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Volume XVI, Number 3, July 2009
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ARECACEAE. Among material recently received from DUKE was a specimen (Grayum & Schatz 3144) of Chamaedorea scheryi L. H. Bailey collected at just 280 m elevation during our 1983 exploration of the "Zona Protectora La Selva" (now a part of Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo), on the Atlantic slope of Volcán Barva. This marks the lowest elevational record for this sp., more typical of cloud-forest habitats. According to our convention, we would suggest penciling in a parenthetical "250–" prior to the range of 600–2050 m given in the published Manual treatment of Arecaceae. It is not uncommon for cloud-forest spp. to descend to unusually low elevations (even as far as the Estación Biológica La Selva) on the very wet Atlantic slope of Volcán Barva; we can cite several similar examples, including Anthurium obtusilobum Schott (Araceae), Pteris navarrensis Christ (Pteridophyta/Pteridaceae), and Xanthosoma undipes (K. Koch & C. D. Bouché) K. Koch (Araceae). From the same general region (near Tirimbina), José González (LSCR) has recently collected Geonoma procumbens H. Wendl. ex Spruce (J. González 10691), possibly the first record of this sp. from the Cordillera Central (notwithstanding an inscrutable allusion to the contrary in co-PI Mike Grayum’s Manual treatment of Arecaceae).
POLYGALACEAE. As a result of his recent work on this family (see under "Treatments Recently Received"), Francisco Morales (INB) reports the following two spp. as new to Costa Rica: the widespread Polygala asperuloides Kunth, which had been recorded from both Nicaragua and Panama, occurs at several low-elevation sites in dry habitats on the Pacific slope of Costa Rica, from San Mateo southward (J. F. Morales 17822, INB); and P. panamensis Chodat, formerly regarded as endemic to western Panama, has been collected on the Pacific slope of the eastern Cordillera de Talamanca in Costa Rica, at 1200–1400 m elevation (E. Alfaro 3808; INB, MO).
SAPINDACEAE. Manual associate Armando Estrada (CR) reports the discovery in Costa Rica of Melicoccus oliviformis Kunth, a widespread sp. in the Neotropics that appeared to "jump" from Honduras to Colombia. The first Costa Rican collection, from a tree 20 m tall, was made by dilettante collector Gerardo Rivera in the vicinity of Jacó, in the central Pacific lowlands. This marks the first natural occurrence of the genus Melicoccus in the country, the familiar fruit tree M. bijugatus Jacq. (Mamón) being native only in South America. Armando, who is responsible for the identification, has assigned our material of M. oliviformis to the autonymic subsp.