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The Cutting Edge Volume V, Number 4, October 1998
News and Notes | Recent Treatments | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature
Al-Shehbaz, I. A. & R. A. Price. 1998. Delimitation of
the genus Nasturtium (Brassicaceae). Novon 8: 124--126.
Anderberg, A. A., B. Ståhl, & M. Källersjö.
1998. Phylogenetic relationships in the Primulales inferred from
rbcL sequence data. Pl. Syst. Evol. 211: 93--102.
Various molecular data support the notion that Nasturtium
is distinct from Rorippa, in which it has most recently
been included, and is more closely related to Cardamine.
Morphological distinctions from the two last-mentioned genera
are provided, as well as a key to all five spp. here ascribed
to Nasturtium. The good news is that commercial watercress,
both cultivated and naturalized in Costa Rica, may henceforth
be called Nasturtium officinale R. Br., in place of the
less convenient Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum (L.) Hayek.
Barneby, R. C. 1998. Silk tree, guanacaste, monkey's earring:
a generic system for the synandrous Mimosaceae of the Americas.
Part III. Calliandra. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 74(3): 1--223.
The results of this preliminary study suggest that "both
Myrsinaceae and Primulaceae are likely to be paraphyletic,"
and "that rather dramatic taxonomic changes will be necessary
to obtain strictly monophyletic groups." Although various
approaches are, naturally, possible, the authors conclude that
the best "would be to merge the drupaceous core group Myrsinaceae
s. str. [i.e., most or all Mesoamerican genera] into the Primulaceae."
However, they decline to tackle a formal reclassification at this
time, citing a need for "more detailed analyses."
de Nevers, G. & M. H. Grayum. 1998. Notes on Geonoma
in Mesoamerica. Principes 42: 94--103.
The first part in this series [see
The Cutting Edge 3(3): 3--4, Jul. 1996] dealt with Abarema,
Albizia, and several smaller, closely related genera. The second part
[Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 74(2): 1--149, 1997], which somehow got by us,
treated Pithecellobium s. str., Cojoba, and Zygia. Here,
Calliandra (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) is recognized as an exclusively New
World genus of 132 spp., ranging from New Mexico to Chile. Zapoteca
is excluded, as are all African and Asian spp. that have customarily
been referred to Calliandra (see, e.g., The plant-book).
The genus is subdivided into five sections and 14 series, all
newly described; 36 new spp. and varieties are also here validated.
Diversity is highest in Mexico and South America, with relatively
few spp. in southern Central America. Just six taxa are definitively
attributed to Costa Rica as indigenous elements: Calliandra
rubescens (M. Martens & Galeotti) Standl., C. goldmanii
Barneby, C. trinervia Benth. var. arborea (Standl.)
Barneby comb. nov., C. tergemina (L.) Benth. var. emarginata
(Willd.) Barneby comb. nov., C. brenesii Standl. (our only
endemic), and C. houstoniana (Mill.) Standl. var. calothyrsus
(Meisn.) Barneby comb. nov. The three varieties in the foregoing
list were all previously treated as full spp., while Costa Rican
material of C. goldmanii had apparently been misidentified
as C. bijuga Rose, a similar, Mexican sp. Calliandria
riparia Pittier is recorded as cultivated in Costa Rica. The
little-known Calliandra grandifolia P. H. Allen, of the
Golfo Dulce region, is here listed under "Species Incertae
vel Minus Cognitae," and described as "closely related
to C. brenesii, but leaves supposedly larger."
A serious criticism of this work is that exsiccatae citations
are omitted (though there is an index to exsiccatae). Furthermore,
it is clear that virtually no recent (Manual project) Costa Rican
material was seen. As a result, Calliandra magdalenae (DC.)
Benth. and C. rhodocephala Donn. Sm., two spp. now well
established as indigenous, are not recorded for Costa Rica, nor
are two commonly cultivated spp., C. haematocephala Hassk.
and C. surinamensis Benth. All four were reported by Zamora
in 1991 (Brenesia 36: 63--149). Features regionally organized
keys to spp., distribution maps for most spp., detailed line-drawings
of 34 taxa, and an index to scientific names.
Dressler, R. L. 1998. Orchids of Mesoamerica 2, Cranichidinae.
Bol. Inst. Bot. Univ. Guadalajara 5: 69--85.
Two new species of Geonoma (Arecaceae) are described, of
which just one concerns us. A single Costa Rican collection of
the otherwise Panamanian Geonoma monospatha de Nevers is
cited, from 1500 m elevation in the vicinity of Cerro Turrubares,
Prov. San José [ed. note: several other collections are
now known from the same region]. The new sp. is compared with
the South American Geonoma stricta (Poit.) Kunth. Among
the other "notes" is a reinterpretation of the type
of Geonoma edulis H. Wendl. ex Spruce, previously believed
to represent G. interrupta (Ruiz & Pav.) Mart., as
corresponding to the montane sp. known most commonly in Costa
Rica as Geonoma seleri Burret. Geonoma edulis predates
G. seleri, but not Geonoma undata Klotzsch, the
name applied to this taxon in Andrew Henderson's (1995)
Field guide to the palms of the Americas.
Giulietti, A. M., R. A. Harley & S. Phillips. 1998. (1368)
Proposal to change the type of Paepalanthus, nom. cons.
(Eriocaulaceae). Taxon 47: 743--744.
Various taxonomic and nomenclatural problems in the genera Baskervilla,
Cranichis, Ponthieva, and Solenocentrum are
discussed, and six new spp. are described. Two of these novelties,
both known only from their types, are attributed to Costa Rica:
Cranichis talamancana Dressler, from 2350--2450 m elevation
in the Valle del Silencio near the Panamanian border, is most
closely related to C. saccata Ames; Solenocentrum maasii
Dressler, from 1800 m elevation near Las Alturas in the Coto Brus
region, is characterized as "distinctly more slender"
than S. costaricense Schltr. Both are illustrated with
detailed line-drawings of flowers. Ponthieva formosa Schltr.,
considered most recently a synonym of P. brenesii Schltr.,
is here neotypified and recognized as distinct from, and much
more common than, the latter. A key is provided to separate P.
brenesii, P. formosa, and P. maculata Lindl.,
three confusingly similar spp. all occurring in Costa Rica (tentatively,
in the case of P. maculata).
Gómez-Laurito, J. & N. Zamora. 1998. Deherainia
lageniformis (Theophrastaceae), a new species from Costa Rica.
Novon 8: 141--143.
Recent studies suggest that the large (ca. 485 spp., fide The
Plant-Book), neotropical genus Paepalanthus must be
broken up. The generic name, according to its presently conserved
type, would apply to very few spp., "leaving the large remainder
without an accepted name." Maintenance of this type "would
cause a major nomenclatural upheaval in the Eriocaulaceae";
selection of a new type would obviate "the publication of
about 750 new combinations" (counting infraspecific taxa,
Harriman, N. A. 1998. (1357) Proposal to conserve the name
Bidens (Asteraceae) with a conserved gender. Taxon
The name Deherainia lageniformis Gómez-Laur. &
N. Zamora is now available for a novelty first reported in our
maiden issue [The Cutting Edge 1(1): 10, Jan. 1994]. Deherainia
comprises just 3---4 spp., known previously only from southern
Mexico to Honduras (and Cuba, if the monotypic Neomezia
is included). The new sp. is a Costa Rican endemic, restricted
to the Cordilleras de Guanacaste (Pacific slope) and Tilarán
(Atlantic slope) at 80--1000 m elevation. It is most similar to
D. matudae Lundell, but differs most strikingly in its
very large, flask-shaped fruits. Illustrated with a fine composite
Lorence, D. H. 1998. New species and combinations in Mesoamerican
Randia (Rubiaceae: Gardenieae). Novon 8: 247--251.
Bidens is correctly masculine, and has been so treated
by some recent workers. However, Linnaeus and most subsequent
authors regarded it as feminine, and the majority of existing
epithets are in that gender. Thus, conservation of Bidens
as feminine is here proposed.
Monro, A. K. & P. J. Stafford. 1998. A synopsis of the
genus Echinopepon (Cucurbitaceae: Sicyeae), including three
new taxa. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 85: 257--272.
Randia panamensis Standl., treated as a synonym of R.
armata (Sw.) DC. in John D. Dwyer's (1980) Flora
of Panama Rubiaceae account (Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 67:
1--522), is here newly combined as R. armata subsp. panamensis
(Standl.) Lorence. This action consigns Costa Rican material of
R. armata to the autonymic subspecies. However, R. armata
subsp. panamensis, nominally restricted to Panama, is known
from the Bocas del Toro lowlands and the Península de Burica,
and should thus be expected in Costa Rica. Includes a key to the
two subspp., and comprehensive specimen citations for subsp. panamensis.
Morales, J. F. 1998 ['1997']. Una nueva especie y seis nuevas
combinaciones en la Myrsinaceae de Costa Rica y Panamá.
Phytologia 83: 109--112.
This New World genus of 18 spp. is centered on the Pacific slope
of Mexico. Three new combinations are here published and three
new spp. described, including Echinopepon micropaniculatus
A. K. Monro & Staff., known only from the type, collected
in the Guanacaste lowlands of Costa Rica. The only other sp. recorded
from Costa Rica is E. racemosus (Steud.) C. Jeffrey, the
most widespread sp. in the genus. Features a key to spp., distribution
maps, SEM micrographs of pollen, and holotype photos of the three
new spp. This being a synoptic treatment, descriptions are provided
only for the new spp., and specimen citations lack locality data
beyond province or state.
--. 1998. Sinopsis del género Lacmellea (Apocynaceae)
en Mesoamérica, con una nueva especie de Costa Rica. Novon
The new sp. is Ardisia glomeriflora J. F. Morales, endemic
to Costa Rica at ca. 400--600 m elevation on the Atlantic slope
of the Cordillera Central. It is compared with A. dodgei
Standl., of the Pacific slope. The "six new combinations"
are actually five, plus a new name. These replace names published
invalidly by Lundell (Phytologia 61: 62--68, 1986), according
to Art. 34.1 of the Code; i.e., they were explicitly not accepted
by the author, but "merely proposed in anticipation of the
future acceptance of the group concerned" (in this case,
Ardisia s. l., as opposed to Icacorea, Auriculardisia,
or any other of Lundell's numerous splinter genera). Although
not directly indicated here, the nomen novum Ardisia apodophylla
J. F. Morales replaces Lundell's illegitimate A. zarceroana.
--. 1998. Three new species and a new combination in Vallesia
(Apocynaceae). Novon 8: 263--264.
Four spp. are recognized from the region, with three of these
recorded from Costa Rica. The new sp. is Lacmella zamorae
J. F. Morales, dedicated to its discoverer, Manual co-PI Nelson
Zamora. This is an endemic sp., occurring at 700--1300 m elevation
on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca and in the
Fila Costeña. Our other spp. are L. panamensis (Woodson)
Markgr., widespread in the lowlands of both slopes, and L.
speciosa Woodson, from mid-elevations on both slopes of the
Cordillera de Talamanca. Features a key to all four spp., descriptions,
representative specimen citations, and a detailed line-drawing
of the new sp., rendered by the multitalented author himself.
Paclt, J. 1998. (1351) Proposal to amend the gender of
Euonymus, nom. cons.
(Celastraceae), to feminine. Taxon 47: 473--474.
Only the new combination is of interest to us, as it affects the
sole Costa Rican representative of the genus, heretofore called
Vallesia flexuosa Woodson. Vallesia aurantiaca (M.
Martens & Galeotti) J. F. Morales comb. nov., based on Neriandra
aurantiaca M. Martens & Galeotti (1844), has considerable
priority over both V. flexuosa (1937) and V. mexicana
Müll. Arg. (1859). The merger of the concepts previously
known as V. flexuosa and V. mexicana (the former
here synonymized without commentary) signifies the loss of another
ostensible Costa Rican endemic. No illustrations.
Pupulin, F. 1997. Il gruppo Trichocentrum pfavii/The
Trichocentrum pfavii group. Caesiana 8: 1--14.
The genus name is classically feminine, and was so regarded by
most early authors. However, Linnaeus treated it as masculine,
and many later authors have followed suit; thus, epithets exist
in both genders. Our question: why is a proposal for conservation
needed at all? The Code would appear to resolve the problem unequivocally;
see particularly Art. 62.1, Ex. 1, with respect to Rhamnus,
pronounced as "feminine, despite the fact that Linnaeus assigned
it masculine gender." Must every trivial issue now be appealed
to a committee? Why not let the Code do the job for which it was
--. 1997. Una sinossi del genere Macroclinium (Orchidaceae:
Oncidiinae)/A synopis of Macroclinium (Orchidaceae:
Oncidiinae). Caesiana 9: 1--20.
The group of three spp. centered on Trichocentrum pfavii
Rchb. f. (Orchidaceae) is defined by the presence of lateral,
erect lobes on the labellum. Two of the spp., T. dianthum
Pupulin & D. E. Mora and T. estrellense Pupulin &
J. B. García, are Costa Rican endemics, while T. pfavii
is known also from extreme western Panama. Includes a semipopular
discussion of the group, key to spp., full descriptions, representative
specimen citations, a distribution map, detailed line-drawings,
and color photos of living specimens. Fully bilingual, Italian/English.
Wiegrefe, S. J., K. J. Sytsma & R. D. Guries. 1998. The
Ulmaceae, one family or two? Evidence from chloroplast
DNA restriction site mapping. Pl. Syst. Evol. 210: 249--270.
This group of "some 38" spp. of smallish twig epiphytes
differs from Notylia (from which it was segregated in 1984)
primarily in having distichous, equitant leaves. The genus ranges
geographically from southern Mexico to Brazil, with centers of
diversity in Costa Rica and Peru (10 spp. each). Six of the Costa
Rican spp. are endemic: Macroclinium robustum Pupulin &
D. E. Mora, M. glicensteinii J. T. Atwood, M. generalense
Pupulin, M. doderoi D. E. Mora & Pupulin, M. confertum
Pupulin, and M. alleniorum Dressler & Pupulin. No keys
or sp. descriptions, but features a detailed discussion of taxonomic
history and morphology, a chart of geographic distribution, typology
and synonymy for all accepted spp., a list of "Excluded Species,"
two color photos of live plants, and several detailed line-drawings.
Wilson, L. D. & J. R. McCranie. 1998. The biogeography
of the subhumid forests of Middle America (Isthmus of Tehuantepec
to northwestern Costa Rica). Contr. Life Sci. Roy. Ontario Mus.
This work tests a recent hypothesis that Ulmaceae are diphyletic;
indeed, subfamilies Ulmoideae and Celtidoideae differ in an impressive
array of characters, here itemized. The conclusion of the cladistic
analysis is that Ulmaceae s. l. are not monophyletic, and that
two distinct families should be segregated: Ulmaceae s. str. (including
Ulmus and Ampelocera, among genera represented in
Costa Rica) and Celtidaceae (including Celtis, Lozanella,
and Trema), the former sister to the latter plus the rest
of the Urticales. Cannabaceae may be nested within Celtidaceae.
The placement of Ampelocera is novel; because of its drupaceous
fruits, it has generally been grouped with Celtis.
Here is one we've not seen (MO does not receive this periodical),
but it certainly does sound "germane," and we intend
to check it out. Thanks to William Burger (F) for alerting
us to this.