www.mobot.org Research Home | Search | Contact | Site Map  

North America
South America
General Taxonomy
Photo Essays
Training in Latin

Wm. L. Brown Center
Graduate Studies
Research Experiences
  for Undergraduates

Imaging Lab
MBG Press
Climate Change
Catalog Fossil Plants
Image Index
Rare Books

Res Botanica
All Databases
The Unseen Garden
What's New?
People at MO
Visitor's Guide
Jobs & Fellowships
Research Links
Site Map


Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

Main | Family List (MO) | Family List (INBio) | Cutting Edge
Draft Treatments | Guidelines | Checklist | Citing | Editors

The Cutting Edge

Volume VIII, Number 4, October 2001

News and Notes | Recent Treatments | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature | Season's Pick

Anderson, E. F. 2001. The cactus family. Timber Press, Portland, OR. 776 pp.

This is not a formal taxonomic monograph, but nonetheless a comprehensive and authoritative consideration of the entire Cactaceae, richly illustrated with color photographs, mostly taken in the wild. The main part of the volume is an encyclopedic treatment of all 125 genera and 1810 spp. of Cactaceae (as accepted by the author), in strict alphabetical sequence. Each genus entry features an informal discussion, generic synonymy, a brief formal description, and a distribution summary, followed by individual species entries. The latter include synonymy, plus a description and distribution statement. There are no keys anywhere in the book. Introductory chapters discuss morphology, ethnobotany, conservation, cultivation, and classification. In the back are a glossary and separate indices to scientific and common names. Designed to be “scientifically accurate and readable,“ this work succeeds on both counts, and will be a valuable reference for hobbyists and professional taxonomists alike.

Andersson, L. 2001. Margaritopsis (Rubiaceae, Psychotrieae) is a pantropical genus. Syst. Geogr. Pl. 71: 73–85.

The circumscription of tribe Psychotrieae and its component genera has long been problematic, but investigators keep chipping away (see also under Taylor, this column). With the tribal delimitation by now apparently more or less settled, the focus has shifted to the generic level. In this study, a cladistic analysis of nucleotide sequence variation in the rps16 intron of chloroplast DNA among 40 spp. of tribe Psychotrieae reveals one strongly supported, pantropical clade that the author suggests should be treated at generic rank. The oldest available name for such a genus would be Margaritopsis, heretofore restricted to three spp. of the Greater Antilles. Reinvigorated as here proposed, Margaritopsis “may comprise some 50 species,“ with ca. 25 in Africa, ca. 12 in New Caledonia and Fiji, ca. 10 in the Neotropics, and a few in Southeast Asia through New Guinea. Except for Margaritopsis s. str., all of the neotropical spp. have usually been classed in Psychotria.

The newly conceived Margaritopsis is well characterized by a combination of several rather obscure (and admittedly plesiomorphic) traits, which remain to be systematically evaluated over the very wide range of spp. in tribe Psychotrieae potentially involved. Partly for this reason, the author validates just three new combinations in Margaritopsis (for the type spp. of three genera newly synonymized). No new name is provided for what is, as far as we can tell, the only sp. of this group occurring in Costa Rica, Psychotria microdon (DC.) Urb., already recognized as anomalous in previous studies [see The Cutting Edge 6(4): 7–8, Oct. 1999]. Features a formal generic description with synonymy, various cladograms, a valuable summary of the history of both tribal and generic classification, and a discussion of classificatory options (specifically, as to why lumping was preferred over splitting).

Buitenhuis, A. G. & J. F. Veldkamp. 2001. Revision of Eremochloa (Gramineae—Andropogoneae—Rottboelliinae). Blumea 46: 399–420.

Eremochloa is a genus of 11 spp., restricted to South and Southeast Asia. One sp., E. ophiuroides (Munro) Hack., is widely cultivated as a lawn grass and has been recorded from Costa Rica (at the Jardín Botánico Wilson). Includes a generic description, key to spp., descriptions for all spp., with notes on distribution and habitat, drawings of spikelet details, a section on “Excluded or Doubtful Taxa,“ and an index to exsiccatae (but no formal specimen citations). Two new spp. and two new vars. are described, and one new name is validated; none of the novelties is relevant to us. The introductory section is mainly concerned with taxonomic history and nomenclatural details.

Cascante-Marín, A. & J. Gómez-Laurito. 2000. Las especies costarricenses del género Panopsis (Proteaceae). Brenesia 53: 17–27.

William Burger's 1983 Flora costaricensis treatment of Proteaceae (Fieldiana, Bot. n. s., 13: 8–14) accounted for just one sp. of Panopsis, under the name P. suaveolens (Klotzsch & H. Karst.) Pittier. The present authors embrace a less inclusive concept of P. suaveolens [see The Cutting Edge 1(3): 4, Jul. 1994] that entails the resurrection of the name Panopsis costaricensis Standl. (synonymized by Burger) for populations from Costa Rica and westernmost Panama. They are also able to triple Burger's Costa Rican sp. total for Panopsis, based on a revision of abundant material that has accumulated during the past decade (for the most part). The two new additions are Panopsis cinnamomea Pittier, previously known only from Venezuela, and P. mucronata Cuatrec., ranging southward to Peru. In Costa Rica, the former sp. is known by a single collection, from ca. 1500 m on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca [see The Cutting Edge 4(2): 2–3, Apr. 1997], while the latter has been much collected, especially in the Golfo Dulce region. Includes a key to the three Costa Rican spp., generous descriptions and discussions, comprehensive specimen citations, a distribution map, and black-and-white photos of herbarium specimens.

Crow, G. E. 2001. Utricularia myriocista (Lentibulariaceae) in Costa Rica: a new record for Central America. Rhodora 103: 227–232.

Utricularia myriocista A. St.-Hil. & Girard, a purple-flowered aquatic widely distributed in South America from Venezuela to Bolivia and northeastern Argentina, is reported from Central America for the first time. The seven Central American collections cited are from a single locale, a shallow pond surrounded by pineapple fields near Buenos Aires, in the southern Valle de El General, Costa Rica. Dating only from 1984, this material had been previously determined as U. purpurea Walter, a closely related and extremely similar North American sp. ranging south to Nicaragua. Other noteworthy angiosperm disjuncts from the same pond are enumerated, and the potential impact of a proposed hydroelectric dam [see The Cutting Edge 7(2): 1, Apr. 2000] is discussed. Features photographs from life of U. myriocista and U. purpurea, and a tabularized comparison of those sp. and U. cucullata A. St.-Hil. & Girard, another South American member of the same group.

Dorr, L. J. 2001. The identity of Westphalina A. Robyns & Bamps (Tiliaceae). Kew Bull. 56: 497–499.

The principal conclusions of this paper come as no surprise: that the monospecific Westphalina is a synonym of Mortoniodendron, with W. macrocarpa A. Robyns & Bamps a synonym of M. pentagonum (Donn. Sm.) Miranda. This we had guessed long ago. But we must admit to being taken aback by the author's cryptic parting comment: “Records in herbaria of M. pentagonum from Costa Rica are based on misidentifications.“ Misidentifications of what? We are certainly wide open to the suggestion that we've misapplied the name Mortoniodendron pentagonum to Costa Rican material, but what should we now call the species with very large, thick-walled fruits that is restricted (at least in Costa Rica) to the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca? This distinctive entity, represented by at least 10 collections, is clearly different from any other Costa Rican Mortoniodendron sp., and has no other name known to us. Perhaps the author intends to describe it as new.

Dressler, R. L. 2001. Two sobralias. Orchids 70: 750–751, 770.

A well-known ornamental Sobralia (Orchidaceae) with golden-lipped flowers, ranging along the Atlantic slope from Nicaragua to central Panama, has long been called either S. leucoxantha Rchb. f. or S. powellii Schltr. The latter name has been established as applying to a rather different sp. of central Panama. Now, examination of the type of S. leucoxantha (one of the two entities alluded to in the title) reveals that this name has also been misapplied; correctly, Sobralia leucoxantha is the oldest name for a more humble sp., of Costa Rica and Panama, heretofore known as S. macra Schltr. The flashier, golden-lipped sp., momentarily nameless, is here formally christened as Sobralia chrysostoma Dressler (the second entity of the title). No specimens are cited other than the type. Features fine close-up color photos of flowers of both S. chrysostoma and S. leucoxantha, by Kerry A. Dressler.

Giudice, G. E. 2001. Revisión del grupo Adiantum lunulatum (Pteridaceae–Pteridophyta) en América. Bol. Soc. Argent. Bot. 36: 131–140.

Nothing new for us here. The group referenced in the title is characterized by pinnate leaf-blades with petiolulate, flabellate to cuneate ultimate segments, with free veins. It is represented by just four spp. in the New World, of which only Adiantum deflectens Mart. and A. lunulatum Burm. f., both widespread, are recorded from Costa Rica. Includes a key to spp., synonymy and typology, a tabular comparison of the four spp. (but no formal descriptions), specimen citations (from a small range of herbaria), a distribution map, and some line-drawings and SEM micrographs.

Gottschling, M. & H. H. Hilger. 2001. Phylogenetic analysis and character evolution of Ehretia and Bourreria (Ehretiaceae, Boraginales) and their allies based on ITS1 sequences. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 123: 249–268.

“Ehretiaceae?“ Well, anyway, Bourreria seems to be okay, but (wouldn't you know it) Ehretia is paraphyletic. The authors' solution is to sink two satellite genera (neither occurring in Mesoamerica) into Ehretia. However, even if further splitting of Ehretia were the option of choice, we would be unaffected, because E. latifolia DC., the only sp. recorded from Costa Rica, belongs to the same clade as the generic type.

Lehnert, M., M. Mönnich, T. Pleines, A. Schmidt-Lebuhn & M. Kessler. 2001. The relictual fern genus Loxsomopsis. Amer. Fern J. 91: 13–24.

This article probably sets some kind of record for the ratio of authors to spp. in a traditional taxonomic revision. Loxsomopsis is the only New World representative of Loxomataceae, a family with just one other genus, Loxoma (restricted to the North Island of New Zealand). Four spp. have been described in Loxsomopsis, ranging in the mountains from Costa Rica to Bolivia. However, the characters used to separate them appear to vary independently, leading the authors to conclude that the genus is monotypic, with Loxsomopsis pearcei (Baker) Maxon the operative name. Thus we officially lose the ostensibly endemic L. costaricensis H. Christ. Features a sp. description, comprehensive specimen citations, two composite line-drawings, SEM spore micrographs, and a map. The introductory part embodies a detailed consideration of morphological variation in the genus, with remarks on taxonomy, geographic distribution, and ecology.

Linares, J. 2001. Nuevas especies del género Ateleia (Leguminosae: Papilionoideae) de México y Centroamérica. Anales Inst. Biol. Univ. Nac. Autón. México, Bot. 72: 85–114.

None of the novelties pertains to Costa Rica, leaving intact our complement of just two Ateleia spp. Useful to us is a key to all 18 spp. presently known from Mexico and Central America.

Lu B.–R., Ge S., Sang T., Chen J.-K. & Hong D.-Y. 2001. The current taxonomy and perplexity of the genus Oryza (Poaceae). Acta Phytotax. Sin. 39: 373–388.

Summarizes past treatments of this economically important genus and presents a revised version of the first author's recent (1999) system, recognizing 24 spp. A morphological key to spp. is here provided but, like the rest of the paper (abstract excepted), it is in Chinese.

Luer, C. A. 2001. Miscellaneous new species in the Pleurothallidinae. Revista Soc. Boliv. Bot. 3: 37–63.

Fifteen new spp. and one new combination are validated in subtribe Pleurothallidinae (Orchidaceae), four in Masdevallia and the rest in Pleurothallis. As befits the journal, most of these novelties are South American. Just one pertains to Costa Rica: Pleurothallis luis-diegoi Luer, known by a single collection from the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca at ca. 300 m elevation. Our newest endemic, dedicated to its principal collector Luis Diego Gómez, is a tiny, epiphytic sp. apparently most closely related to the Colombian P. cycecis Luer & R. Escobar. Illustrated with a detailed composite line-drawing.

Pupulin, F. 2001. Addenda orchidaceis quepoanis. Lankesteriana 1: 1–28.

The author's orchid florula of Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio [see The Cutting Edge 7(2): 12, Apr. 2000] is here retooled to cover a somewhat larger region, corresponding politically to the Cantón de Aguirre (Puerto Quepos and vicinity) in Prov. Puntarenas. Sixteen spp. are added, all fully described, keyed (where appropriate), vouchered, and illustrated with very fine composite line-drawings. Generic descriptions are provided for six genera not previously recorded from the area (Coeliopsis, Gongora, Hexisea, Prosthechea, Stanhopea, and Xylobium). One new sp. is described: Epidendrum montis-narae Pupulin & L. Sánchez (type from Cerro Nara), a member of the E. difforme Jacq. complex, compared most closely with E. hameri Hágsater & L. Sánchez of Nicaragua and northern Costa Rica.

This handsome new journal, edited to high standards by Carlos O. Morales (USJ) and Franco Pupulin (SEL/USJ), is the scientific organ of the Jardín Botánico Lankester, near Cartago. Lankesteriana mirrors Selbyana in being mainly devoted to original research on the systematics and ecology of Mesoamerican epiphytes, with an emphasis on orchids. We are indebted to Jorge Gómez-Laurito (USJ) for making us aware of this publication and for providing a copy of the maiden issue, underwritten by the Cleveland Botanical Garden.

--. 2001. New taxa in Costa Rican Lepanthes (Orchidaceae). Harvard Pap. Bot. 6: 289–294.
Two spp. and one subsp., all endemic, are here described as new. Lepanthes rafaeliana Pupulin, known by a single collection from ca. 2800 m elevation near the Continental Divide in the Cordillera de Talamanca, is not diagnosed in any way. Better characterized is L. spadarii Pupulin (correctly spadariae), from a single site (but several collections), at ca. 1600 m elevation on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca. Costa Rican material of Lepanthes johnsonii Ames, recorded only from Parque Nacional Tapantí, is distinguished as subsp. costaricensis Pupulin, characterized as having longer and wider lateral sepals than the autonymic subsp. (of Mexico and Guatemala). Illustrated with excellent composite line-drawings. The addition of two Lepanthes spp. to the flora brings the Costa Rican total for the genus to 93 spp., and our running total of new orchid spp. described from Costa Rica since the inception of this newsletter (1993) to 170 [including also Epidendrum montis-narae (see above), as well as Pleurothallis luis-diegoi and Sobralia chrysostoma (see under Luer and Dressler, respectively, this column)].

Radcliffe-Smith, A. 2001. Genera euphorbiacearum. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK. 455 pp.

This is a rigorous taxonomic treatment of the entire family Euphorbiaceae, with keys and generous formal descriptions at all levels down to genus. The genera are organized hierarchically, under six principal divisions (five subfamilies plus “incertae sedis“). The account is based primarily on an unpublished manuscript, by the late John Hutchinson, intended for the third volume of that author's The genera of flowering plants (terminated after the second volume). However, Hutchinson's infrafamilial classification system is abandoned in favor of a somewhat modified version of the more recent and widely accepted system of Grady L. Webster (DAV). Hippomaneae, the only tribe not finished by Hutchinson, is here contributed by Hans-Joachim Esser (HBG). Genus entries include synonymy, a distribution summary, and notes on classification and (irregularly) other details.

Song, B.-H., X.-Q. Wang, F.-Z. Li & D.-Y. Hong. 2001. Further evidence for paraphyly of the Celtidaceae from the chloroplast gene matK. Pl. Syst. Evol. 228: 107–115.

This study supports previous molecular work [see The Cutting Edge 5(4): 8, Oct. 1998] portraying the traditional Ulmaceae as diphyletic, with Ulmaceae s. str. sister to Celtidaceae plus the remainder of Urticales. Moreover, Cannabaceae “are consistently nested within the Celtidaceae,“ prompting the authors to “suggest that the Cannabaceae be merged with Celtidaceae to form a monophyletic Celtidaceae.“ As further evidence, they note that “the basic chromosome number x = 10 is shared by portions of Celtidaceae and Cannabaceae alone in the traditional Urticales.“ [N.B.: according to Appendix IIB of the Code, the family formed by the merger of Cannabaceae and Celtidaceae would have to be called Cannabaceae.]

Taylor, C. M. 2001. Overview of the neotropical genus Notopleura (Rubiaceae: Psychotrieae), with the description of some new species. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 88: 478–515.

Taking the bull by the horns on the heels of compelling molecular evidence [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 6(4): 7–8, Oct. 1999], Manual Rubiaceae contributor Charlotte M. Taylor (MO) formally recognizes the genus Notopleura (as distinct from Psychotria), and provides a synoptic treatment. Morphologically, Notopleura differs from Psychotria s. str. in its low, succulent habit, stipules with a distinctive interpetiolar appendage, usually pseudoaxillary inflorescences, and pyrenes with two germination slits on the adaxial face. The 73 spp. (all neotropical) are classed in two subgenera: Notopleura subgen. Notopleura, with 63 terrestrial spp., and N. subgen Viscagoga (Baill.) C. M. Taylor (comb. nov.), with 10 epiphytic spp. We tote 17 spp. attributed to Costa Rica, 12 in subgen. Notopleura and five in subgen. Viscagoga. The taxon formerly well known as Psychotria macrophylla Ruiz & Pav. is here resolved as seven distinct spp., of which two [Notopleura anomothyrsa (K. Schum. & Donn. Sm.) C. M. Taylor and N. tolimensis (Wernham) C. M. Taylor] occur in Costa Rica. Features a detailed discussion of morphology, generic and subgeneric descriptions, a key to subgenera and nested keys to species and infraspecific taxa, synonymy, illustrations of all new spp., and an index to scientific names. Eighteen new spp. are described, with only Notopleura nepokroeffiae C. M. Taylor pertaining to Costa Rica. New combinations total 53 at sp. rank and four at infraspecific levels; a new combination was required for every taxon occurring in Costa Rica save Notopleura uliginosa (Sw.) Bremek.

Williams, N. H., M. W. Chase, T. Fulcher & W. M. Whitten. 2001. Molecular systematics of the Oncidiinae based on evidence from four DNA sequence regions: expanded circumscriptions of Cyrtochilum, Erycina, Otoglossum, and Trichocentrum and a new genus (Orchidaceae). Lindleyana 16: 113–119.

Parsimony analyses of combined data from nrITS DNA and three plastid regions were used to address the major issue of whether any concept of Cyrtochilum could be supported. The study involved 77 ingroup taxa of subtribe Oncidiinae Benth., which harbors more than 1700 spp. altogether. A tenable concept of Cyrtochilum did emerge, however none of its spp. apparently occurs in southern Central America. The new genus mentioned in the title likewise does not concern us—but just about all of the other incidental results do. Erycina, formerly with just two spp. in western Mexico, is here expanded to accommodate all the spp. of the now defunct Psygmorchis, plus Oncidium crista-galli Rchb. f., which seems to bridge the two groups. The odyssey of the so-called "rat-tail" spp. of Oncidium [e.g., O. cebolleta (Jacq.) Sw. and relatives, with terete leaves] continues. These resided quietly in Oncidium until 1997, when they were abruptly transferred to a new genus, called Stilifolium [see The Cutting Edge 5(2): 4–5, Apr. 1998]. Shortly thereafter, the long-neglected Cohniella was resurrected to supplant Stilifolium, with all the indicated combinations duly validated [see The Cutting Edge 7(1): 6, Jan. 2000]. Now, Cohniella is synonymized with Trichocentrum (an older name than the contending Lophiaris), which also absorbs the so-called “mule-ear“ spp. of Oncidium, of which only O. carthagenense (Sw.) Jacq. is definitely known from Costa Rica. Finally, the members of Oncidium sect. Serpentia (Kraenzl.) Garay (with only O. globuliferum Kunth occurring in Costa Rica) are transferred to Otoglossum. All of the necessary new combinations in Erycina, Trichocentrum, and Otoglossum are here validated, in the names of N. H. Williams & M. W. Chase (or vice-versa). Although the foregoing changes were influenced mainly by cladistic considerations, morphological correlates are also invoked, and classificatory criteria are discussed explicitly. The authors emphasize that much additional work remains to be done on the group, and that additional changes in generic classification are inevitable. They allude to some possibilities: Leucohyle should probably be merged with Trichopilia, together with several other genera (but not Psychopsis, which should be recognized as distinct); and Odontoglossum and Oncidium may or may not merit distinction, but if they are kept separate, then Oncidium obryzatum Rchb. f. (or is it O. klotzschianum Rchb. f.?) would be the only Central American member of the former genus.


© 1995-2014 Missouri Botanical Garden, All Rights Reserved
P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299
(314) 577-5100

Technical Support