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The Cutting Edge
Volume XXII, Number 1, January 2015
News and Notes | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature |
Acosta, J. M., M. A. Scataglini, R. Reinheimer & F. O. Zuloaga. 2014. A phylogenetic study of subtribe Otachyriinae (Poaceae, Panicoideae, Paspaleae). Pl. Syst. Evol. 300: 2155–2166.
The good news here is that the genera Anthaenanthia [represented in Costa Rica by the sp. treated in Manual Vol. 3 (2003) as Leptocoryphium lanatum (Kunth) Nees] and Steinchisma (represented in Costa Rica by the sp. treated in the Manual as Panicum laxum Sw.) were both recovered as monophyletic. The bad news is that Hymenachne and Panicum sect. Laxa Hitchc. & Chase ex Pilg. are both polyphyletic. The authors propose a partial resolution of this problem that leaves us at a taxonomic impasse: three members of sect. Laxa, the former Panicum hylaeicum Mez, P. pilosum Sw., and P. polygonatum Schrad. (all occurring in Costa Rica), are transferred to a new genus, Rugoloa Zuloaga (with the new combinations at sp. rank validated in the name of the same author). Not involved in this action, despite its striking gross-morphological similarity to the former Panicum pilosum, is P. stagnatile Hitch. & Chase (also present in Costa Rica), here "placed in [a] clade...together with species of Hymenachne." However, P. stagnatile is not transferred to the last-mentioned genus "until further studies can resolve the Old World and the New World clades of Hymenachne," leaving said sp. in taxonomic limbo. Whether disdainfully or due to timing constraints, these authors omit any mention of a recent paper in which Panicum hylaeicum, P. pilosum, P. polygonatum, and P. stagnatile were all transferred somewhat precipitously (it now seems) to the Australian and formerly monospecific Dallwatsonia [see both entries under "Grande Allende," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(2), Apr. 2014]. Nor are the indicated combinations in the last-mentioned genus cited in synonymy, though presumably they ought to be, as Dallwatsonia is here dispensed with via the formal transfer of the Australian D. felliana B. K. Simon to Hymenachne, within which it proved to be nested. Incidentally: as an ancillary result of reviewing this article, we learned (via TROPICOS) that the genus name Steinchisma is correctly neuter, hence S. laxum (Sw.) Zuloaga, not laxa (as in the Manual and, indeed, this paper).
Azevedo, C. O., C. van den Berg & F. Barros. 2014. A revision of Prescottia (Orchidaceae: Orchidoideae, Cranichideae). Phytotaxa 178: 233–286.
This revision of the terrestrial, neotropical orchid genus Prescottia recognizes 15 spp., a 25% decline from the estimate of 20 provided in the Manual treatment of the genus (2003) by Robert L. Dressler. There is no change for Costa Rica, the same two spp. that were treated in the Manual remaining the only ones attributed to the country, and under the same names: Prescottia oligantha (Sw.) Lindl. and P. stachyodes (Sw.) Lindl. Such a lengthy period of stasis (let alone decline) in sp. number is unusual for an orchid genus, as is the lack of any name changes. Our field experience with this genus would have prepared us for the ascription of additional taxa to Costa Rica, given the phenotypic diversity and broad ecological range of P. stachyodes, in particular. We wondered whether the authors had seen adequate material from the country, since they cite just one Costa Rican voucher for each sp.; however, a quick check of TROPICOS absolves them on that score. So the only substantive changes indicated for the Manual treatment involve the overall geographic ranges of the spp., viz.: add Ecua., Perú, Par., N Arg, and the Bahamas to that of P. oligantha, and reformulate that of P. stachyodes as "Méx.–Bol. y Ven., Trin., Guyana, Bras, Par., Arg., Antillas." Features synonymy and typology, technical descriptions, distribution summaries, and etymology for both the genus and spp., a dichtomous (though non-indented) key to spp., distribution maps, selected (mostly) specimen citations, conservation evaluations, "Notes," and sections on "Doubtful names," "Nomina nuda," and "Excluded taxa." There are no indices. The fairly brief introductory part discusses taxonomic history and morphology, supplemented by 11 plates of SEM micrographs. Most of the spp. (and both of those occurring in Costa Rica) are depicted in composite line drawings. No new taxa or combinations are validated, but seven lectotypes and one neotype are designated, and the authors claim six new synonymies.
Baumbach, N. 2011. Die Gattung Rhetinantha in Costa Rica. Orchidee (Hamburg) 62: 223–227.
Not a revision by any means, just a brief, informal, and illustrated account, aimed at hobbyists, of the three Costa Rican spp. in this recent segregate from Maxillaria (Orchidaceae).
——. 2012. Eine neue Specklinia-Art aus Costa Rica. Orchidee (Hamburg) 63: 404–406.
Specklinia vierlingii Baumbach (Orchidaceae) is described, based on a plant from some unknown (or at least unstated) locality in Costa Rica cultivated in Germany by one Gerhard Vierling. The new sp. is compared with S. condylata (Luer) Pridgeon & M. W. Chase (i.e., Pleurothallis condylata Luer of Manual Vol. 3). Illustrated rather crudely. We had been aware of this name, but had not seen the original publication until now. Evidently, it is a good sp. [see, e.g., under "Bogarin" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(3), Jul. 2014, wherein the geographic range is revealed]. Specklinia vierlingii has already been factored into our running count, but even so, that sterling indicator of new orchid spp. described from Costa Rica since ca. 1993 soars to 346 with the addition of two other recent recruits (see under "Kolanowska" and the first entry under "Pupulin," this column).
——. 2013. Notizen zur Gattung Inti und drei notwendige Umkombinationen. Orchidee (Hamburg) 64: 390–391.
Although it does not directly concern us, one of the new combinations validated herein, Inti chartacifolia (Ames & C. Schweinf.) M. A. Blanco var. foetida (D. E. Benn. & Christenson) Baumbach (based on the Peruvian Maxillaria foetida D. E. Benn. & Christenson), has an indirect effect on Costa Rican floristics in establishing the autonymic var. to be used (if this taxonomy is accepted) for Costa Rican material of I. chartacifolia (i.e., Maxillaria chartacifolia Ames & C. Schweinf. of Manual Vol. 3).
Chambers, K. L. & G. O. Poinar, Jr. 2014. Ticodendron palaios sp. nov. (Ticodendraceae), a Mid-Tertiary fossil flower in Dominican amber. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 8: 559–564.
The title contains most of the critical information pertinent to this article. Dominican amber derives from the resin of an extinct sp. of Hymenaea (Fabaceae) which itself was described from said medium. As with all fossil identifications, this one appears highly subjective and open to interpretation. We learn that this is not the first fossil that has been assigned to Ticodendraceae (clearly we have been lax in keeping track of the paleobotanical literature!).
Chiou, K. L. & C. A. Hastorf. 2014.
A systematic approach to species-level identification of chile pepper (Capsicum spp.) seeds: establishing the groundwork for tracking the domestication and movement of chile peppers through the Americas and beyond. Econ. Bot. 68: 316–336.
The authors present a system for the identification of the five principal cultivated Capsicum spp. based exclusively on seed characters. Six quantitative and two qualitative attributes proved useful in this regard. This approach seems best suited to archaeological material, which may consist primarily or exclusively of seeds. Botanists working with recent material have access to other, more easily evaluated characters, but might still find these seed features useful in some contexts.
Chomicki, G. & S. S. Renner. 2015 Watermelon origin solved with molecular phylogenetics including Linnaean material: another example of museomics. New Phytol. 205: 526–532.
The principal conclusions and taxonomic consequences of this study were briefly described in a prior paper from this lab, already reviewed in these pages [see under "Renner" et al., this column, in our last issue]. The chief revelation here (for us, anyway) is that the authors were able to analyze DNA sequences from a type specimen collected in 1773! This was critical to their investigation, as that original material, consisting of "a few crumbled leaves," could not be meaningfully evaluated on morphological grounds.
Christenhusz, M. J. M., S. F. Brockington, P.-A. Christin & R. F. Sage. 2014. On the disintegration of Molluginaceae: a new genus and family (Kewa, Kewaceae) segregated from Hypertelis, and placement of Macarthuria in Macarthuriaceae. Phytotaxa 181: 238–242.
This sounds more catastrophic than it really is, at least from a Costa Rican viewpoint. The taxa mentioned in the second clause of the title are all confined to the Old World. The only two genera of Molluginaceae represented in Costa Rica, Glinus and Mollugo, stay put. Only minor changes to the genus and sp. totals for the family would perhaps be needed in the Manual treatment of Molluginaceae (Vol. 6, 2007) by co-PI Mike Grayum.
Daly, G. 2014. Costa Rica – palms in the Neotropics. Palms & Cycads 124: 4–17.
A critical chronicle of a recent tour of Costa Rica by an Australian palm enthusiast, with many color photos of the palms he encountered. The author pulls no punches. We were most impressed by the high cost of lodging and the number of different localities we'd never heard of. Or are they just grossly misspelled? Can there really be a place called "Asoprola" in Costa Rica?
Daniel, T. F. & L. A. McDade. 2014. Nelsonioideae (Lamiales: Acanthaceae): revision of genera and catalog of species. Aliso 32: 1–45.
Nelsonioideae, with five genera and 172 spp., is the smallest of the three subfamilies currently recognized in Acanthaceae. By far its largest genus is Staurogyne (145 spp. total), followed distantly by Elytraria (21 spp.), with the remaining genera mono- to trispecific. Three genera are represented in Costa Rica, each by a single sp., viz.: Elytraria imbricata (Vahl) Pers., Nelsonia canescens (Lam.) Spreng., and Staurogyne miqueliana Kuntze. The last of these offers the biggest surprise for us: we had hitherto known the same sp. by the name Staurogyne agrestis Leonard, now consigned to synonymy. Another mild surprise concerns the name Nelsonia brunelloides (Lam.) Kuntze, frequently accepted in the past (e.g., in Flora of Costa Rica and Flora of Panama) for the sp. now known as N. canescens and assumed by us (and apparently others) to be a synonym of the latter name, but here revealed as correctly pertaining to the Old World genus Hemigraphis (not even a member of subfam. Nelsonioideae). The taxonomic portion of this paper (of greatest interest to us) provides synonymy (at all levels) and (for the subfamily and each genus) typology and extensive descriptions, as well as a dichotomous and indented key to genera, a distribution map and composite line drawing of a selected sp. for each genus (two spp. in the case of Staurogyne), a distribution summary (plus occasional commentary) for each sp., and a list of "Excluded or unresolved names." There is no index to scientific names. The extensive and superbly illustrated introductory portion addresses taxonomic history, phylogeny, morphology (with special attention to pollen and seeds), chromosome numbers, and distribution. Two new combinations are validated, but neither is of consequence to us.
Fernandes, R. S., J. C. Yesilyurt & A. Salino. 2014. New species and combinations in Meniscium (Thelypteridaceae). Phytotaxa 184: 1–11.
Two new sp. names and four new combinations are validated, but of all these, just one of the new combinations is germane to Costa Rican floristics: Meniscium cocleanum (A. R. Sm. & Lellinger) R. S. Fern. & Salino, now available for the sp. that was treated as Thelypteris cocleana A. R. Sm. & Lellinger in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1 [but which would be assigned to the genus Cyclosorus by many contemporary workers; see, e.g., under "Mazumdar," this column, in The Cutting Edge 20(4), Oct. 2013].
Gamba, D. & F. Almeda. 2014. Systematics of the Octopleura clade of Miconia (Melastomataceae: Miconieae) in tropical America. Phytotaxa 179: 1–174.
The paraphyletic status of the huge genus Miconia, with respect to several other major and familiar genera, was substantiated on molecular grounds a decade ago [see The Cutting Edge 11(4): 10, Oct. 2004], and strongly suspected well before then. Now it is time to pay the piper, but clearly, the agony will be prolonged, one monophyletic group at a time. The group under consideration in this paper, the so-called Octopleura clade, comprises 33 spp., all traditionally included in Clidemia or Ossaea and ranging essentially throughout the Neotropics. These are characterized as "typically thinly-branched shrubs or small trees," with the following synapomorphies: "isomorphic anthers with one or two dorsally inclined apical pore(s), connective that is prolonged dorso-basally into a deflexed gland-edged appendage, and hypanthia and mature berries that are typically ribbed." Seventeen of the spp. are represented in Costa Rica, including all but one of the eight spp. treated under Ossaea in the Manual. New combinations are validated, in the names of the authors, for 13 spp., including eight in Costa Rica previously treated (as in Manual Vol. 6) under the following names: Clidemia aguilarii Kriebel & Almeda and C. aurantiaca Almeda & Kriebel [see under "Kriebel," this column, in The Cutting Edge 16(4), Oct. 2009], C. biolleyana Cogn., C. evanescens Almeda, C. quinquenervia (Mill.) Almeda, C. radicans Cogn., C. reitziana Cogn. & Gleason, and Ossaea laxivenula Wurdack. Inevitably, nomina nova were required for a number of spp. (also 13) with epithets preoccupied in Miconia, including seven in Costa Rica treated in the Manual as follows: Clidemia coronata Gleason (which becomes Miconia neocoronata Gamba & Almeda); C. densiflora (Standl.) Gleason (becomes M. approximata Gamba & Almeda); Ossaea asplundii Wurdack (becomes M. alboglandulosa Gamba & Almeda); O. bracteata Triana (becomes M. bractiflora Gamba & Almeda); O. brenesii Standl. (becomes M. albertobrenesii Gamba & Almeda); O. macrophylla (Benth.) Cogn. (becomes M. magnifolia Gamba & Almeda); O. robusta (Triana) Cogn. (becomes M. variabilis Gamba & Almeda); and finally, O. spicata Gleason, merely mentioned in the Manual (becomes M. spiciformis Gamba & Almeda). The nomen novum Miconia neomicrantha Judd & Skean was already available for the sp. treated as Ossaea micrantha (Sw.) Macfad. ex Cogn. in the Manual (where it was cited in synonymy). There is a problem with some of these nomina nova, in that the authors apparently fell into the usual trap of assuming (erroneously) that a nomen novum carries the priority of the name it replaces. They are off the hook in most cases, Miconia being such a large genus that most common epithets have already been used. However, at least one of their nomina nova, Miconia magnifolia must be considered illegitimate, as it includes the type of Clidemia solearis Naudin (cited in synonymy), the epithet of which ought to have been used. The nomen novum Miconia neomicrantha is not illegitimate; however, accepting the authors' synonymy, the correct name for the sp. probably ought to be a combination in Miconia based on Octopleura rubescens Triana. Moving forward, six new sp. are also described in this work, but just one of these pertains to Costa Rica: Miconia latidecurrens Gamba & Almeda, mainly Panamanian in distribution but with two collections cited from the Estación Biológica Tirimbina, just upslope from La Selva (at 184 m elevation); the new sp. most resembles Miconia laxivenula, from which it differs by its 5-merous (vs. mostly 4-merous) flowers and sessile (vs. petiolate) leaves. A few apparent nomenclatural glitches notwithstanding, this is a rigorous and beautifully rendered piece of work in terms of attention to detail, providing synonymy, typology, and exhaustive descriptions at all levels, a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp., comprehensive specimen citations, distribution and phenology summaries, discussions, evaluations of conservation status, distribution maps, and (as appendices) chromosome counts and an index to exsiccatae. The well-illustrated introductory sections, dealing almost exclusively with the Octopleura clade, address taxonomic history, phylogeny, character evolution, comparative morphology (with special attention to seeds), distribution, pollination, and animal associations. Nine spp. (including Miconia latidecurrens, M. radicans, M. reitziana, and M. spiciformis) are the subjects of composite line drawings, at the end of the treatment. If anything is missing in action here, it is the big picture: how will we now recognize Miconia, with these new additions, and what will be the eventual fate of the remaining spp. of Clidemia and Ossaea? Only a small percentage of the spp. included traditionally in the two last-mentioned genera are members of the Octopleura clade [though only one Costa Rican Ossaea sp., O. quadrisulca (Naudin) Wurdack, falls outside of it].
González, F. & N. Pabón-Mora 2014. Pilostyles boyacensis, a new species of Apodanthaceae (Cucurbitales) from Colombia. Phytotaxa 178: 138–145.
Here again, Pilostyles blanchetii (Gardner) R. Br. is erroneously (we think!) attributed to Costa Rica (in the key to Colombian spp. of Pilostyles), in perpetuation (we must assume) of an acknowledged error perpetrated in a recent paper [see under "Bellot," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(3), Jul. 2014] that is included here among the "References." Once these rumors get started, they spread like wildfire!
Guillén Rodríguez, Y. & G. Vargas Rojas. 2014. Voyria crucitasensis (Gentianaceae), una nueva especie de planta micoheterotrófica para Costa Rica. Phytoneuron 2014-99: 1–6.
Based on three collections by the first author, all from the Cutris region of the Llanura de San Carlos in northernmost Costa Rica, Voyria crucitasensis Y. Guillén & G. Vargas bumps the Costa Rican sp. total for its genus of saprophytic herbs up to eight. The new sp. has yellow corollas, and is alleged to be most closely related to the largely South American V. aurantiaca Splitg. [erroneously attribued to Costa Rica in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 4(1), based on a specimen that had been misdetermined]. It differs from the latter sp. in its longer pedicels and various floral details (what else do these plants have to offer?). Illustrated with color photographs of living material.
Hammel, B. E., M. H. Grayum, C. Herrera & N. Zamora (eds.). 2014. Manual de plantas de Costa Rica. Vol. VII. Dicotiledóneas (Picramniaceae–Rutaceae). Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 129: 1–840.
Here it is, at long last: the third of five dicot volumes to be published in the Manual series, and the sixth altogether of a projected total of eight. 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 18 families treated in Vol. 7 account for a total of 1155 Costa Rican spp. in 171 genera. Two families far outstrip their brethren in sp. total, together accounting for 80% of the spp. in the volume: Piperaceae, with 465 spp. (in just three genera!), and Rubiaceae, with 458 spp. (distributed among 89 genera). Rosaceae (with 42 spp.), Rutaceae (41 spp.), and Polygonaceae (39 spp.) distantly head up the rest of the pack. It seems a safe bet that, when all is said and done, Piper (Piperaceae), with an astounding 331 spp. in Costa Rica, will prevail by a comfortable margin as the largest genus of vascular plants in the country. Illustrated with 205 line drawings, 18 black-and-white photos, and the standard eight pages of color photos. One new sp. name is validated (in an appendix).
We extend our enduring gratitude to the following authors of treatments for Manual Vol. 7: Ricardo Callejas Posada (HUA; Piperaceae); Garrett E. Crow (NHA; Podostemaceae pro parte); José González (LSCR; Portulacaceae, Primulaceae, Rhamnaceae); Quírico Jiménez (INB; Rutaceae pro parte); Jacquelyn A. Kallunki (NY; Rutaceae pro parte); David H. Lorence (PTBG; Rubiaceae pro parte); Silvana Martén-Rodríguez (IEB; Picramniaceae); J. Francisco Morales (UBT; Plantaginaceae, Polemoniaceae, Polygalaceae, Proteaceae, Quiinaceae, Ranunculaceae, Rosaceae); C. Thomas Philbrick (WCSU; Podostemaceae pro parte); Alexánder Rodríguez (CR; Rhizophoraceae); Armando Soto (INB; Polygonaceae); and Charlotte M. Taylor (MO; Rubiaceae pro parte). This volume honors the memory of iconic Costa Rica botanist Jorge León Arguedas [see under "News and Notes" in The Cutting Edge 20(3), Jul. 2013].
Kolanowska, M. 2014. Notes on Costa Rican Pterichis (Orchidaceae) – new taxa and additions to national orchid flora. Lankesteriana 14: 99–108.
The Manual treatment of Pterichis by Robert L. Dressler (2003) accounted for two spp., under the names P. galeata Lindl. and P. habenarioides (F. Lehm. & Kraenzl.) Schltr., both restricted to montane habitats (above 2250 m elevation). The present contribution ups the ante to five spp., including one described as new and two newly attributed to the country, and discriminates a new var. within P. habenarioides. Costa Rican material of all these additions had previously been subsumed in P. habenarioides. New to science is Pterichis herrerae Kolan., named for the redoubtable Gerardo Herrera, collector of the type and only known specimen. It differs from P. habenarioides in the usual floral details, but perhaps most notably by its pubescent (rather than glabrous) floral bracts. The new country records involve Pterichis parvifolia (Lindl.) Schltr. and P. pauciflora Schltr., both previously known from Colombia, Ecuador, and (in the case of P. parvifolia) Peru. Like P. herrerae, both were collected in Costa Rica in the Cordillera de Talamanca, near the Continental Divide. Pterichis habenarioides var. costaricensis Kolan. is established on the basis of a single specimen, from high on the Kámuk massif on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca. Whether or not the autonymic var. of P. habenarioides also occurs in Costa Rica is ambiguous; only Colombian material is cited in a list of exsiccatae, but both vars. are included in a "Key [dichotomous and indented!] to Costa Rican species of Pterichis." All the taxa mentioned above are illustrated with composite line drawings (showing only floral details, except for the new taxa), and the new taxa are depicted also by photographs of their holotype specimens.
Kuijt, J., J. Harrison & L. Harrison. 2015. Oryctanthus callicarpus, a replacement for Mesoamerican O. occidentalis (Loranthaceae). Phytologia 97: 51–54.
More precisely, Oryctanthus callicarpus Kuijt is proposed as a replacement name for O. occidentalis (L.) Eichler subsp. continentalis Kuijt which, as implied by its epithet, applied to mainland populations of O. occidentalis, as heretofore conceived. Field studies in Panama have convinced the authors that at least the Panamanian material formerly included in O. occidentalis differs from Jamaican material (including the type) in having fruits "with a variable number of transverse color bands" (vs. blackish purple fruits in Jamaica). This fruit coloration, said to be unique within the family, is the same character that had been used to discriminate the two subspp. of O. occidentalis; why they are now deemed worthy of sp. rank is not made clear. The present resolution is only half-baked, as it does not take into account South American populations (the authors also exclude Costa Rican populations in their text, yet confusingly cite several Costa Rican specimens under the heading of O. callicarpus). They "speculate that a detailed, South American analysis...may lead to further changes, but it will likely continue to restrict the application of the name O. occidentalis to Jamaica." Said analysis will presumably require field study, as "the unique, striking multicolored fruits in Panama" are "not normally surviving in herbarium material."
Lagomarsino, L. P., A. Antonelli, N. Muchhala, A. Timmermann, S. Mathews & C. C. Davis. 2014. Phylogeny, classification, and fruit evolution of the species-rich Neotropical bellflowers (Campanulaceae: Lobelioideae). Amer. J. Bot. 101: 2097–2112.
This study finds "high support for the monophyly of Burmeistera and the polyphyly of Centropogon and...Siphocampylus." The authors allege that taxonomic circumscription in the group "have been misled by an overreliance on the single character of fruit type." In particular, the separation on this basis of Centropogon (with berries) and Siphocampylus (with capsules) is thoroughly debunked. The authors postulate that "the ancestral fruit type of the centropogonids is a capsule," and that "berries have evolved independently multiple times. Thus, the spp. presently included in Centropogon comprise a "minimum of eight lineages," while those included in Siphocampylus "fall into at least 11 distantly related clades." This situation will clearly have grave taxonomic consequences somewhere along the line, though these authors tread lightly down that path, pending "future investigation." However, limited speculation is possible from the cladograms presented: first, the Caribbean members of Siphocampylus appear clearly to be misplaced, more closely affined with Lobelia, and certainly will wind up in a different genus. Second, the so-called "centropogonids" (Burmeistera, Centropogon, and mainland Siphocampylus) must either be combined into a single huge genus (with Siphocampylus the oldest name!), or else subdivided into a variable number of smaller genera. Assuming the latter option to be more likely, Burmeistera would figure to remain more or less intact, with Centropogon and Siphocampylus suffering major changes. Most likely to remain in Centropogon s. str. are those spp. that group with the type sp., viz., Centropogon congestus Gleason, C. cornutus (L.) Druce (the type itself), C. granulosus C. Presl, C. panamensis Wilbur, and C. solanifolius Benth. (to name those spp. occurring in Costa Rica). The only Costa Rican representative of Siphocampylus, S. nematosepalus (Donn. Sm.) E. Wimm., could conceivably remain in that genus, but only in a scenario that would suck several spp. currently included in Centropogon into the same vortex, viz. (in Costa Rica), C. coccineus (Hook.) Regel ex B. D. Jacks., C. costaricae (Vatke) McVaugh, C. gutierrezii (Planch. & Oerst.) E. Wimm., C. palmanus (Donn. Sm.) E. Wimm., and C. talamancensis Wilbur. Certain other spp. in Costa Rica, including Centropogon ferrugineus (L. f.) Gleason, C. pichinchensis Zahlbr., and C. valerioi Standl., belong to a separate, morphologically well-marked clade, and could end up in yet a third genus. Finally, "a grade of robust, green-flowered Centropogon species" groups very closely with Burmeistera, and is included by these authors among the "burmeisterids." It seems reasonable that these spp. could eventually be subsumed within Burmeistera, which would suit us, as Centropogon smithii E. Wimm., the lone Costa Rican member of the grade, looks exactly like a Burmeistera to us!
Lombardi, J. A. 2014. Celastraceae (Hippocrateoideae e Salacioideae). Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 114: 1–227.
The two subfamilies named parenthetically in the title were previously considered to comprise a distinct family, Hippocrateaceae, now included in Celastraceae by the powers that be on the basis of molecular evidence. This deluxe treatment recognizes 104 spp. in the New World, apportioned unevenly among 12 genera. Subfamily Hippocrateaceae (with capsular or schizocarpic fruits) includes eight of the genera but just 23 of the spp., while subfam. Salacioideae (with baccate fruits) harbors 81 spp. in just four genera. The four genera of subfam. Salacioideae are the most sp.-rich of the group: Salacia (33 New World spp.), Peritassa (19 spp.), Tontelea (17 spp.), and Cheiloclinium (12 spp.); Pristimera (8 spp.) is the leader for subfam. Hippocrateoideae in this category. This contribution qualifies as fully monographic for the seven genera that are endemic to the New World, viz., Anthodon (1 sp.), Cheiloclinium, Hylenaea (3 spp.), Peritassa, Prionostemma (1 sp.), Pristimera, and Tontelea. As it turns out, all 12 genera are represented in Costa Rica by at least one sp., with Salacia (5 spp.), Cheiloclinium (3 spp.), Pristimera (3 spp.), and Peritassa (2 spp.) most diverse. The majority of the spp. in Costa Rica (and in general) are lianas, though several may be at least facultatively shrubby or arborescent, most notably Cheiloclinium cognatum (Miers) A. C. Sm., most of our Salacia spp., and Semialarium mexicanum (Miers) Mennega. As is typical of lianas, the spp. tend to be widespread, and only Pristimera austin-smithii (Lundell) A. C. Sm. may be claimed as a Costa Rican endemic. This treatment adds five spp. to the Costa Rican flora, as based on the Manual Hippocrateaceae draft by Jennifer Hedin that was submitted many years ago [see The Cutting Edge 5(4): 2–3, Oct. 1998] and is currently under revision for incorporation into Celastraceae. These additions are: Cheiloclinium hippocrateoides (Peyr.) A. C. Sm. (Península de Osa); Peritassa laevigata (Hoffmanns. ex Link) A. C. Sm. (0–1150 m, on both slopes); Pristimera tenuiflora (Mart. ex Peyr.) A. C. Sm. (Atlantic lowlands); Salacia elliptica (Mart. ex Schult.) G. Don (1250–1500 m, Cerro Turrubares); and S. impressifolia (Miers) A. C. Sm. (Llanura de San Carlos). All these additions are based on collections made prior to the submission of the Manual draft that were unidentified or (at least according to this author) misdetermined. Both Pristimera tenuiflora and Salacia impressifolia were mentioned in our draft as expected in Costa Rica. Three taxonomic changes (relative to the Manual draft) may also be reported: Anthodon panamense A. C. Sm. (here misspelled "panamensis") becomes a synonym of A. decussatum Ruiz & Pav.; Salacia petenensis Lundell is reclassified as a subsp. of S. cordata (Miers) Mennega, with the new combination validated in the name of the author (and both subssp. attributed to Costa Rica); and the spp. called Salacia opacifolia (J. F. Macbr.) A. C. Sm. in our draft is now S. mennegana Lombardi [see under "Lombardi," this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(4), Oct. 2012], with the real S. opacifolia restricted to Andean South America. This work features full synonymy and typology and technical descriptions at all ranks, as well as dichotomous and indented keys to the subfamilies (including Celastroideae), genera, spp., and (in a few cases) subspp. present in the Neotropics. The two subfamilies are treated separately, with the infrafamilial taxa ordered alphabetically under each subfamily. Each sp. entry includes a distribution summary, selected specimen citations, an enumeration of common names and uses (as known), and a discussion of variable length. Distribution maps are provided, and selected spp. are illustrated with composite line drawings. At the end are found a section on dubious names, excluded taxa, and nomina nuda and indices to exsiccatae and scientific names. The introductory portion, rather brief by the standards of this series, addresses taxonomic history, morphology and anatomy, karyology, phylogeny, distribution, and uses. In Portuguese (with English abstract).
McKone, M. J., J. W. Moore, C. W. Harbison, I. C. Holmen, H. C. Lyons, K. M. Nachbor, J. L. Michalak, M. Neiman, J. L. Nicol & G. R. Wheeler. 2014.
Rapid collapse of a population of Dieffenbachia spp., plants used for tadpole-rearing by a poison-dart frog (Oophaga pumilio) in a Costa Rican rain forest. J. Trop. Ecol. 30: 615–619.
We don't usually report on papers of mainly ecological interest, but this one hits home: during our most recent (2005–2013) visits to the Estación Biológica La Selva, we had casually noticed the same phenomenon noted in the title, i.e., the virtual disappearance of Dieffenbachia spp. (including D. oerstedii Schott and D. tonduzii Croat & Grayum) from habitats (e.g., secondary forest and abandoned cacaotales) in which they had been formerly abundant (according to our earlier experience at the site, especially during the period 1978–1992). These authors document the decline with actual data, showing "that the collapse occurred at some point between 2002 and 2010." They attribute it to "mammalian herbivory, in particular by the collared peccary," an "omnivorous species [that] is abundant at La Selva, and...has increased greatly in recent decades." This is a factor that had not occurred to us; we had thought the decline of Dieffenbachia might be due (directly or indirectly) to climate change, or to successional changes in the preferred habitats, which are no longer subject to disturbance in the La Selva reserve. While the peccary hypothesis seems plausible (and the authors present compelling evidence), our observations suggest that Dieffenbachia spp. seem suddenly less abundant in other areas of Costa Rica as well, e.g., the Cordillera de Guanacaste. Furthermore, although peccaries have certainly become bolder and more conspicuous at La Selva in recent years, they were not exactly unknown in the past (indeed, even the larger white-lipped peccary could occasionally be spotted in the reserve well into the 1970s). We recall that, back in the day, large stands of Dieffenbachia were extensively plundered by roving bands of peccaries on a semiregular basis, with no apparent lasting effects. So the jury may still be out on this issue.
Medina, N. 2014. Three new species of Ficus (Moraceae) from Central and northern-South America. Phytotaxa 188: 21–30.
We, too, are puzzled by the hyphen. But the heart of the matter, for us anyway, is Ficus plectonervata N. Medina, a new sp. ranging from Costa Rica to western Colombia. This corresponds to the same entity that was branded as Ficus richteri Dugand in Manual Vol. 6 (2007), and is separated rather painstakingly from the latter by means of what seem to us relatively trivial and inconsistent features (the most obvious and consistent being its leaf-blades with "parallel intersecondary veins," absent in F. richteri). So restricted, the "real" F. richteri is a Colombian endemic. The two spp. are compared in a table, which also includes Ficus cuatrecasana Dugand (the epithet of which was spelled—inadvisedly, we now believe—"cuatrecasasiana" in the Manual). Ficus plectonervata is illustrated with a rather basic line drawing and various photos (including SEM micrographs of trichomes), and the distributions of all three novelties are plotted on a single map. As far as we know, F. plectonervata is known from Costa Rica by just three collections, all from the Estación Biológica La Selva.
Mill, R. R. 2014. A monographic revision of the genus Podocarpus (Podocarpaceae): I. Historical review. Edinburgh J. Bot. 71: 309–360.
It sounds promising, but for the time being we must content ourselves with this: an exhaustive historical review, a brief plan of the revision, and an extensive compilation of references. That's all that is published here, but material at MO recently returned from loan offers a sneak preview of the author's taxonomic views, at least where Costa Rica is concerned: they will pretty much follow those expressed in the Manual (Vol. 2, 2003) Podocarpaceae treatment by Mary Merello, except that Costa Rican material of Podocarpus oleifolius D. Don (the most common sp. in the country) will be distinguished as P. o. subsp. costaricensis (J. Buchholz & N. E. Gray) Silba (which combination was validated in a paper overlooked by us). We cannot tell whether the last-mentioned taxon is endemic to Costa Rica.
Morales, C. O. 2012. Über die erfolgreiche Verbreitung von Oeceoclades maculata in Costa Rica. Orchidee (Hamburg) 63: 297–300.
We can do little better than to reproduce the English "Summary" here: "This article informs about the successful conquest of Costa Rica by the African terrestrial orchid Oeceoclades maculata, which has even invaded some national parks of this Central American country, for the most part in the Guanacaste and Puntarenas provinces of the Pacific versant. Data and hypotheses to explain this invasion are discussed." Oeceoclades maculata (Lindl.) Lindl. was first detected in Costa Rica in 2000, as noted in Manual Vol. 3 (2003). The plants flower at a relatively young age, and also reproduce vegetatively. Illustrated with photos and drawings, as well as a rustic map showing known Costa Rican localities.
Morrone, O., S. S. Aliscioni, J. F. Veldkamp, J. F. Pensiero, F. O. Zuloaga & E. A. Kellogg. 2014. Revision of the Old World species of Setaria (Poaceae: Panicoideae: Paniceae). Syst. Bot. Monogr. 96: 1–161.
This contribution being solely of tangential interest to us, we will not belabor its features in these pages; suffice it to say that it upholds the impeccable standards of the serial in which it is published. Inevitably, a few Setaria spp. in Costa Rica are treated here (either because they are Old World natives, or else New World spp. adventive in the Old World), and we do learn some miscellaneous new facts about these. First and foremost, the name Setaria poiretiana (Schult.) Kunth, accepted in Manual Vol. 3 (2003) for a sp. of rare occurrence in Costa Rica, must yield to the prior S. sulcata Raddi. Secondly, we seem to have bungled the authority citation for Setaria sphacelata (Schumach.) Stapf & C. E. Hubb., correctly a combination based on Panicum sphacelatum Schumach. (rather than a new taxon name, as we had it); we may also have erred as regards the place and date of publication (though we think the matter remains open to debate). And finally, acting on recently published molecular work [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 16(2): 6–7, Apr. 2009], these authors formally include Paspalidium in Setaria; the correct combination in the latter genus for Paspalidium geminatum (Forssk.) Stapf, the only Costa Rican representative of the group, was already included in the Manual. Furthermore, and contrary to the Manual, they eschew recognition of vars. in the last-mentioned sp.
Palmas-Pérez, S., T. Krömer, S. Dressler & J. A. Arévalo-Ramírez. 2013.
Diversidad y distribución de Marcgraviaceae en México/Diversity and distribution of Marcgraviaceae in Mexico. Revista Mex. Biodivers. 84: 170–183.
Most of this is of little relevance to our tiny sphere of interest. That said, the first Mexican report of Marcgravia pittieri Gilg may persuade Manual users to insert "S Méx. (Oax.) y" immediately prior to "Guat." in the Manual distribution statement (Vol. 6) for the sp. in question.
Paula-Souza, J. & H. E. Ballard, Jr. 2014. Re-establishment of the name Pombalia, and new combinations from the polyphyletic Hybanthus (Violaceae). Phytotaxa 183: 1–15.
Impending doom for Hybanthus had already been forecast in these pages [see under "Wahlert" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(2), Apr. 2014], but it has arrived even sooner than we expected: too late, however, to permit modification of the in-press Manual Violaceae treatment (by the second author of this paper), but just in time to guarantee the instant obsolescence of said treatment. In any case, the details have only just begun to unfold: whereas nine segregate genera (five represented in Costa Rica) are slated to be spun off from Hybanthus sensu lato, the task will evidently be accomplished in piecemeal fashion. The present contribution resurrects the obscure generic name Pombalia Vand. for 41 erstwhile Hybanthus spp. (and one var.), though it is not intended as "a full nomenclatural revision" of the group. Pombalia, according to this new circumscription, is endemic to the New World, and comprises the lion's share of the New World spp. of traditional Hybanthus, as well as five of the 11 Costa Rican spp.: the former Hybanthus attenuatus (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Schult.) Schulze-Menz, H. calceolaria (L.) Oken, H. hespericlivus H. E. Ballard, Wetter & N. Zamora, H. oppositifolius (L.) Taub., and H. prunifolius (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Schult.) Schulze-Menz, all duly furnished with new combinations in Pombalia in the name of "Paula-Souza" or (in the case of H. hespericlivus) "H. E. Ballard & Paula-Souza." The surprise for us is H. hespericlivus, "potentially" belonging to a different segregate, according to the earlier paper (and while on the subject, we are pretty sure its epithet is a noun in apposition and should not be altered to "hespericliva" when transferred to Pombalia). We can find no explicit diagnosis of Pombalia, but a detailed revised description contains passages suggesting that staminal characters play a critical role: "The 2 anterior stamens bearing nectar glands...that are free from each other (as opposed to Hybanthus s. str.),...noduliform, globose, conical, in a small lump, or variously shaped (but not a shield-like process as in Hybanthus s. str.)." We eagerly await a full explication of the new taxonomy, and hope to incorporate it in subsequent editions of the Manual!
Pérez-Escobar, Ó. A. & M. A. Blanco. 2014. Rediscovery of Malaxis nana (Orchidaceae: Malaxideae) in Costa Rica, with an updated description. Lankesteriana 14: 109–114.
At the time the Manual Orchidaceae treatment was published (2003), the Costa Rican endemic Malaxis nana C. Schweinf. was known by just five collections: two from the San Ramón region and three others (of Auguste R. Endrés) from unspecified localities (though likely also from about San Ramón). These authors report a new population, widely disjunct from the vicinity of San Ramón, at the Estación Biológica Las Cruces, in the southern Fila Costeña. They provide an updated description, a distribution map, a composite line drawing (showing only floral features), and color photos from life. No adjustments are needed to the life zones, elevational range, or phenology indicated in the Manual distribution statement for the sp.
Porter-Utley, K. 2014. A revision of Passiflora L. subgenus Decaloba (DC.) Rchb. supersection Cieca (Medik.) J. M. MacDougal & Feuillet (Passifloraceae). PhytoKeys 43: 1–224.
This marks the formal publication of the author's Univerity of Florida Ph.D. dissertation (2003), a work that was utilized for and cited in the Manual Passifloraceae treatment (2007) by Alexánder Rodríguez and Armando Estrada (both now at CR). The 19 spp. of supersect. Cieca are exclusively neotropical, though two have been introduced widely in the Old World tropics. The taxon is characterized by "small, apetalous, usually greenish flowers with the filaments of the corona mostly in two series." Three spp. are attributed to Costa Rica in this work: Passiflora suberosa L., P. megacoriacea Port.-Utl., and P. obtusifolia Sessé & Moc. In terms of material studied, the Manual treatment (not cited here!) is more up-to-date than this revision, which appears frozen in time ca. 2003. For example, the latter cites no Costa Rican records for Passiflora pallida L., a sp. that was included in the Manual on the basis of a single Costa Rican collection; at least one other (collected in 2008) now exists, but neither is accounted for in this revision. On the other hand, Passiflora sp. A of the Manual finally has a name, P. megacoriacea, validated herein. Furthermore, we learn that Costa Rican material of Passiflora suberosa should henceforth be qualified as belonging to P. s. subsp. litoralis (Kunth) Port.-Utl. ex M. A. M. Azevedo, Baumgratz & Gonç.-Estev., a combination proposed in the author's dissertation but later validated (inadvertently?) by the last-mentioned authorities. The overall geographic range of subsp. litoralis may be expressed as follows: "Méx.–Bol. y Ven., Bras., Par., Arg., introd. Hawai, tróps. y subtróps. del Viejo Mundo." Features synonymy, typology, and generous technical descriptions at all ranks from genus on down (excluding subgenus), dichotomous (though, sadly, non-indented) keys to spp. and (as necessary) subspp., distribution and phenology summaries, discussions (often very lengthy), "selected" (though extensive) specimen citations, distribution maps, a section on "Excluded names," and an index to exsiccatae. The unsually discursive (79 pp.!) introductory portion tackles taxonomic history, morphology, chromosome numbers, chemistry, reproductive biology, herbivory, distribution, and phylogeny. Each sp. and subsp. is depicted in a color photograph from life, or (in a few cases) an image of a herbarium specimen or a line drawing.
Pupulin, F. & D. Bogarín. 2011. Eine neue, groẞblütige Lepanthes-Art aus Costa Rica/A new, large-flowered species of Lepanthes from Costa Rica. Orchidee (Hamburg) 62: 469–477.
The new sp. is Lepanthes matamorosii Pupulin & Bogarín (Orchidaceae), based on a cultivated specimen originally field-collected by one Daniel Matamoros along a very well-botanized stretch of the Carretera Interamericana, at 2571 m elevation on the Cerro de La Muerte traverse. Only one paratype is cited. This sp. is "unistakable" by virtue of "the unusually large size of the flower, the long-tailed sepals, and the rhombic petals ending into long, sparsely hirsute tails." The only other Central American sp. with flowers of comparable size (though still "one third smaller") is Lepanthes grandiflora Ames & C. Schweinf., which differs in numerous respects and belongs to a different sp. group. Illustrated with numerous color photos and a fine composite line drawing. Pardon us for the delay in reviewing this article, and others from the same journal; about three years' worth of issues were held up, for whatever reason, and arrived at the MO library just recently! Fully bilingual (German/English).
——, —— & S. Strigari. 2013. Taxonomie in Auqarell [sic]: die Specklinia-endotrachys-Gruppe, Teil 1/Taxonomy in watercolor: the Specklinia endotrachys group, part 1. Orchidee (Hamburg) 64: 392–399.
——, —— & ——. 2013. Taxonomie in Aquarell: die Specklinia-endotrachys-Gruppe, Teil 2/Taxonomy in watercolor: the Specklinia endotrachys group, part 2. Orchidee (Hamburg) 64: 475–485.
This two-parted article would appear to be a popular condensation of a previous paper involving the first author [see under "Pupulin" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(4), Oct. 2012], and serves at least in part as a vehicle for the publication of a variety of illustrations, especially (in part 2) several fine watercolors by the third author. We also get (in part 2) a dichotomous key to the so-called "empusellous" spp. of Specklinia (Orchidaceae), as well as a new combination for a Guatemalan sp. Otherwise, there is not much here of interest to us.
Reid, C. S., R. Carter & L. E. Urbatsch. 2014. Phylogenetic insights into New World Cyperus (Cyperaceae) using nuclear ITS sequences. Brittonia 66: 292–305.
This study confirms that Kyllinga, Oxycaryum, and Pycreus are nested within Cyperus, as already shown by numerous previous studies [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 9(2): 7, Apr. 2002, and under both "Bauters" et al. and "Larridon" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(2), Apr. 2014]. Indeed, several other erstwhile genera including Ascolepis, Lipocarpha, Remirea, and Torulinium have also been revealed as nested in Cyperus, notions that are confirmed, or at least not refuted, by the present analyses. We surmise that the correct name in Cyperus for Oxycaryum cubense (Poepp. & Kunth) Palla may be C. blepharoleptos Steud. Nomenclaturally speaking, all of the other kinks have been worked out. Now it's time to move on! This horse has been beaten to within an inch of its life.
Ritter, M. 2014. Field guide to the cultivated eucalypts (Myrtaceae) and how to identify them. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 99: 642–687.
Now, here is something truly useful! The so-called "eucalypts" comprise "approximately 900" spp., according to this source, "more than 150" of which "are regularly and widely grown." These things can pop up anywhere in the warmer regions of the world, and can be hellatious to identify, often requiring the use of massive and unwieldy keys in Australasian floristic works (generally not readily available in the Neotropics). As the author points out, "this difficulty is exacerbated when the provenance of naturalized or cultivated trees is unknown" (almost always the case, we might add!). The present contribution boils things down to 173 "commonly and widely cultivated" spp. of "eucalypts," here defined as including the genus Eucalyptus and its on-again-off-again segregates Angophora and Corymbia (both of which are "on" for this author). The spp. of all three genera are keyed together within nine artificial groups, themselves separated in a master key. The keys, supplemented by line drawings and color photos from life, rely "entirely on morphological characters" and prioritize "nonreproductive features that are perennially present" (although, as noted by the author, "the correct identification of many species...will often require examination of flowers and fruit"). Following the keys is a so-called "taxonomic treatment," actually more of an annotated catalogue, ordered alphabetically by genus and sp. and providing protologue references, typology (though no synonymy), and brief diagnostic statements, as well as (for each sp.) common names, a voucher citation, and a summary of the native and (as appropriate) naturalized distribution. Incidentally, we confirmed that all the Eucalyptus spp. treated in both the Manual and Flora mesoamericana Vol. 4(1) are included (E. torelliana F. Muell. under Corymbia), as well as those merely mentioned in the former (but not necessarily the latter) work. We expect this contribution will prove indispensable to botanists throughout the Mesoamerican region, and well beyond.
Rojas-Alvarado, A. F. & J. M. Chaves-Fallas. 2014. New records of Pteris (Pteridaceae) from the Neotropics/Nuevos registros de Pteris (Pteridaceae) para el neotrópico. Revista Mex. Biodivers. 85: 301–303.
Ostensible new records are reported for four spp., including three directly pertinent to Costa Rica. Two of the latter involve members of the Pteris muricata Hook. complex: Pteris albertiae Arbeláez (collected at 2900 m elevation on Cerro de La Muerte), formerly believed endemic to Colombia, and the hitherto Andean P. longipetiolulata Lellinger (from 1700–2100 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca and in the Cerros de Escazú, and also in western Panama). The widespread Pteris longifolia L. is also attributed to Costa Rica (based on three collections from the Fila de Cal, between Las Cruces and Ciudad Neily), but had already been reported from the country by the first author (Rojas-Alvarado, 1996; Brenesia 45-46: 4). Pteris muricatopedata Arbeláez [see The Cutting Edge 3(1): 5, Jan. 1996] is reported for the first time from Mexico and (virtually) Guatemala, which in itself is of only marginal interest to us; however, the authors note in their discussion that "all of the specimens of P. muricata previously recorded from Costa Rica and Panama are either P. muricatopedata or P. longipetioluata," and that "P. muricata is probably present only in South America." Here's hoping they produce a more rigorous revision of this complex in the not-too-distant future!
Saarela, J. M., P. M. Peterson & J. Valdés-Reyna. 2014. A taxonomic revision of Bromus (Poaceae: Pooideae: Bromeae) in México and Central America. Phytotaxa 185: 1–147.
This, the first regional revision of Bromus since 1968, treats 22 spp. (12 considered native) and one var. Quintessentially a genus of temperate areas, Bromus is most diverse in the northern portion (Mexico and Guatemala) of the study region, with numerous introduced European spp. recorded from the more Mediterranean (northeastern) portions of Mexico. This contribution does not significantly alter the status quo for Costa Rica, as presented in the Manual Poaceae treatment (2003) by Francisco Morales: Bromus anomalus Rupr. ex E. Fourn., B. carinatus Hook. & Arn., B. catharticus Vahl, and B. exaltatus Bernh. remain the only spp. recorded from the country. If a generalization may be ventured with regard to the Manual treatment, it would be that the overall geographic distributions for each spp. are perhaps overly inclusive (all four of the aforementioned spp. seem absent from Nicaragua, and sometimes also from Honduras). Bromus catharticus, at least, should have been indicated as "introd." over much of its New World range (including Costa Rica), as it is here characterized as "native to South America." Taxonomically speaking, two vars. are recognized for Bromus carinatus, both occurring in Costa Rica: B. c. var. carinatus and B. c. var. marginatus (Nees) Barkworth & Anderton (the latter recorded from, among other places, "Térraba," which would require the addition of a parenthetical extreme minimum of "350–" to the elevational range in the Manual). Infraspecific taxa are also mentioned for B. catharticus, but while the Mexican plants are referred to the autonymic var., we learn nothing about the status of the Costa Rican plants. And finally, the name Bromus carinatus is on shaky ground, used provisionally by these authors even as they cite the older B. luzonensis J. Presl in synonymy. Although conservation of B. carinatus over B. luzonensis is mentioned as a possibility, the authors "feel it is premature" to submit such a proposal, "pending a more detailed study of variation and species boundaries in the entire B. carinatus complex." In particular, the distinction between the last-mentioned sp. and the more northern Bromus sitchensis Trin. is "unclear and seemingly arbitrary," and were they to be combined, B. sitchensis would be the correct name (older even than B. luzonensis). So, several different scenarios are in play for this sp. Features synonymy, typology, and descriptions at all levels, dichotomous (though non-indented) keys to spp. and (as necessary) vars. (the sp. key being duplicated in Spanish), distribution summaries, common names, "comments" (and other remarks), exhaustive specimen citations, distribution maps, and a section on "Excluded taxa." There are no indices. The brief introductory part comprises a review of taxonomic history. All the spp. and vars. are illustrated, minimally with a composite line drawing or image of a herbarium specimen (generally both), occasionally also with a photograph from life. A new section is described and several typifications are effected, but none of these actions directly concerns us.
Salazar, G. A. 2013. Two additions to the Mexican orchid flora/Dos adiciones a la orquideoflora mexicana. Revista Mex. Biodivers. 84: 378–380.
One of the additions is Cryptarrhena guatemalensis Schltr. (Orchidaceae), a sp. that occurs in Costa Rica. Manual users may thus wish to annotate their copies of Vol. 3 to replace "Guat." (in the geographic range of C. guatemalensis) with "S Méx. (Chis.)." Or, taking the (unvouchered) overall range of the sp., as provided by this author, at face value, they may decide to completely convert the Manual statement to: "S Méx. (Chis.)–Bol., Guyana, Bras." (though we think the evidence for Suriname is also very good).
Sampaio, D. A. & V. C. Souza. 2014. Typification of some species of Sloanea (Elaeocarpaceae). Phytotaxa 184: 121–130.
"Species" are not typified, folks! Names are typified. Moving right along: of the 20 valid names accepted for Sloanea spp. in the Manual treatment of Elaeocarpaceae (2010) by Damon A. Smith, only S. guianensis (Aubl.) Benth. and S. terniflora (DC.) Standl. are directly addressed in this paper. Lectotypes are designated for S. guianensis and four of its synonyms, but curiously, no action is taken for S. terniflora (except to clarify the work of previous authors). Prevailing usages are unaffected.
Santamaría Aguilar, D., A. Estrada Ch. & R. Aguilar. 2014. Dos nuevas especies de Myrcia (Myrtaceae), del Pacífico Sur de Costa Rica. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 8: 449–455.
Myrcia paulii-jonesii Aguilar, D. Santam. & A. Estrada and M. riverae A. Estrada, D. Santam. & Aguilar, both endemic to the Golfo Dulce region on the southern Pacific slope of Costa Rica, extend the country total for their genus to 10 spp. The former sp., dedicated to one Paul Jones (evidently a benefactor), is most similar to the South American Myrcia pentagona McVaugh and M. antioquensis Parra-Os.; among Costa Rican spp., it comes closest to Myrcia sp. A of the Manual (restricted to the Atlantic slope), from which it differs by its longer petioles and leaf-blades revolute and decurrent at the base, with the mid-vein elevated in the distal half and sparsely pubescent and fewer primary lateral veins. Myrcia riverae (honoring former parataxonimist Gerardo Rivera) is assigned to a group otherwise represented in Costa Rica only by M. aliena McVaugh; however, it is characterized as "muy distintiva de cualquier otra especie del grupo," and from M. aliena in particular, by its larger floral buds, larger, densely pubescent leaf-blades, and densely velutinous fruits. A distribution map is included, and both new spp. are illustrated with composite color photographic plates.
——, A. K. Monro, Q. Jiménez-Madrigal & L. P. Lagomarsino. 2014. Two new species of Freziera (Pentaphylacaceae) from Costa Rica. Harvard Pap. Bot. 19: 219–225.
This paper arrives in the nick of time (we think!) to spare Freziera bradleyi D. Santam. & Q. Jiménez and F. tarariae Q. Jiménez, D. Santam. & A. K. Monro, the new spp. alluded to in its title, from ignominious fates as Freziera sp. B and F. sp. C (respectively) in our upcoming Manual Vol. 8. Both novelties are endemic to Costa Rica, so far as is known, with F. bradleyi restricted to elevations of 1800–2500 m on the Pacific slope of Volcán Barva and F. tarariae ranging from 2200–2900 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca. Freziera bradleyi, honoring former George Mason University professor and longtime INBio volunteer Ted Bradley, is similar to (and was previously misidentified as) F. forerorum A. H. Gentry, from the Darién region of eastern Panama, while F. tarariae stands in the same relationship with the widespread (including Costa Rica) F. candicans Tul. Both new spp. are compared with their nearest relatives in tabular form, and are illustrated with composite line drawings and (in the case of F. tarariae) photos from life. By the way, the Manual Theaceae treatment (by Quírico Jiménez, with Freziera coauthored by Daniel Santamaría) will still include a Freziera sp. A, as well as a Ternstroemia sp. A (a name for which, we have recently learned, is on the verge of publication).
Scataglini, M. A., M. A. Lizarazu & F. O. Zuloaga. 2014. A peculiar amphitropical genus of Paniceae (Poaceae, Panicoideae). Syst. Bot. 39: 1108–1119.
The genus Louisiella C. E. Hubb. & J. Léonard, hitherto monospecific and African, becomes dispecific and amphitropical with the addition of the former Panicum elephantipes Nees ex Trin. The latter sp., widespread in the Neotropics (though seldom collected in Costa Rica), is allied to the African L. fluitans C. E. Hubb. & J. Léonard on the basis of molecular, morphological, and anatomical evidence. The two spp. share an aquatic, herbaceous habit, "spongy culms, sheaths with aerenchyma, membranous-ciliate ligules, spikelets that are lanceolate with the lower glume reduced, the upper glume and lower lemma longer than the upper anthecium, the lower palea reduced or absent, the lower flower absent, and the caryopsis with a linear hilum." It is worth noting that the resulting genus is sister to Panicum s. str., according to the molecular analyses here presented; thus, although separate generic status is tenable, it is not requisite. Nonetheless, a combination in Louisiella is validated for the former Panicum elephantipes, in the name of the third author, and the genus is formally revised. We get synonymy, typology, and formal descriptions for Louisiella and each of its spp., as well as a key, distribution summaries, common names, representative specimen citations, and distribution maps. Both spp. are depicted in excellent composite line drawings.
Schulz, E. 2014. Unterwegs in Costa Rica – Ein Reise- und Bildertagebuch. Orchidee (Hamburg) 65: 150–155, 231–235, 290–292.
An informal "report about a small circular tour across Costa Rica in November 2013," focusing "on animals and plants especially orchids." Lots of small, but decent, color photos.
Sousa, M., S. Sotuyo & E. Pedraza-Ortega. 2013. Sistemática de Lonchocarpus sección Punctati (Fabaceae: Millettieae), basada en datos morfológicos y moleculares, con la descripción de nueve especies nuevas. Acta Bot. Mex. 109: 79–131.
Lonchocarpus sect. Punctati Taub., one of three major morphological groups in the genus, comprises about 29 spp., according to this source. The Mesoamerican component of the sect. was revised just five years ago by the first author of this paper [see under "Sousa," this column, in The Cutting Edge 16(4), Oct. 2009], and the present contribution (not a revision by any means) brings little that is new to the table where Costa Rica is concerned: just two spp. apparently occur in the country, and none of the nine spp. described as new in this paper is represented there. There is, however, one significant change to report: apparently on the basis of the molecular analysis, Lonchocarpus nicoyensis (Donn. Sm.) Pittier is now regarded as distinct from L. acuminatus (Schltdl.) M. Sousa, under which it had been synonymized [together with L. peninsularis (Donn. Sm.) Pittier] in the revision. This distinction was tacitly accepted in the Manual Fabaceae treatment (2010) by co-PI Nelson Zamora, wherein L. peninsularis was recognized as distinct, with L. nicoyensis in synonymy. Here, the name L. peninsularis remains in synonymy under L. acuminatus. The two factions evidently now agree in terms of taxonomy, if not nomenclature.
Sundue, M. A. 2013. Mycopteris, a new neotropical genus of grammitid ferns (Polypodiaceae). Brittonia 66: 174–185.
The final salvo of the intial round of fragmentation of traditional Grammitis saw Alan R. Smith (UC) establish the segregate genus Terpsichore [see The Cutting Edge 1(1): 13, Jan. 1994], with about 50 spp. (20 represented in Costa Rica) that were assigned informally to five ostensibly natural subgroups. Since that time, Terpsichore itself has proven to be polyphyletic [see, e.g., under "Sundue" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(1), Jan. 2011] and, during a furious second round of fragmentation, five even smaller segregate genera have been carved from its ranks, as follows: Terpsichore sensu stricto, restricted to Smith's Group 1; Alansmia [see under "Kessler" et al. in The Cutting Edge 18(4), Oct. 2011] and Galactodenia [see under "Sundue" et al. in The Cutting Edge 19(3), Jul. 2012], both harboring elements of Smith's Group 3; Ascogrammitis [see under "Sundue" in The Cutting Edge 18(2), Apr. 2011], apparently corresponding to Smith's Group 4; and Moranopteris [see under "Hirai" et al. in The Cutting Edge 18(4), Oct. 2011], which includes (among other things) the three spp. composing Smith's Group 5. That leaves Smith's Group 2, the so-called "Terpsichore taxifolia" clade, which is the subject of the paper under review. Here, Terpsichore Group 2 is accorded generic rank under the name Mycopteris Sundue, which alludes to an apparently epibiotic ascomycete of the genus Ascospermum that is generally found "on every leaf on every plant in a given population of Mycopteris." The same fungus also occurs on (and inspired the name of) the related fern genus Ascogrammitis. Mycopteris, comprising 17 spp. ranging essentially throughout the Neotropics, is characterized by its castaneous, concolorous (non-clathrate), glabrous rhizome scales, narrowly oblong leaf segments, and glabrous sporangium capsules (in addition to the fungal association). New combinations in Mycopteris are validated in the name of the author for all the spp., six of which occur in Costa Rica. The latter include the former (according to Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1) Terpsichore alsopteris (C. V. Morton) A. R. Sm., T. semihirsuta (Klotzsch) A. R. Sm., T. subtilis (Kunze ex Klotzsch) A. R. Sm., T. taxifolia (L.) A. R. Sm., and T. zeledoniana (Lellinger) A. R. Sm. Additionally, Polypodium lherminieri Fée var. costaricense Rosenst. is pried loose from T. taxifolia (under which it was synonymized in Flora mesoamericana) and elevated to sp. rank as Mycopteris costaricensis (Rosenst.) Sundue. The last-mentioned entity is distinguished "by its blackish veins that are visible on the abaxial lamina, cretaceous hydathodes, and rhizome scales that usually bear a single seta at the apex." A generous technical description of the new sp. is provided, along with a plate of photos from life and another of line drawings. One new sp. is described and two names are consigned to the "Doubtful and excluded" category, but none of this concerns us. We sincerely hope that this splitting cycle has now come to an end in Grammitis (sensu latissimo), and that folks will henceforth give serious consideration to recombining the myriad new segregates in a more practical (yet cladistically defensible) manner.
Terry, R. G. & R. P. Adams. 2015. A molecular re-examination of phylogenetic relationships among Juniperus, Cupressus, and the Hesperocyparis-Callitropsis-Xanthocyparis clades of Cupressaceae. Phytologia 97: 67–75.
The phylogenetic relationships recovered in these analyses offer unwavering support for the prevailing generic classifcation of the titular taxa [see, e.g., under "Adams," this column, in The Cutting Edge 17(1), Jan. 2010], even if some details remain ambiguous.
Vargas-Amado, G., A. Castro-Castro, M. Harker, J. L. Villaseñor, E. Ortiz & A. Rodríguez. 2013. Distribución geográfica y riqueza del género Cosmos (Asteraceae: Coreopsideae)/Geographic distribution and richness of the genus Cosmos (Asteraceae: Coreopsideae). Revista Mex. Biodivers. 84: 536–555.
Supplementing a prior contribution from this same group [see under "Castro-Castro" et al., this column in our last issue], this paper explicitly attributes two spp. of Cosmos to Costa Rica: C. caudatus Kunth and C. crithmifolius Kunth. None of our usual sources confirms the presence of the latter sp. in the country, but we do find several Costa Rican records for a third sp., Cosmos sulphureus Cav. (both cultivated and, presumably, escaped). This article is chock full of nice photos, maps, and graphics, some in color and all supporting a center of diversity for the genus in (needless to say) Mexico.
Vega, H., W. Cetzal-Ix, E. Mó, D. Germer & K. Soler. 2014. Nuevos registros de Orchidaceae para Honduras. Lankesteriana 14: 115–121.
Just two of these records mandate the addition of "Hond." to the overall distribution statement of the sp. concerned in the Manual (Vol. 3): Maxillaria reichenheimiana Endrés & Rchb. f. and Microchilus killipii (Ames) Ormerod (the latter treated as Erythrodes killipii Ames in the Manual). Honduras was already included implicitly (albeit perhaps inadvisedly) in the Manual ranges of Goodyera major Ames & Correll, Mormodes sotoana Salazar, and Triphora debilis (Schltr.) Schltr. Specklinia spectabilis (Ames & C. Schweinf.) Pupulin & Karremans was subsumed (as "P. spectabilis Ames") under an inclusive concept of Pleurothallis endotrachys Rchb. f. in Carlyle A. Luer's Manual treatment of Pleurothallis; however, in our review of a subsequent paper in which S. spectabilis was segregated [see under "Pupulin" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(4), Oct. 2012], we included Honduras in the range of the latter sp. (again, implicitly, but inaccurately).
Wade, L. 2014. Celebrated biodiversity institute faces financial crisis. Science 346: 1440.
Read it and weep: the current financial situation at INBio is grim indeed, as we know all too well. While optimism must continue to be the order of the day, institutional co-founder Daniel Janzen characterizes INBio's prospects for survival as "a tossup." And whether INBio survives or not, the future of its all-important natural-history collections is a serious concern.
Weigend, M., F. Luebert, M. Gottschling, T. L. P. Couvreur, H. H. Hilger & J. S. Miller. 2014. From capsules to nutlets—phylogenetic relationships in the Boraginales. Cladistics 30: 508–518.
This molecular analysis, involving four chloroplast loci," is self-described as "the first [study] to combine comprehensive taxon sampling evenly covering all major lineages of the Boraginales [89 ingroup taxa] with an extensive outgroup sampling [in the asterids]." The order itself is "doubtlessly monophyletic, and there is firm evidence for its inclusion into the lamiid clade (together with Gentianales, Lamiales, and Solanales)." Within the group, Hydrophyllaceae, even when shorn of Hydrolea, is "retrieved not as monophyletic, but rather as two clades," one primarily herbaceous and the other primarily woody. However, previous studies have differed, and the authors consider that "it is therefore premature to decide whether the family should be split into two separate families, or left as a single family..." This study concurs with prior ones [see, e.g., under "Luebert" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(4), Oct. 2011] in portraying Heliotropiaceae as monophyletic, Heliotropium as paraphyletic with respect to Tournefortia sect. Tournefortia, and Myriopus (formerly included in Tournefortia) sister to the genus Euploca. Also supported is the previously shown common ancestry of Cordiaceae, Ehretiaceae, and Lennoaceae. Indeed, the last-mentioned family is "clearly retrieved with Ehretiaceae," and is " here accepted as part of the Ehretiaceae clade," even though there is no resolution as to whether the former taxon "is sister to, or nested within, the clade." The authors favor taxonomic recognition for most of the aforementioned segregate families, and provide a brief and informal diagnosis for each; however, our quick perusal of their cladograms reveals no cladistic obstacle to lumping them all together (along with, of course, Boraginaceae sensu stricto and Hydrophyllaceae). This lumping option, emphasizing relationships over differences, has already been endorsed by some recent sources (see, e.g., the latest edition of Mabberley's plant-book), yielding a family (Boraginaceae sensu lato) of only about 2450 spp. Should it prove necessary to divide Hydrophyllaceae, the scale will tip even futher in the direction of lumping.
Werff, H. van der. 2014. Studies in Andean Ocotea (Lauraceae) III. Species with hermaphroditic flowers and moderately pubescent or glabrous leaves occurring above 1000 m in altitude. Novon 23: 336–380.
This extensive contribution, presenting 18 new spp. but concerned overwhelmingly with South American regions, contains just one bombshell for us: an older name for the familiar, distinctive, and widespread sp. long known as Ocotea helicterifolia (Meisn.) Hemsl., e.g., in the Manual Lauraceae treatment (2007) by José González (LSCR) and Luis Poveda (JVR). The older name in question, Ocotea macrophylla Kunth, is based on a Colombian type, and requires a southward extension of the geographic range given in the Manual to "Col. y Ven." Lectotypes are designated for three names, including the basionym of Ocotea veraguensis (Meisn.) Mez, which occurs in Costa Rica. The application of the latter name remains unchanged.