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The Cutting Edge
Volume XXVII, Number 4, October 2020
News and Notes | Leaps and Bounds
| Germane Literature | Season's Pick | Annotate your copy
COMMELINACEAE. In couplet 8 of the key to genera, the first lead begins as follows: “Hojas anchamente >1.5 cm de ancho, lanceoladas.” Clearly, that phraseology features either an inane redundancy or a misplaced word. A quick perusal of the description of the genus involved (Aneilema) confirms the latter: the statement should be corrected to read “Hojas >1.5 cm de ancho, anchamente lanceoladas” (nowadays we would prefer “ampliamente lanceoladas,” but that is another issue). This error—unperceived for 17 years!—was likely caused by a faulty transposition of the width measurement and the shape description.
COSTACEAE. The provisional name “Costus spec A” was cited as a “sensu” synonym of C. curvibracteatus Maas and attributed to “Maas (1972: 207).” But we somehow got the page number wrong: correct this to “Maas (1972: 124).” Errors of this sort are almost always attributable to the Manual editors, not the authors of family treatments.
RUBIACEAE. This entry is really a supplement to our review [see under “Taylor,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 27(3), Jul. 2020] of a paper dealing with various taxonomic and nomenclatural issues in the genus Faramea. As pointed out to us by the first author of that paper, we overlooked one critical detail: Faramea glandulosa Poepp. & Endl., in the sense of the Manual Rubiaceae treatment, has ceased to exist in Costa Rica. That name (based on a Peruvian type) is now restricted to “plants from the central and western Amazon basin.” Populations from the Mesoamerican region and northwestern Colombia that had previously been included in F. glandulosa are now referred to Faramea multiflora A. Rich.—recognized as a separate entity in the Manual—which is reinterpreted as comprising “two somewhat well-marked forms” in the region. Field studies have suggested that the “supposedly distinct morphological features” of these forms “vary continuously within local populations…and that the two forms are sympatric.” Put us down as mildly skeptical. Accepting this new taxonomy, the names Faramea hondurae Standl. and F. stenura Standl., both cited as synonyms of F. glandulosa in the Manual, must now be transferred to the synonymy of F. multiflora (as implied in the paper under consideration, but not formally effected). The net result of all this is that Costa Rican sp. total for Faramea (and Rubiaceae) is reduced by one.
In our penultimate issue [see “Meliaceae,” under “Leaps and Bounds,” in The Cutting Edge 27(2), Apr. 2020], we reported that David Kenfack (US), who contributed the Manual treatment of the genus Carapa (Meliaceae), “never published his 2008 thesis (which contains a revision of the genus),” and that, “as far as we know, the Manual remains the only effective and readily available publication in which his careful and informed distinction between C. guianensis and C. nicaraguensis has been revealed.” As it turns out, those statements were not entirely factual. Said author did indeed publish a “synoptic revision” of Carapa that was reviewed in these very pages [see under “Kenfack,” this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(2), Apr. 2012], and in which the two spp. mentioned previously were distinguished in all their glory. Sorry, David!