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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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

Volume XIV, Number 3, July 2007

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

BORAGINACEAE.  Spottily distributed from southern Mexico to northwestern Colombia, Bourreria mollis Standl. had never been reported from Costa Rica.  Now it can be, according to INB curator Francisco Morales, on the basis of several collections (all fruiting) from below 100 m in and near the Reserva Nacional de Vida Silvestre Gandoca-Manzanillo, on the Atlantic coast near the Panamanian border.

CUCURBITACEAE.  Among the indets. cubby-holed at INB for this relatively small, but complex family, we recently found a specimen (Kriebel 1172, from 2500–2600 m elevation near Copey de Dota) that agrees in all details with Microsechium palmatum (Ser.) Cogn.  That sp. had already been reported from Costa Rica [under its synonym, M. helleri (Peyr.) Cogn.] in Standley’s Flora of Costa Rica (1938), presumably on the basis of two Austin Smith collections from the Zarcero region originally so annotated at F, where they were subsequently reannotated as “Sicyos sp.” by late family specialist Jennie V. A. Dieterle (1975–6).  We have examined the Smith material, and agree that it does not represent M. palmatum; however, it also does not appear to match either of the two Sicyos spp. heretofore recorded for Costa Rica!

FABACEAE/MIMOSOIDEAE.  J. González 9052, from weedy ground along the Río Sarapiquí, is the first record of Mimosa debilis Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd. from the Estación Biológica La Selva.

MELASTOMATACEAE.  Conostegia volcanalis Standl. & Steyerm. is mentioned in the Manual draft Melastomataceae treatment, under the Conostegia genus discussion, as perhaps occurring in Costa Rica, based on a specialist’s identification of a collection from the Monteverde reserve that had not been seen by anyone connected with the Manual treatment.   Nevertheless, this is a widespread sp. throughout the Mesoamerican region, known from both Nicaragua and Panama, that ought logically to be expected in Costa Rica.  Now, just as we are about to go to press, a solid voucher turns up in the guise of J. F. Morales 8222 (INB), from 1800–1900 m elevation on the Pacific slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca (Reserva Forestal Los Santos).  The determination was made in 2003 (ironically, by Manual Conostegia co-contributor Ricardo Kriebel); however, because of a persistent specimen-processing logjam at INB, we became aware of it only this week.  This case well illustrates the importance of basic herbarium operations (data entry, mounting, filing, etc.) in maintaining the flow of critical scientific information.  Unfortunately, for Conostegia volcanalis, it’s a day late and a dollar short; at this stage, the most we can do is amend our note to reflect the existence of a reliably determined Costa Rican voucher.

POACEAE.  The following spp. can now be added to the checklist for the Estación Biológica La Selva (with voucher numbers of José González):   Dactyloctenium aegyptium (L.) Willd. (9035), Digitaria bicornis (Lam.) Roem. & Schult. (9066), and Leptochloa scabra Nees (9034).   Except for the Digitaria, these are also the first La Selva records for the genera involved.  All were collected in weedy ground along the Río Sarapiquí.

PTERIDOPHYTA.  Based on the collections of Mirka Jones (see under “News and Notes”), the following spp. may be added to the La Selva flora:  Bolbitis oligarchica (Baker) Hennipman and Stigmatopteris lechleri (Mett.) C. Chr. (Dryopteridaceae), Adiantum terminatum Kunze ex Miq. (Pteridaceae), and Thelypteris opulenta (Kaulf.) Fosberg (Thelypteridaceae).  Most, if not all, of these determinations were made or at least confirmed by specialist Robbin C. Moran (NY), and we have no quarrel with any of them.  None of these records is particularly surprising from a biogeographic standpoint, as all the spp. involved have been collected at similar elevations in adjacent regions of the Costa Rican Atlantic slope.


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