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The Cutting Edge
Volume XXIV, Number 1, January 2017
News and Notes | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature |
SEASON'S PICK: This time around the honor goes to Hansteinia ventricosa (Donn. Sm.) D. N. Gibson (Acanthaceae), a flamboyant montane wildflower in Costa Rica.
These photos were taken during a recent Sunday excursion by Hammel and family, on the trail of better material (Hammel et al. 27269) of an odd and long-undetermined Acanthaceae specimen, with young inflorescence buds, collected at 2600 m at the private Cuericí Biological Station (on Cerro de La Muerte) by former parataxonomist Annia Picado (#266). The aforementioned sp. is abundant at the site and fits the Picado material in virtually all visible details; thus, Hammel considers the mystery solved. The name, however, is fleeting, as the genus Hansteinia is scheduled to be subsumed (in the impending Manual treatment of Acantaceae) within an expanded generic concept of Stenostephanus. Indeed, this process has been underway for more than two decades now, with combinations already validated, in piecemeal fashion, for spp. occurring in northern Mesoamerica [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 3(4): 5, Oct. 1996]. A few Costa Rican Hansteinia spp. fall into that category and thus have valid binomials in Stenostephanus, but H. ventricosa is not among them. More photos of this sp. can be seen at Hammel's Flickr site: