basis of botanical tradition (or the lack thereof) and the age-old pattern of using feminine generic names for trees. Linnaeus, who validated the genus name in 1753, simultaneously coined six sp. epithets, but frustratingly, all were "either invariant in gender or nouns in apposition." The author maintains that "usage has been so variable" since that time "that one can argue no single tradition holds sway." He cites numerous examples for the usage of masculine or feminine gender—or both!—the earliest being that of Sprengel (1825), who opted for feminine. One might quibble mildly with this—at least three other authors prior to Sprengel used masculine gender, according to TROPICOS—but there would be nothing to be gained by doing so. Feminine gender is fine by us, so we'll sign onto the consensus, despite having grappled with this issue briefly, while editing the Manual Anacardiaceae treatment, and settling on masculine. In any event, the issue is a minor one for Costa Rican floristics: just two spp. of Schinus are recorded from the country, both exclusively in cultivation, and of these only S. terebinthifolia Raddi is caught up in this debate (the epithet of S. molle L. being, counterintuitively, a noun in apposition).
Zúñiga, J. D. 2015. Phylogenetics of Sabiaceae with emphasis on Meliosma based on nuclear and chloroplast data. Syst. Bot. 40: 761–775.
The results of this study portray the oligospecific South American genus Ophiocaryon as "nested within Meliosma, although monophyly of the latter cannot be rejected." Perhaps it is more illuminating to express the situation from the opposite perspective: Melisoma is diphyletic, with the peculiarly disjunct (Mexico and China) M. alba (Schltdl.) Walp. sister to Ophiocaryon. The author suggests that "the most sensible" taxonomic resolution of this situation "would be to transfer M. alba to a new genus rather than including Ophiocaryon in Meliosma." Again, there is the matter of perspective: why not simply transfer Meliosma alba to Ophiocaryon? The author does not explicitly consider this option, but seems to imply it by stating that "it would be ideal to have more evidence bear on the question of how Ophiocaryon and M. alba are related to each other before any taxonomic changes take place." Significantly, this study corroborates the monophyly of M. alba, a hypothesis not previously tested The infrageneric classification of Meliosma is also addressed, though it is not of interest to us.
Zuntini, A. R., C. M. Taylor & L. G. Lohmann. 2015. Problematic specimens turn out to be two undescribed species of Bignonia (Bignoniaceae). PhytoKeys 56: 7–18.
Of course, we are talking here about Bignonia in its recently bloated (to include Clytostoma, Cydista, Mussatia, and Phryganocydia) circumscription [see under "Lohmann," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(3), Jul. 2014], not the monospecific, North American genus we grew up with. With the addition of the two new spp. described in this paper, the new Bignonia boasts a total of 31 spp. Only one of the new spp., Bignonia cararensis Zuntini, is of interest to us, the other being South American. Paradoxically, the description of B. cararensis entails the net loss of a sp. from the Costa Rican flora, as it conflates flowering and fruiting material that had been treated under two different names—Bignonia lilacina (A. H. Gentry) L. G. Lohmann and B. pterocalyx (Sprague ex Urb.) L. G. Lohmann, respectively—in the most recent Manual Bignoniaceae draft by Francisco Morales (UBT) and Quírico Jiménez. Indeed, the Costa Rican specimens involved stood as the only Mesoamerican records for both spp., which may once again be characterized as confined to South America. As for Bignonia cararensis, it is a Costa Rican endemic, most similar to the South American B. uleana (Kraenzl.) L. G. Lohmann, and still known by just four collections, all from Parque Nacional Carara. Illustrated with a composite line drawing.