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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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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.

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.

Anderberg, A. A., B. Ståhl, & M. Källersjö. 1998. Phylogenetic relationships in the Primulales inferred from rbcL sequence data. Pl. Syst. Evol. 211: 93--102.

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."

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 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.

de Nevers, G. & M. H. Grayum. 1998. Notes on Geonoma in Mesoamerica. Principes 42: 94--103.

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.

Dressler, R. L. 1998. Orchids of Mesoamerica 2, Cranichidinae. Bol. Inst. Bot. Univ. Guadalajara 5: 69--85.

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).

Giulietti, A. M., R. A. Harley & S. Phillips. 1998. (1368) Proposal to change the type of Paepalanthus, nom. cons. (Eriocaulaceae). Taxon 47: 743--744.

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, we presume).

Gómez-Laurito, J. & N. Zamora. 1998. Deherainia lageniformis (Theophrastaceae), a new species from Costa Rica. Novon 8: 141--143.

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 line-drawing.

Harriman, N. A. 1998. (1357) Proposal to conserve the name Bidens (Asteraceae) with a conserved gender. Taxon 47: 485--486.

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.

Lorence, D. H. 1998. New species and combinations in Mesoamerican Randia (Rubiaceae: Gardenieae). Novon 8: 247--251.

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.

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.

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.

Morales, J. F. 1998 ['1997']. Una nueva especie y seis nuevas combinaciones en la Myrsinaceae de Costa Rica y Panamá. Phytologia 83: 109--112.

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. Sinopsis del género Lacmellea (Apocynaceae) en Mesoamérica, con una nueva especie de Costa Rica. Novon 8: 259--262.

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.

--. 1998. Three new species and a new combination in Vallesia (Apocynaceae). Novon 8: 263--264.

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.

Paclt, J. 1998. (1351) Proposal to amend the gender of Euonymus, nom. cons. (Celastraceae), to feminine. Taxon 47: 473--474.

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 intended?

Pupulin, F. 1997. Il gruppo Trichocentrum pfavii/The Trichocentrum pfavii group. Caesiana 8: 1--14.

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.

--. 1997. Una sinossi del genere Macroclinium (Orchidaceae: Oncidiinae)/A synopis of Macroclinium (Orchidaceae: Oncidiinae). Caesiana 9: 1--20.

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. 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 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.

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. 163: 1--50.

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.



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