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Volume XXIII, Number 1, January 2016
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Abbott, J. R. & J. F. B. Pastore. 2015. Preliminary synopsis of the genus Hebecarpa (Polygalaceae). Kew Bull. 70(3): 39(1–8).
The deconstruction of traditional Polygala [see under "Pastore," this column, in The Cutting Edge 20(2), Apr. 2013] proceeds with the validation of selected new combinations in the segregate genus Hebecarpa, all in the names of "J. R. Abbott & J. F. B. Pastore." Those attributable in some manner to spp. occurring in Costa Rica (as according to the Manual Polygalaceae treatment by Francisco Morales) are as follows: Hebecarpa caracasana (based on Polygala caracasana Kunth, synonymized under P. americana Mill. in the Manual); H. costaricensis and H. platycarpa (based on Polygala costaricensis Chodat and P. platycarpa Benth., respectively, both synonymized under P. rivinifolia Kunth in the Manual); and H. rivinifolia (based on Polygala rivinifolia, an accepted name in the Manual). The combination Hebecarpa americana (Mill.) J. R. I. Wood & S. Beck (based on P. americana, an accepted name in the Manual) was already available. Among the authors' list of "41 names...not treated for now" is Polygala panamensis Chodat, accepted in the Manual for a sp. treated as distinct. The authors admit that "carefuly revisionary study is necessary for fully sorting out the species and accurate synonymisation," and this effort has every appearance of a hit-or-miss proposition; one gets the distinct feeling that the criteria for validating new combinations were, in many cases, scarcely more persuasive than those for withholding them.
Aymard, G. A. 2015. Novelties in Dilleniaceae from Ecuador. Harvard Pap. Bot. 20: 209–212.
Counterintuitively, this paper has a little something for us in the new combination Doliocarpus robustus (Aymard) Aymard. Two specimens are cited from Costa Rica, but this does not constitute a net addition to the flora, as the same entity was treated at subsp. rank (under its basionym, Doliocarpus dasyanthus Kubitzki subsp. robustus Aymard) in the Manual Dilleniaceae account (2010) by José González.
Bayón, N. D. 2015. Revisión taxonómica de las especies monoicas de Amaranthus (Amaranthaceae): Amaranthus subg. Amaranthus y Amaranthus subg. Albersia. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 101: 261–383.
The familiar weedy genus Amaranthus, with a total of 75 spp. (according to this source), is cosmopolitan but centered in the New World. This revision takes on the lion's share, i.e., the two subgenera (of three total) comprising the monoecious (as opposed to dioecious) spp. Included in these monoecious subgenera are all seven Amaranthus spp. treated or mentioned in the Manual Amaranthaceae manuscript (yet to be published) by José González [see The Cutting Edge 5(2): 1, Apr. 1998]. Five of those seven (Amaranthus caudatus L., A. dubius Mart. ex Thell., A. hybridus L., A. scariosus Benth., and A. spinosus L.) belong to the autonymic subgenus (which has 13 spp. in total), while the other two (Amaranthus tricolor L. and A. viridis L.) belong to Amaranthus subgen. Albersia (Kunth) Gren. & Godr. (with a total of 46 spp.). We can find no direct indication (in the form of specimen citations) that any Amaranthus sp. other than those just named has been recorded from Costa Rica; however, by the same token, exceedingly few Costa Rican specimens are cited even for those spp. known to occur in the country (just two, under A. scariosus). While this contribution is long on style (handsomely and rigorously executed) it is, at least for our purposes, short on substance. The specimen citations reveal a profound South American bias (leaning especially toward Argentina, where the author is based), as regards both the geographic provenance of the specimens and the herbaria in which they are deposited. The distribution of many spp. outside South America is often "documented" in vague and general narrative statements that may raise more questions than they answer; for example, the ("probablemente") European Amaranthus blitum L. subsp. blitum is said to be found also in the New World, "sobre todo en América Central y del Sur," yet no specimens are cited from those regions—and TROPICOS yields no specimen or literature records supporting the occurrence of A. blitum, or any of its infrageneric taxa, in any Central American country. We can only hope that the author's keys, descriptions, and illustrations will enable us to figure these things out for ourselves (or better yet, that he will show up at MO and annotate all our material!). Features dichotomous (though non-indented) keys to the genera of subtribe Amaranthinae, the two subgenera of Amaranthus named in the title, the spp. of each, and (as necessary) infraspecific taxa, as well as synonymy, typology, and technical descriptions for the genus and all its subordinate taxa, distribution summaries, discussions, specimen citations (limited as previously discussed), and an index to exsiccatae; quite unfortunately, there is no index to scientific names. The introductory part addresses taxonomic history, generic classification, morphology, karyology, and biogeography. A strong suit of this revision is its wealth of illustrations: superb composite (mostly) line drawings for nearly every sp. that is treated (and all of those mentioned above for Costa Rica). Numerous new synonymies, new combinations (at subsp. rank), and new typifications are effected (as enumerated in the Abstract), but none applies directly to the Costa Rican contingent of Amaranthus.
Berger, A., J. L. Clark & A. Weber. 2015. Besleria macropoda (Gesneriaceae): lectotypification, distribution, functional epiphylly and discordant fruit morphology of a rare Costa Rican endemic. Phytotaxa 233: 139–152.
The lectotypification is perfunctory, but the authors augment the geographic distribution of Besleria macropoda Donn. Sm. by citing (in a comprehensive list of exsiccatae) a recent collection from the southern Fila Costeña (just delete the "N" prior to "Fila Costeña" in the Manual account of the sp.). They also call attention to the "functional epiphylly" of B. macropoda—in which the infls. appear epiphyllous, but with the peduncle hidden in, though free from (rather than adnate to), the main vein on the upper laminar surface—as well as its peculiar fruits, in which the pericarp ruptures irregularly to expose the seed mass (most Besleria spp. have indehiscent berries). These aspects were not adequately emphasized in the Manual Gesneriaceae treatment. Similarly dehiscent fruits were documented for another 11 spp. of Besleria (including B. pauciflora Rusby, which occurs in Costa Rica), and as a result the genus appears nearly as variable as Drymonia in terms of fruit type. This variability weakens the conventional distinction between Besleria and Gasteranthus, the differentiating characters for which are reappraised in a key couplet and table. Includes a distribution map for Besleria macropoda, and many fine color photos of living material.
Borhidi, A. L. 2015. Some nomenclatural corrections to the Caribbean flora. Acta Bot. Hung. 57: 279–281.
Only one of these is relevant to our field of interest: the nomen novum Palicourea winkleri Borhidi, based on Uragoga buchtienii. Thus is formally effected the transfer to Palicourea of the sp. that was treated in the Manual under the binomial Psychotria buchtienii (H. J. P. Winkl.) Standl., the epithet of which is preoccupied in Palicourea. The author of this paper, oblivious to the latter fact, had previously combined U. buchtienii illegitimately in Palicourea [see under "Borhidi," this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(3), Jul. 2012]. Hence the corrrection. Thanks to the first author of the article reviewed in the foregoing entry for bringing this paper (and the following one) to our attention.
——, E. Martínez Salas & C. H. Ramos Álvarez. 2015. An uncommon pyrene type and two new genera in the neotropical Psychotrieae (Rubiaceae). Acta Bot. Hung. 57: 241–270.
The authors have detected a new type of pyrene, "morphologically different from that found in the genera Palicourea and Psychotria," characterized "by being triangulate in transverse section with an elevated central-dorsal crest." This novel pyrene type was found in just two spp., viz., those treated in the Manual Rubiaceae account (2014) as Palicourea seemannii Standl. and P. tetragona (Donn. Sm.) C. M. Taylor & Lorence. Fueled by their knowledge that "the high diagnostic value of pyrene characters in the Rubiaceae" has been "emphasized in several papers," the authors propose generic status for the aforementioned two spp. based exclusively on this single feature; moreover, because these spp. have "dissimilar floral characteristics," each is sequestered in its own, monospecific genus, the names of which are here validated, together with the new combinations at sp. rank: Ditrichanthus seemannii (Standl.) Borhidi, E. Martínez & Ramos and Mexocarpus tetragonus (Donn. Sm.) Borhidi, E. Martínez & Ramos. No phylogenetic rationale of any sort is put forth. Much of the paper is devoted to an extensive table surveying the gross morphology of fruits and pyrenes over a wide range of neotropical Palicourea and Psychotria spp. The two new genera are compared with and distinguished from Palicourea subgen. Palicourea, "Palicourea subgen. Heteropsychotria" (we cannot establish whether such a combination has ever been validated), and Psychotria by means of both a dichotomous key and a table. And for each of the two spp. caught up in this web, we get synonymy, lengthy descriptions, specimen citations (though none for Costa Rica, in either case), and illustrations (composite line drawings and color photos of herbarium material).
Carrizo García, C., G. Wahlert, C. I. Orozco, G. E. Barboza & L. Bohs. 2015. Phylogeny of the Andean genus Deprea (Physalideae, Solanaceae): testing the generic ci rcumscription. Phytotaxa 238: 71–81.
We previously reviewed a paper (co-authored by the penultimate author of this one) in which the submergence of Larnax in Deprea was effected nomenclaturally [see under "Deanna," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(3), Jul. 2015], based on molecular evidence that we had not yet seen. Here is that evidence. The surprise for us is the involvement of Manual Solanaceae coordinator Lynn Bohs (UT)!
Castillo-Cárdenas, M. F., J. A. Ramírez-Silva, O. Sanjur & N. Toro-Perea. 2015. Evidence of incipient speciation in the Neotropical mangrove Pelliciera rhizophorae (Tetrameristaceae) as revealed by molecular, morphological, physiological and climatic characteristics. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 179: 499–510.
These studies were conducted in Panama, where the so-called "incipient speciation" within the mangrove Pelliciera rhizophorae Planch. & Triana manifests itself in the white floral bracts and larger floral structures of Atlantic coastal populations, vs. the pink to red floral bracts and smaller floral structures of Pacific populations. As far as we know, P. rhizophorae is restricted to the Pacific coast in Costa Rica, where the floral bracts are always pink to red. The type collection is from the Pacific coast of Colombia, so we may be on safe ground (e.g., should the "incipient speciation" ever be recognized taxonomically, a prospect that is left open by these authors).
Dorr, L. J. 2011. Trichospermum lessertianum comb. n., the correct name for the Cuban species of Trichospermum (Malvaceae, Grewioideae) also found in Mexico and Central America. PhytoKeys 2: 17–22.
An indirect clue has just led us quite belatedly to this important article, leaving us puzzled has to how we overlooked it five years ago, and frustrated that we were thus prevented from implementing its conclusions in the Manual Tiliaceae treatment published only last year. Astute bibliographic investigation on several levels led the author (justifiably renowned for this sort of thing) to conclude that (to make a long story shorter) Belotia grewiifolium A. Rich., the ostensible basionym of "Trichospermum grewiifolium (A. Rich.) Kosterm.," was nomenclaturally superfluous when published (because Grewia mexicana DC., the epithet of which should have been adopted, was cited in synonymy). As a consequence, T. grewiifolium (an accepted sp. name in the Manual) must be replaced by Trichospermum lessertianum (Hochr.) Dorr (based on Belotia lessertiana Hochr.), which combination was duly validated in this paper. Had we managed to incorporate this change in the Manual, we'd have cited "Belotia grewiifolium A. Rich, nom. illeg." and "Trichospermum grewiifolium Kosterm., nom. inval." (or something along those lines) as synonyms (at least of the "sensu" type) under T. lessertianum. Annotate your copy!
García-Lara, S., R. Grether, I. Ramírez-Morillo & R. Duno de Stefano. 2015. Testing a species hypothesis with morphometric analysis: Pithecellobium insigne (Leguminosae, Mimosoideae, Ingeae). J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 142: 314–324.
Pthecellobium insigne Micheli ex Donn. Sm. has long been considered a synonym of P. lanceolatum (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) Benth. by Manual co-PI and Fabaceae author Nelson Zamora, while the second author of the present paper has advocated its recognition as a distinct sp. So, perhaps it comes as little surprise that the results of this study appear to corroborate the latter position. The significant differences between the two entities, as compiled here in a key couplet, do indeed appear reasonably substantial, although the authors acknowledge that "hybridization is possible and apparently takes place." Distinction at the rank of subsp. strikes us as a potential compromise. Be that as it may, even the recognition of Pithecellobium insigne at sp. rank has essentially no consequences for the Manual, other than the deletion of that name from synonymy under P. lanceolatum. The geographic range of P. lanceolatum, as expressed in the Manual, suffers no change, and P. insigne does not reach Costa Rica (extending from Mexico to Honduras). However, there could be additional developments affecting this sp. complex somewhere down the line: the authors note that, "despite the narrower definition of P. lanceolatum proposed here, it is still a polymorphic species..." Includes distribution maps, a revised description for P. insigne, specimen citations, and color photos of both spp. in the flesh.
González-Gallegos, J. G. 2014. Revision of Salvia subg. Calosphace sect. Membranaceae (Lamiaceae). Telopea 16: 43–81.
Don't ask us why a Mexican worker would publish a revision of a New World taxon in an obscure New Zealand journal but, as folks are fond of saying nowadays, it is what it is. And it has every appearance of being an excellent and authoritative contribution! That said, there is little here that affects Costa Rican floristics, as the section being revised (which comprises 12 spp., ranging from northern Mexico to northern South America) has but a single representative in Tiquicia, Salvia lasiocephala Hook. & Arn., which is retained according to its prevailing circumscription (e.g., in the Manual and Flora mesoamericana). Based on the information presented here, we would tweak the Manual distribution statement for S. lasiocephala slightly, adding "Valle del General" to the end of the in-country geographic range and replacing "Col." with "Perú" in the overall range. A more significant change, though not relevant to Costa Rica, is the synonymization of Salvia rubiginosa Benth. under S. mocinoi Benth. (both names were accepted for spp. regarded as distinct in Flora mesoamericana). Features synonymy, typology, and technical descriptions at all levels (including the three infrafamilial taxa mentioned in the title), a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp., distribution summaries, apparently comprehensive specimen citations, discussions, and distribution maps. There are no indices. The well-illustrated introductory portion addresses taxonomic history and (mainly) morphology. Most of the spp. (including S. lasiocephala) are depicted in color photos of living plants in situ.
Hassemer, G., R. Trevisan, H. M. Meudt & N. Rønsted. 2015. Taxonomic novelties in Plantago section Virginica (Plantaginaceae) and an updated identification key. Phytotaxa 221: 226–246.
Among many other things that (mainly) do not concern us, this study endorses (to a large degree) the taxonomy of the late Knud Rahn, e.g., in recognizing subspp. for Plantago australis Lam. [with Costa Rican material consigned to P. a. subsp. hirtella (Kunth) Rahn, as per the Manual Plantaginaceae treatment by Francisco Morales]. These taxa had been abandoned in several recent floras. The taxonomic novelties and key pertain to South America.
Iamonico, D. 2015. Augustea (Polycarpaeae, Caryophyllaceae), a new genus from South America. Phytotaxa 236: 71–78.
Based on a molecular study that we did not heed, the author erects the titular genus to accommodate three South American spp. heretofore included in Polycarpon. This scarcely concerns us, except insofar as the sp. total and geographic range of Polycarpon are concerned—and we have plenty of time to address those topics for the Manual, as Caryophyllaceae will appear in our yet-to-be-published Vol. 4. Then play on...
—— & G. Domina. 2015. Nomenclatural notes on the Polycarpon tetraphyllum aggregate (Caryophyllaceae). Pl. Biosyst. 149: 720–727.
From where we sit, these guys look to be all hat and no cattle (did we get that right?). Or, to put in in more exact terms, this paper is all nomenclature and no taxonomy (i.e., biology). We surmise that the authors now regard the genus Polycarpon as monospecific, comprising only the basically Mediterranean P. tetraphyllum (L.) L. (which occurs rarely in Costa Rica as an adventive on the slopes of Volcán Irazú). Monospecificity, in this genus formerly regarded as harboring as many as 16 spp., has been achieved by banishing several spp. (including some South American ones) from the genus (see, e.g., the preceding entry) and demoting the remainder to subspecific rank under Polycarpon tetraphyllum. It is evident that the authors now recognize at least nine of these subspp.; however, they provide no key, descriptions, or specimen citations, and precious little in the way of diagnostic clues that would permit us to correctly classify the Costa Rican material. As their immediate agenda involves Italian floristics, we cannot expect enlightenment anytime soon.
Iganci, J. R. V., M. V. Soares, E. Guerra & M. P. Morim. 2016. A preliminary molecular phylogeny of the Abarema alliance (Leguminosae) and implications for taxonomic rearrangement. Int. J. Pl. Sci. 177: 34–43.
"Implications," indeed, are all that we have at the moment, as a result of these analyses—though greater things must certainly be in the offing. Trouble looms for the genus Abarema, with five spp. in Costa Rica, and potentially also for Balizia, with one sp. in our fair land. The situation for Abarema, as we know it, is analogous to that of Physalis (Solanaceae) [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 12(2): 16, Apr. 2005]: the type sp. is divorced phylogenetically from the rest of the genus. In this case, the South American Abarema cochliacarpos (Gomes) Barneby & J. W. Grimes (the generic type, according to these authors) clusters with members of other genera, including Enterolobium, Inga, and Zygia. Any thoughts of a proposal to conserve Abarema with a conserved type are nipped in the bud by the authors, who claim that A. cochliacarpos "is one of the best-known species of the genus and is also one of the most economcially important species..." So the stage is set nicely for something else, though exactly what remains to be seen, as "resolution and support are not yet adequate to determine the appropriate taxonomic changes." The remainder of Abarema (in its present sense) was resolved into two groups: an "Andean" clade, comprising (at least) four spp.; and a clade containing everything else plus Balizia (as well as Hydrochorea, an oligospecific South American genus). The "Andean" clade "should be described as a new genus," say the authors, and the same tentatively applies to the second clade—although there seems to be a small possibility that Balizia could survive. All five Costa Rican members of Abarema were included in the study and found to occupy this second clade (the one aligned with Balizia), for which Punjuba Britton & Rose (1928) is perhaps the oldest available name. We will be most interested to see how this all plays out.
Kao, T.-T., K. M. Pryer, M. D. Turner, R. A. White & P. Korall. 2015. Origins of the endemic scaly tree ferns on the Galápagos and Cocos Islands. Int. J. Pl. Sci. 176: 869–879.
The results of these molecular and statistical analyses suggest that Cyathea alfonsoana L. D. Gómez (here misspelled as "alfonsiana"), C. nesiotica (Maxon) Domin, and C. notabilis Domin, all endemic to Isla del Coco, "each belong to separate subclades" and probably "originated from independent colonization events from mainland America." The same applies to a fourth Cyathea sp. that is endemic to the Galápagos. Enough said.
Labiak, P. H., J. T. Mickel & J. G. Hanks. 2015. Molecular phylogeny and character evolution of Anemiaceae (Schizaeales). Taxon 64: 1141–1158.
This study supports "the monophyly of Anemiaceae, and the recognition of a single genus, Anemia." In our recollection it has ever been so, at least with respect to the spp. occurring in Costa Rica. The results also "agree with previous studies" in portraying Anemiaceae as "sister to the Schizaeaceae," beggaring yet again the question as to why these families (together with Lygodiaceae, sister to the other two) were dissociated in the first place [see The Cutting Edge 13(4): 9–10, Oct. 2006]! The traditional Schizaeaceae sensu lato was fine by us.
Lehnert, M. 2016. A synopsis of the exindusiate species of Cyathea (Cyatheaceae-Polypodiopsida) with bipinnate-pinnatifid or more complex fronds, with a revision of the C. lasiosora complex. Phytotaxa 243: 1–53.
The 67 spp. accepted in this work are separated at the outset (by means of a dichotomous key) into four spp. groups: that of Cyathea armata (Sw.) Domin, with 13 spp.; that of C. aterrima (Hook.) Domin, with 2 spp.; that of C. poeppigii (Hook.) Domin, with two spp.; and that of C. pungens (Willd.) Domin, with 50 spp. Only the C. aterrima group is not represented in Costa Rica (or Mesoamerica). The spp. of each group are keyed under their respective group headings (all the keys being dichotomous, but non-indented), and the sp. entries are ordered alphabetically within each group, except for the 10 spp. comprising the largely South American Cyathea lasiosora (Kuhn) Domin complex, which alone are "revised" (the remaining taxa being treated synoptically); the last-mentioned spp. are alphabetized separately at the head of the C. pungens group (to which they belong). Just one member of the C. lasiosora complex, Cyathea wendlandii (Kuhn) Domin, reaches Costa Rica. For that sp. we get synonymy and typology, a lengthy technical description, distribution summary, specimen citations (clearly representative), and "remarks." For all the other spp. considered in this paper (i.e., those not belonging to the C. lasiosora complex), descriptions, specimen citations (excepting types), and often also "remarks" are omitted. For what it may be worth (we do not know how critical the synoptic portion of this treatment may be), the following additional observations are germane to Costa Rica: only the nominal sp. of the Cyathea poeppigii group is attributed here (and elsewhere) to Costa Rica, although some evidence suggests that C. myosuroides (Hook.) Domin may occur there as well. Four accepted spp. in the Cyathea armata complex are indicated as occurring in Costa Rica, viz., C. costaricensis (Mett. ex Kuhn) Domin, C. nesiotica (Maxon) Domin (endemic to Isla del Coco), C. stipularis (Christ) Domin, and C. trichiata (Maxon) Domin; the two last-mentioned names were synonymized under Cyathea bicrenata Liebm. (here restricted to Mexico and Guatemala) in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1 (1995), but accepted in later publications by Costa Rican pteridologist Alexander Rojas [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 6(3): 10, Jul. 1999]. And of the 50 remaining spp. in the Cyathea pungens group (i.e., exclusive of the C. lasiosora complex), six are attributed to Costa Rica: C. brunnescens (Barrington) R. C. Moran, C. microdonta (Desv.) Domin, C. mucilagina R. C. Moran, C. nigripes (C. Chr.) Domin, C. nodulifera R. C. Moran, and C. schiedeana (C. Presl) Domin. Of these, only Cyathea brunnescens is news to us: we can find no evidence (including Flora mesoamericana) to confirm its presence in either Costa Rica or Panama, and the author cites no vouchers to support his allegation. The author persists in using the name Cyathea mucilagina, despite the fact that his recent proposal (duly cited) to conserve that name over the prior C. ecuadorensis Domin was not recommended by the Nomenclature Committee for Vascular Plants [see under "Applequist," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(2), Apr. 2015]. Perhaps he is aiming for a fait accompli. And finally: if our sp. totals do not seem to add up, e.g., for the Cyathea pungens group, it is because Cyathea pinnula (Christ) Domin, though keyed under that group and assigned a sp. number, is not otherwise considered in any way, the sp. entry in its entirety comprising the statement "Group of Cyathea multiflora (Lehnert 2011b)"; and, indeed C. pinnula was already treated in the last-mentioned group by the author himself [see under "Lehnert," this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(4), Oct. 2011]. Should not e-publication make such late corrections easier to implement?
Maas, P. J. M., L. Y. T. Westra, S. Arias Guerrero, A. Q. Lobão, U. Scharf, N. A. Zamora & R. H. J. Erkens. 2015. Confronting a morphological nightmare: revision of the Neotropical genus Guatteria (Annonaceae). Blumea 60: 1–219.
Annonaceae kingpin Paul Maas (L) and his sundry colleagues have been steadily hammering away at the neotropical contingent of their chosen family for several decades now, their efforts culminating in the grim prospect described so aptly in the title of this hefty contribution. Guatteria has been known as the largest genus of Annonaceae, as well as one of the largest genera of woody trees in the Neotropics, but neither claim will hold water anymore. From its peak of 307 accepted spp. less than 10 years ago, Guatteria is herewith reduced in size by more than 40%, with just 177 spp. (including two bearing provisional names) recognized in this revision. This reduction via synonymization comes mainly at the expense of South American names, and thus we have no opinion as to whether it is justifiable. Paradoxically, and even for a project of such grand scope, the ultimate worth of any taxonomic revision depends on how well it performs at the local level, in all portions of the area covered. In the case of Costa Rica, we are confident that this revision will stand up reasonably well to close scrutiny, based on the extensive field experience of its first author in the country, and also the involvement of Manual co-PI (and Annonaceae enthusiast) Nelson Zamora. In fact, the sp. total for Costa Rica is now at a new high (from our perspective): 21, of which nine are endemic. Four Costa Rican spp. (all endemic) are here described as new: Guatteria crassivenia N. Zamora & Maas (from 1600 m elevation, on Fila Matama); G. dotana N. Zamora & Erkens (500–1300 m, on the Pacific slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca and the northern Fila Costeña); G. herrerana N. Zamora & Maas (1200 m, on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca); and G. pachycarpa Erkens & N. Zamora (1300–1500 m, on the Atlantic slope of the eastern Cordillera de Talamanca). Other, more minor new (to us) developments include the synonymization of Guatteria diospyroides Baill. under G. amplifolia Triana & Planch., of G. tonduzii Diels under G. dolichopoda Donn. Sm., and of G. recurvisepala R. E. Fr. under G. ucayalina Huber, as well as the attribution to Costa Rica of Guatteria panamensis (R. E. Fr.) R. E. Fr. and G. tomentosa Rusby. The spp. are ordered alphabetically in the taxonomic treatment, which features synonymy, typology, and extensive descriptions for the genus and every sp., dichotomous (though non-indented) keys to the Central American and east Brazilian spp. (obviating for us the infernal "synoptical key" that serves for the bulk of the genus), distribution summaries and maps, "notes," sections on "excluded" and "insufficiently known" spp., and indices to exsiccatae, scientific and vernacular names, and palaeotropical names (the generic concept having once been extended to that realm). A major (though understandable) drawback of this revision is the lack of explicit specimen citations in the sp. entries; however, the fact that TROPICOS has been well-curated by this group right up to the present date makes up for this, to a great extent. The generous and well-illustrated introductory section is a regular tour de force, with discussions of taxonomic history, phylogeny, morphology and anatomy, karyology, phytochemistry, floral biology and pollination, dispersal, and distribution. Many (though not all) spp. are illustrated, generally with black-and-white photos of herbarium specimens or color photos of living material (the latter being provided for 10 spp. occurring in Costa Rica). In addition to the four Costa Rican novelties already enumerated, 21 Guatteria spp. are described as new in this work. Congratulations to all involved on this monumental leap forward!
Moran, R. C. & P. H. Labiak. 2015. Phylogeny of the polybotryoid fern clade (Dryopteridaceae). Int. J. Pl. Sci. 176: 880–891.
The polybotryoid clade comprises five neotropical genera, though just two of these, Olfersia and Polybotrya, have been recorded to date from Costa Rica. Sequence analyses of four plastid DNA markers for 46 of the 60 spp. in the clade, along with 37 outgroup spp. from 19 genera, confirms the monophyly of the clade and each of its genera. Most significantly, from our perspective, the distinctiveness of Olfersia from Polybotrya (in which it has sometimes been included) is conclusively established [see also under "Labiak," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(4), Oct. 2014]. There is also one wholly unexpected result: three neotropical spp. presently classed in the genus Arachniodes—including A. ochropteroides (Baker) Lellinger, which occurs sparingly in Costa Rica—were resolved in a clade sister to the rest of the polybotryoids that also includes Olfersia. These three spp. differ radically from Olfersia in terms of morphology, and the authors could find no morphological characters to support the clade. Nonetheless, they assert that "to preserve the monophyly of Arachniodes...[these spp.] must be either classified in Olfersia or recognized as different genera." No taxonomic action is taken at the present time. Arachniodes sensu stricto—not a member of the polybotryoid clade—is an Old World genus, with the exception of A. denticulata (Sw.) Ching, a sp. that is common in the Costa Rican highlands and widespread in the Neotropics.
Mosyakin, S. L. 2015. (2402) Proposal to conserve the name Chenopodium (Chenopodiaceae s.str.; Amaranthaceae sensu APG) with a conserved type. Taxon 64: 1323–1325.
According to certain interpretations (which the author is inclined to accept), the type sp. of Chenopodium is C. rubrum L., rather than C. album L., as frequently indicated (e.g., in Index nominum genericorum). However, "acceptance of that type will result in dramatic disruption in nomenclature of Chenopodium and related genera," especially in the context of a recent fragmentation of traditional Chenopodium into numerous splinter genera [see under "Fuentes-Bazan," this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(4), Oct. 2012]. With Chenopodium rubrum as the generic type, the name Chenopodium would have to be applied to a group of about 10 spp. currently known as Oxybasis Kar. & Kir., whereas the much larger group (with at least 150 spp., according to this author) now known as Chenopodium "will require another generic name, most probably the earliest available one being Rhagodia R. Br...." So affected would be the only Chenopodium sp. in the Costa Rican flora (with C. ambrosioides L. lately banished to Dysphania), the widespead weed C. album, which lacks a combination in Rhagodia. With the passage of this proposal, which seeks to (re)instate C. album as the type sp. of Chenopodium, no such combination would be required. Why does it all have to be so complicated?
Moura, T. M., M. Vatanparast, A. M. G. A. Tozzi, F. Forest, C. M. Wilmot-Dear, M. F. Simon, V. F. Mansano, T. Kajita & G. P. Lewis. 2016. A molecular phylogeny and new infrageneric classification of Mucuna Adans. (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae) including insights from morphology and hypotheses about biogeography. Int. J. Pl. Sci. 177: 76–89.
The results of this study show that the genus Mucuna is monophyletic, as long as it includes a handful of spp. that have sometimes (as in the Manual Fabaceae treatment by co-PI Nelson Zamora) been segregated under the genus name Stizolobium. The members of Stizolobium also comprise a well-supported monophyletic clade, but as it is nested among spp. of Mucuna, the authors favor recognition of the former taxon at subgeneric rank, viz., Mucuna subgen. Stizolobium (P. Browne) Baker. At the same time, the rest of the genus (i.e., the autonymic subgenus) is here revealed as diphyletic, with a small-group of large-fruited spp. (the "Macrocarpa clade") separated from the rest and sister (in most of the cladograms) to the "Stizolobium clade." The authors propose to establish (in a subsequent paper) a third subgenus to accommodate the spp. of the "Macrocarpa clade"; they do not (in print) consider the obvious alternative, i.e., to elevate the "Macrocarpa clade" to generic rank and maintain the genus Stizolobium. For the record, the combination Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC. already exists for the sole Stizolobium sp. recorded from Costa Rica (and was duly cited as a synonym in Nelson's treatment) and, as far as we can tell, the "Macrocarpa clade" is not represented in the country.
Pupulin, F. 2015. ×Cochlezella costaricensis, a name for a rare natural hybrid in the Zygopetalinae (Orchidaceae). Harvard Pap. Bot. 20: 199–208.
A natural "intergeneric" hybrid involving Cochleanthes aromatica (Rchb. f.) R. E. Schult. & Garay and Warczewiczella discolor (Lindl.) Rchb. f., both widespread in Costa Rica, was documented photographically many years ago, and even alluded to (with no voucher citation) in the Manual Orchidaceae treatment (2003: 53) by Robert L. Dressler. However, in the typical style of the horticulturists implicated in the original discovery, the locality was not revealed and no herbarium specimens were prepared, and as a result the hybrid entity has never been formally described and named. Despairing himself of ever tracking down hybrid plants in the wild ("almost a nonsensical effort"), the author of this paper seizes upon "a cultivated plant of wild origin at an orchid show recently held in Cartago" as the source of the requisite type material, upon which he bases the new nothosp. name ×Cochlezella costaricensis Pupulin (the nothogenus name having recently become available in another connection). The provenance of this cultivated material is (according to the field collector) "probably in the region of Bajo Chirripó," i.e., on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca. The author does a fine job of documenting the historical developments leading to this paper, as well as the variation in floral color and morphology of each parent sp. and the overlap in geographical distribution and phenology. These aims are abetted by a distribution map and color photos of living material (including the hybrid itself). One parting question: why isn't this so-called "intergeneric" hybridization (also documented among other spp. of both Cochleanthes and Warcewiczella) taken as prima facie evidence that these two "genera" should be combined? That matter is not discussed here (Cochleanthes, by the way, is the older name).
Interesting aside: this issue of the Edge is highly unusual in reviewing not a single article in which a new orchid sp. is described from Costa Rica (hybrids do not count!). Is the Law of Diminishing Returns finally beginning to assert itself?
Romero-González, G. A. & G. A. Aymard. 2015. Reconsidering Strychnos gubleri (Loganiaceae). Harvard Pap. Bot. 20: 215.
In a prior paper (see under "Romero-González," this column, in our last issue), these authors bungled their proposed epitypification of Strychnos gubleri G. Planch. by failing to cite a holotype, lectotype, or neotype. Here that situation is remedied with the formal designation of a lectotype (and epitype!).
——, G. Carnevali Fernández-Concha, G. Gerlach & W. Cetzal-Ix. 2015. Novelties in the orchid flora of Venezuela VIII. Subtribe Eriopsidinae. Eriopsis. Harvard Pap. Bot. 20: 101–143.
Apart from the pagination, there is nothing in the foregoing heading to suggest that this paper represents a fully realized synoptic treatment of the neotropical genus Eriopsis (Orchidaceae) over its entire geographic range (we would not call it a revision, as the authors do, since complete descriptions are mostly omitted). Seven spp. (one provisionally named) are here recognized in Eriopsis, vs. the total of just four attributed to the genus in the Manual Orchidaceae treatment (2003) by Robert L. Dressler. The lone sp. occurring in Costa Rica had long been known as Eriopsis biloba Lindl., until that name was replaced by Dressler at the eleventh hour with E. rutidobulbon Hook. Now, even E. rutidobulbon is superseded as the correct name for our sp., henceforth to be known as Eriopsis wercklei Schltr. (a name cited in synonymy in the Manual). According to these authors, E. biloba (in the sense of its type) is restricted to South America (Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, and northwestern Brazil), while genuine E. rutidobulbon occurs disjunctly in northern Mesoamerica (southern Mexico to Honduras) and South America (Colombia to Peru and western Venezuela). While the authors "assume [that E. rutidobulbon] must also occur in Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua," we would contend that no such assumption is warranted (disjunctions of this nature being commonplace). Eriopsis wercklei (typified by a Costa Rican collection) is known from Costa Rica and Panama (on the Atlantic slope), and "possibly the Colombian Chocó" (more pointless speculation, in our view). Features synonymy and typology for both the genus and its spp., a distribution map, a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp., distribution summaries, distillations of "field characters," specimen citations (sometimes "selected," though fully annotated), conservation assessments, extensive discussions, a section on "Obscure species," and an index to scientific names. The brief introductory part emphasizes taxonomic history, seed morphology, phylogeny, and pollination biology. Very well illustrated, with composite line drawings for most spp., supplemented by photos (mostly color) of plates, specimens, and/or living material. One new sp. is described (from Venezuela).
Ruiz-Sanchez, E., L. G. Clark, X. Londoño, T. Mejía-Saulés & G. Cortés Rodríguez. 2015. Morphological keys to the genera and species of bamboos (Poaceae: Bambusoideae) of Mexico. Phytotaxa 236: 1–24.
We cite this paper on the chance that it may be found useful as a supplementary identification aid by workers on the Costa Rican flora. Separate keys are provided for the woody and herbaceous genera, with keys to spp. (where needed) nested under the genus headings. Both "the native and the most common cultivated bamboos" are included. Mexico boasts a total of 13 genera and 58 spp. of bamboos, among which three genera and four spp. are herbaceous. The "common cultivated bamboos" (all woody) account for two genera and four spp. All but two of the genera treated in this paper occur in Costa Rica, as do (by our count) 15 of the spp. Critical characters are highlighted in eight composite photographic plates depicting living material.
Salino, A., T. E. Almeida & A. R. Smith. 2015. New combinations in Neotropical Thelypteridaceae. PhytoKeys 57: 11–50.
This contribution is of special significance, inasmuch as it unveils (for us) the most up-to-date classification of Thelypteridaceae to bear the imprimatur of family overlord Alan R. Smith (UC). Not so long ago, all the neotropical members of this group were included by Smith in a single genus, Thelypteris [e.g., in Robert G. Stolze's Ferns and fern allies of Guatemala (1981), where we cut our teeth]. That system was modified ever so slightly in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1 (1995), wherein Smith recognized Macrothelypteris, with a single Old World sp. naturalized in the Neotropics, while retaining Thelypteris for all the native Mesoamerican spp. A decade later, a new fern classification helmed by Smith [see The Cutting Edge 13(4): 9–10, Oct. 2006] saw the generic total for Thelypteridaceae in the Neotropics augmented by another notch with the recognition of Cyclosorus, Thelypteris being restricted in the region to subgen. Amauropelta (Kunze) A. R. Sm. (as circumscribed in Flora mesoamericana). Subsequently, at least 350 new combinations in Cyclosorus were validated by Indian workers [see under "Mazumdar," this column, in The Cutting Edge 20(4), Oct. 2013], prompting us to wonder, "in our characteristically cynical vein,....whether the lost opportunity for new combinations will motivate future workers to embrace alternative classification schemes for the family." Whatever the reason, that very scenario is now upon us, with the result that—horror of horrors!—the genus name Thelypteris is now expunged altogether from at least the Mesoamerican flora: it now denotes a genus of just two spp., neither of which occurs in our area. Also reduced to two spp. by these authors is Cyclosorus, with only the former Thelypteris interrupta (Willd.) K. Iwats. represented in the Neotropics. The remaining spp. of Thelypteris subgen. Cyclosorus (Link) C. V. Morton (in the sense of Flora mesoamericana) are here assigned (provisionally) to the genus Christella, while Amauropelta is recognized at the rank of genus, along with Goniopteris, Meniscium, Stegnogramma, and Steiropteris (all subgenera of Thelypteris in Flora mesoamericana and included within Cyclosorus in the 2006 classification). These developments pretty much nullify the aforementioned combinations of the Indian workers, and render "unnecessary" a subsequent proposal by one of them to conserve the name Cyclosorus against the earlier Meniscium [see under "Mazumdar," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(2), Apr. 2015]. The paper under review provides new combinations (288 in all), where needed, under Amauropelta, Goniopteris, and Steiropteris. None is needed for Meniscium or (we gather) Stegnogramma. We found one nomen novum, that affects us: Goniopteris costaricensis Salino & T. E. Almeida, replacing Thelypteris crenata A. R. Sm. & Lellinger (the epithet crenata being preoccupied in Goniopteris). The authors "refrain from addressing" nomenclatural changes for Christella, because "existing evidence suggests that it is not monophyletic—most of the neotropical species appear to comprise a clade separate from the paleotropical species," and "sampling...is still far too meager to construct a viable taxonomy." This circumstance dampens enthusiasm for their entire Thelypteridaceae classsification. It is hard to imagine that any regional floristic work would adopt a half-baked classification of a major taxon for which significant kinks still remain to be worked out. For our purposes, and for the time being, we would be inclined to revert to the generic classification of Flora mesoamericana, which is perfectly defensible on cladistic grounds (as, indeed, would be the single-genus system of earlier days) and minimally disruptive nomenclaturally (all these ferns remain filed under Thelypteris in most major herbaria). In any case, names in Christella are unavailable for some spp., e.g., Theylpteris kunthii (Desv.) C. V. Morton and T. opulenta (Kaulf.) Fosberg, included in checklists we maintain for Parque Nacional Santa Rosa and the Estación Biológica La Selva, respectively; so, what choice do we have?
The reclassification of Thelypteridaceae that underpins the taxonomic changes implemented in this paper is predicated on a molecular study, involving these same authors, published recently in a journal our library does not receive, and that we are unable to access on the Internet.
Santamaría-Aguilar, D. & R. Aguilar Fernández. 2015. Three new species of Sloanea (Elaeocarpaceae) from Costa Rica, with emphasis on the species from the Osa Peninsula. Harvard Pap. Bot. 20: 151–159.
Valid binomials are here provided for three of the five Sloanea spp. that were treated under provisional names in the Manual Elaeocarpaceae treatment (2010) by Damon A. Smith. These are: Sloanea damonsmithii D. Santam. & Aguilar, corresponding to Sloanea sp. C; S. eugenifloresiae Aguilar & D. Santam., corresponding to Sloanea sp. A; and S. herrerae Aguilar & D. Santam., which corresponds to Sloanea sp. D. The vital statistics (including distribution and phenology) for these spp. do not differ materially from those provided in the Manual. Well illustrated with color photos of both herbarium specimens and living material (including sympatric congeners). As an aside: we have corrected the authors' "Sloanea eugenifloresii" (honoring Universidad de Costa Rica profesora Eugenia Flores Vindas) to an appropriately feminine form; and no, we do not know what the future may hold for Sloanea spp. B and E!
—— & L. P. Lagomarsino. 2015. Synopsis of Couepia (Chrysobalanaceae) in Costa Rica, with a description of two new species. Phytotaxa 233: 69–79.
When the Manual Chrysobalanaceae draft treatment (scheduled for our final volume) by Ghillean T. Prance was edited just a year and a half ago, two spp. of Couepia were members in good standing of the Costa Rican flora: C. platycalyx Cuatrec. and C. polyandra (Kunth) Rose. Since that time, however, several radical changes have occurred, more than warranting this synopsis. Prance himself was involved in the initial upheaval, a recircumscription of Couepia, based on molecular evidence, that resulted in the (tentative) transfer of C. platycalyx to Licania [see under "Sothers," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(4), Oct. 2014]. The Costa Rican complement of Couepia was thereby reduced to a single sp., but only for a very brief interval, as C. osaensis Aguilar & D. Santam. was published as new about two weeks later [see under "Santamaría Aguilar," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(4), Oct. 2014]. The present contribution discriminates two new spp. from Couepia polyandra in its traditional sense (e.g., that of the Manual draft), and as both occur in Costa Rica—along with C. polyandra sensu stricto—the country sp. total for the genus is suddenly four! The two new spp. are fittingly named in honor of Winifred Hallwachs and her long-time partner Daniel Janzen, tireless advocates for conservation in the Guanacaste region. Couepia hallwachsiae D. Santam. & Lagom. is endemic to Costa Rica, as according to the following parameters (translated into Manualese): "Bosque muy húmedo, 250–750 m; vert. Carib. Cord. Central. Fl. jul." The Costa Rican range of Couepia janzenii D. Santam. & Lagom. (also known from west-central Panama) is parapatric to that of C. hallwachsiae, viz.: "Bosque muy húmedo, 0–250 m; vert. Carib. Cord. Central, Llanura de Tortuguero. Fl. abr." Based on the specimens cited herein, the Costa Rican vitals for Couepia polyandra sensu stricto (said to range from Mexico to Costa Rica) may be expressed as follows: "Bosque seco, húmedo y muy húmedo, 0–750 m; vert. Carib. Cord. Central (CATIE), cuenca del Río Sapoá, vert. Pac. Cord. de Tilarán (Tilarán), Pen. de Nicoya, vecindades de Colorado y de Puntarenas. Fl. abr., may., set., dec." The CATIE record is conceivably from cultivation. The diagnostic features of all four Couepia spp. found in Costa Rica are presented in a dichotomous (though non-indented) key. This work (elaborate for a "synopsis") also boasts technical descriptions of the genus and all four spp., synonymy and typology, distribution summaries, discussions, and comprehensive (for Costa Rica) specimen citations. Both new spp. are illustrated with composite line drawings and color photos from life (the latter provided for C. polyandra as well).
Schwartsburd, P. B. & J. Prado. 2015. A taxonomic revision of the South American species of Hypolepis (Dennstaedtiaceae), Part I. Amer. Fern J. 105: 263–313.
This contribution is of mainly tangential interest to us, although the definition of "South America" is stretched to include Isla del Coco. So circumscribed, the study region boasts (according to these authors) 26 spp. of the "subcosmopolitan" genus Hypolepis, along with various hybrids and infraspecific taxa. The main taxon entries (spp. and hybrids) are presented in alphabetical order, through and including Hypolepis obtusata (C. Presl) Kuhn (entry #15) in this first installment. Just one sp. is attributed to Isla del Coco (and Table 1 makes it clear that there will be no others in the second installment): the endemic Hypolepis lellingeri A. Rojas [see The Cutting Edge 9(2): 9, Apr. 2002]. And, while the authors are based in Brazil, do not profess to be revising Hypolepis outside South America, and cite precious little herbarium material from Central America, we do gain a few insights relevant to the mainland portion of Costa Rica. Four spp. are ascribed to the last-mentioned region in this installment: Hypolepis flexuosa Sodiro, H. hostilis (Kunze) C. Presl, H. nigrescens Hook., and H. nuda Mett. ex Kuhn. While H. hostilis and H. nigrescens are familiar names in the annals of Central American botany, the other two are not; furthermore, another familiar name, Hypolepis bogotensis H. Karst., is conpsicuously missing in action. It turns out that some of these facts are related: Hypolepis flexuosa had been included as a synonym of H. bogotensis in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1 (1995), but is here recognized as a distinct sp., ranging from Costa Rica to Bolivia (with H. bogotensis proper restricted to the Colombian Cordillera Central). And it would appear that the name Hypolepis nuda must supplant H. trichobacilliformis R. C. Moran, with the latter probably to be regarded as a synonym; although no such synonymy is proposed formally by the authors (who did not see the type of the latter name), both of their Costa Rican vouchers for H. nuda happen to be paratypes of H. trichobacilliformis. Features synonymy, typology, technical descriptions, and discussions at all levels, a dichotomous and indented key to spp. and hybrids, distribution summaries, representative specimen citations, and distribution maps. The introductory portion addresses taxonomic history, distribution, and morphology and anatomy, and is well-illustrated (including composite line drawings of many spp.). There are no indices in this first installment.
Seigler, D. S. & J. E. Ebinger. 2015. (2389) Proposal to conserve the name Acacia multipinnata (Senegalia multipinnata) against A. paniculata (Fabaceae). Taxon 64: 1059–1060.
Senegalia multipinnata (Ducke) Seigler & Ebinger was used as the accepted name for a lianescent legume in the Manual Fabaceae treatment (2010) by co-PI Nelson Zamora, albeit with some misgivings: in the sp. discussion, Nelson suggested that the correct name for the sp. could turn out to be Senegalia martiusiana (Steud.) Seigler & Ebinger, or perhaps S. paniculata (Willd.) Killip. The present authors, having studied critical type material, have now concluded that S. paniculata is indeed the earliest name applicable to the sp. in question, hence the correct name. However, citing a long history of misapplication of its basionym and (especially) confusion with the sp. currently known as Senegalia tenuifolia (L.) Britton & Rose, they submit this conservation proposal. Curiously, the authors suggest that, in the event their proposal is rejected, "Acacia paniculata Willd....will need to be transferred to the genus Senegalia"; however, as indicated above, said transfer has already been effected (just not by them!).
Simões, A. R., A. Culham & M. Carine. 2015. Resolving the unresolved tribe: a molecular phylogenetic framework for the Merremieae (Convolvulaceae). Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 179: 374–387.
The authors conclude that, while their "results fail to ascertain the monophyly of the tribe," they "have identified several morphologically diagnosable monophyletic groups in Merremieae that provide a clear framework for a new generic classification..." One of these groups "broadly corresponds to the traditional circumscription of Operculina," for which monophyly may be achieved by two minor transfers that do not affect any spp. in Costa Rica. Merremia, on the other hand, "is confirmed as polyphyletic," and it would appear that all the Costa Rican spp. that have been included in that genus occupy clades well-removed from that housing the type sp. [the Old World M. hederacea (Burm. f.) Hallier f.]. In fact, the Costa Rican spp. themselves are found in two well-separated clades: Merremia umbellata (L.) Hallier f. in its own clade, and all the rest [save M. discoidesperma (Donn. Sm.) O'Donell, not included in the study] in a different clade. So, while these authors venture no taxonomic innovations at the present time, we may speculate that the seven Costa Rican spp. presently maintained in Merremia will end up in two different genera, neither named Merremia.
Simon, M. F., J. F. B. Pastore, A. F. Souza, L. M. Borges, V. R. Scalon, P. G. Ribeiro, J. Santos-Silva, V. C. Souza & L. P. Queiroz. 2016. Molecular phylogeny of Stryphnodendron (Mimosoideae, Leguminosae) and generic delimitations in the Piptadenia group. Int. J. Pl. Sci. 177: 44–59.
Among other genera, Mimosa, Piptadenia, Pseudopiptadenia, and Stryphnodendron (all represented in Costa Rica) were "recovered as strongly supported clades." Each of the last three genera has just one sp. in Costa Rica, but all those spp. were included in the study. Neither Pseudopiptadenia nor Stryphnodendron were monophyletic, the former with one sp. (not the Costa Rican one) in exile, the latter with a monospecific genus (not occurring in Costa Rica) embedded. However, no taxonomic resolutions to these relatively minor issues are implemented, and any that might be forthcoming would figure to have no direct consequences for Costa Rican floristics.
Solano Gómez, R. 2015. A taxonomic synopsis of the Mexican species of Acianthera (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) including a new species. Phytotaxa 218: 39–60.
We note in passing the attribution to Costa Rica of Acianthera breedlovei Soto Arenas, Solano & Salazar, a name unfamiliar to us that is based on a specimen from southern Mexico (Chiapas). It would appear that the author is applying this name to the same entity that was treated in the Manual as Pleurothallis pubescens Lindl. [i.e., Acianthera pubescens (Lindl.) Pridgeon & M. W. Chase], which sp. evidently does not occur in Costa Rica (though the author reports it from both Honduras and Panama). Little else in this paper is of significance, from our perspective.
Stull, G. W., R. Duno de Stefano, D. E. Soltis & P. S. Soltis. 2015. Resolving basal lamiid phylogeny and the circumscription of Icacinaceae with a plastome-scale data set. Amer. J. Bot. 102: 1794–1813.
The Manual account of Icacinaceae (Vol. 6; 2007) by co-PI Barry Hammel treated the family in the traditional broad sense, but referenced a more recent, cladistic-based classification in which the genera Citronella and Dendrobangia (to mention only those occurring in Costa Rica) were shunted to Cardiopteridaceae, Discophora to Stemonuraceae, and Metteniusa to Metteniusaceae, with only Calatola, Leretia, Mappia, and Oecopetalum remaining in Icacinaceae sensu stricto. That, indeed, was the classification espoused at the time by Peter Stevens's Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (APW), though it could not be adopted in the Manual for practical reasons. The results of the present paper suggest that the APW classification should be modified (as indeed it already has been!) by enlarging Metteniusaceae so as to include Calatola, Dendrobangia, and Oecopetalum (plus seven other genera not represented in Costa Rica), among which Metteniusa is here shown to be embedded. The relationships of Icacinaceae and Metteniusaceae within subclass Lamiidae are clarified (essentially, they are basal) and several new names are coined (following the PhyloCode), at ranks that do not interest us. It is perhaps worth noting that "no non-DNA synapomorphies are currently known" for most of the suprageneric taxa championed by these authors (including both Icacinaceae and Metteniusaceae). Although it is scarcely emphasized here, the transfer of Dendrobangia from Cardiopteridaceae (where it still resides in TROPICOS) to Metteniusaceae strikes us as uncommonly momentous, given that the two families are assigned to different subclasses (Cardiopteridaceae to Campanulidae). No doubt we missed a key paper somewhere along the way.
Valdespino, I. A. 2015. Novelties in Selaginella (Selaginellaceae – Lycopodiophyta), with emphasis on Brazilian species. PhytoKeys 57: 93–133.
As suggested by its title, this paper is mostly well outside our bailiwick, but one item is directly relevant to us: a northward range extension for the otherwise South American Selaginella potaroensis Jenman to include Costa Rica. Actually, we've been aware of this for more than a quarter century, one of the early Costa Rican collections having been determined as S. potaroensis by Alan R. Smith (UC) back in 1989. The only surprise for us is the revelation that (as we've just now confirmed) this information somehow eluded capture for Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1 (1995)! Consider the oversight remedied.
Van den Berg, C. 2015. Nomenclatural notes in Guarianthe (Orchidaceae: Laeliinae): clarification of Guarianthe ×deckeri, G. ×guatemalensis and G. patinii. Phytotaxa 239: 65–72.
The name Cattleya hennisiana Rolfe (1889)—long ignored as a presumed nomen subnudum and ultimately abandoned even by its author—is resurrected, lectotypified, and deployed as the basis for the new combination Guarianthe hennisiana (Rolfe) Van den Berg. The latter name is summarily called upon to replace the posterior Guarianthe patinii (Cogn.) Dressler & W. E. Higgins, the established name for a sp. that occurs in Costa Rica (and was treated in the Manual as Cattleya patinii Cogn.). Also of passing interest to us is the author's leptotypification of Cattleya skinneri Bateman. All the rest passes under our radar
Washburn, J. D., J. C. Schnable, G. Davidse & J. C. Pires. 2015. Phylogeny and photosynthesis of the grass tribe Paniceae. Amer. J. Bot. 102: 1493–1505.
Of course, we don't care about photosynthesis (we just take it for granted!), but some of the phylogenetic implications of this study do pique our interest. To wit, both Digitaria and Urochloa (Poaceae) are portrayed as paraphyletic (in agreement with previously published research that we overlooked)—the former with respect to (at least) Anthephora, the latter with respect to Eriochloa and Megathyrsus. The last-mentioned genus includes the sp. that was treated as Panicum maximum Jacq. in Manual Vol. 3 (2003). No taxonomic resolution is proffered in this paper (which is more concerned with character evolution), nor has been (as far as we are aware) in any other source to date (though a combination in Urochloa is available for P. maximum, and was cited in the Manual).