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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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

Volume XXIV, Number 1, January 2017

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

ACANTHACEAE. Previously, in these pages [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 15(3): 4–5, Jul. 2008], we have alluded to the occurrence in Costa Rica of Streblacanthus cordatus Lindau, a sp. otherwise known only from Panama and Andean South America. However, we have since come to realize that our evidence for that assumption was nil—until now! Recent correspondence with Manual Acanthaceae co-author Lucinda McDade (RSA) has revealed the existence of a bona fide Costa Rican specimen of said sp., now correctly Pachystachys cordata (Nees) A. L. A. Côrtes (see "Côrtes," under "Germane Literature," in the present issue). The specimen in question, determined as "Pseuderanthemum subcordatum L. Wms. n. sp." (a name never published), is Allen 5903 (EAP), described as a "woody herb" with "pinkish-lavender" flowers. The locality data establish the following Manualese distribution summary: "Bosque muy húmedo, bosques primarios, 800–850 m; vert. Pac., N Fila Costeña (Fila Retinto). Fl. feb." It is a wonder that nobody associated with the Manual project has stumbled onto this sp. during any of our numerous excursions to Fila Retinto! Kudos to the late Paul Allen, whose collecting efforts in this part of the country resulted in numerous new taxa and new country records. The latter category includes another Acanthaceae, Justicia ephemera Leonard (known otherwise from Panama and Colombia), based on an Allen collection from nearly the same spot. Thanks to Lilian Ferrufino (EAP) for providing the scan!

ASTERACEAE. Manual co-PI Barry Hammel reports a new record of the wee and weedy Erigeron cuneifolius DC.: his #21176, from the streets of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. This is a rare and/or inconspicuous sp. that has been collected in Costa Rica on just four previous occasions [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 5(1): 2, Jan. 1998]. Thanks to Manual Asteraceae contributor Alexánder Rodríguez (CR) for the determination!

MELASTOMATACEAE. Manual correspondent Andreas Berger (WU) reports his recent collection (Berger 1775; CR, WU) of Acisanthera quadrata Pers. from the vicinity of the La Gamba Field Station, near Golfito. This is not hugely surprising, since the sp. was already known from the Valles de General and de Coto Brus, but nonetheless represents the first record for the Golfo Dulce region.

PIPERACEAE. Not really a new sp. for the country, merely a new name. It is inevitable that, while revising taxa over large geographic areas, specialists will come upon synonyms not considered in prior revisions covering smaller areas. Some such synonyms may exert priority over previously accepted names. Whenever a Flora mesoamericana treatment follows a Manual treatment of the same family, we are vulnerable to changes of this sort, particularly in large and complex families like Piperaceae. A loan recenty returned from Manual (and Flora mesoamericana) Piperaceae author Ricardo Callejas (HUA) reveals that Piper paulowniifolium C. DC. (1898), a name accepted in the Manual, must yield to the prior P. casimirianum Hemsl. (1882), the name that will be used in Flora mesoamericana. Although the volume of the latter work containing Piperaceae has yet to be published, all the synonymies (at least for Piper) have been entered into TROPICOS, for anyone who cares to check. We have not done so, in a systematic fashion, but expect there to be many other revelations of this type.

PODOSTEMACEAE. Another in-country range extension courtesy of Andreas Berger (WU): Marathrum tenue Liebm. (Berger 1700; CR, WU), from along Quebrada Chorro, near the La Gamba Field Station. This sp. was previously known from quite nearby, in the Valle de Coto Colorado, but Andreas's collection technically represents the first record for the Golfo Dulce region (in the strict sense of the Manual).

SCROPHULARIACEAE. Manual co-PI Nelson Zamora has recently collected (#9076) Anisantherina hispidula (Mart.) Pennell (Orobanchaceae, for you DNA fans), a very rare sp. in Costa Rica that has not been collected in the country for 35 years. We can account for just six prior specimens, all from the vicinity of La Cruz (in northern Prov. Guanacaste) and eastward (in the basin of the Río Sapoá). Nelson found it in an area of burned savanna vegetation near the Carretera Interamericana in the Área de Conservación Guanacaste, which may be the first station on the Pacific versant of Costa Rica (La Cruz sits on the Continental Divide, and the Río Sapoá drains to the Atlantic Ocean).

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