Family List (MO) |
Family List (INBio) | Cutting Edge
Draft Treatments |
The Cutting Edge
Volume XXII, Number 2, April 2015
News and Notes | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature |
Acuña C., R. H. 2014. The genus Chamguava L. R. Landrum (Myrtaceae) in Costa Rica. Brenesia 81-82: 3–7.
Before proceeding, please read our "Myrtaceae" blurb, under "Leaps and Bounds," in The Cutting Edge 20(4), Oct. 2013. The present article adds nothing with respect to Chamguava musarum (Standl. & Steyerm.) L. R. Landrum, but does cite two fertile specimens (both in bud) of a second Chamguava sp. for Costa Rica, viz., C. schippii (Standl.) L. R. Landrum. As a sp. that "skipped" Costa Rica (it was previously known from southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Panama), C. schippii might have been mentioned in the Manual Myrtaceae treatment (Vol. 6; 2007), but was not. It is characterized by this author as "the only species of Chamguava whose twigs are terete or weakly 4 angled, with flower peduncles > 1 mm long (and up to 23 mm, although in some specimens the flowers are sessile) and with calices [sic] that are completely closed in bud or with, at most, an apical pore." The Costa Rican distribution of C. schippii may be expressed as follows: "Bosque húmedo y muy húmedo, bosques primarios, 50–100+ m; vert. Carib., Baja Talamanca, vert. Pac., N Fila Costeña (vecindad de Uvita). Fl. (en botón) abr., may." The only label data to which we have full access are those of Zamora et al. 1492 (CR, INB; from near Uvita), providing the common name Salamo, and describing a tree 6 m tall with reddish brown, smooth bark. The last-mentioned collection was actually determined a quarter-cerntury ago as Psidium angohondurense (Lundell) McVaugh—a synonym of Chamguava schippii!— by family specialist Pablo Sánchez-Vindas (JVR), but had more recently been consigned to the genus Calyptranthes, as a "sp. indet." Illustrated with photographs of the author's specimen from Baja Talamanca.
Adhikari, B., R. Milne, R. T. Pennington, T. Särkinen & C. A. Pendry. 2015. Systematics and biogeography of Berberis s.l. inferred from nuclear ITS and chloroplast ndhF gene sequences. Taxon 64: 39–48.
This study "confirms that Berberis s.str. (simple-leaved Berberis) is nested within the compound-leaved Berberis, formerly known as Mahonia, and that these two genera should be treated as a single genus Berberis as suggested by previous authors." That's all we ever needed to know and, in fact, we had already taken the plunge (taking our cue from the "previous authors") to treat both Costa Rican spp. (we have one of each type) under Berberis for the Manual Berberidaceae treatment (still in draft).
Applequist, W. L. 2014. Report of the Nomenclature Committee for Vascular Plants: 66. Taxon 63: 1358–1371.
Taking this latest batch of decisions in the order in which they are presented: the Committee reports "that after two votes, it has not been possible to obtain a 60% majority for or against recommending" a proposal that would have averted Viburnaceae becoming the correct name for the family that is now called Adoxaceae [see also under "Applequist," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(2), Apr. 2014]. Therefore, at this point in time, Viburnaceae is indeed the correct name for that family (and it bears mentioning in this regard that the individual who submitted the proposal is recently deceased). Be that as it may, the name Adoxaceae will be used in Manual Vol. 4, because our alphabetical sequencing of families permits no other option. How have we come to tolerate a system that subordinates the straightforward principle of priority to a policy that allows taxonomists with too much time on their hands to reshape nomenclature according to personal whimsy? Be it said that, were it not for conservation, the family under discussion would be called Sambucaceae (the oldest name in contention), and would already have been dealt with for Manual Vol. 8. Priority is the staunchest guardian of nomenclatural stability. But let's move along to some of the other issues voted upon in this most recent session: a proposal to conserve Malus domestica Borkh. (Rosaceae) against M. pumila Mill. and several other synonyms is not recommended, so (at least for the time being) the name used for the apple in Manual Vol. 7 is secured. A proposal to conserve Myrcia (Myrtaceae) against Calyptranthes is (after two votes) neither recommended nor rejected—which means, for all practical purposes, that it is rejected: priority prevails, and the older name Calyptranthes must be used (at this point in time!) by anyone wishing to combine the genera; the Committee wisely observes that "both names are very frequently used and hundreds of species must change names no matter what action is taken." Conservation of Mascagnia (Malpighiaceae) over Triopterys is predictably recommended, upholding Manual usage for the genus in question. Conservation of the name Asphodelaceae is recommended, meaning that it replaces Xanthorrhoeaceae as the correct name for a family (in the current Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system) that combines the smaller families traditionally known by those names with Hemerocallidaceae; this is, paradoxically, a conservation proposal that has the effect of restoring priority, and it no longer seems as outrageous to us as in our original review [see under "Klopper" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 20(3), Jul. 2013]. A proposal to conserve the name Capparis baducca L. (Capparaceae) with a conserved type is rejected, protecting C. frondosa Jacq., long the accepted name for a well-known neotropical sp. Conservation of Siphonandra Klotzsch, applied to one or a few spp. of Ericaceae, against the older Siphonandra Turcz., a neglected name which also has priority over Arachnothryx (accepted in most contemporary sources for a genus of 75–80 spp. in Rubiaceae), is neither recommended nor rejected—and therefore, at this point in time, Siphonandra Turcz. is the correct name for Arachnothryx (and the ericaceous genus would require a new name); however, the Committee leaves the door ajar for future rejection of Siphonandra Turcz. Conservation of Deiregyne (Orchidaceae) is not recommended, presumably preserving its usage as according to Manual Vol. 3, where the genus was merely mentioned in the Orchidaceae family discussion (having been discovered in Costa Rica too late for full treatment); the Committee waxes tautological in describing this as "a case in which allowing the principle of priority to operate seems reasonable." In a rather stunning development, the Committee declines to recommend the conservation of Margaritopsis (Rubiaceae) against Eumachia, despite the fact that the former has been used for something in the neighborhood of 50 spp. in both the New and Old World (and was accepted in both Flora mesoamericana and the Manual), while the latter has been applied solely to a single Fijian sp.; we learn that "a majority of the Committee were not convinced that application of the principle of priority would substantially reduce stability of nomenclature." Word to the Committee: it never does! Priority guarantees nomenclatural stability, which is why the principle was conceived in the first place. So we think it is fine that priority was upheld by this decision, but we continue to be perplexed by the apparent inconsistency of the Committee's rationale in arriving at their conclusions—in one case, frequency of usage is the deciding factor, in another case it makes no difference at all. Then again, committees in general have a reputation for this sort of thing (yet one more reason to honor priority). Just two additional proposals germane to our field of interest remain to be considered: Cyathea mucilagina R. C. Moran is not recommended for conservation against C. ecuadorensis Domin (Cyatheaceae), installing the latter as the correct name for a sp. that is rather rare in Costa Rica (just five collections in TROPICOS); and conservation of Pennisetum clandestinum Hochst. ex Chiov. against P. longistylum Hochst. ex A. Rich. (Poaceae) is—shockingly, at first blush—also not recommended. However, this last development is not quite what it seems: the notion that the two names are taxonomic synonyms is now deemed erroneous (on the basis of correspondence with experts in the field), leading the Committee to the logical conclusion that "the proposal is of no practical use."
Getting back to an issue that does not (yet) directly affect us: the Committee has voted to recommend a proposal to conserve Balanites (Zygophyllaceae) as being of feminine gender, vs. masculine as stipulated by ICN Art. 62.4 Evidently, that rule was aimed primarily at names of fossil genera, and some folks are not happy that those of some contemporary genera have been impacted. The Committee notes that Balanites includes one economically important sp., B. aegyptiaca (L.) Delile, "which appears in numerous scientific and commercial texts with that orthography," while B. aegyptiacus "is rarely used except in a few recent databases that are sticklers for correct usage." "One" and "numerous" do not add up to a very compelling argument, in our opinion. But the crux of our discord concerns the phrase "sticklers for correct usage." This rankles. Having laboriously hammered out all of their rules during sexennial international meetings, and at considerable public expense, is IAPT now going to chide those who would strive to follow those rules in good faith? The implication seems to be that taxonomists are free to ignore these rules, and will be cooler for having done so. Logically, decisions on conservation should be no exception. We see trouble ahead for Acacia! By the way, Balanites is an Old World genus, and names of extant genera occurring in Costa Rica (such as Phragmites and Zeugites) are not (yet) affected.
Baumbach, N. 2015. Die Gattung Camaridium Lindley 1824. Orchidee (Hamburg) 66: 45–52.
Piggy-backing (at least in part) on the work of molecular systematists, a horticulturist erects four sections within the Maxillaria segregate Camaridium. The names of the three non-autonymic sections are based on the foresaken genus names Adamanthus Szlach., Pseudomaxillaria Hoehne, and Psittacoglossum Lex. If we understand ICN Art. 11.2 correctly, we suspect the author has created at least one illegitimate name, viz., his Camaridium sect. Psittacoglossum (Lex.) Baumbach, within which he includes Camaridium cucullatum (Lindl.) M. A. Blanco. The last-named sp. is, we would presume, the type of Maxillaria sect. Cucullatae Christenson (2002), which should have priority over Psittacoglossum at sectional rank. This consideration may apply to at least one other of this author's sections, but we are not interested enough in these infrageneric taxa to inquire further. Pointlessly illustrated with a lot of color photos.
Bell, C. D., G. Calderon, L. Gonzalez, A. Scholz & S. Liede-Schumann. 2015. Resolving relationships within Valerianaceae (Dipsacales): new insights and hypotheses from low-copy nuclear regions. Syst. Bot. 40: 327–335.
This study suggests that Centranthus, and perhaps also Plectritis, are nested within Valeriana. The authors do not venture a new classification based on their results. However, our consideration of their cladograms suggests that, were a splitting option to be pursued with a view to retain (at least) Centranthus, then the so-called (by these authors) South American Valeriana spp. would wind up in a separate genus from the Northern Hemisphere Valeriana spp. The latter group includes the type sp. (Valeriana officinalis L.), which could spell trouble for the nine spp. of Valeriana occurring in Costa Rica, all (or at least most) of which presumably belong to the "South American" contingent (though only V. prionophylla Standl. and V. pulchella M. Martens & Galeotti were included in the study). Valeriana will be treated under Caprifoliaceae in Manual Vol. 4.
Bogarín, D., Z. Serracín, Z. Samudio, R. Rincón & F. Pupulin. 2014. An updated checklist of the Orchidaceae of Panama. Lankesteriana 14: 135–364.
The JBL crew continues to extend their reach into Panama with this vouchered checklist, characterized as "an important initial step toward the development of an illustrated treatment of the Orchidaceae of Panama." We are encouraged to see that it totes a mere 1365 spp., barely eclipsing even the now woefully outdated (mainly due to the activities of these very authors!) total of 1318 spp. attributed to Costa Rica in Manual Vol. 3 (2003). However, the authors rightly point out that "many areas [of Panama] remain unexplored for orchids." This is no mere knock-off; the generous introductory section includes an extensive and richly illustrated account of the history of orchid exploration in Panama, along with briefer discussions of geology, climate, and vegetation, supplemented by maps and numerous illuminating tables. The checklist includes synonyms (nested under their accepted names). We have no doubt that a minute perusal of this document would reveal much information pertinent to Costa Rican floristics, such as, in particular, the occurrence in Panama of spp. previously indicated (e.g., in the Manual) as endemic to Costa Rica. But who wants to be a stickler?
Buccaran, A., J. Freitas, E. J. de Lírio & M. Ribeiro. 2015. (21) Request for a binding decision on whether Sacoglottis Mart. (Humiriaceae) and Sarcoglottis C. Presl (Orchidaceae) are sufficiently alike to be confused. Taxon 64: 180.
Oh, come now! The names have completely different roots (as acknowledged even by these authors), at least as regards their first two syllables. What next, Spathoglottis? Stenoglottis? What about Arecaceae and Ericaceae? Many names are frequently confused by sloppy workers. For whatever it may be worth, these authors "believe that it is necessary to treat Sacoglottis and Sarcoglottis as homonyms." We believe that what they believe should have no bearing on the matter; however, should their view somehow prevail, then Sacoglottis would appear to have priority, and is certainly the more well-established and widely known of the two names (even if Sarcoglottis is the larger genus). We continue to marvel at the fact that Taxon sees fit to publish this sort of material.
Chase, M. W., K. M. Cameron, J. V. Freudenstein, A. M. Pridgeon, G. Salazar, C. van den Berg & A. Schuiteman. 2015. An updated classification of Orchidaceae. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 177: 151–174.
This is effectively the Orchidaceae equivalent of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification, and no family is in greater need of a coolly reasoned consensus treatment. While these guys are far more interested in suprageneric taxa than we are, they do also enumerate their accepted genera (with sp. totals), and briefly discuss many of the controversial issues. Time prevents us from delving into all of the details here, but a few deserve mention: further monkeying (in papers that we have missed) with the genera that have been segregated [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 14(2): 9, Apr. 2007] from Erythrodes sensu lato (of the Manual) has led to the submergence of both Ligeophila and Platythelys into Aspidogyne, a move that is accepted here; Kraenzlinella now qualifies as an accepted genus in subtribe Pleurothallidinae, while Lankesteriana, recently segregated from Anathallis [see under "Karremans," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(3), Jul. 2014], is tentatively rejected; the atomization of Masdevallia by Manual contributor Carlyle Luer [see The Cutting Edge 13(4): 5–6, Oct. 2006] is also rejected, with the observation that "few authors have accepted the necessity of splitting a genus that has been demonstrated to be monophyletic"; and similarly (and rather surprisingly), traditional Maxillaria sensu lato prevails, in favor of the numerous splinter genera proposed by recent authors [see, especially, The Cutting Edge 15(2): 3–4, Apr. 2008], even though this results in the loss of several more familiar genus names (especially, Cryptocentrum, Mormolyca, and Trigonidium). This is a conservative system, emphasizing relationships rather than differences ("the benefits of splitting are unclear to us, and we have resisted this sort of taxonomic change"), that may be conveniently embraced and cited by generalists and floristic workers with no personal stake in orchid classification. And in that sense, it is most welcome!
Evans, T. M., R. S. Jabaily, A. P. G. de Faria, L. O. F. de Sousa, T. Wendt & G. K. Brown. 2015. Phylogenetic relationships in Bromeliaceae subfamily Bromelioideae based on chloroplast DNA sequence data. Syst. Bot. 40: 116–128.
The only genus of subfam. Bromelioideae in Costa Rica confirmed as monophyletic by this analysis is Bromelia itself, although the jury is still out on Ananas and Araeococcus. Aechmea is "highly polyphyletic," and "the most taxonomically problematic genus in Bromelioideae." Species assigned to Aechmea "are found along at least 12 different lineages...containing elements of numerous other genera, including Billbergia...and Ronnbergia" (which also are non-monophyletic). Worse yet, none of the seven Aechmea subgenera sampled (of eight total) passes muster as monophyletic; these have been elevated to generic rank by some authors under such names as Chevaliera, Platyaechmea, and Pothuava. The present authors refrain from taxonomic innovations, noting that "characters that have traditionally been used to define groups are now known to be highly homoplasious, and many groups...that are recovered in the molecular phylogenies are difficult to define based on currently understood morphological grounds." This has lately becoming an overarching problem in plant systematics. Speculation on potential consequences is pointless for us, as critical type spp. and most Costa Rican spp. were omitted from the study. Furthermore, the genera Androlepis and Greigia (plus several others not occurring in Costa Rica) were not represented.
Gormley, I. C., D. Bedigian & R. G. Olmstead. 2015. Phylogeny of Pedaliaceae and Martyniaceae and the placement of Trapella in Plantaginaceae s. l. Syst. Bot. 40: 259–268.
We do not much care about the Asian genus Trapella, and really are interested in just one of the three questions addressed by this study: "Do Pedaliaceae and Martyniaceae form a clade, or are they distinct lineages with closer relationships elsewhere in Lamiales?" The latter turns out to be the case, which pleases us, as the two families were treated separately in Manual Vol. 6 (2007). It is also worth mentioning that Sesamum, the largest genus in Pedaliaceae—and the only one occurring in Costa Rica—is not monophyletic. However, S. indicum L. (sesame), our sole representative, is of course the type sp., and not going anywhere.
Greuter, W. & R. R. Rodríguez. 2015. (2344) Proposal to conserve the name Bambusa vulgaris (Gramineae) with a conserved type. Taxon 64: 171–173.
Bambusa vulgaris Schrad. ex J. C. Wendl. is the firmly entrenched name for an Asian bamboo that is widely cultivated and naturalized throughout the tropics, including Costa Rica. The name was accepted without question in Manual Vol. 3 (2003), as in most other recent floras. Nonetheless, as revealed by these authors, B. vulgaris is illegitimate, because Wendland definitely included within it the earlier Arundo bambos L.—the epithet of which ought to have been adopted, and presumably was not because a virtual tautonym would have resulted. Should this proposal fail, Bambusa vulgaris would become a synonym of B. bambos (L.) Voss (another widely disseminated Asian bamboo, that has occasionally been planted in Costa Rica), and a new name ("it is not entirely clear which") would be required to replace it.
Hammel, B. E., M. H. Grayum, C. Herrera & N. Zamora (eds.). 2015. Manual de plantas de Costa Rica. Vol. VIII. Dicotiledóneas (Sabiaceae–Zygophyllaceae). Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 131: 1–657.
Hot on the heels of Manual Vol. 7 comes this, the fourth of five dicot volumes to be published in the Manual series, and the seventh altogether of a projected total of eight. We can see the light! The basic features of the new volume uphold the established pattern, as already described for previous volumes in these pages [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 9(1): 6, Jan. 2004]. The 37 families treated in Vol. 8 account for a total of 832 Costa Rican spp. in 193 genera. The three largest families featured herein are Solanaceae (180 spp.), Sapindaceae (93 spp.), and Urticaceae (88 spp.). This will stand as the smallest Manual volume containing taxonomic treatments. Illustrated with 210 line drawings, 37 black-and-white photos, and the standard eight pages of color photos. No new taxa are described this time around.
We will be eternally grateful to the following authors, who shouldered the burden for Manual Vol. 8: Frank Almeda (CAS; Symplocaceae pro parte); Harvey E. Ballard, Jr. (BHO; Violaceae); Kerry E. Barringer (BKL; Scrophulariaceae); Lynn Bohs (UT; Solanaceae pro parte); Cristina Formoso (INB; Winteraceae); Jorge Gómez-Laurito† (USJ; Siparunaceae, Ticodendraceae); José González (LSCR; Trigoniaceae, Turneraceae, Urticaceae pro parte); Quírico Jiménez (INB; Tetrameristaceae, Theaceae pro parte); Ricardo Kriebel (WIS; Symplocaceae pro parte); Silvana Martén-Rodríguez (IEB; Simaroubaceae, Surianaceae); J. Francisco Morales (UBT; Sabiaceae, Santalaceae, Sapindaceae, Sapotaceae, Schlegeliaceae, Staphyleaceae, Stixaceae, Tapisciaceae, Theophrastaceae, Thymelaeaceae, Tovariaceae, Tropaeolaceae, Vitaceae, Vochysiaceae); Alexánder Rodríguez (CR; Sterculiaceae, Tiliaceae, Urticaceae pro parte); Ricardo M. Rueda (HULE; Verbenaceae pro parte); Daniel Santamaría (HUH; Theaceae pro parte); Armando Soto (INB; Solanaceae pro parte); and Carol A. Todzia (TEX; Ulmaceae). Obviously, Chico's contribution to this particular volume was herculean, even by his own lofty standards. Manual Vol. 8 is dedicated to the outstanding Costa Rican botanist Jorge Gómez-Laurito, who left us way too soon [see under "News and Notes" in The Cutting Edge 21(1), Jan. 2014].
Hinojosa-Espinosa, Ó. & J. L. Villaseñor. 2014. New combinations in Pseudognaphalium (Gnaphalieae-Asteraceae) of Mexico. Bot. Sci. 92: 489–491.
As implied by the title, most of this action concerns taxa from outside our geographical realm, but Pseudognaphalium liebmannii (Sch. Bip. ex Klatt) Anderb. var. monticola (McVaugh) Hinojosa & Villaseñor comb. nov. (based on Gnaphalium vulcanicum I. M. Johnst. var. monticola McVaugh) is alleged by these authors to occur in Costa Rica (though we can find little other evidence to that effect, even as regards the sp.).
Holmes, W. C. 2015. Mikania parviflora (Asteraceae: Eupatorieae) and near relatives. Phytoneuron 2015-3: 1–26.
The informal group described in the title, comprising 17 spp. ranging nearly throughout the Neotropics, is characterized by "corymbiform capitulescences, capitula disposed in sessile (or shortly pedunculate) ternate clusters, hirsute style appendages and bases, and non-cordate leaf bases." Nearly as wide-ranging as the group itself is Mikania guaco Bonpl. (not "Humb. & Bonpl.," as the author would have it), which is also the only sp. in the group recorded from Costa Rica. So there are no significant changes here for us. Features a dichotomous key to spp., full synonymy and typology, descriptions (including a brief one of the group), distribution and phenology summaries, specimen citations (mostly representative), discussions, and occasional range maps. There are no indices. The introductory section addresses taxonomic history, morphology distribution, and relationships. A very basic, composite drawing is provided for each sp. No new taxon names or combinations are validated, nor even lectotypes designated.
Huang, Y.-Y., S. A. Mori & L. M. Kelly. 2015. Toward a phylogenetic-based generic classification of neotropical Lecythidaceae—I. Status of Bertholletia, Corythophora, Eschweilera and Lecythis. Phytotaxa 203: 85–121.
Eschweilera and Lecythis were already suggested as non-monophyletic in a morphological cladistic analysis by this same group [see under "Huang" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge19(2), Apr. 2012]. This paper ups the ante with molecular analyses, yielding substantially the same result: according to their prevailing circumscriptions, "Eschweilera...is paraphyletic" and "Lecythis...is polyphyletic." Corythophora (which does not occur in Costa Rica) is monophyletic but, as in the case of the monospecific Bertholletia (i.e., the Brazil nut), deeply embedded among spp. currently assigned to Eschweilera and Lecythis. The authors distinguish 10 clades in the study group, and discuss their morphological distinctions and potential taxonomic dispositions. Eschweilera was recovered as three separate clades, and Lecythis as five. Giving no consideration to the possibility of lumping all the spp. in the group into a single genus (Lecythis being the oldest name), the authors declare that their "morphological and molecular data support the continued recognition of Corythophora as a genus and the possibility of recognizing [all three Eschweilera clades and two of the Lecythis clades] as separate taxa." If that course is pursued, based on this phylogeny, the Costa Rican reprensentatives of Eschweilera and Lecythis will be affected as follows: at least two of our 11 Eschweilera spp., E. biflava S. A. Mori and E. hondurensis Standl., occupy the same clade as the generic type sp. (E. parvifolia Mart. ex DC.) and figure to be unimpacted. At least six others—E. aguilarii S. A. Mori, E calyculata Pittier, E. collinsii Pittier, E. integrifolia (Ruiz & Pav. ex Miers) R. Knuth, E. panamensis Pittier, and E. sessilis A. C. Sm.—reside in a second clade, and would thus end up in a different genus, for which no name is evidently available at present. The potential fate of Eschweilera costaricensis S. A. Mori, E. harmonii S. A. Mori, and E. pittieri R. Knuth, which were not included in this study, is unclear. Of the two Lecythis spp. present in Costa Rica, L. ampla Miers occurs in one of the two clades considered a candidate for separate generic status, and for which the name Pachylecythis Ledoux is available (though with no combination for L. ampla); however, we glean nothing as to the disposition of L. mesophylla S. A. Mori. The three Lecythis clades not presently considered eligible for separate generic status group with Bertholletia in a complex in which "the relationships...are still incompletely understood." Resolution of this complex could result in Bertholletia being sunk into Lecythis, or Lecythis being reduced to just three spp. (to mention only the extreme options); however, there would be no direct repercussions for Costa Rican floristics (unless Lecythis mesophylla belongs in this complex). As an aside: we are puzzled by the continued usage in this paper of the name Eschweilera longirachis S. A. Mori, which we had understood (and have construed in the foregoing discussion) to be a synonym of E. collinsii [see The Cutting Edge 15(3): 12, Jul. 2008].
Iamonico, D. & M. Iberite. 2014. Lectotypification of the Linnaean names Lemna arhiza and L. polyrhiza (Araceae). Taxon 63: 1314–1315.
More perfunctory lectotypifications by this crew, with no apparent effects on current usage. Lemna polyrhiza L. is the basionym of Spirodela polyrhiza (L.) Schleid., the accepted name for a sp. that occurs in Costa Rica (see Manual Vol. 2, under Lemnaceae).
Jenny, R. 2014. The genus Stanhopea: species and hybrids. Orchids (West Palm Beach) 83(11), Suppl.: 2–38.
This would appear to be an excerpt from, and essentially a promo for, a recent book by the author [see under "Jenny," this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(3), Jul. 2011], which is advertised on inside back cover of this issue. A checklist of Stanhopea (Orchidaceae) is said to be available in the "digital version only," but access to that requires registration as a member of the American Orchid Society.
Karremans, A. P. 2015. Nomenclatural notes in the Pleurothallidinae (Orchidaceae): Stelis. Phytotaxa 203: 292–296.
Numerous new combinations in Stelis are validated, based on an inclusive concept of the genus that has not been embraced up to now by the author and his sidekicks. Indeed, the three new combinations that pertain to Costa Rica—Stelis hydra (Karremans & C. M. Sm.) Karremans, S. pileata (Karremans & Bogarín) Karremans & Bogarín, and S. viridiflava (Karremans & Bogarín) Karremans & Bogarín—all have basionyms in the splinter genus Dracontia that were published during the fast few years by this very crew [see under "Karremans," this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(4), Oct. 2012, and 20(4), Oct. 2013]. One gets the distinct feeling that these guys want to have it both ways, getting their names on all the possible combinations that may eventually find favor, while skirting the Code's ban on "alternative names" (see ICN Art. 36.2) on a technicality (non-simultaneous publication). Three new combinations (none germane to Costa Rica) are also validated in Pleurothallis.
Kim, C., T. Deng, M. Chase, D.-G. Zhang, Z.-L. Nie & H. Sun. 2015. Generic phylogeny and character evolution in Urticeae (Urticaceae) inferred from nuclear and plastid DNA regions. Taxon 64: 65–78.
All 12 genera of tribe Urticeae stood up as monophyletic, with the exception of Laportea, Urera, and Urtica (all represented in Costa Rica). The least problematic situation is that of Urtica: it is paraphyletic with respect to Hesperocnide, a ditypic genus of western North American and Hawaii, which the authors propose be included within the larger genus. Both Laportea and Urera are revealed as triphyletic, with the prognosis for Laportea being relatively straightforward: its three clades "are congruent with" an existing sectional classification, and the authors propose that "all sections should be raised to generic rank." The lone Costa Rican sp. involved, Laportea aestuans (L.) Chew, belongs to a different clade from the generic type, L. canadensis (L.) Gaudich., hence would not remain in Laportea under this scenario; although the authors do not say, we suspect that the operative genus name for our sp. would be Fleurya, wherein a combination is already available (and is cited in the Manual Urticaceae treatment). In the case of Urera, the authors conclude that "a [more] comprehensive evaulation of the phylogeny..., using molecular data, is required." The only Costa Rican representatives of the genus included in the present analyses, U. baccifera (L.) Gaudich. ex Wedd. and U. caracasana (Jacq.) Gaudich. ex Griseb., were recovered in separate clades. The former is the type sp. of Urera, and obviously must remain in that genus (perhaps along with U. laciniata Wedd.?). We suspect that most or all of the remaining six spp. in Costa Rica belong to the same clade as U. caracasana (the third clade being entirely African), though we do not know whether a genus name is available for said clade. No new names or new combinations are validated in this paper in support of the suggested changes.
Kolanowska, M. 2014. The naturalization status of African Spotted Orchid (Oeceoclades maculata) in Neotropics. Plant Biosyst. 148: 1049–1055.
Folks have been getting excited about this weed of late. Following closely on the heels of a recent paper documenting the spread of the African Oeceoclades maculata (Lindl.) Lindl. (Orchidaceae) in Costa Rica [see under "Morales," this column, in our last issue], this contribution addresses its status throughout the New World using ecological niche modeling (a technique apparently never before applied to an invasive orchid sp.). The conclusions, however, seem a bit vague, as they are expressed by the author. We gather that climate change may result in future "shifts in the distribution" of O. maculata. Isn't that likely to be true for most plant spp.?
Labiak, P. H., M. Sundue, G. Rouhan & R. C. Moran. 2014. New combinations in Lastreopsis and Parapolystichum (Dryopteridaceae). Brittonia 67: 79–86.
Pursuant to a recent molecular study from this same lab [see under "Labiak," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(4), Oct. 2014], new combinations are validated (by various permutations of the article's authors) in Parapolystichum based on names previously attributed to Lastreopsis. Just one of these is relevant to us: the former Lastreopsis exculta (Mett.) Tindale becomes Parapolystichum excultum (Mett.) Labiak, Sundue & R. C. Moran. In the bargain, the authors designate a lectotype for Dryopteris exculta (Mett.) C. Chr. var. squamifera C. Chr., the basionym of Lastreopsis exculta var. squamifera (C. Chr.) Tindale. The last-mentioned name had been used for an accepted taxon in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1 (1995), but as the lectotype specimen (the only syntype that could be located by the authors) "appears normal" for L. exculta, the var. name is synonymized, leaving the sp. without infraspecific taxa. As for the other two spp. in Costa Rica that have been ascribed to Lastreopsis: the combination Parapolystichum effusum (Sw.) Ching was already available for L. effusa (Sw.) Tindale, whereas Lastreopsis killipii (C. Chr. & Maxon) Tindale "should be classified in Lastreopsis" (despite also boasting a combination in Parapolystichum!). The loss to Lastreopsis is somewhat compensated by the transfer to that genus of three Australian spp. Because (as indicated in our review of the precursor paper) "no known morphological characteristics distinguish Lastreopsis and Parapolystichum," nine spp. traditionally included in the former genus but which were not included in the molecular study "cannot be placed in either [genus]" and "for the time being,...must be considered incertae sedis." None of these occurs in Costa Rica.
Mazumdar, J. 2015. (2343) Proposal to conserve the name Cyclosorus against Meniscium (Thelypteridaceae). Taxon 64: 170.
Meniscium has priority over Cyclosorus by more than 40 years, but for some inexplicable (and seemingly indefensible) reason, recent authors who combine them have done so using the latter name. This author wishes to enshrine that odd behavior with the action expressed in the title of his paper, noting that the inclusive genus "contains about 700 species of which no less than 500 combinations are already available in Cyclosorus" [while failing to point out that about 70% of said combinations were validated a mere two years ago, by himself and a colleague; see under "Mazumdar," this column, in The Cutting Edge 20(4), Oct. 2013].
Morales, C. O. & R. Ortiz Vargas. 2014. Legado imperecedero de un botánico costarricense singular –Jorge Gómez Laurito (1947-2014)–. Revista Biol. Trop. 62: 1261–1272.
A fine appreciation of our departed friend and colleague Jorge Gómez-Laurito, illustrated with several photos of the man, mainly in the field. Includes compilations of Lauro's publications, taxa described by him (including, most famously, Ticodendron and the family Ticodendraceae), and taxa dedicated to him (surprisingly few, a situation that needs to be remedied). It turns out there were many things we did not know about Lauro, e.g., that he was (together with his late cousin Luis Diego Gómez) an adherent of freemasonry—a fact that explains his reluctance to divulge personal details (such as his year of birth, which we were unable to pry out of him for Manual Vol. 1). We were also unaware that Lauro's grandfather, Juan Gómez Álvarez, was a naturalist who himself prepared some plant specimens, including the type of Smilax vanilliodora F. W. Apt (a claim that we have verified to our own satisfaction). And it is news to us that Lauro had received military training, and was for several years (duing the Nicaraguan civil war) a member of the national reserve. The facts are all here, for those who did not know the man, but what hits closest to home for us is the authors' fond recollection of the "carácter tranquilo, humilde, bonachón y discreto del maestro, pero acompañado siempre de buen humor, especialmente en las primeras horas de la noche, después del trabajo, acompañado por una merecida cerveza, un whisky o una botella de vino." On 12 March, 2014, Lauro's ashes were scattered at the base of a lauraceous tree along the so-called "Cuesta de Lauro" in the Reserva Biológica Alberto M. Brenes (near San Ramón), a place he loved (and for which he produced a floristic checklist). May he rest in peace.
Nylinder, S. & A. Anderberg. 2015. Phylogeny of the Inuleae (Asteraceae) with special emphasis on the Inuleae-Plucheinae. Taxon 64: 110–130.
Five of the 31 genera in the titular subtribe are revealed as polyphyletic by these molecular analyses. Of those, only Pluchea is represented in Costa Rica, and its prognosis appears grim: the 33 Pluchea spp. included in the study were "distributed among eight different clades." Nonetheless, this does not portend trouble for P. carolinensis (Jacq.) G. Don, the lone Costa Rican member of the genus, which groups in the clade harboring the type sp., P. odorata (L.) Cass. (indeed, it is sister to the latter sp.). However, the genus Pseudoconyza, although monospecific, may be threatened, as the pantropical P. viscosa (Mill.) D'Arcy (which occurs in Costa Rica) is sister to the African Pluchea sordida Oliv. & Harms. The authors make no formal taxonomic changes, noting that "many of the strongly supported clades will be difficult, if not impossible to diagnose morphologically"—a refrain that is becoming commonplace in modern plant systematics.
Paula-Souza, J. & J. R. Pirani. 2014. Reestablishment of Calyptrion (Violaceae). Taxon 63: 1335–1339.
The neglected name Calyptrion Ging. has priority (by only a few months) over the well-established Corynostylis Mart., and is therefore promoted (in both senses of the word) as the correct name for the genus in question. All the necessary new combinations at sp. rank (four in all) are here validated in the name of the first author, including Calyptrion arboreum (L.) Paula-Souza, for the only sp. that occurs in Costa Rica. With the approval of Manual Violaceae contributor Harvey E. Ballard, Jr. (BHO), and by the good graces of the folks at our in-house press, this change was implemented at the last possible moment in the final page-proofs for Manual Vol. 8. The first author of this paper acknowledges having "erroneously...[used] Corynostylis as the accepted name" in her 2009 Universidade de São Paulo Ph.D. thesis (duly cited), which incorporated a taxonomic revision of the neotropical lianescent genera of Violaceae.
Peterson, P. M., K. Romaschenko, Y. Herrera Arrieta & J. M. Saarela. 2014. A molecular phylogeny and new subgeneric classification of Sporobolus (Poaceae: Chloridoideae: Sporobolinae). Taxon 63: 1212–1243.
——, ——, —— & ——. 2014. (2332) Proposal to conserve the name Sporobolus against Spartina, Crypsis, Ponceletia, and Heleochloa (Poaceae: Chloridoideae: Sporobolinae). Taxon 63: 1373–1374.
In the first of the two papers cited above, the authors document "weak to moderate support for a paraphyletic Sporobolus that includes Calamovilfa, Crypsis, Spartina, and Thellungia," and, on that seemingly tenuous pretext, propose to incorporate all the last-mentioned genera within Sporobolus and promptly proceed to implement the new classification by validating (ostensibly) all the required new combinations, nomina nova, and new taxon names. This despite the fact that two of the genus names in the foregoing list (as well as two of their synonyms) actually have priority over Sporobolus! Enter the second of the two papers, proposing conservation of Sporobolus over all the earlier names—a proposal that seems far from a slam-dunk, given that the name Spartina (the oldest among all the contenders) "dominates the literature" (although Sporobolus s. str. has many more spp. and collection records). So, why would the editors of Taxon condone the publication of a slew of new combinations, etc., in Sporobolus, before conservation of that name has even been approved? This strikes us as a distinct conflict of interest, especially since IAPT, the publisher of Taxon, is the same body that arbitrates conservation proposals. One might also ask whether all (or at least many) of the new combinations and names published in the main paper are invalid according to ICN Art. 36.1(b), which states that "A name is not validly published when it is merely proposed in anticipation of the future acceptance of the taxon concerned, or of a particular circumscription, position, or rank of the taxon..." After all, these names are published in anticipation of the acceptance of the associated conservation proposal, which would have the effect of subordinating the taxon presently known as Spartina to subgeneric rank under Sporobolus, in the authors' proposed classification; however, at this point in time, the reverse would be true. From another angle, at least the nomina nova of this paper may be invalidly published under Art. 52.1; that is to say, each definitely includes the type of the name that ought to have been adopted. Consider, for example, Sporobolus hookerianus P. M. Peterson & Saarela, proposed as a replacement name for Spartina gracilis Trin., with the latter duly cited in synonymy. Nevertheless, at the present time, Spartina gracilis must (we submit) be considered the correct name for the sp. (i.e., the name that ought to be adopted), because conservation of Sporobolus over Spartina has yet to be recommended (and may well never be). Perhaps we are wrong about all of this (nomenclatural honchos are acknowledged as having reviewed the manuscript), but we get the sense that the cart has overtaken the horse. Retreating to our more comfortable niche: from the perspective of Costa Rican floristics, just one sp. would be affected by these proposed changes (if the authors' nomenclature prevails), viz., Spartina spartinae (Trin.) Merr. ex Hitchc., as it was called in Manual Vol. 3, henceforth Sporobolus spartinae (Trin.) P. M. Peterson & Saarela (as "spartinus" in this paper, but we believe the epithet to be genitive and not subject to change). But if the conservation proposal should fail, and Spartina becomes the accepted genus name by priority, about eight Costa Rican spp. currently housed in Sporobolus would suffer name changes.
Don't ask us why the suprageneric names are italicized in one article, but not in the other (it ain't our doing!).
Pupulin, F. 2015. A new form of Cattleya dowiana and the taxonomy of its color variations. Orchids (West Palm Beach) 84: 46–54.
Cattleya dowiana Bateman var. aurea (Linden) B. S. Williams & Moore, a name applicable to Colombian material, is elevated to subsp. rank, automatically creating the autonymic subsp., under which Central American material (including the titular new form) is classed. The new form is Cattleya dowiana f. carmonana Pupulin (deliberately corrected by us from the author's "carmoniana"), apparently restricted to Costa Rica and distinctive by virtue of its flowers with "large blotches of bright yellow" on the lip (vs. "thin golden-yellow lines" in the typical form). In the same boat (as a form of the autonymic subsp.) is Cattleya dowiana f. rosita (Pfau) Pupulin, comb. nov. (originally described, at varietal rank, in an obscure and neglected 19th-century catalogue). The last-mentioned taxon, also apparently a Costa Rican endemic, "is unusual in the large amount of lavender in the sepals and in the petals heavily marbled with rose-purple." A third new form, South American and classed under C. d. var. aurea, does not concern us. All three are illustrated with color photos and/or drawings (from early literature), and a distribution map (limited to the two subspp.) is provided.
—— & D. Bogarín. 2014. Aliae Lepanthes machogaffenses (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae). Harvard Pap. Bot. 19: 193–200.
Botanical investigations by the authors and their colleagues in the rich and scarcely explored (now we're talking!) oak forests on the Atlantic slope of Cerro de La Muerte between the Carretera Interamericana (at the site known as "Macho Gaff" or "Macho Gap," now Paso Macho) and the Río Macho have yielded the two new Lepanthes spp. that are described in this paper. These are Lepanthes elvirae Pupulin (dedicated to its author's wife) and L. queveriensis Bogarín & Pupulin, both endemic to the region, as far as is known. The former sp. is compared with Lepanthes estrellensis Ames, the latter with L. cribbii Pupulin [see The Cutting Edge 14(2): 9–10, Apr. 2007]. A rough map of the collecting area is provided, and both of the new spp. are illustrated with exquisite composite line drawings plus color photos from life. The authors expect that at least two additional new spp. of Lepanthes remain to be described from the study region.
With the inclusion of one sp. described in a separate article (see under "Smith" et al., this column), our running count of new orchid spp. described from Costa Rica since the establishment of this newsletter in 1994 rises to 349 (we do not count infraspecific taxa).
——, C. Ossenbach & R. Jenny. 2014. Mr. Auguste R. Endrés: not so mysterious after all. Orchids (West Palm Beach) 83: 606–617.
This is, effectively, nothing more than an excerpt from a recent book by the authors [see under "Ossenbach" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 20(4), Oct. 2013], which is advertised on p. 612. It is published here solely (we assume) for promotional reasons, a rather tedious habit of this hobbyist journal (see also under "Jenny," this column).
Rojas Alvarado, A. F. & C. G. Herrera Martínez. 2013. Una especie nueva de Terpsichore A. R. Sm. (Polypodiaceae) para Costa Rica. Mét. Ecol. Sist. 8(3): 54–61.
We have been neglecting to to check the online journal MES, thinking that it was defunct or, at least, no longer publishing papers germane to our field of interest. It turns out neither is the case; moreover, the editors appear to have abandoned the notion (ill-advised from the outset) of branding the journal primarily by its acronym, and we are more than happy to follow suit. The new sp. of this article, Terpsichore janzeniana A. Rojas & C. Herrera, is known by just three specimens, all collected by the authors at 900–1000 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of Volcán Rincón de La Vieja. It is most similar to the sym- or at least parapatric T. staheliana (Posth.) A. R. Sm., from which it differs in the shape of its rhizome scales, details of leaf architecture, and fewer (per leaf segment) and larger sori. Both spp. are illustrated in composite line drawings by the second author, and are compared (along with two other superficially similar spp.) in tabular format.
Samain, M.-S. & E. M. Martínez Salas. 2015. Hydrangea hunting in the Neotropics. Plantsman n. s., 14: 30–35.
Although we have been aware of ongoing taxonomic research on Hydrangea (Hydrangeaceae) by this group [see, e.g., under "Samain" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(2), Apr. 2014], we glean some new information from this copiously illustrated popular article: it appears that the authors have resurrected the name Hydrangea oerstedii Briq. from syonymy under H. peruviana Moric. ex Ser. (as according to Manual Vol. 6 and other recent sources), presumably to be applied (minimally) to material from southern Central America that has been determined using the latter name (the type of H. oerstedii being a Warszewicz collection). We will remain on the lookout for additional insights on this issue.
Sambin, A. & G. R. Chiron. 2015. Révision taxinomique des espèces d'Encyclia (Orchidaceae) de Guyane française. Richardiana 15: 190–223.
The description in this paper of a new var. of Encyclia chloroleuca (Hook.) Neumann presumably requires that Mesomerican material of said sp., allegedly present in Costa Rica [see under "Pupulin," this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(2), Apr. 2012], be qualified as belonging to the autonymic var.
Santamaría-Aguilar, D., N. Zamora Villalobos & R. Aguilar Fernández. 2015. Sinopsis del género Laetia (Salicaceae) en Mesoamérica y la descripción de una nueva especie. Phytoneuron 2015-15: 1–19.
This synoptic treatment accepts four spp. of Laetia (treated under Flacourtiaceae in the Manual), a neotropical genus with 11 spp. overall. The most noteworthy development, from our perspective, is the validation of the name Laetia povedae N. Zamora, Aguilar & D. Santam., which corresponds to Laetia sp. A of Manual Vol. 5 (2010). Also, Laetia thamnia L. is revealed as rather disconcertingly variable, both within and outside Costa Rica; at least two entities may be involved, and although material from southern Mesoamerica agrees better with the Jamaican type than that from northern Mesoamerica, the match is still not satisfactory. Features a dichotomous and indented key to spp., diagnostic discussions, distribution and phenology summaries, and extensive specimen citations. There are no descriptions, except in the case of the new sp. Except for the Darién endemic Laetia micrantha A. Robyns, all four spp. are depicted in black-and-white and/or color photos, and L. povedae in a composite line drawing as well.
Smith, C. M., D. Bogarín & F. Pupulin. 2015. A new Reichantha (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) from Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Syst. Bot. 40: 83–87.
Reichantha is one of the numerous segregates of Masdevallia that have been rejected in the most recent consensus classification of Orchidaceae (see under "Chase" et al., this column). But these remain in the good graces of the JBL crew, along with other generally rejected Pleurothallidinae segregates such as Dracontia. The new sp. described here, Reichantha jorge-warneri C. M. Sm., Bogarín & Pupulin, is known from just two wild collections, one from the northern edge of Costa Rica on the Llanura de San Carlos, the other from across the Río San Juan in adjacent Nicaragua (plus a third collection from cultivation). It is distinguished by several floral details from Masdevallia tonduzii Woolward (reverting to Manual nomenclature), adduced as the most similar sp.; these differences are summarized in a table, and the distributions of the two spp. are mapped. The epithet honors the director (erstwhile, if we are not mistaken) of the Jardín Botánico Lankester. Illustrated with photos and an excellent composite line drawing by the first author (it seems that everyone associated with JBL is an accomplished artist!).
Spooner, D. M., M. Ghislain, R. Simon, S. H. Jansky & T. Gavrilenko. 2014.
Systematics, diversity, genetics, and evolution of wild and cultivated potatoes. Bot. Rev. (Lancaster) 80: 283–383.
The phrase "wild and cultivated potatoes" denotes the New World taxon Solanum sect. Petota Dumort. (Solanaceae), last revised comprehensively in 1990, and for Central America in 2004 [see The Cutting Edge 11(2): 13, Apr. 2004]. "The purpose of this review [we quote from the Abstract] is to provide a historical overview and update since 1990 of the systematics, diversity, genetics, domestication, evolution, and breeding of Solanum section Petota that will serve as a reference for the next generation of studies in the potato." Most of this is agronomic in nature, and of little interest to us. Aside from the introduced Solanum tuberosum L. (the potato itself), only S. longiconicum Bitter is attributed to Costa Rica in this paper, as well as in Manual Vol. 8 (2015). However, S. colombianum Dunal is mentioned in the Solanum genus discussion of the Manual as expected and perhaps even recorded from Costa Rica. Solanum woodsonii Correll is indicated as a synonym of S. colombianum in the Manual, but is considered distinct by these authors, which seems significant in view of their record as admitted lumpers: they accept 111 spp. (107 wild and four cultivated) in sect. Petota, less than half the total recongized in the 1990 monograph.
Szlachetko, D. L. & M. Kolanowska. Generic delimitation of the genera Brevilongium and Otoglossum (Orchidaceae) with description of new species from Colombia and Panama. Plant Biosyst. 148: 1148–1159.
This paper is cited only for a comprehensive key to the genus Brevilongium, now with seven spp. This recently minted taxon [see The Cutting Edge 13(2): 3, Apr. 2006] was included within Oncidium in Manual Vol. 3 (2003), though by that time it had already been shifted to Otoglossum on the basis of molecular evidence [see The Cutting Edge 8(4): 7, Oct. 2001]. The authors of the present paper seem inclined to accept every splinter genus that comes down the pike. That said, just one Costa Rican sp. (treated as Oncidium globuliferum Kunth in the Manual) is caught up in this web.
Taylor, C. M. 2015.
Rubiacearum americanarum magna hama XXXIII: the new group Palicourea sect. Didymocarpae with four new species and two new subspecies. (Palicoureeae). Novon 23: 452–478.
The wholesale transfer to Palicourea of spp. traditionally included in Psychotria subgen. Heteropsychotria Steyerm., alluded to in the author's Manual Rubiaceae treatment (2014; see especially p. 679) and, indeed, already underway at that time, is renewed here with a vengeance. This contribution deals with 17 spp. comprising a single section, which itself is described as new (Palicourea sect. Didymocarpae C. M. Taylor is largely congruent with Psychotria sect. Didymocarpos Steyerm., but does not include the type sp. of the latter, negating the possibility for a new combination). The author offers a solid synoptic treatment of the new section, featuring full synonymy and typology and distribution summaries at all ranks, a detailed description of the section, dichotomous and indented keys to spp. and (as needed) subspp., discussions of variable length, and representative specimen citations. Although sect. Didymocarpae is widespread in the Neotropics, it would appear that just one of its spp., Palicourea acuminata (Benth.) Borhidi (treated as Psychotria acuminata Benth. in the Manual), occurs in Costa Rica. Four new spp. and two new subspp. are described, and numerous new combinations validated, but none of this affects Costa Rican floristics. The new spp. alone are illustrated, in the introductory pages, with composite line drawings.
Tobe, H. 2014. Inflorescences of Phyllonoma (Phyllonomaceae, Aquifoliales): anatomical observations. Acta Phytotax. Geobot. 65: 117–126.
The rather congested, epiphyllous inflorescences of Phyllonoma are difficult to interpret, and have been variously characterized in the literature as either cymose or racemose. In Manual Vol. 5 (where the genus was treated under Grossulariaceae), they were described as "subcimosas o de racimos agrupados" (covering all bases!). The investigations of this author (principally involving Costa Rican material of Phyllonoma tenuidens Pittier) "suggest that the entire genus...has monochasial cymes." Suits us!
Trethowan, L. A., R. P. Clark & B. A. Mackinder. 2015. A synopsis of the neotropical genus Schnella (Cercideae: Caesalpinioideae: Leguminosae) including 12 new combinations. Phytotaxa 204: 237–252.
Our readers may recall a recent paper or two [see under "Wunderlin," this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(1), Jan. 2011] in which all the New World lianescent spp. that had traditionally been referred to Bauhinia [as in Manual Vol. 5 (2010)] were summarily transferred to Schnella, based on molecular evidence. This paper embraces that conclusion, and enumerates all 53 accepted taxa (47 of which are spp.) in the last-mentioned genus. New combinations are provided where needed, although none was needed for spp. occurring in Costa Rica. The list includes synonymy and distribution summaries (not always accurate), and is followed by sections on "Excluded names" and "Doubtful or poorly known names" (there are rather too many of the latter, especially from Colombia). Perhaps we should not become too comfortable with this classification, however, as the authors point out (citing an unpublished study) that "the decision to include the species of sect. Caulotretus within the genus Schnella...may prove premature since a recent well-sampled phylogenetic analysis of Bauhinia sens. lat. based on several chloroplast and nuclear regions did not resolve species sampled from the two sections as a monophyletic group." Should that prove to be correct, the whole card house would come tumbling down, since all but a handful of the spp. here assigned to Schnella (and all six of the spp. in Costa Rica) belong to sect. Caulotretus (DC.) Wunderlin (rather than the autonymic section, to which the genus name must remain attached). The oldest available genus name applicable to sect. Caulotretus is apparently Lacara Spreng. (1822). Just saying! The introductory portion of this paper consists mainly of a taxonomic history of the study group.
Van Welzen, P. C., K. Pruesapan, I. R. H. Telford, H.-J. Esser & J. J. Bruhl. 2014. Phylogenetic reconstruction prompts taxonomic changes in Sauropus, Synostemon and Breynia (Phyllanthaceae tribe Phyllantheae). Blumea 59: 77–94.
Even though their "taxonomic approach is perhaps not satisfactory at the moment," and partly "because already 42 generic names...are available for subclades of Phyllanthus" (a specious rationale if ever there was one), the authors of this paper proceed to formally implement their splitters' response to the recent amalgamation of genera such as Breynia and Sauropus within a "giant" Phyllanthus—the taxonomy embraced in Manual Vol. 5 (2010, sub Euphorbiaceae). However, the authors tipped their hands fully seven years ago [see The Cutting Edge 16(2): 9, Apr. 2009], and then dragged their feet for so long that they were beaten to the punch on several new combinations (in a paper we overlooked) by the same team that had previously aced us out in similar style [see under "Chakrabarty," this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(4), Oct. 2012]. Thus, the cultivated sp. long known as Sauropus androgynus (L.) Merr., and branded "Phyllanthus androgynus (L.) J. A. González" in Manual Vol. 5, has now become Breynia androgyna (L.) Chakrab. & N. P. Balakr., at least for those with a splitting temperament. And we would imagine that, for the same crowd, Phyllanthus nivosus W. Bull of the Manual reverts to Breynia disticha J. R. Forst. & G. Forst. None of the other names validated in this paper is relevant to Costa Rican floristics.
A new breed of "botanist" seems to have arisen in recent years, specialized in perusing cladistic papers in search of taxonomic changes that are suggested but not actually implemented, with a view to quickly publish all the "necessary" new names and combinations in parasitic fashion.
Vasco, A., J. Lóriga, G. Rouhan, B. A. Ambrose & R. C. Moran. 2015.
Divided leaves in the genus Elaphoglossum (Dryopteridaceae): a phylogeny of Elaphoglossum section Squamipedia. Syst. Bot. 40: 46–55.
The titular section, comprising 18 largely neotropical spp., was recently revised in a joint effort involving two of these same authors [see under "Vasco" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(1), Jan. 2014]. The present contribution confirms the taxon as monophyletic, with its two Madagascan members in a sister-group relationship to the clade harboring the remaining (neotropical) spp. Four spp. in the group are anomalous (in the entire genus) in having dissected leaves; nonetheless, their origins within sect. Squamipedia were evidently independent. Of potential interest to Costa Rican floristics is the status of Elaphoglossum lloense (Hook.) T. Moore and E. squamipes (Hook.) T. Moore, two of the four spp. in the sect. occurring in the country: these so-called spp. (recognized as such in the aforementioned revision) are themselves polyphyletic, although the authors could find no morphological distinctions among the herbarium vouchers representing the different clades. By the same token, all three of the forms accepted in the recent revisionfor Elaphoglossum peltatum (Sw.) Urb. are revealed as non-monophyletic; these often have been recognized as vars. or even spp. (with some authors accepting as many as four). No taxonomic resolutions for these revelations are formally proposed.
Welker, C. A. D., T. T. Souza-Chies, H. M. Longhi-Wagner, M. C. Peichoto, M. R. McKain & E. A. Kellogg. 2015. Phylogenetic analysis of Saccharum s.l. (Poaceae; Andropogoneae), with emphasis on the circumscription of the South American species. Amer. J. Bot. 102: 248–263.
Saccharum sensu lato (i.e., including Erianthus sensu lato) is revealed as polyphyletic, and the authors suggest that the Old World spp. of Erianthus be segregated in a genus that would bear the name Tripidium H. Scholz (Erianthus sensu stricto, comprising the New World spp., would remain in Saccharum under this scenario). As far as we can tell, neither this proposed remedy (which is not actually implemented, pending more complete sampling) nor the alternative that is discussed (which would require even more splitting) portends a name change for either of the two spp. (both introduced) treated under Saccharum in Manual Vol. 3 (2003).
Williams, B. R. M., T. C. Mitchell, J. R. I. Wood, D. J. Harris, R. W. Scotland & M. A. Carine. 2014. Integrating DNA barcode data in a monographic study of Convolvulus. Taxon 63: 1287–1306.
This paper deals mainly with theoretical topics, and is thus of marginal interest to us. We will report only on one of its major conclusions: Convolvulus is paraphyletic with respect to Calystegia, an assemblage of ca. 26 spp. centered in California. Indeed, Calystegia occurs in the same clade with the type sp. of Convolvulus, C. arvensis L., and thus will likely be combined with the latter genus under any scenario. This sits well with us, as we originally learned all the Californian spp. as belonging to Convolvulus [from Munz's A California flora (1959)], and still regard Calystegia as a "Johnny-come-lately" genus. We cannot speculate on the potential fate of Convolvulus nodiflorus Desr., the only Costa Rican representative of the group, as it was not included in the study. To find out how this will all shake out, we must apparently await the publication of a "foundation monograph" (incorporating "DNA sequence data into a large taxonomic study in a fast and pragmatic way") of Convolvulus, to be helmed by the third author of the present paper and here qualified as "submitted."
Zhang, L.-B. & L. Zhang. 2015. Didymochlaenaceae: a new fern family of eupolypods I (Polypodiales). Taxon 64: 27–38.
Like many fern genera, the monospecific Didymochlaena has been bounced back and forth among various (so-called) families, landing most recently in Hypodematiaceae [see under "Christenhusz" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(3), Jul. 2012]. These molecular analyses "resolved Didymochlaena as sister to the rest of eupolypods I with strong support." The phrase "eupolypods I," though Greek to us, is presumably understood by all contemporary fern phylogenists and is nowhere explicitly defined in this paper; however, we gather that it refers to a group of families including (among others) Dryopteridaceae, Hypodematiaceae, Lomariopsidaceae, Nephrolepidaceae, Oleandraceae, Polypodiaceae, and Tectariaceae. With Didymochlaena truncatula (Sw.) J. Sm. (it does occur in Costa Rica) basal to this entire group, these authors had little choice but to assign it to its own family, if they wished (as clearly they did) to maintain the other families. However, lumping all the aforementioned families together, presumably under the name Polypodiaceae, would not have been as radical a solution as it might appear; as recently as 1981 (see Robert G. Stolze's Ferns and fern allies of Guatemala), Polypodiaceae was circumscribed even more broadly (and that is how we originally learned our Central American ferns). Be that as it may, the name Didymochlaenaceae Ching ex Li Bing Zhang & Liang Zhang is now valid and available for use by anyone so inclined.
Ziffer-Berger, J., N. Hanin, T. Fogel, K. Mummenhoff & O. Barazani. 2015. Molecular phylogeny indicates polyphyly in Raphanus L. (Brassicaceae). Edinburgh J. Bot. 72: 1–11.
Raphanus comprises just three or four spp., but one of these is (according to these authors) nested among spp. of Brassica—although, as we interpret the lone published cladogram, the entire genus Raphanus is nested in Brassica, together with Hirschfeldia and one sp. of Sinapis! The authors acknowledge these uncertainties, yet proceed to promote the segregation of the anomalous Raphanus sp. to a separate, monospecific genus. This scenario would have no impact for us, as the only Costa Rican representatives of Raphanus, the cultivated and/or adventive R. raphanistrum L. and R. sativus L. (the radish), both belong to the autonymic section and will remain in place.