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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

Main | Family List (MO) | Family List (INBio) | Cutting Edge
Draft Treatments | Guidelines | Checklist | Citing | Editors

The Cutting Edge

Volume VI, Number 1, January 1999

News and Notes | Recent Treatments | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature

BETULACEAE. J. Francisco Morales (INB).
Chico puts his personal spin to a family already treated in Flora costaricensis by specialist John J. Furlow (Fieldiana, Bot. 40: 56--58. 1977). The basic story is unchanged: Costa Rica has but a single sp., the widespread Alnus acuminata Kunth.

COMMELINACEAE. J. R. Grant (ALA), R. B. Faden (US) & B. Hammel (INB/MO).
This family of mostly weedy herbs is represented in Costa Rica by 10 genera with 38 spp. Our largest genus is Tradescantia, with 8 spp., followed by Commelina and Tinantia, with 7 spp. each. Three sp. names are as yet unpublished, and one sp. is given a provisional name. Murdannia nudiflora (L.) Brenan is introduced from Asia, and two other spp., Callisia repens (Jacq.) L. and Tradescantia zebrina hort. ex Bosse, are cultivated and also perhaps indigenous. Five exotic, cultivated spp. are discussed under the appropriate generic descriptions: Callisia warscewicziana (Kunth & C. D. Bouché) H. E. Moore, Dichorisandra thyrsiflora J. G. Mikan, Gibasis pellucida (M. Martens & Galeotti) D. R. Hunt, Tradescantia pallida (Rose) D. R. Hunt, and T. spathacea Sw. One sp., Tradescantia soconuscana Matuda, is included hypothetically, based solely on a Flora mesoamericana citation. Just two spp., Tradescantia grantii Faden ined. and T. petricola J. R. Grant ined., are Costa Rican endemics. Other noteworthy departures from D. R. Hunt's (1994) Flora mesoamericana treatment are the definitive attribution, to Costa Rica, of the following spp.: Commelina diffusa Burm. f., Tinantia glabra (Standl. & Steyerm.) Rohweder, T. parviflora Rohweder, T. violacea Rohweder, and Tripogandra amplexicaulis (Klotzsch ex C. B. Clarke) Woodson.

GROSSULARIACEAE. J. Francisco Morales (INB).
Escallonia, Phyllonoma, and Ribes, included (with Hydrangea) in Saxifragaceae during Standley's era, are here grouped according to the Cronquistian standard originally adopted by the Manual project for dicots. Now, only Ribes would remain here; Escalloniaceae and Phyllonomaceae apparently have substantially different affinities, the latter with Aquifoliaceae (see first entry under "Germane Literature"). Nonetheless, practical considerations may require that we stand by Cronquist (see third entry under "News and Notes"), here and in most similar cases. Having said that, the three genera listed above are represented in Costa Rica by a total of six spp.: Escallonia myrtilloides L. f., E. paniculata (Ruiz & Pav.) Roem. & Schult., Phyllonoma latiscuspis (Turcz.) Engl., P. ruscifolia Willd. ex Schult., P. tenuidens Pittier, and Ribes leptostachyum Benth. The sp. total and generic subtotals match Standley's (1937), notwithstanding some differences in both nomenclature and taxonomy. Only Phyllonoma tenuidens is (apparently) endemic. Phyllonoma latiscuspis is here attributed to Costa Rica for the first time (see under "Leaps and Bounds").

OCHNACEAE. J. Francisco Morales (INB).
This smallish family is represented in Costa Rica by Cespedesia, Elvasia, Ouratea, and Sauvagesia, the first two by a single sp. each, Ouratea by seven spp., and Sauvagesia by three spp. Except for the herbaceous Sauvagesia, these are all trees or shrubs. Three spp. are believed endemic: Ouratea lucens (Kunth) Engl., O. osaensis Whitef., and O. rinconensis Whitef. The treatment of Ouratea has benefited much from the recent work of Caroline Whitefoord (BM) for Flora mesoamericana (see Novon 2: 274--281. 1992). The first Mesoamerican report of the genus Elvasia was printed (we shudder to say "published") in these pages just a few years back [see The Cutting Edge 3(3): 3, Jul. 1996].

THYMELAEACEAE. J. Francisco Morales (INB).
Costa Rica's modest representation of this family consists of four spp. of Daphnopsis and Schoenobiblus panamensis Standl. & L. O. Williams. Only Daphnopsis costaricensis Barringer & Grayum is endemic. Costa Rican collections previously attributed to the Panamanian Daphnopsis folsomii Barringer & Nevling [see
The Cutting Edge 4(4): 2, Oct. 1997] have proven to represent various other spp., chiefly Daphnopsis hammelii Barringer & Nevling (first Costa Rican report) and D. morii Barringer & Nevling. Panama regains D. folsomii as an endemic, but loses D. hammelii in the bargain.

VIOLACEAE. Harvey E. Ballard, Jr. (BHO).
Treats seven genera in Costa Rica with a total of 29 spp., of which two (Viola odorata L. and V. patrinii Ging.) are cultivated and/or naturalized. The only genera with more than one Costa Rican sp. are Hybanthus (11 spp.), Rinorea (8 spp.), and Viola (4 indigenous spp.). Just two spp. are endemic: Hybanthus guanacastensis Standl. and the recently described H. hespericlivus H. E. Ballard, Wetter & N. Zamora. With the exception of Viola and two spp. of Hybanthus [H. attenuatus (Humb. & Bonpl.) Schulze-Menz and H. oppositifolius (L.) Taub.], all of our taxa are woody. No spp. are here described as new.



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