Volume VI, Number 1, January 1999

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BIGNONIACEAE. Tynanthus croatianus A. H. Gentry becomes a former Panamanian endemic following collections by Francisco Morales and former parataxonomist Sary Rojas from the Carara Reserve and near Boruca, respectively, at 200--400 m.. Credit for the determination and thanks for the report go to Chico.

CANELLACEAE. Canellaceae!?!? One of co-PI Barry Hammel's trademark leaps of the imagination has resulted in this most unexpected identification of a mystery tree recently collected by Reinaldo Aguilar on the Península de Osa. Reinaldo's material, in fruiting condition, had been puzzling all of us since the Taller de Plantas sessions last summer, when families such as Annonaceae and Ebenaceae were considered and rejected. If this new identification proves correct, as appears virtually certain, this would be the first Mesoamerican record for the family. Although the generic affinity of Reinaldo's collection remains conjectural, suspicion centers on the monotypic, Caribbean Pleodendron and the oligotypic, South American Cinnamodendron. In either case, ours (noteworthy for its unusually large fruits) would figure to be a new sp. Only flowers are needed!

DIOSCOREACEAE. A collection made in 1977 by MO Araceae stalwart Thomas B. Croat has been identified by specialist Oswaldo Téllez (MEXU) as Dioscorea composita Hemsl., not otherwise known from south of El Salvador (annotate your copy of Flora mesoamericana!). Tom's specimen comes from 850 m elevation near Zarcero, Prov. Alajuela.

GROSSULARIACEAE. According to colleague Francisco Morales, Phyllonoma latiscuspis (Turcz.) Engl., sometimes regarded as a synonym of P. ruscifolia Willd. ex Schult., is widely distributed in the Cordilleras de Guanacaste and Tilarán. This sp. was previously known only from Mexico to Honduras.

LEMNACEAE. A generous, as yet unmounted collection prepared in 1982 by Luis Diego Gómez proves to be the first record of Spirodela punctata (G. Mey.) C. H. Thomps. for the entire Mesoamerican region, between Texas and Colombia (as far as we are able to establish). The material was gathered at 1700--1800 m elevation (the highest station for the family in Costa Rica) in the Candelaria region, south of San José, in Prov. Cartago. Costa Rica can now boast all three spp. of Spirodela. The native range of the cosmopolitan S. punctata is supposedly limited to the southern hemisphere and east Asia, although it has been widely introduced elsewhere, e.g., in North America, Europe, and North Africa. The status of the Costa Rican population is entirely ambiguous.

MALVACEAE. Contributor Paul Fryxell (TEX) reports five country records, to be added to his submitted Manual treatment. Abutilon purpusii Standl., formerly known only from Mexico and Guatemala, has now been collected from 1900 m elevation on Cerro de La Muerte, while the South American A. striatum Dicks. ex Lindl. is vouchered from 1200 m in the Cerros de Escazú. The latter sp., the "flowering maple" of the horticultural trade, is presumably naturalized in Costa Rica. A specimen collected by veteran parataxonomist Ulises Chavarría in Parque Nacional Palo Verde is the first Central American record for Allosidastrum interruptum (Balb. ex DC.) Krapov., Fryxell & D. M. Bates, otherwise known only from western Mexico and the Santa Marta region of Colombia. Parataxonomist Marcos Moraga's collection of Malvaviscus achanioides (Turcz.) Fryxell, from 1700--1845 m elevation on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca, is the first from south of Honduras. Finally, Pavonia corymbosa (Sw.) Willd., recently segregated by Fryxell from P. paniculata Cav., is a taxonomic rather than a geograpical leap; a less inclusive P. paniculata also occurs in Costa Rica.

THYMELAEACEAE. Daphnopsis hammelii Barringer & Nevling may be recorded as new to Costa Rica, but there is a tradeoff; see under "Treatments Recently Received" for further details.