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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

Main | Family List (MO) | Family List (INBio) | Cutting Edge
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The Cutting Edge

Volume XVIII, Number 1, January 2011

News and Notes | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature | Season's Pick | Annotate your copy

DIOSCOREACEAE.  José González (LSCR) reports the recent collection at the Estación Biológica La Selva of Dioscorea pilosiuscula Bertero, by Danilo Brenes.  The plant was growing over a Pentagonia (Rubiaceae) plant near one of the laboratories.  This sp. has been known from the general region, and it is a surprise it had not been collected before at La Selva.

ICACINACEAE.  As indicated under “News and Notes,” trouble looms for the entity treated under the name Leretia cordata Vell. in Barry Hammel’s Manual account of Icacinaceae.  To wit, this now appears to be two entities!  We had been using the name Casimirella ampla (Miers) R. A. Howard for this material for a number of years, but during the process of finalizing his treatment, Barry decided that it corresponded more closely with Leretia.  But during her recent visit to INB, Robyn Burnham (MICH) convinced him that two spp. are actually involved, i.e., the material from the Sarapiquí region (Finca El Bejuco and Tirimbina, including the Manual voucher) is different from the material from the Boca Tapada region.  Barry’s thinking at the moment is that the name Leretia cordata applies to the Sarapiquí material (hence, our voucher is okay!) and C. ampla (representing our “Leap” or “Bound,” if you will) to the Boca Tapada material.  However, this is subject to change, as fruit characters are important in the group, and we still have no fruiting collections from the Sarapiquí region.  Impediments to our understanding of this group have included a dearth of representative collections, and the fact that late family specialist Richard A. Howard failed to mention Leretia cordata in his revision of Casimirella, notwithstanding the vanishingly small distinction between the two taxa.  Perhaps finally we are on the right track, but our new hypothesis (as follows) still requires testing:  Casimirella ampla has somewhat narrower leaf blades that are at most sparsely and minutely strigose along the midrib abaxially with simple trichomes, mostly terminal inflorescences, and subglobose fruits, while Leretia cordata has broader leaf blades that are relatively densely tomentellous throughout abaxially with two-branched trichomes, mostly axillary inflorescences, and oblong fruits.

MELASTOMATACEAE.  During a recent excursion to Isla del Coco in the company of pteridologist Alexander Rojas, Miguel Chaves (JVR) collected a specimen (#23) representing the first record of Miconia chrysophylla (Rich.) Urb. from the island (it was already known from the Costa Rican mainland).  A sterile specimen collected by Enrique Salicetti (#327) from along the Lindero Isaías Alvarado (LIA) at the Estación Biológica La Selva represents Miconia pterocaulon Triana, as determined by Enrique.  This marks the first record of that sp. from La Selva, though it has been known from the general region.  Thanks to José González (LSCR) for both of these reports.

POLYPODIACEAE.  A mystery fernlet collected by an unidentified ecologist in the canopy of a Lecythis ampla Miers (Lecythidaceae) tree at the Estación Biológica La Selva (SHO 750) had us all stumped, until a photograph of it was identified as Ceradenia pruinosa (Maxon) L. E. Bishop by fern specialist nonpareil Robbin C. Moran (NY).  A lowland sp. extending from southern Mexico to Venezuela, C. pruinosa is apparently rare throughout its range.  This is surely the first record of it from La Selva, and as far as we can tell may also be the first Costa Rican record.  Unfortunately, the sole collection was spirited away by the mystery ecologist who collected it, and although he or she had every right to remove it, we would very much like to be assured that the specimen has been properly deposited in an established herbarium (and where that might be).  The effort to identify this fern was spearheaded by José González (LSCR), to whom we owe this report.


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