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Volume XXV, Number 1, January, 2018
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Almeida, T. E., S. Hennequin, H. Schneider, A. R. Smith, J. A. N. Batista, A. J. Ramalho, K. Proite & A. Salino. 2016. Towards a monophyletic generic classification of Thelypteridaceae: additional sampling suggests alterations of neotropical taxa and further study of paleotropical taxa. Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 94: 688–700.
The results of this study yield "to the present the best-resolved phylogeny available for Thelypteridaceae," providing the basis for the conclusions already described in our previous review of a virtually concurrent paper involving three of the same authors [see under "Salino," this column, in The Cutting Edge 23(1), Jan. 2016]. There is, essentially, nothing to add.
Athiê-Souza, S. M., G. Staples, C. S. Zickel & M. T. Buril. 2017. Towards a better understanding of the tribe Aniseieae: revisiting Aniseia and Iseia (Convolvulaceae). Syst. Bot. 42: 590–605.
Although its title would not suggest such a thing, this contribution amounts to a fully realized taxonomic revision of the genus Aniseia, here expanded to include the monospecific Iseia. Actually, "expanded" is the wrong word, because one of the original Aniseia spp., A. cernua Moric. (mentioned in the Manual Convolvulaceae treatment as expected in Costa Rica), is synonymized under A. martinicensis (Jacq.) Choisy, maintaining the generic sp. total at three. The inclusion of Iseia is rationalized on the basis of previously published cladistic evidence (see especially Stefanović et al., 2002; Amer. J. Bot. 89: 1510–1522) portraying that genus as nested within Aniseia; no cladogram showing that to be the case is presented here (au contraire, a "dendrogram" suggests a sister-group relationship). In any case, Iseia has gone by the boards. Also scuttled is Aniseia martinicensis var. ambigua Hallier f., rendering moot the rather lengthy Manual discussion alleging the occurrence of both that and its autonymic counterpart in Costa Rica. We get synonymy, typology, technical descriptions, and discussions for the genus Aniseia (as newly circumscribed) and all three of its spp., a dichotomous key to spp., distribution and phenology summaries, representative specimen citations, distribution maps, a tabular morphological comparison of the three spp., and an index to exsiccatae. Curiously, Aniseia luxurians (Moric.) Athiê-Souza & Buril (comb. nov.) is not attributed to Costa Rica, though it was treated in full (under Iseia) in the Manual, with a voucher cited. All three accepted spp. are depicted in composite drawings.
Aymard C., G. A. 2017. Lectotypifications and nomenclatural notes of José Jerónimo Triana's species of Dilleniaceae. Harvard Pap. Bot. 22: 77–80.
Of the six names lectotypified in this paper, two pertain to taxa occurring in Costa Rica: Tetracera hydrophila Triana & Planch. (an accepted name) and T. sessiliflora Triana & Planch. (a synonym of T. portobellensis Beurl.). Their status has not changed, vis-à-vis the Manual Dilleniaceae treatment (2010) by José González Ramírez (not Luis González Arce, as mistakenly cited here due to an error in TROPICOS, since corrected by us).
Biral, L., M. P. Simmons, E. C. Smidt, L. R. Tembrock, M. Bolson, R. H. Archer & J. A. Lombardi. 2017. Systematics of New World Maytenus (Celastraceae) and a new delimitation of the genus. Syst. Bot. 42: 680–693.
A large, widespread and well-known genus is found to be paraphyletic with respect to two very small genera that no one has ever heard of, and the solution is to carve up the major genus in order to preserve the minor ones. Sounds counterintuitive, but that's what has happened here. As presaged in a prior article involving some of these authors [see under "Groppo," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(4), Oct. 2014], the mono- or oligospecific (respectively) South American genera Fraunhofera and Plenckia are nested within Maytenus, an exclusively New World genus (according to its latest circumscription) of ca. 140 spp. As a consequence, some taxonomic maneuvering is inevitable, and the authors have opted for the more disruptive change: to split Maytenus and maintain the two much smaller genera "so as to delimit monophyletic genera that are morphologically distinct." Lumping the smaller genera into Maytenus would, they maintain, "delimit a large genus with no diagnostic morphological traits that includes five fruit types, presence or absence of an aril, and three different aril colors." If that really is the case, then I guess we will have to bite the bullet and split it up accordingly (if we can) for the Manual treatment; the lack of diagnosable genera is exactly what we are complaining about in Cactaceae (see "Korotkova" et al., futher along in this column). Thus Maytenus is summarily divided into two major genera, both represented in Costa Rica: the largely Andean Maytenus sensu stricto, now reduced to just 15–24 spp. total, and the widespread Monteverdia A. Rich., with "~120" spp total. Among the Costa Rican spp. heretofore included in Maytenus, only M. woodsonii Lundell clearly remains in place; the former Maytenus purpusii Lundell, M. recondita Hammel, and M. segoviarum Standl. & L. O. Williams all go over to Monteverdia, whereas Maytenus grisea Lundell (one of the most distinctive spp. in Costa Rica!) is considered "doubtfully distinct" and "not transferred to Monteverdia at this time" (implying that it should be). We believe the authors' choice of the phrase "doubtfully distinct" in this context was poorly made, because elsewhere in the paper they contend that M. grisea "might be misplaced within Maytenus," and that its "inflated thin-walled capsules...are more similar to fruits of Haydenoxylon." One other Costa Rican sp., Maytenus guyanensis Klotzsch ex Reissek, though deeply embedded in Monteverdia according to the authors' cladogram, was not formally transferred to that genus; we're not sure if that was an oversight, or if this is another of their "doubtfully distinct" spp. Unplaced spp. are a problem for the impending Manual Celastraceae treatment, as they make it impossible to fully implement the new system. Another problem for us is that the authors' morphological distinctions do not always hold water: for example, Maytenus sensu stricto is supposed to have a membranaceous pericarp, vs. coriaceous in Monteverdia; however the pericarp of Maytenus woodsonii is coriaceous! The genera segregated by these authors from Maytenus sensu lato are distinguished in a table and a dichotomous, indented key, and 123 new combinations in Monteverdia are validated in the name of "Biral" (just three new combinations or names would have been required for the lumping option).
As an aside: we would have been (and still would be) very happy to supply the authors with material of the enigmatic (to them) Maytenus grisea, which was not included in their analyses (and which, in our opinion, is not as similar morphologically to Haydenoxylon as they suggest). Inclusion of this sp. in their analysis would, to us, be most interesting and necessary; in the Manual Celastraceae draft treatment, co-author Barry Hammel (MO) had already compared M. grisea to Haydenoxylon, but only on the basis of superficial similarities of the latter: leaf coloration on drying and sometimes globose (though coriaceous) capsules. And finally: the genus name Monteverdia was published in 1845, based on Cuban material, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the well-known Costa Rican ecotourism mecca.
Borhidi, A. L. 2017. Revisión crítica del género Arachnothryx Planch. Acta Bot. Hung. 59: 287–318.
This is not really a revision (though certainly it is critical), rather little more than an annotated checklist, and the thinly veiled premise for a highly contentious and more-than-a-little paranoid diatribe taking the author's perceived enemies (especially David H. Lorence) to task for having been slow to accept his taxonomic views. Those include (especially) his segregation of the genera Arachnothryx and Rogiera (Rubiaceae) from Rondeletia, finally accepted in both Flora mesoamericana and the Manual, along with others such as Javorkaea and Renistipula, which have not been widely adopted (indeed, the author himself has rejected Javorkaea, except for its type sp.). Synonymy and typology are provided throughout this work, as well as a technical description of Arachnothryx and a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to the 81 spp. represented in Mexico and Mesoamerica. All 103 Arachnothryx spp. accepted by the author are enumerated in the checklist, which includes brief distribution summaries and is followed by a section on "Especies excluidas." We learn nothing new here (this being merely a reassertion of previously espoused views).
Cornejo, X. 2017. Neocapparis: generic status and new name for Capparidastrum subgenus Pachycarpum (Capparaceae). Harvard Pap. Bot. 22: 113–119.
The restriction of Capparis to the Old World and redistribution, during the past decade, of its erstwhile New World members into 16 distinct genera (five represented in Costa Rica) apparently did not go far enough. Subsequent molecular studies (not seen by us) have revealed that one of the segregate genera, Capparidastrum [see The Cutting Edge 16(2): 4, Apr. 2009], remains diphyletic. As a consequence, the titular subgenus (with two spp.) is here elevated to generic rank under the nomen novum Neocapparis Cornejo. Among the Costa Rican Capparis segregates, Neocapparis is most closely related to Preslianthus, from which it "sharply differs...by the simple trichomes or absence of indumentum...and flowers with stamens never accrescent just before anthesis..." Only one Neocapparis sp., N. pachaca (Kunth) Cornejo, occurs in Costa Rica (as confirmed by this source!). This contribution amounts to a taxonomic revision of Neocapparis, with synonymy and typology, technical descriptions, a key to spp., distribution summaries, and comprehensive specimen citations. Oddly, Capparidastrum pachaca (Kunth) Hutch. subsp. oxysepalum (C. Wright ex Radlk.) Iltis, accepted in the Flora mesoamericana treatment (co-written by this author) and applied to all Mesoamerican material of the sp., is scuttled here without comment, and not combined in Neocapparis. Illustrated with color photos, from life, of each sp. (the other being South American).
Doweld, A. B. 2017. New names in Cinnamomoides, Cinnamomum and Neolitsea (Lauraceae), and Pterospermum (Malvaceae), fossil and living. Phytotaxa 326: 189–201.
The results of this investigation have no consequences for Costa Rican floristics (though consequences were narrowly avoided), but we feature this paper to provide a heads-up on potential future developments. We recently experienced an epiphany with regard to the (so-called) taxonomic literature on plant fossils. Said literature is voluminous, going well back into the 19th century and (we expect) beyond, featuring extensive contributions in which dozens or even hundreds of taxa are described and named, often based on the most meagre material (e.g., a single ostensible grass palea). It is now widely accepted, among neontologists and paleontologists alike, that a large proportion of those fossil identifications are suspect, to say the least. Nonetheless, the names exist, and although they cannot exert priority over names based on extant material (ICN Art. 11.8), they are equal players when it comes to homonymy. In that regard, we were alarmed to discover (upon perusing some old paleobotanical literature) that large numbers of fossil "spp." have been described in extant genera, often using common and ordinary epithets such as latifolius. Couple that with the fact that names of fossil plant taxa are not (or scarcely and irregularly) indexed in databases such as IPNI and TROPICOS, and the potential for big trouble—and big rewards, in terms of new combinations and nomina nova—is obvious. Enter the present author, who has begun to mine this mother lode. The recent transfer of New World Cinnamomum spp. to Aiouea (see under "Rohde," this column) partially averted problems for the Mesoamerican region (and no Costa Rican spp. are affected), but we foresee increased activity along these lines, in other genera and families, as armchair pseudotaxonomists run out of other options to stamp their brands on scientific names. This is the same author who proposed all sorts of spurious lectotypifications for various names in Cactaceae without having careflully examined (or apparently even seen) the specimens he designated (see, e.g., Bauer, 2003; Cactaceae Syst. Init. 17: 3–63)! May such people find a different hobby, like making model airplanes, that doesn't impinge on the serious scientific work of others.
Esser, H.-J. 2017. New species of Gymnanthes (Euphorbiaceae) from Bolivia and Colombia, and taxonomic notes on the genus in Venezuela. Willdenowia 47: 217–224.
We note this paper only to record that its author accepts Actinostemon caribaeus Griseb., cited as a synonym of A. concolor (Spreng.) Müll. Arg. in the Manual, as a distinct sp. Nothing else here is of direct relevance to our work.
Essi, L., H. M. Longhi-Wagner & T. T. Souza Chies. 2017. A synopsis of Briza, Brizochloa, and Chascolytrum (Poaceae, Pooideae, Poeae). Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 102: 466–519.
There is much ado here, but in the final analysis, almost nothing that is new for Costa Rican floristics. Based on traditional morphological studies (and with support from prior molecular work), the authors distill the so-called "Briza complex" into the three genera named in the title: Briza, with three spp., and the monospecific Brizochloa are both Eurasian, while Chascolytrum, with 22 spp., is largely South American. The last-mentioned genus subsumes some elements formerly assigned to Briza, as well as several minor splinter genera. Just one Chascolytrum sp., C. subaristatum (Lam.) Desv., reaches Mesoamerica, where it occurs disjunctly, at middle to high elevations, in Mexico and Guatemala (certainly something that should be sought in Costa Rica!). As far as we can determine, Briza minor L. remains the only sp. in the "Briza complex" recorded from Costa Rica (though no Costa Rican specimens are cited here). So the only change for the Manual Poaceae treatment (2003) would be to the sp. total for Briza, from "4" (then inlcuding Brizochloa) to "3." This seems rather more of a revision than a mere synopsis, with dichotomous (though non-indented) keys to the genera and the spp. of each, as well as to the vars. of two spp., plus synonymy, typology, and phenology and distribution summaries at all ranks, technical descriptions of the genera and spp., IUCN Red List assessments, notes, representative specimen citations, and an index to exsiccatae (though none to names). The introductory portion is brief and devoted mainly to taxonomic history. All spp. and vars. are illustrated with composite line drawings. Two new combinations (neither of concern to us) are validated.
Faria, A. D., J. R. Pirani, J. E. L. S. Ribeiro, S. Nylinder, M. H. Terra-Araujo, P. P. Vieira & U. Swenson. 2017. Towards a natural classification of Sapotaceae subfamily Chrysophylloideae in the Neotropics. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 185: 27–55.
Before considering the results of this study, it is worth pondering the following disclaimer, offered near the end of the paper: "Searching for a natural classification of Neotropical Chrysophylloideae proved to be more complicated than first expected. In retrospect, we realize that our sampling is not sufficiently exhaustive for overall conclusions..." Why does the sample-size factor always sneak up on these molecular workers? It is a shortcoming (and a predictable one) of nearly all their papers. Having said that: we gather that subfamily Chrysophylloideae comprises about 350 New World spp. that are classified, according to the prevailing system of Terry Pennington (e.g., in his landmark 1990 Flora Neotropica Monographs treatment of Sapotaceae), in nine genera. Seven of those genera are represented in Costa Rica: Chromolucuma, Chrysophyllum, Elaeoluma, Micropholis, Pouteria, Pradosia, and Sarcaulus. According to these authors, Old World spp. that have been attributed to Chrysophyllum and Pouteria (e.g., in the Manual) rightly belong in other (exclusively Old World) genera, and the "Neotropical Chrysophylloideae probably form a clade..." Members of that presumed clade were here subjected to cladistic analyses of both molecular sequences and morphological traits, the results of which portend dire consequences for the entire card-house (these genera never made much sense to us anyway). Of the seven genera mentioned previously, only Elaeoluma (with a single sp. in Costa Rica) appears likely to survive in its current circumscription. The "generic limits of Chrysophyllum and Pouteria" (the largest genera in the subfamily) were "found to be untenable" (i.e., both are polyphyletic) and "must be amended." Of the nine Chrysophyllum spp. in Costa Rica, only C. cainito L. (the cultivated Caimito), the generic type, is definitely safe. Chrysophyllum colombianum (Aubrév.) T. D. Penn. groups in a clade that "corresponds to the genus Prieurella," the members of which "are clearly not close relatives to Chrysophyllum s.s."; the authors opine that "Prieurella deserves to be resurrected." Chrysophyllum venezuelanense (Pierre) T. D. Penn. comes out in a different group, comprising four spp., that is "impossible to maintain in Chrysophyllum"; this group entrains the generic types of four different genus names, and pending future clarification of their interrelationships, the authors recommend that each be deployed ("simply because that is a better solution than forcing them into an unnatural assemblage of Chrysophyllum"). According to that scenario, Chrysophyllum venezuelanense becomes the sole member of Cornuella, under which its basionym resides (just as that of Chrysophyllum colombianum resides under Prieurella). The fate of the six Costa Rican Chrysophyllum spp. not included in this study is less certain, though none has been combined under Cornuella or Prieurella (or either of the other two genus names involved). Seven Costa Rican representatives (out of 38 total) of the large genus Pouteria were included in this study, of which three—P. caimito (Ruiz & Pav.) Radlk., P. durlandii (Standl.) Baehni, and P. torta (Mart.) Radlk.—group rather closely with the generic type and are thus on comparatively safe ground. Two of the others, P. filipes Eyma and P. reticulata (Engl.) Eyma, are more distant (from the foregoing spp., and from one another), but still belong to the largest clade that (in the view of these authors) could conceivably correspond to Pouteria; however, that clade is paraphyletic with respect to Chromolucuma, Pradosia, and Sarcaulus, all of which could thus be subsumed eventually within Pouteria (though at least the first two are monophyletic). The two remaining Costa Rican spp. in this study presently classed in Pouteria fall outside even the large clade just mentioned. Pouteria campechiana (Kunth) Baehni belongs to a monophyletic group (sister to Chrysophyllum sensu stricto) for which the authors clearly would like to resurrect the genus name Lucuma (whereunder resides the basionym of P. campechiana), but are dissuaded from doing so at present because the type sp. was not studied. Finally, Pouteria laevigata (Mart.) Radlk. groups with members of the genus Micropholis, which "would be rendered monophyletic" by its transfer (and that of a second Pouteria sp. in the same boat). However, pending "a more thorough phylogenetic analysis of Micropholis" (in particular, one that includes the generic type!), the authors forego taxonomic action. As for the 31 Costa Rican Pouteria spp. (22 with valid scientfic names) not included in this study: we have no clue as to their eventual disposition (though several have names in Lucuma), and that being the case (for Chrysophyllum as well), no intention of implementing (in our checklists, etc.) any of the taxonomic changes suggested in this article.
González, F. & N. Pabón-Mora. 2018. Sinopsis actualizada de Aristolochia (Aristolochiaceae, Piperales) en Panamá/An updated synopsis of Aristolochia (Aristolochiaceae, Piperales) in Panama. Acta Bot. Mex. 122: 109–140.
A well-executed and beautifully presented treatment, with synonymy, typology, and technical descriptions at all ranks, a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp., distribution summaries, specimen citations, "comentarios" (occasionally absent, though sometimes extensive and insightful), and a section on "Nombres dudosos." The sp. entries are ordered alphabetically within major (though sometimes informal) infrageneric groups. There are no maps or indices, but all the recognized spp. (16 in total) are illustrated with color photos, generally from life. Taxonomically, these authors diverge in predictable ways from the Manual draft treatment of Aristolochiaceae by José Esteban Jiménez and Mario Blanco (CR): Aristolochia cordiflora Mutis ex Kunth here unequivocally (vs. only potentially) includes A. sylvicola Standl. in synonymy; A. cruenta Barringer is accepted as a distinct sp. (vs. a synonym of A. goudotii Duch.); A. grandiflora Sw. includes A. gorgona M. A. Blanco and A. pichinchensis Pfeifer (both recognized as distinct by our crew) in synonymy; and the name A. sprucei Mast. is extended to Panamanian (and Costa Rican) material distinguished under the name A. constricta Griseb. in the Manual draft (though the latter name is provisionally applied there, and considered a "nombre dudoso" in the paper under review). Needless to say, the views of Esteban and Mario will prevail in Manual Vol. 4. Thirteen lectotypes are designated in this paper, but none that would appear to bear on any of the disagreements mentioned above.
Gruenstaeudl, M., L. Nauheimer & T. Borsch. 2017. Plastid genome structure and phylogenomics of Nymphaeales: conserved gene order and new insights into relationships. Pl. Syst. Evol. 303: 1251–1270.
Problems with two genera that do not occur in Costa Rica concern or intrigue us. Nuphar (Nymphaeaceae) is the genus of concern: although its exact "phylogenetic position...remained unresolved," two of the three potential scenarios considered by the authors would render Nymphaeaceae paraphyletic with respect to Cabombaceae. Thus one conceivable result would be the merger of the two families, but that is water under the bridge for the Manual, in which Nymphaeaceae has already been published in its strict sense. The intriguing genus is the iconic Victoria (Nymphaeaceae), revealed as "embedded within Nymphaea"; aquatic plant fanciers around the globe will be flipping their lids! However, the authors do not suggest a taxonomic resolution.
Hasenstab-Lehman, K. E. 2017. Phylogenetics of the borage family: delimiting Boraginales and assessing closest relatives. Aliso 35: 41–49.
Sequence analyses of several chloroplast markers confirm that Lennoaceae is nested within Ehretiaceae [see also under "Weigend," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(2), Jan. 2015], apparently the only solid conclusion of this study. Hydrophyllaceae appears to involve two separate clades, one of which must correspond to the recently named Namaceae [see under "Molinari-Novoa," this column, in The Cutting Edge 23(2), Apr. 2016]; however, "these data cannot refute monophyly of Hydrophyllaceae," partly as a result of the usual inadequacy of taxon sampling. "The closest relatives of Boraginales remain ambiguous" (once again, for want of "additional sampling"), though Gentianales have been eliminated. Our suggestion: lump all of Boraginales into a single family (the current situation in TROPICOS)!
Jones, R. L. & H. Jiménez-Saa. 2017. Conservation assessment of Playa Delfín Rainforest Reserve and Research Station, Costa Rica. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 11: 469–478.
The tiny (115 ha) study site is a private reserve (established 1988) in the southern Pacific lowlands of Costa Rica, on the northwestern base of the Península de Burica (at the southeastern edge of Golfo Dulce), spanning a modest elevational range of 0–145 m. The backbone of the authors' assessment is an annotated (for habit and habitat) checklist of "chiefly woody plants," based on their collections during a two-week visit in the rainy season of 2011, and presented as an appendix. This clearly preliminary effort accounts for "138 taxa" (all but five native), of which "101 were trees, 24 were shrubs, 6 were lianas, and 7 were herbs." The most diverse families were Fabaceae, Rubiaceae, Malvaceae (in the broad sense), and Moraceae, with 18, 12, 11, and 10 spp. (respectively). Ficus, Inga, Piper, and Miconia were the most diverse genera, with seven, four, four, and three spp. (respectively). Twelve spp. are "considered to be rare or of restricted ranges," and three (all Piper) are alleged to represent first reports for the Golfo Dulce region. In addition to the floristic analysis, four major habitats are delineated and characterized. The authors conclude that "a rich native flora exists at the site," which is thus "of high conservation value, and worthy of additional government protection." Two maps are provided (though neither is highly detailed).
Klak, C., P. Hanáček & P. V. Bruyns. 2017. Disentangling the Aizooideae: new generic concepts and a new subfamily in Aizoaceae. Taxon 66: 1147–1170.
Aizoaceae subfam. Aizooideae Spreng. ex Arn. consists (as a result of this study) of five genera and about 116 spp., the majority of which are endemic to southern Africa. Just one of the accepted genera, Tetragonia, is represented in Costa Rica (by a single, mainly cultivated sp.). Moreover, this paper is concerned principally with infrageneric classification. All of that said, there is virtually nothing here for us, although the general information that is presented for Tetragonia will no doubt prove somewhat useful.
Korotkova, N., T. Borsch & S. Arias. 2017. A phylogenetic framework for the Hylocereeae (Cactaceae) and implications for the circumscription of the genera. Phytotaxa 327: 1–46.
The native Costa Rican taxa generally included in Cactaceae tribe Hylocereeae Buxb. comprise about 27 spp. that have been referred most recently (as in the Manual draft treatment of the family by co-PI Barry Hammel) to the genera Acanthocereus, Epiphyllum, Hylocereus, Pseudorhipsalis, Selenicereus, Strophocactus, and Weberocereus. The results of this molecular study, if accepted, mandate certain adjustments to that scheme, affecting in some manner all the genera in the foregoing list save Acanthocereus. Three of the other genera—Epiphyllum, Pseudorhipsalis, and Weberocereus—survive largely intact, though each suffers the loss of a single (in Costa Rica) sp. In Epiphyllum, that sp. is E. lepidocarpum (F. A. C. Weber) Britton & Rose, which is deeply nested in the genus Disocactus and should be transferred thereto; indeed, this was already accomplished in a previous paper involving the third author of this one [see under "Cruz," this column, in The Cutting Edge 23(3), Jul. 2016]. Pseudorhipsalis must be divested of P. ramulosa (Salm-Dyck) Barthlott, revealed here as sister to the Disocactus + Epiphyllum clade; accordingly, it becomes the sole sp. of the new genus Kimnachia S. Arias & N. Korotkova (honoring Cactaceae stalwart Myron Kimnach). Our wayward Weberocereus sp. is W. tonduzii (F. A. C. Weber) G. D. Rowley, remote from its erstwhile congeners among spp. of Selenicereus, to which genus it is summarily transferred. But Selenicereus is also paraphyletic with respect to the somewhat larger (and itself monophyletic) genus Hylocereus, and as a result the two are combined in wholesale fashion under the former name. Actually, the two genus names have equal priority, and these authors would clearly have preferred to deploy Hylocereus; however, the deed was already done, quite recently (in a paper we have yet to see), by another author, who chose Selenicereus and thereby established the precedent. That brings us to Strophocactus, which had lately come to harbor the myrmecophilous epiphyte previously known to us as Selenicereus testudo (Karw. ex Zucc.) Buxb. [see The Cutting Edge 11(2): 5, Apr. 2004]. The big news here is that plain ol' Charlie Deam is back in the saddle! Our myrmecophile emerges in a clade well separated from that of the type sp. of Strophocactus, and nowhere near Selenicereus in any guise, and is returned to the genus (now dispecific) of which it is itself the type, as Deamia testudo (Karw. ex Zucc.) Britton & Rose. More significantly, for the big picture (if not our narrow purposes), Deamia and Strophocactus are "not closely related to the core Hylocereeae," from which they are here "excluded...and assigned to the Echinocereeae"—and with that statement, the authors mysteriously abandon the classificatory principles to which they have otherwise adhered, because tribe Echinocereeae Buxb., when circumscribed to include both Deamia and Strophocactus, is (according to their own cladogram) paraphyletic with respect to Hylocereeae! In any event, the results of this study (in particular, the demonstration that Deamia and Strophocactus occupy separate lineages) show "that epiphytism in Cactaceae evolved up to six times independently."
Time will tell whether the new generic concepts espoused in this paper stand up to morphological and next-generation molecular scrutiny. The most bothersome innovation is the segregation of Pseudorhipsalis ramulosa into a new, undiagnosable genus. The only morphological handhold we are given is vanishingly tenuous: having a "less pronounced" floral tube (by our measurements, totally overlapping with that of, e.g., P. acuminata Cufod.), setting fruits "without pollination" [by which they really mean "cross-pollination," and in any case we have found this also to be true of P. amazonica (K. Schum.) Ralf Bauer and P. himantoclada (Rol.-Goss.) Britton & Rose], and being "widely distributed in Tropical America." So sad to name such a weakly supported taxon after such a robust and venerable figure as Kimnach. We wonder if a cladogram with so many poorly supported branches, and many polychotomies, should be used to make changes; would it not be better to present the data and await further resolution and stronger support? Perhaps even subsuming all 63 currently accepted spp. of Hylocereeae (98% JK) into one, not-even-very-large genus (Epiphyllum) would have been a better temporary solution. At least that would give us only one moderately large undiagnosable genus, rather than numerous smaller ones! Come on guys, get your acts together; there's got to be some way to come up with morphologically recognizable genera that are also monophyletic. If not, why bother?
A more-or-less alphabetical synopsis of all the genera mentioned above features synonymy and typology for each sp. (except those of the genus Disocactus, addressed in the earlier paper), along with the validation of one new genus name (Kimnachia) and 13 new combinations (all in the names of "S. Arias & N. Korotkova"); we also noticed at least a few new typifications (which neither we nor the authors bothered to count). And by the way, we certainly can't fault this study for its sample size, i.e., "60 of the 63 currently accepted species." We do, however, wonder about their counting methods, as they also list ten spp. (and one subsp.) that are "missing in the sampling." Go figure.
Ley López, J. M. & E. Chacón Madrigal. 2017. Las plántulas de árboles y palmas de la Península de Osa. Litografía e Imprenta LIL. 183 pp.
We have often found ourselves exasperated and humiliated when confronted with specimens of sterile and often juvenile material collected by ecologists as vouchers for their work. In some cases, such individuals have labored for months or even years in the field, under the mistaken assumption that taxonomists would be able to routinely identify their specimens at the end of the line. Hey, sometimes we can nail the family! This little book may make some progress toward bridging that gap, at least for the southwestern corner of Costa Rica. Working principally with cultivated material of known provenance, the authors provide descriptions of seedlings for 112 (by our count) of the more than 700 tree spp. recorded from the Osa region, and color photos (at the end of the volume) of all those and (it seems) numerous others. Well, it's a start! Arranged alphabetically by family (and subfamily, in Fabaceae), the sp. entries each feature a formal description, diagnostic statement, and "información adicional." The textual portion of the book terminates with a glossary, a comprehensive enumeration of the trees in the study region, an index, and a very crude map.
Lima, L. F. G, J. F. A. Baumgratz, E. N. Lughadha & J. U. M. dos Santos. 2017. Lectotypification of eighteen names in Graffenrieda (Melastomataceae). Kew Bull. 72(47): 1–6.
Lectotypes are newly designated for (among other things) the basionyms of Graffenrieda galeottii (Naudin) L. O. Williams and G. gracilis (Triana) L. O. Williams, the only validly published names accepted in the Manual account of Graffenrieda (2007), as well as for both synonyms cited therein under G. gracilis. Curiously, Calyptrella cycliophylla Donn. Sm., a synonym of G. galeottii, is not addressed here, though as far as we can tell it has never been lectotypified.
Lowry, P. P., II, G. M. Plunkett, M. R. Gostel & D. G. Frodin. 2017. A synopsis of the Afro-Malagasy species previously included in Schefflera (Araliaceae): resurrection of the genera Astropanax and Neocussonia. Candollea 72: 265–282.
The polyphyletic status of the huge genus Schefflera was revealed more than a decade ago [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 12(4): 10, Oct. 2005], and we are well aware that the generic type is an Old World sp. The present paper, cleaving off 31 spp. from the region specified in the title, is of no direct concern to us, merely a reminder that folks are busy chipping away at Schefflera, and big changes for us are inevitable, somewhere down the line...
Luebert, F., A. Moreira-Muñoz, K. Wilke & M. O. Dillon. 2017. Phylogeny and evolution of achenial trichomes in the Lucilia-group (Asteraceae: Gnaphalieae) and their systematic significance. Taxon 66: 1184–1199.
The largely South American Lucilia-group referred to in the title comprises 21 genera, just two of which (as far as we can determine) are represented in Costa Rica: Gamochaeta (with perhaps four spp. in the country) and either Chionolaena or Gnaphaliothamnus (represented jointly by a single sp. in Costa Rica). We originally learned all the Costa Rican spp. of the group as members of Gnaphalium, long since cut down to size (and effectively excluded from Costa Rica) by synantherologists. Considering the results of these molecular analyses, we are mildly interested in the apparent paraphyly of Gamochaeta with respect to two minor South American genera; were those two genera to be submerged in Gamochaeta (an option not pursued in this paper), our only obligation would be to jack up the sp. total for that genus by three notches. Of somewhat greater significance to Costa Rican floristics is the demonstration that Chionolaena (with ca. 10 spp. of "Brazil and austral South America") and Gnaphaliothamnus (with approximately the same number of spp., "from Mexico and Central America") are not even sister taxa, and that "any similarity between the two genera may be convergent." The sole Costa Rican sp. affected by this result, a well-known páramo shrub, has gone under a variety of names over the years, beginning (for us) with Gnaphalium lavandulifolium (Kunth) S. F. Blake (which proved to be an illegitimate homonym). Later it became Chionolaena lavandulifolia (Kunth) Benth. & Hook. f. ex B. D. Jacks., and then (with the Costa Rican material newly segregated from that of northern Mesoamerica) Gnaphaliothamnus costaricensis G. L. Nesom, before Gnaphaliothamnus was finally submerged (by one of its leading proponents) in Chionolaena [see The Cutting Edge 9(1): 8, Jan. 2002]. At that point, our guy became Chionolaena costaricensis (G. L. Nesom) G. L. Nesom. The results of this study would appear to favor the restoration of Gnaphaliothamnus costaricensis as the correct name for the Costa Rican sp.; however, it bears mentioning that the soon-to-be-published Flora mesoamericana account by Susana E. Freire disdains Gnaphaliothamnus, as well as sp. status for our Costa Rican plants, which are thereby nuked all the way back to Chionolaena lavandulifolia. And that is the name that Manual contributor Alexánder Rodríguez (CR) presently uses in his draft treatmente of Asteraceae (though we don't yet know what his final decision will be). One caveat: it should perhaps be of some concern that the type sp. of Gnaphaliothamnus, G. rhodanthus (Sch. Bip.) Kirp., was not included in this study.
Mabberley, D. J. 2017. (2558) Proposal to conserve Murraya, nom. cons., against the additional name Chalcas (Rutaceae). Taxon 66: 1229–1230.
Chalcas L. (1767), "a generic name that has gained negligible currency," has priority over Murraya J. Koenig (1771). While the latter name serves for only "a handful of species native in the Indopacific," it is nonetheless well known, with at least one sp., M. paniculata (L.) Jack, widely cultivated (including in Costa Rica). This proposal seeks to preserve the status quo.
Mathieu, G. & M. W. Callmander. 2017. Lectotypifications of Peperomia species (Piperaceae) from Veracruz, Mexico. Candollea 72: 333–338.
We very nearly emerged unscathed from this article, but were snared by the very last entry, wherein the name Peperomia urocarpoides C. DC.—cited as a synonym of P. urocarpa Fisch. & C. A. Mey. in the Manual Piperaceae treatment (2014) by Ricardo Callejas (HUA)—is lectotypified. Taxonomy is not addressed by these authors, so we have no idea how they apply the name P. urocarpoides, or whether its application is affected by their lectotypification.
Morales, J. F., M. E. Endress & S. Liede-Schumann. 2017. Systematics of Prestonia (Apocynaceae: apocynoids: Echiteae) 80 years after Woodson. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 102: 520–541.
Here is another major product of the first author's Ph.D. research at the University of Bayreuth, Germany [see also under "Morales," this column, in The Cutting Edge 24(3), Jul. 2017]. This one deals mainly with the infrageneric classification of the neotropical genus Prestonia, and is thus of minimal interest to us. The genus itself, with ca. 58 accepted spp., was shown (by molecular analyses) to be monophyletic, but the same cannot be said of any of its previously proposed sections. Thus a new infrageneric classification is unveiled that features six sections, three described here as new. In the bargain, synonymy and typology are provided (as needed) for the genus and each section, along with a description of the genus, a dichotomous key to sections, and lists of component spp. for each section. On (approximately!) the 80th anniversary of Woodson's "landmark monograph of the Neotropical apocynoids published in the Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden in 1936," homage is here paid to Robert E. Woodson, Jr., and Marcel Pichon, Apocynaceae greats who both died young.
Morillo, G. 2016. Nuevas especies y nuevas combinaciones en las Gonolobinae (Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae, Asclepiadeae) de Centro y Sudamérica. Lilloa 53: 89–106.
More outfall from prior morphological and molecular investigations by the author of this paper [see under "Morillo," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(3), Jul. 2015]: last time Matelea was the principal victim of his generic splitting, this time it is Gonolobus (at least, from a Costa Rican perspective). Six spp. are here transferred to the genus Atrostemma Morillo, erected in the earlier paper to accommodate four spp. of Colombia and Venezuela. Among the new recruits are two that occur in Costa Rica, heretofore known as Gonolobus hadrostemma W. D. Stevens and G. hammelii W. D. Stevens (the latter endemic, the former squeaking into southwestern Nicaragua). All the new combinations in Atrostemma are validated in the name of the author. A dichotomous (though non-indented) key to the genera of subtribe Gonolobinae recognized by the author is provided (revealing that Atrostemma differs from Gonolobus principally in hts anthers lacking marginal laminar appendages). The remainder of the paper (new spp., etc.) is of no concern to us.
Moroni, P. & N. O'Leary. 2017. Unraveling the story behind the Linnaean basionym of Bouchea prismatica: revised typification of the name Verbena prismatica. Taxon 66: 1213–1217.
The reigning neotypification of Verbena prismatica L., the basionym of Bouchea prismatica (L.) Kuntze (Verbenaceae), must be superseded due to the recent discovery of extant original material. Lectotypification by these authors is complicated by the fact that Linnaeus's original concept was based on elements comprising two spp., B. prismatica and Salvia occidentalis Sw. (Lamiaceae). The new lectotype, a specimen at LINN, maintains prevailing usage.
Nixon, K. C. & F. R. Barrie. 2017. Three previously undescribed species of Quercus (Fagaceae) from Mesoamerica and the designation of a lectotype for Q. acutifolia. Novon 25: 444–450.
Only one element of the titular subject matter concerns us, viz., one of the new spp., Quercus sarahmariae Nixon & Barrie, which is practically endemic to Costa Rica (a single paratype from westernmost Panama spoils the day). It has been confused with Q. benthamii A. DC., from which it differs by its larger leaves, sparingly toothed distally and with more numerous secondary veins, as well as its "distinctive flat-cupped and extremely large acorns." The new sp. is also compared with Q. rapurahuensis Pittier ex Seemen, synonymized under Q. benthamii in the Manual Fagaceae treatment (2010) by Francisco Morales, but evidently regarded as distinct by these authors. It is not clear whether Q. benthamii, in the sense of its Guatemalan type, is considered by these authors to occur in Costa Rica (whence the type of Q. rapurahuensis). Quercus sarahmariae (the epithet of which honors the first author's daughter) has been collected in bosque húmedo and pluvial, at elevations of (700–)1050–1800+ m, on both slopes of the eastern Cordillera de Talamanca and in the southern Fila Costeña (Fila Cruces). A collection from 600 m elevation on the Península de Osa, comprising just acorns, is identified only tentatively as this sp., even though its "fruits are identical in size and form to those of Q. sarahmariae and unlike any other species from the region." We would only comment that there are plenty of precedents for that type of disjunction, Ticodendron incognitum Gómez-Laur. & L. D. Gómez (Ticodendraceae) being the most glaring example that comes to mind. Illustrated with a black-and-white photo of the holotype specimen.
Pennington, T. D. & R. Wise. 2017. The genus Sloanea (Elaeocarpaceae) in America. Dh Books, Milborne Port, UK. 429 pp.
The imminent appearance of this magnum opus was foreshadowed in our review of a preliminary paper by the first author [see under "Pennington," this column, in The Cutting Edge 23(4), Oct. 2016], in which all of the taxonomic novelties relevant to Costa Rica (and most other places) were dispatched and most of the other essential details disclosed. With the final product now in hand, we can expound on a few of those details, and mention some others. First, the names Sloanea damonsmithii D. Santam. & Aguilar (= S. sp. C of the Manual Elaeocarpaceae treatment) and S. longipes Ducke do indeed appear in synonymy under S. faginea Standl. and S. floribunda Spruce ex Benth. (respectively), as we had gleaned. The argument to synonymize S. damonsmithii is cogent, but the author ("I," presumably Pennington) believes that Central American material of S. floribunda may merit subspecific status. Second, both Sloanea guianensis (Aubl.) Benth. subsp. guianensis and S. g. subsp. stipitata (Spruce ex Benth.) T. D. Penn. are recorded from Costa Rica; however, the former occurs throughout the Costa Rican range indicated for the sp. in the Manual, whereas the latter is known by a single collection (Thomsen 44, K) from the Península de Osa. Third, we now know the basis for the attribution to Costa Rica of Sloanea platyphylla Standl. (a sp. otherwise endemic to Panama): J. L. Chaves & Muñoz 637 (MO; in bud), from 800 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Guanacaste. That specimen had previously been determined as Sloanea ampla I. M. Johnst.; if it is confirmed as S. platyphylla (the author qualifies the identification as "doubtful"), the Manual distribution statement for S. ampla would likely have to be modified so as to delete the parenthetical 800 m at the lower end of the elevational range, as well as the phrase "Cord. de Guanacaste." Finally, Sloanea pseudogranulosa Pal.-Duque (2004) and S. chocoana Pal.-Duque (2010), treated at the end of the volume under "Imperfectly known species," are both compared with the Costa Rican S. eugenifloresiae Aguilar & D. Santam. (2015; here spelled "eugenifloresii"), as well as with one another, and maintained provisionally, pending "more complete material." The possibility that the last-mentioned name could ultimately be replaced by either of the first two (both known only by their types, from Chocó Department, Colombia) looms ominously.
Apart from the aformentioned revelations, this fully realized work appears to diverge little from the basic outline presented (albeit in skeletal form) in the preliminary paper. The sp. total for Sloanea in the New World remains at 127, and in Costa Rica at 25 (the same as in the Manual!). The genus is divided into nine informal groups, on the basis of morphology, and the sp. treatments are presented in blocs corresponding to those groups (within which they are ordered non-alphabetically, according to some inscrutable algorithm). Synonymy, typology, descriptions, and distribution summaries are provided at all formal taxonomic ranks (with brief descriptions even for the informal groups). Dichotomous keys (all, sadly, non-indented) distinguish the groups, the spp. within each group, and (as appropriate) the subspp. within particular spp., as well as the spp. within six major geographic regions. The sp. and subsp. entries include representative specimen citations, distribution maps, and "field characters," as well as (irregularly) information on local names, uses, etc. At the end are found sections on "Imperfectly known species" and "Excluded species" and indices to exsiccatae, vernacular names, and scientific names. The relatively brief introductory part addresses taxonomic history, morphology, phylogeny, and geographical distribution (with sp. lists for countries and some lesser political units). Each sp. and subsp. (apart from the nine "Imperfectly known species" treated at the end) is depicted in an excellent composite line drawing by the second "author." This rigorously executed and handsomely presented volume will certainly stand as the last word on New World Sloanea for many decades to come.
Persson, C. & P. G. Delprete. 2017. The Alibertia group (Gardenieae–Rubiaceae)—Part 1 (Agouticarpa, Alibertia, Cordiera, Melanopsidium, Riodocea, and Stenosepala). Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 119: 1–243.
The so-called Alibertia group (one of three monophyletic "groups" in tribe Gardenieae A. Rich.) consists of 12 genera and about 110 spp., of which approximately half (six genera and 50 spp.) are treated in this installment. The members of the Alibertia group comprise "dioecious, woody plants with heteromorphic [generally] inflorescences, heteromorphic flowers, contorted corolla aestivation, pollen released as monads, and baccate fruits." Only the first three genera of the title are represented in Costa Rica, their respective sp. totals being roughly the same as indicated in the Manual Rubiaceae treatment (2014) (the other three are principally South American and monospecific). Also as in the Manual, eight taxa in the three pertinent genera are attributed to Costa Rica, and under the same names, with just one caveat: Alibertia premontana C. M. Taylor is here (re)demoted to A. edulis (Rich.) A. Rich. ex DC. var. premontana (C. M. Taylor) Delprete & C. H. Perss. (requiring that A. edulis of the Manual be qualified as representing the autonymic var.). Features synonymy, typology, and descriptions at all ranks from genus on down, dichotomous and indented keys to spp. (with separate keys to flowering and fruiting material for each genus) and (nested) to vars., distribution summaries and maps, extensive specimen citations, discussions, and (at the end) a section on "Excluded taxa" and indices to exsiccatae, common names, and scientific names. A general introduction (to tribe Gardenieae) provides information on taxonomic history and phylogeny, as well as a "Systematic treatment," with synonymy, typology, and a technical description of the tribe, plus keys to genera (dichotomous and indented) for both flowering and fruiting material. This is followed by an introduction (well illustrated and with two tables) to the Alibertia group, with discussions of taxonomic history, morphology and wood anatomy, karyology, phenology and sex distribution, secondary pollen presentation, pollination biology and dispersal, myrmecophily, ecology and distribution, conservation, uses, and sp. and var. concepts. Fourteen new taxa (10 spp. and four vars.) are described (though none pertains to Costa Rica), and our hasty count yielded at least 17 new lectotypifications and a few neotypifications. Most of the accepted spp. (and a few of the vars.) are illustrated with excellent composite line drawings and/or black-and-white photos (mostly from life).
The second (and final) installment of this work will cover the remaining six genera of the Alibertia group, of which just two, Amaioua and Duroia, are represented (so far as we know!) in Costa Rica.
Peterson, P. M., K. Romaschenko, Y. Herrera Arrieta & J. M. Saarela. 2017. A molecular phylogeny of the subtribe Sporobolinae and a classification of the subfamily Chloridoideae (Poaceae). Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 118: 127–151.
This paper is eerily similar to a prior one by the same authors [see under "Peterson," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(2), Apr. 2015], and reaches the same major conclusion, i.e., that Sporobolus in its traditional sense is paraphyletic with respect to Spartina, and various other genera. Have they published the same work twice, or are we overlooking some subtlety? To be fair, the earlier paper emphasized the subgeneric classification of Sporobolus, subsuming the nested genera and validating the indicated new combinations, while this one is more concerned with subfamilial classification (of little interest to us).
The Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group. 2016. A community-derived classification for extant lycophytes and ferns. J. Syst. Evol. 54: 563–603.
So here we have it at last, the "official" pteridophyte counterpart of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group: a consortium of 26 international fern luminaries, with "additional contributions" from 68 others of comparable stature. Conspicuously missing from both rosters are Mark W. Chase and Maarten J. M. Christenhusz (PG), authors of a recent pteridophyte classification [see under "Christenhusz, this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(2), Apr. 2014] dismissed here as "a considerable departure in terms of stability" that "has not been widely adopted," but which, in our view, has considerable merit, from a generalist's perspective. The last-mentioned classification adopted generally more inclusive genera, whereas that promoted here by the Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group (PPG) revels in the smaller, more technically defined genera inevitably favored by specialists, but often unrecognizable even to seasoned generalists. These include not only the myriad and bewildering Grammitis segregates, but now also those of Lycopodium (including the likes of Palhinhaea and Phlegmariurus) and Thelypteris (some of which remain non-monophyletic and unresolved, with particular spp. still in taxonomic limbo). The major changes in Thelypteridaceae have already been revealed in these pages [see under "Salino," this column, in The Cutting Edge 23(1), Jan. 2016], but there is one minor revelation here: the Old World sp. Thelypteris opulenta (Kaulf.) Fosberg, introduced and weedy in Costa Rica, is now assigned to the genus Amblovenatum J. P. Roux (a replacement name for Amphineuron Holttum), as Amblovenatum opulentum (Kaulf.) J. P. Roux. Most of the other elements of the PPG classification will already be familiar to regular readers of this blog. All told, it recognizes two classes, with 51 families and 337 genera. The main body of the paper comprises a listing of the genera, with synonymy and (for the accepted names) typology for each, arranged alphabetically according to classes, subclasses, orders, families, subfamilies, etc. (as appropriate). For each taxon, totals of subordinate taxa are provided, as well as (in most cases) at least one citation confirming (or not) monophyly. Ten nomenclatural novelties are validated, all for taxa or at ranks that do not concern us.
This paper appears in a special issue of the Journal of Systematics and Evolution focused on "Systematics and evolution of lycophytes and ferns." Interested readers may wish to delve deeper.
Pupulin, F. & A. [P.] Karremans. 2017. Ida (Sudamerlycaste) andreettae. Orchids (West Palm Beach) 86: 496–498.
The sp. of the title is South American, and of no interest to us. We cite this article only to document that orchidologists are finally taking the bull by the horns with regard to the highly suspicious differentials between printed dates and actual delivery dates for issues of the obscure, vanity-press journal Revista Guatemalensis, sometimes involving potentially significant nomenclatural consequences [see, e.g., under "Archila," this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(3), Jul. 2012]. One of those consequences was the replacement of the genus name Ida A. Ryan & Oakeley (2003) with the ostensibly prior Sudamerlycaste Archila ("2002"), a situation that is now reversed by evidence supporting an effective publication date of "post 2007" for the latter name. That does not affect us (the genus, under whatever name, being strictly South American), but we expect that, as effective publication dates for issues of Revista Guatemalensis continue to be evaluated on an ad hoc basis, other situations will be resolved that may be germane to our work
—— & ——. 2017. Horichia dressleri. A new genus recorded for Costa Rica and a truly rare orchid? Orchids (West Palm Beach) 86: 610–617.
Horichia dressleri Jenny was actually mentioned in the Manual Orchidaceae treatment (2003) in the genus discussion of Polycycnis (a odd place), where it was indicated as occurring in western Panama (Prov. Bocas del Toro), with the possibility of turning up in Costa Rica, and briefly distinguished from the last-mentioned genus. The sp. can now be reported from Costa Rica, but not where one would have expected it (e.g., in the Baja Talamanca region); rather, it was found (Karremans et al. 6825, JBL) at the opposite end of the country, at 630 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Guanacaste! A prior record, from 700 m on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera Central, had been deemed unreliable (having originated from an "orchid poacher"), but now appears more plausible. Flowering phenology for Costa Rica is uncertain (the Guanacaste specimen was sterile, and flowered later in cultivation). The authors expound greatly on the subject of rarity, and take the opportunity to publish photos of assorted rare orchid spp., including several of Horichia dressleri. A distribution map for the last-mentioned sp. is also presented.
Reynel, C. 2017. Zanthoxylum (Rutaceae). Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 117: 1–264.
Congratulations to former MO associate Carlos Reynel (MOL) on the publication, after all these years, of his magnum opus! This work is based very largely, of course, on his 1996 doctoral dissertation, which was utilized for and cited in the Manual Rutaceae treatment (2014) by Quírico Jiménez. Although the text has been updated with the addition of more recent collections and references, there have been no substantive taxonomic changes, at least as regards Costa Rica: the same 12 spp. may be attributed to the country, and under the same names. However, this monograph (and the dissertation) do differ from the Manual in using the name Zanthoxylum schreberi (J. F. Gmel.) Reynel in place of Z. monophyllum (Lam.) P. Wilson, the former name having been validated just recently [see under "Bernal," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(3), Jul. 2015], together with three combinations at subsp. rank. The latter require that Costa Rican material of Zanthoxylum acuminatum (Sw.) Sw. be qualified as subsp. juniperinum (Poepp.) Reynel, and of Z. riedelianum Engl. as subsp. kellermanii (P. Wilson) Reynel, while that of Z. fagara (L.) Sarg. resolves into two subspp. (roughly along the lines of the Manual sp. discussion): subsp. fagara and subsp. culantrilo (Kunth) Reynel (misspelled here, in the Manual, and most everywhere else as "culantrillo"). All told, Zanthoxylum is estimated to comprise about 200 spp. (as indicated in the Manual), of which 77 occur in the Neotropics (or a total, including subspp., of 105 taxa). Four sections (one described as new) are recognized—all represented by at least one sp. in Costa Rica—and the largest section is subdivided into eight informal groups (just three of which occur in Costa Rica). As usual in this series, we get full synonymy and typology throughout, descriptions of the genus, sections, informal groups, spp., and subspp., dichotomous and indented keys to spp. and (nested) subspp., distribution summaries, discussions, representative specimen citations, distribution maps, and (at the end) sections on "Imperfectly known species" and "Excluded taxa" and indices to exsiccatae, common names, and scientific names. The introduction (featuring numerous illustrations and tables) addresses taxonomic history, morphology and wood anatomy, chromosome numbers, pollen, chemotaxonomy, phylogeny and evolution (including a preliminary cladistic analysis based on morphology), geographic distribution, insect-plant relationships, reproduction, and uses. Seven new spp. and three new subspp. are described and 22 new combinations validated (though none of these affects us), and 91 lectotypes and two neotypes are designated. All the spp. are illustrated with composite line drawings.
Rohde, R., B. Rudolph, K. Ruthe, F. G. Lorea-Hernández, P. L. R. Moraes, J. Li & J. G. Rohwer. 2017. Neither Phoebe nor Cinnamomum – the tetrasporangiate species of Aiouea (Lauraceae). Taxon 66: 1085–1111.
The title tells the basic tale, as succinctly as possible. The group of neotropical spp. (including about eight in Costa Rica) comprising the principal subject of this molecular study was first known to us (in our early La Selva days) under the genus name Phoebe, with which they were dubbed as recently as 1990 in the Flora costaricensis Lauraceae treatment by William C. Burger (F) and Henk van der Werff (MO). Somewhat thereafter—and largely as a consequence of doctoral research by the fourth author of this paper—these same spp. were reclassified in the otherwise paleotropical genus Cinnamomum (in which names already existed for most), with Phoebe restricted to the Paleotropics. Now, the same fate has befallen Cinnamomum, which again becomes a wholly paleotropical genus with the transfer of its erstwhile neotropical members to Aiouea. This was occasioned by the revelation that "species of Aiouea appear nested among the Neotropical Cinnamomum species in at least three different clades, suggesting that the reduction of pollen sacs from four to two per anther occurred several times independently within the Aiouea clade." Pollen-sac number being "the only criterion to distinguish Neotropical Cinnamomum from Aiouea, the separation between the two is no longer sustainable." Accordingly, all the necessary new combinations (42) and nomina nova (two) are validated in this paper, mostly in the name of "R. Rohde." Most of these are straightforward, but two require brief explantions: by virtue of priority, Aiouea montana (Sw.) R. Rhode becomes the operative name for the sp. known most recently as Cinnamomum triplinerve (Ruiz & Pav.) Kosterm.; and by virtue of confusability (i.e., quasi-homonymy), Aiouea pittieri Rohwer (nom. nov.) is promoted to replace Cinnamomum costaricanum (Mex & Pittier) Kosterm. The nomen novum is proposed "in order to avoid confusion with Aiouea costaricensis (Mez) Kosterm."; however, the epithets costaricana and costaricensis are clearly not homonymous (as defined by ICN Art. 53.1), and it is debatable whether they are even confusable (there being no analogous examples under Art. 53 Ex. 11 or Ex. 12). Probably some sort of IAPT committee ruling should have been sought prior to the publication of this nomen novum. As a bonus, names for six spp. described (under Cinnamomum) as new in the never-published 1996 Ph.D. dissertation by the fourth author are finally validated here (in his name), in bare-bones fashion, including Aiouea paratriplinervis Lorea-Hern., typified by a Costa Rican collection (from Monteverde). "Cinnamomum paratriplinerve" had been synonymized (somewhat tentatively) under C. tonduzii (Mez) Kosterm. in the Manual Lauraceae account (2007). Finally, numerous new lectotype designations are proffered.
Looking beyond, we get some ominous glimpses into the future prospects for other lauraceous genera in the New World. To begin with, although one might assume that the seven spp. already treated under the name Aiouea in the Manual will remain there, such is evidently not the case. Problems with that group were foreshadowed in prior literature; for example, the Manual discussion for the genus stated that "Aiouea parece ser un conjunto poco lógico de spp. derivadas de various géneros," and concluded with "Queda para un futuro estudio desmantelar la polifilética Aiouea." The definitive future study remains in the offing, but here all three Costa Rican spp. with valid names in Aiouea are included in a list (near the end of the paper ) of "Species excluded" from that genus, in which they are indicated as having closer affinities with Ocotea (as presently circumscribed). Needless to say, the four provisionally named Aiouea spp. of the Manual are nowhere mentioned here. Aiouea costaricensis (Mez) Kosterm. (the only Costa Rican spp. actually included in the molecular analyses) appears (along with two other Mesoamerican Aiouea spp.) nested within the so-called "Neotropical Ocotea complex," which also includes (here comes the ominous part) representatives of the genera Aniba, Damburneya [see under "Trofimov," this column, in The Cutting Edge 24(1), Jan. 2017], Endlicheria, Licaria, Nectandra, and (of course) Ocotea. The Aiouea spp. actually come out in two different clades. The authors emphasize that "the Ocotea complex is not the subject of this study, and therefore will not be discussed in detail here." Nonetheless, we may speculate that, if these cladograms are substantially correct, the end result will be either the enlargement of Ocotea to include all the aforementioned nested genera, or (surely more likely) the fragmentation of Ocotea in order to preserve same. Only four of the ca. 57 Costa Rican spp. presently attributed to Ocotea were included in these analyses [O. atirrensis Mez & Donn. Sm., O. insularis (Meisn.) Mez, O. pentagona Mez (incl. O. pedalifolia Mez), and O. tenera Mez & Donn. Sm.], and none groups in the same clade as the generic type sp. By the way, the South American contingent of spp. that have been included in Aiouea (and which will remain there) differ from the banished Mesomerican contingent by having "conspicuous staminodes in the fourth androecial whorl" (vs. "either inconspicuous staminodes or mostly none at all"). This Mesomerican group is now in taxonomic limbo: excluded from Aiouea, but with no place to call home.
Sánchez-González, J. & A. Rodríguez. 2017. Una especie nueva de Tachia (Gentianaceae) de Isla del Coco, Costa Rica. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 11: 327–333.
The Manual Gentianaceae treatment (2010) helmed by the first author of this paper included, under Tachia parviflora Maguire & Weaver, a brief mention of an aberrant but sterile specimen of Tachia from Isla del Coco. A return trip to the island by the second author in 2016 yielded a fertile collection (with both flowers and fruits) affirming suspcions that a new sp. was involved. Tachia blancoi Al. Rodr. & J. Sánchez-Gonz. (its epithet honoring island denizen Guillermo Blanco Segura), the second Costa Rican sp. of Tachia and fourteenth overall, differs from the mainland T. parviflora by its less robust habit, decussate (vs. distichous) leaves on the flowering branches, leaf-blades with the secondary veins inconspicuous (vs. conspicuous) below, white (vs. green to yellow) corollas, with the tube straight (vs. slightly bent) and the lobes divaricate to slightly recurved (vs. recurved), and significantly shorter stamen filaments and styles. The elevational range on the island, according to the two available specimens, must be expressed as "0–450 m," though there is apparently some doubt as to the exact provenance of the original (sterile) collection. Features a tabular, morphological comparison of all the spp. of Tachia, as well as a distribution map for T. blancoi. The new sp. is depicted in a composite drawing and (along with T. parviflora) color photos from life.
Santamaría-Aguilar, D. & R. Aguilar Fernández. 2017. Hirtella crusa (Chrysobalanaceae), una especie nueva de la Península de Osa, Costa Rica. Phytoneuron 2017-74: 1–9.
Now that the Manual Chrysobalanaceae treatment has been finalized [see under "Sothers" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 24(2), Apr. 2017], we get this bombshell! An Osa novelty that the authors have been monitoring for several years now finally sees the light of day as Hirtella crusa Aguilar & D. Santam., even though fruiting material could never be obtained and only two specimens (one sterile) are available to be cited. The new sp. (its epithet honoring the "Fundación Costa Rica-Estados Unidos para la Cooperación") is compared most closely with the South American Hirtella piresii Prance and, among Costa Rican congeners, H. excelsa Standl. ex Prance and H. media Standl. The name Hirtella excelsa may be unfamiliar to workers on the Mesoamerican flora and, indeed, appears nowhere in the Manual draft treatment of Chrysobalanaceae by Ghillean T. Prance. However, as an incidental consequence of their research, the authors of this paper established (at least, to their satisfaction) that Mesoamerican material (southeastern Nicaragua and southwestern Costa Rica) that has been passing as Hirtella davisii Sandwith corresponds more exactly with H. excelsa, a sp. otherwise known from Ecuador to Bolivia and westernmost Brazil. According to this scenario, Hirtella davisii is again confined to South America. The authors also take the opportunity to cast doubt (albeit rather tentatively) on the sole Honduran record of Hirtella lemsii L. O. Williams & Prance, a sp. that they consequently restrict to Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Features a dichotomous and indented key to the Costa Rican taxa of Hirtella, a distribution map for H. crusa, and color photos from life for most of the Costa Rican taxa (H. excelsa being one of the exceptions).
Schiavinato, D. J., D. G. Gutiérrez & A. Bartoli. 2017. Typifications and nomenclatural clarifications in South American Tagetes (Asteraceae, Tageteae). Phytotaxa 326: 175–188.
The typification gravy train rolls on, with five of the names dealt with in this paper pertaining (if only tangentially) to Costa Rica floristics: Tagetes anisata Lillo and T. pseudomicrantha Lillo (both synonyms of T. filifolia Lag.); and Tagetes tenuifolia Cav. and two of its synonyms, T. microglossa Benth. and T. peduncularis Cav. All of those names are lectotypified, and T. anisata also epitypified, with no grave consequences for us (although the synonymy of T. peduncularis had been "controversial"). A few of the critical specimens are depicted in color images.
Schwartsburd, P. B., A. Yañez & J. Prado. 2018. Formal recognition of six subordinate taxa within the South American bracken fern, Pteridium esculentum (P. esculentum subsp. arachnoideum s.l.—Dennstaedtiaceae), based on morphology and geography. Phytotaxa 333: 22–40.
A few years ago, we tried in vain to piece together the current taxonomic understanding of Pteridium in Central America based on a study of Chinese taxa [see under "Zhou," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(4), Oct. 2014]. This study of South American taxa offers a somewhat clearer explanation of the prevailing view, i.e., that just two spp. of Pteridium are to be recognized in the world: P. aquilinum (L.) Kuhn, mainly of the northern hemisphere and Africa, and P. esculentum (G. Forst.) Cockayne, mainly of the southern hemisphere (except Africa). As regards the three spp. treated in Flora mesoamerica Vol. 1 (1995), the following may be ventured: Pteridium arachnoideum (Kaulf.) Maxon is now demoted to subsp. status under P. esculentum (as we had gleaned from the Chinese paper), and itself has two (at least) vars., while P. caudatum (L.) Maxon comprises a lineage of allopolyploid hybrids between P. aquilinum and P. esculentum in the Neotropics; however, P. feei (W. Schaffn. ex Fée) Faull is still in limbo, of unresolved (to us) affinity. We hope that someone will soon apply this radical new taxonomy to Mesoamerican material!
Sukhorukov, A. P., M. V. Nilova, A. S. Erst, M. Kushunina, C. Baider, F. Verloove, M. Salas-Pascual, I. V. Belyaeva, A. A. Krinitsina, P. V. Bruyns & C. Klak. 2018. Diagnostics, taxonomy, nomenclature and distribution of perennial Sesuvium (Aizoaceae) in Africa. PhytoKeys 92: 45–88.
There's always a little something, it seems. In this case, the erection of a new subsp. of Sesuvium portulacastrum (L.) L. from West Africa and the Cape Verde Islands mandates the use of the autonym for New World material (which is also widely escaped in the Old World). But the real bombshell is the following statement, buried deep in the text: "...Sesuvium is represented in Central America by at least six taxa (Sukhorukov et al., in prep.) and two of them have to be described as new species." Will it never end?
Szlachetko, D. L. & M. Kolanowska. 2017. Synopsis of the genus Ocampoa (Orchidaceae). Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 102: 710–729.
Although the genus Ocampoa A. Rich. & Galeotti was described in 1845, it remained monospecific (and unaccepted in most works) until 2013, after which the authors of the present paper resurrected the name and added three South American spp. to the brew. As the original sp. was known only from Mexico and Guatemala, Costa Rica was spared these shenanigans—until now. Here, the authors double down on their embracement of Ocampoa with the incorporation of six additional sp., yielding a total of ten—including three from Costa Rica! Most of these Ocampoa spp. had previously been included in Cranichis and/or Ponthieva, from both of which Ocampoa is tediously distinguished in narrative form (a key would have been nice). As usual with these folks, floral details rule the day. Their recognition of Ocampoa as distinct is based strictly on morphology, and while they may very well have circumscribed a natural group, additional studies (of a molecular/cladistic nature) will clearly be needed to establish whether that group merits separate generic status. The three Costa Rican spp. here assigned to Ocampoa were all previously included in Cranichis, whereunder they group conveniently, in the Manual sp. key, below the second lead of couplet 6. They are: the former Cranichis acuminatissima Ames & C. Schweinf., C. saccata Ames, and C. talamancana Dressler (each now with a valid combination in Ocampoa attributed to "Szlach. & Kolan."). We would call this a revision rather than a synopsis, but so be it; it features synonymy (as needed), typology, and technical descriptions for the genus and each sp., a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp., phenology and distribution summaries, notes, representative specimen citations, distribution maps, and a section entitled "Incertae sedis." The introductory part addresses mainly taxonomic history and generic distinctions. All the spp. are depicted in composite line drawings of floral parts, and two (including the former Cranichis talamancana) in black-and-white photos from life.
——, —— & P. Baranow. 2013. Sobralia quadricolor (Orchidaceae), a new species from Costa Rica. Ann. Bot. Fenn. 50: 405–407.
Somehow these still elude us, even with "Costa Rica" in the title. Thanks to Manual correspondent Adam Karremans (JBL) for bringing this particular oversight to our attention. Sobralia quadricolor Endrés & Rchb. f. ex Szlach., Kolan. & Baranow was first recognized as distinct by A. R. Endrés and H. G. Reichenbach back in the 19th century, but the name was never validly published by those authors. However, two Endrés collections (both from the vicinity of San Ramón) and the original documentation survive, and based on those materials the name is finally validated by the authors of this paper. The "new" sp., still known only by the two Endrés specimens, is compared most closely to Sobralia blancoi Dressler & Pupulin [see The Cutting Edge 16(1): 4, Jan. 2009], which hails from the same general area. A brief key distinguishes the two aforementioned spp. within the "Sobralia-leucoxantha complex," which also includes S. leucoxantha Rchb. f. and S. macra Schltr. [for more information, see the first entry under "Dressler," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(4), Oct. 2015]. Illustrated with a composite line drawing (redrawn from an original) of floral parts.
Amazingly, Sobralia quadricolor is the only new Costa Rican orchid sp. revealed in this issue of the Edge, nudging our running count upward by a single notch to 386.
Taylor, C. M., S. G. Razafimandimbison, L. Barrabé, J. G. Jardim & M. R. V. Barbosa. 2017. Eumachia expanded, a pantropical genus distinct from Psychotria (Rubiaceae, Palicoureeae). Candollea 72: 289–318.
The expanded genus of the title was first split off from Psychotria under the name Margaritopsis [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 13(2): 15, Apr. 2006], which was deployed in the Flora mesoamericana (2012) and Manual (2014) treatments, both contributed by the first author of this paper. Subsequently, Eumachia was found to have priority, conservation of Margaritopsis was proposed and rejected, and combinations in Eumachia for selected spp. (including two of the three Costa Rican spp. involved) were validated [see the second entry under "Delprete," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(4), Oct. 2015]. This paper tackles the subject in a more systematic fashion, and in the process we get new combinations (credited to "C. M. Taylor & Razafim.") for the former Margaritopsis haematocarpa (Standl.) C. M. Taylor (our third sp.) and the former Margaritopsis impatiens (Dwyer) C. M. Taylor—which "skips" Costa Rica (and as far as we can tell still has yet to turn up there) and was thus mentioned in the Manual. The generic sp. total now stands at 83 (vs. "ca. 75," as according to the Manual), with 27 spp. in the Neotropics. The main body of the paper is a nomenclator (organized by major geographical realms) featuring synonymy, typology, and notes. Eleven names are lectotypified, but none pertains to us. Illustrated with a plate of color photos, from life, of representative spp.
Tebbitt, M. C., M. Hughes, Á. J. Pérez & P. W. Moonlight. 2017. Taxonomy of the Begonia tiliifolia group, including descriptions of two new species. Edinburgh J. Bot. 74: 199–215.
The informal "Begonia tiliifolia group" comprises four spp., as here construed, ranging from Costa Rica to Ecuador. One sp. occurs in Costa Rica, with the big story being that it is not B. tiliifolia C. DC., the name that has been used to date (e.g., in Flora mesoamericana). Rather, ours is distinguished (rather tenuously, perhaps) from the Ecuadorian B. harlingii L. B. Sm. & Wassh. and the real B. tiliifolia (now restricted to Colombia and Ecuador) as a new sp., sparingly distributed in Costa Rica (300–700+ m, vert. Carib. N Cord. de Talamanca) and western Panama, saddled with the somewhat cumbersome name Begonia boreoharlingii Tebbitt & Moonlight. The treatment is revisionary in nature, with a dichotomous key to spp., descriptions, specimen citations, and disrtibution maps. Both new spp. (there is another, South American one) are depicted in composite line drawings.
Ulloa Ulloa, C., P. Acevedo-Rodríguez, S. Beck, M. J. Belgrano, R. Bernal, P. E. Berry, L. Brako, M. Celis, G. Davidse, R. C. Forzza, S. R. Gradstein, O. Hokche, B. León, S. León-Yánez, R. E. Magill, D. A. Neill, M. Nee, P. H. Raven, H. Stimmel, M. T. Strong, J. L. Villaseñor, J. L. Zarucchi, F. O. Zuloaga & P. M. Jørgensen. 2017. An integrated assessment of the vascular plant species of the Americas. Science 358: 1614–1617.
Those people who are forever clamoring to know the total number of vascular plant species in particular regions can now cite an authoritative source that provides the most accurate figures—for the New World—that can be derived from the most complete databases (mainly, TROPICOS). The hemispherical total yielded by this exercise is 124,993 native spp. (corresponding to 33% of the estimated global total), apportioned among 6227 genera and 355 families. Based on the average annual rate of accumulation (744 spp.) over the past 25 years, which proceeds unabated, the authors expect the total to eventually reach 150,000. Brazil (with 33,161 spp.) is the most diverse of the 12 major geographical areas into which the hemisphere was partitioned, followed (not surprisingly) by Colombia (23,104 spp.). We (at least) are somewhat surprised to see Mexico (22,969 spp.) in third place, surpassing even Peru and Ecuador. Central America (16,335 spp.) follows all the aforementioned countries in sixth place, besting North America (north of Mexico), Venezuela, and Bolivia (another pleasant surprise for us). A comprehensive checklist (2497 pages!) is included in the supplementary materials, but most users will do doubt prefer to consult the following URL:
The latter presentation should have the advantage of being continually updated, but that would be a full-time job for at least one person, and our spot-checking revealed that some spp. described as long ago as 2016 have still not been added. This is a monumental undertaking, and the available resources are presumably slim. While the general public may be content with the four-page article alone, actual botanists would be well-advised to consult the supplementary materials, which provide a treasure trove of fascinating information, including: insights on nomenclatural, taxonomic and distributional decisions (under "Materials and Methods"); most diverse families and genera (by region; Orchidaceae and Piper rule in Central America); families (52!) that are endemic (or nearly so) to the New World; and authors who have described the most spp. (though it appears new combinations were not purged) in the Americas (Carlyle Luer leads the pack by a wide margin).
Vanni, R. O. 2017. The genus Stylosanthes (Fabaceae, Papilionoideae, Dalbergiae) in South America. Bol. Soc. Argent. Bot. 52: 549–585.
In a treatment ostensibly limited to South America, the author seemingly goes out of his way to create problems for us by citing a Costa Rican specimen under a name never used previously for Costa Rican material, viz., Stylosanthes tuberculata S. F. Blake (type from the Bahamas). The specimen in question (which we cannot find duplicated in the MO herbarium) is Liesner 4820A (NY), from Parque Nacional Santa Rosa. We have reason to believe that this specimen belongs to the sp. treated under the name Stylosanthes scabra Vogel in the Manual Fabaceae account (2010) by co-PI Nelson Zamora (S. scabra is restricted to South America by the present author). The two spp. in question are rather weakly separated in the key to spp. provided in this paper; nonetheless, the author was confident enough in his determination of the Costa Rican specimen to use it as the model for his composite line drawing of S. tuberculata! Stylosanthes is a technically challenging genus meriting a careful modern revision over its entire geographic range (this contribution resembles more of a slapdash effort). This is not the first time we have been confronted with an alien usage in Stylosanthes by an worker on a foreign flora; case in point: the recent application by a Mexican botanist of the name S. subsericea S. F. Blake to Costa Rican material evidently representing S. hamata (L.) Taub. in the sense of the Manual [see "Fabaceae," under "Leaps and Bounds," in The Cutting Edge 23(2), Apr. 2016]. The paper currently under review does not treat S. subsericea, but also does not attribute S. hamata to Costa Rica. In the final analysis, we have no idea what to make of any of this, little confidence in these differing points of view, and no compelling reason to abandon the names used in the Manual.
Wiersema, J. H., P. G. Delprete, J. H. Kirkbride, Jr., & A. R. Franck. 2017. A new weed in Florida, Spermacoce latifolia, and the distinction between S. alata and S. latifolia (Spermacoceae, Rubiaceae). Castanea 82: 114–131.
No one has ever been able to agree on a generic classification of the weedy, largely herbaceous taxa allied to Borreria and Spermacoce, so it is no surprise that sp. delimitations are also controversial. Spermacoce latifolia Aubl. was treated as a synonym of S. alata Aubl. in the Manual account of Spermacoce (2014) by Charlotte M. Taylor (MO) and co-PI Barry Hammel (and in various other recent works), but the two are maintained as distinct spp. by these authors, who laboriously recount the taxonomic history of both names. According to the latter interpretation, the real S. alata (i.e., sensu stricto) is confined to South America, while S. latifolia is much more wide-ranging, "from southern Mexico through Central America and throughout eastern South America to Bolivia and Paraguay, and...naturalized in the tropical and subtropical regions of the Old World" (and now, of course, in Florida). A tabular morphological comparison of the two spp. reveals corolla and fruit dimensions as perhaps the most useful diagnostic characters: basically, S. alata has larger corollas (7.5–12.5 mm long, vs. 3.5–5.5 mm), but smaller fruits (0.1.–0.2 cm long, vs. 0.3–0.4 cm). The Manual description of "Spermacoce alata" agrees rather well with S. latifolia in terms of corolla size, but conflates the fruit dimensions of both spp. Anyway, the bottom line here for us is that Spermacoce latifolia becomes the correct name for the sp. treated as S. alata in the Manual, while S. alata and Borreria alata (Aubl.) DC. should both be subordinated as "sensu" synonyms (we've yet to calculate the exact specifications); the description will also require some tweaking, but the overall geographic range remains unchanged (save for the addition of Florida to the "introd." portion). Hey, at least all parties are on the same page with regard to the genus name! Synonymy (partial), taxonomy, and generous, revised descriptions are provided for both spp., together with "Morphological observations," distribution and phenology summaries, "Nomenclatural notes" (for S. latifolia), and selected specimen citations (none from Costa Rica!). Illustrated with black-and-white photos of lectotype specimens, as well as (for S. alata) plants growing in situ. Thanks to Manual collaborator Daniel Santamaría for bringing this article to our attention.
Zuluaga, A. & K. M. Cameron. 2018. Two new species of Monstera (Araceae: Monsteroideae) with entire leaves from Panama and Costa Rica. Phytotaxa 334: 1–9.
Both new spp., Monstera anomala Zuluaga & Croat and M. integrifolia Zuluaga & Croat, occur in Costa Rica (as well as Panama). The first, very well known to us, was inlcuded in the Manual Araceae treatment by co-PI Mike Grayum (MO) under the name Monstera spruceana (Schott) Engl. (typified by a Brazilian specimen). These authors contrast M. anomala adequately with the more northern M. acuminata K. Koch, mentioned in the Manual as "virtualmente inseparable," but the same cannot be said of M. spruceana, curtly dismissed as "morphologically...a distinctive species." Monstera integrifolia, known by just four collections, is a sp. that has not been on our radar; we likely included the sole Costa Rican collection in our admittedly broad concept of M. standleyana G. S. Bunting. Nonetheless, M. integrifolia is not compared here with M. standleyana, rather, with the Colombian M. xanthospatha Madison. The Costa Rican record (Croat 66170, MO) is from 1010 m elevation in the southern Fila Costeña (Fila Cruces), between San Vito de Coto Brus and Ciudad Neily. A distribution map is provided, and both new spp. are illustrated with composite line drawings and color photos from life.