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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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The Cutting Edge

Volume XVIII, Number 3, July 2011

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

Al-Shehbaz, I. A. 2010. A synopsis of the South American Lepidium (Brassicaceae). Darwiniana 48: 141–167.

This useful synopsis by Manual Brassicaceae contributor Ihsan Al-Shehbaz (MO) provides a key to South American Lepidium spp., along with full synonymy and typology and a distribution summary for each sp. and, as necessary, "Observations." The sole Costa Rican member of the genus, Lepidium costaricense Thell., squeaks in by virtue of its occurrence in Colombia. In the bargain, the name is lectotypified, as is one of its synonyms.

Anderson, C. 2011. Revision of Ryssopteris and transfer to Stigmaphyllon (Malpighiaceae). Blumea 56: 73–104.

Ryssopteris, henceforth a subgen. of Stigmaphyllon, comprises 21 spp. (including 10 here described as new) distributed mainly in Indomalesia, Australasia, and Oceania. The sp. total and geographic range provided for Stigmaphyllon in the Manual (Vol. 6) should be amended accordingly.

Bendiksby, M., L. Thorbek, A.-C. Scheen, C. Lindqvist & O. Ryding. 2011. An updated phylogeny and classification of Lamiaceae subfamily Lamioideae. Taxon 60: 471–484.

Among the 10 genera found to be non-monophyletic in this study are three that occur in Costa Rica: Leonotis, Leonurus (both introduced), and Stachys. We are unable to speculate on the potential fate of the Costa Rican representatives of these genera, either because no Costa Rican spp. were included in the study (Stachys) or the type sp. was omitted. Fourteen new combinations are validated, none of concern to us.

Bernhard, M., H. Fasshuber, W. Robien, L. Brecker & H. Greger. 2011. Dopamine-iridoid alkaloids in Carapichea affinis (= Psychotria borucana) confirm close relationship to the vomiting root Ipecac. Biochem. Syst. Ecol. 39: 232–235.

"The vomiting root Ipecac" is, of course, the well known economic sp. that we originally learned as Cephaëlis ipecacuanha (Brot.) A. Rich. (Rubiaceae), later amended to Psychotria ipecacuanha (Brot.) Stokes and, finally (we hope!) Carapichea ipecacuanha (Brot.) L. Andersson. The evidence reported in the title clearly bodes well for the integrity of the oligospecific Carapichea, recently segregated from Psychotria [see The Cutting Edge 9(4): 4, Oct. 2002].

Bogarín, D. & A. P. Karremans. 2010. Un nuevo Platystele (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) de la región central de Costa Rica/A new Platystele (Orchidaceae: Pleutothallidinae) from central Costa Rica. Orquideología 27: 208–220.

Platystele tausensis Bogarín & Karremans, based on a handful of relatively recent collections from 1100–1200 m on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca (in the region of Taus), becomes the 14th Costa Rican representative of its genus (including P. pedicellaris Schltr., mentioned but not formally treated in the Manual). The new sp. is said to be most closely related to P. propinqua (Ames) Garay, from which it differs in various floral details. Illustrated with a fine composite line drawing by the first author, plus photos of living material (including several similar congeners). A key to Costa Rican Platystele spp. is provided, amended from that of the Manual to include the new sp. and P. pedicellaris. Bilingual (Spanish/English).

—— & F. Pupulin. 2011. Lepanthes daniel-jimenezii Bogarín & Pupulin, spec. nov. (Pleurothallidinae: Orchidaceae), eine neue Spezies aus Costa Rica, nahe verwandt mit Lepanthes guardiana/(Pleurothallidinae: Orchidaceae), a new species from Costa Rica close to Lepanthes guardiana. Orchidee (Hamburg) 62: 111–115.

The new sp. is known only from the type, collected (by the individual honored in the epithet) in a very extensively botanized area of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca. It is compared with Lepanthes elegans Luer, L. ferrelliae Luer, and (most especially) the heretofore enigmatic L. guardiana Endres ex Luer, one of many Costa Rican Lepanthes spp. long known solely from 19th-century illustrations by A. R. Endrés. However, these authors have living material at JBL that they have identified with L. guardiana. The new sp. is depicted in color photos (as are L. elegans and L. guardiana, for comparison), as well as an excellent composite line drawing. Fully bilingual (German/English).

——, J. Warner, M. Powell & V. Savolainen. 2011. The orchid flora of Cocos Island National Park, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 166: 20–39.

This is the third treatment of the orchids of Isla del Coco to be published in the last five years [see, e.g., The Cutting Edge 13(4): 11, Oct. 2006], a phenomenal amount of attention considering that only five spp. are involved and none is reported as new, either to science or the island, in this latest salvo. Such is the allure of both orchids and islands. The five orchids on Isla del Coco include three endemic Epidendrum spp. (E. cocoënse Hágsater, E. insulanum Schltr., and E. jimenezii Hágsater), as well as two more widespread spp. formerly included in Maxillaria: Camaridium micranthum M. A. Blanco [= Maxillaria parviflora (Poepp. & Endl.) Garay], known in Costa Rica only from Isla del Coco, and Ornithidium adendrobium (Rchb. f.) M. A. Blanco [= Maxillaria adendrobium (Rchb. f.) Dressler]. All five spp. were treated in the Manual, and only the last was not attributed to Isla del Coco. Redundancy aside, this is a very fine contribution with a wealth of information. It features a dichotomous key to spp., full synonymy and typology, technical descriptions, and distribution summaries for both genera and spp., comprehensive specimen citations, discussions, and evaluations of conservation status. The introductory section includes a map of the island (with collecting sites plotted), as well as brief discussions of topography, geology, climate, and biodiversity, and a more lengthy and absorbing consideration of the history of orchid exploration and floristics. Each sp. is depicted in a superb composite line drawing, and there is also a photographic plate. The sp. accounts are presented alphabetically, by genus and sp.

Cialdella, A. M. 2010. Novedades nomenclaturales en la tribu Stipeae (Poaceae, Pooideae) para la flora argentina. Darwiniana 48: 168–174.

Just one of these novelties is of peripheral relevance to Costa Rican floristics: the new combination Jarava ichu Ruiz & Pav. var. pungens (Nees & Meyen) Ciald. (based on Stipa pungens Nees & Meyen), applicable to an entity ranging from Perú to Chile and Argentina, establishes the autonymic var. to be used in other portions of the geographic range of the sp., presumably including Costa Rica. This sp. was treated as Stipa ichu (Ruiz & Pav.) Kunth in the Manual (Vol. 3).

Christenhusz, M. J. M. & M. W. Chase. 2011. In memoriam: Eric Alston Christenson (1956–2011). Phytotaxa 24: 59–60.

This is the first "official" obituary we have come across for Eric Christenson, whose premature passing was recorded under "News and Notes" in our last issue. Eric was influential in the establishment of the journal Phytotaxa.

Dressler, R. & D. Bogarín. 2011. Sobralia sanctorum and Sobralia purpurella. Orchids (West Palm Beach) 80: 307–310.

Sobralia sanctorum Dressler & Bogarín and S. purpurella Dressler & Bogarín (Orchidaceae) are described as new, both on the basis of a single herbarium collection equated somewhat tentatively and pointlessly (it seems to us) with plants the authors recall having seen in years past. On the basis of hard data, S. sanctorum is known only from ca. 1500 m elevation in the Tarrazú region (Pacific slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca), while S. purpurella hails from the private Rara Avis reserve, at ca. 700 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera Central (though the type was prepared from a cultivated specimen). The former sp. is compared with Sobralia crispissima Dressler [see The Cutting Edge 10(1): 4, Jan. 2003], from which it differs in subleties of the leaves and flowers. The epithet sanctorum alludes to the Reserva Forestal Los Santos, in or near which the type was collected. Sobralia purpurella "is named in reference to the intense purple of the lip and its relatively small size"; a relationship with S. leucoxantha Rchb. f. is postulated. Both new spp. are illustrated with composite line drawings and color photos. This article falls under the heading "Lindleyana," originally the name of a respected, independent journal, later demoted to a separately paginated insert in Orchids [see under Chase et al., this column The Cutting Edge 17(2), Apr. 2010], now merely a consecutively paginated "department" of the last-named journal.

Eiserhardt, W. L., J.-C. Pintaud, C. Asmussen-Lange, W. J. Hahn, R. Bernal, H. Balslev & F. Borchsenius. 2011. Phylogeny and divergence times of Bactridinae (Arecaceae, Palmae) based on plastid and nuclear DNA sequences. Taxon 60: 485–498.

Contrary to our expectations, this study shows "that all accepted taxa [of Arecaceae subtribe Bactridinae] at and above the generic level are monophyletic with high support." We might have predicted that Acrocomia would prove to be nested in Astrocaryum, at least, but such is not the case. The dispecific Hexopetion Burret, recently segregated from Astrocaryum and already savaged in these pages [see The Cutting Edge 16(3): 10, Jul. 2009], is upheld as "monophyletic and not nested within Astrocaryum"; however, it is "sister to the remaining Astrocaryum species, rendering the wide concept of the latter genus...valid, too." Although "the distinction between Hexopetion and thre rest of Astrocaryum is clearly more pronounced than any other split within Astrocaryum s.l.," it is also "somewhat younger than the divergences between the remaining genera of Bactridinae." Thus (the authors go on) "phylogeny does not provide a final answer to the question of whether or not to recognize Hexopetion," which must instead be decided on the basis of "the level of morphological and anatomical distinctness or similarities between the entities..." We would argue that nomenclatural stability is a much more important criterion for such a decision, and therefore reject (again) Hexopetion. Our expectation would be that workers who embrace the conservation of names must be on board with our logic. Incidentally, one of the authors of the present paper (Pintaud) was also a coauthor of the paper advocating the recognition of Hexopetion.

Estrada, A. & A. Rodríguez. 2009. Flores de pasión de Costa Rica/Passion flowers of Costa Rica. Edit. INBio, Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica. 448 pp.

This beautiful and professionally executed volume—one of the very best we have seen of this series—is replete with with information, drawings, and color photos pertaining to the Costa Rican spp. of Passiflora (Passifloraceae), a genus of intense horticultural interest. As such, it will be in great demand by horticulturists (especially as it is fully bilingual), and will also serve as an indispensable companion volume for Manual users. Indeed, this guide essentially replaces the Manual Passifloraceae treatment (by these same authors, in reverse order), which it transcends in virtually every aspect. All 54 Passiflora spp. accepted in the Manual are treated in full here, and there are no additions; however, two exotic, cultivated spp., Passiflora alata Curtis and P. miniata Vanderpl. (both mentioned in the Manual genus discussion), are accorded the same, opulent treatment. "Passiflora sp. A" of the Manual is here referred to as "Passiflora megacoriacea," a name that remains unpublished, and alphabetized accordingly. Each sp. account comprises two pages (in both English and Spanish) and includes a distribution map and one or more color photos (or at least a line drawing), plus a formal description, a paragraph on diagnostic traits, distribution and phenology summaries, notes on natural history (when available), "observations" (mainly etymological), and a conservation evaluation. The extensive and copiously illustrated introductory section (accounting for more than a third of the volume) addresses morphology, classification (with characterizations of subgenera), endemism, phenology, floral biology and pollination, fruit dispersal, herbivory, phytochemistry, uses, cultivation, and conservation status (IUCN categories are used throughout the book). A set of indented, dichotomous keys (supplemented with line drawings) precedes the sp. accounts. At the end of the volume are found an outline of infrageneric classification (indicating the position of all the Costa Rican spp.), a comprehensive list of Mesoamerican Passiflora spp. (with their geographic ranges), color-photo atlases of Passiflora seeds and predatory Heliconius butterflies (the photos uniformly excellent), a glossary, and an index to common and scientific names. This is a stellar effort—generous, imaginative, and authoritative—of which both authors and their editors should be genuinely proud. It is a crowning achievement of Editorial INBio which, after many years of outstanding and innovative work, is now virtually defunct (at least, in its original role of producing small nature guides).

Graham, S. A., M. Diazgranados & J. C. Barber. 2011. Relationships among the confounding genera Ammannia, Hionanthera, Nesaea and Rotala (Lythraceae). Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 166: 1–19.

On the basis of morphological comparisons and molecular analyses, the authors have decided to unite Ammannia (which has two spp. in Costa Rica) with the predominantly Old World genera Hionanthera and Nesaea. Because Ammannia is the earliest name, the consequent nomenclatural transfers (promised in a forthcoming paper) will not impact Costa Rican floristics. However, the sp. total indicated for Ammannia in the Manual ("Ca. 25") will have to be more than tripled, to ca. 82. Rotala (also with two spp. in Costa Rica) is unaffected.

Iltis, H. H., J. C. Hall, T. S. Cochrane & K. J. Sytsma. 2011. Studies in the Cleomaceae I. On the separate recognition of Capparaceae, Cleomaceae, and Brassicaceae. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 98: 28–36.

"Molecular data support the recognition of three monophyletic families, Capparaceae s. str., Cleomaceae, and Brassicaceae, instead of an all-encompassing Brassicaceae or a paraphyletic Capparaceae s. l." So begins the abstract of this paper, and so have concluded its authors. But the key word here is "support": the molecular data by no means require the taxonomy specified in the title. Equally tenable classifications include the dreaded "all-encompassing" option, as well as a two-family system in which Cleomaceae is merged with Brassicaceae. This must have been a difficult decision for workers steeped in the traditional two-family system, wherein Cleomaceae was combined with Capparaceae s. str. (yielding the "paraphyletic Capparaceae s. l." of the abstract). That said, they have arrived at a conclusion and presented it in a rigorous and professional manner, with cladistic evidence, a dense discussion of morphological evidence (including a tabular comparison and numerous illustrations of seed morphology), a dichotomous key to the three accepted families, and revised descriptions of each. Our hasty and superficial evaluation suggests that the morphological argument for recognizing three families is labored and rather weak, mainly involving tendencies, and we'd probably have been inclined toward the "all-encompassing Brassicaceae" alternative (falling back on the adage that "relationships are more important than differences"). But something tells us these authors will be taken more seriously.

Jenny, R. 2010. The Stanhopea book. R. Jenny, Allmendingen, Switzerland. 495 pp.

This impressive tome is billed as the second edition of the author's monograph of Stanhopea (Orchidaceae), first published in 2003–2004 [see The Cutting Edge 13(3): 7, Jul. 2006]. It exhibits most of the compelling features of the first edition (e.g., a surfeit of illustrations), as well as the shortcomings (there is still no key to spp., and no new taxa are described). The author has incorporated new information and apparently made some taxonomic changes; but although the sp.-total for Stanhopea has climbed from 56 to 58 (by our count), we detect no earth-shattering new developments for Costa Rican floristics. Curiously, the MO copy lacks a title page.

Kennedy, H. 2011. Three new distichous-bracted species of Calathea (Marantaceae) from Panama. Novon 21: 201–211.

The title almost had us fooled, but the title does not tell the whole story: one of these three novelties is also attributed to Costa Rica. That would be Calathea carlae H. Kenn. (honoring type co-collector Carla Black, of Panama), mainly of western Panama, but with a single Costa Rican record: A. Rodríguez et al. 11471 (MO), from 1300–1400 m elevation on Fila Matama (Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca). This is a very recent collection (2007), unavailable to the author at the time she was working on her Manual Marantaceae treatment (2003). Among its Costa Rican congeners, the new sp. is apparently most similar to Calathea brenesii Standl., from which it differs in various details of the bracts and bracteoles and by its longer sepals (26–27 mm, vs. 15–21 mm). Illustrated with black-and-white photos of living material.

Kocyan, A., D. A. Snijman, F. Forest, D. S. Devey, J. V. Freudenstein, J. Wiland-Szymańska, M. W. Chase & P. J. Rudall. 2011. Molecular phylogenetics of Hypoxidaceae – Evidence from plastid DNA data and inferences on morphology and biogeography. Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 60: 122–136.

Neither Curculigo nor Hypoxis is monophyletic, but the resolutions suggested by these authors portend no great upheavals for Costa Rican floristics. They contend that the former genus should be united with Molineria (Curculigo being the older name), but the name Curculigo capitulata (Lour.) Kuntze is already available for the only Molineria sp. recorded (as cultivated) from Costa Rica. Curculigo scorzonerifolia (Lam.) Baker, native in Costa Rica, groups in the same clade with the generic type (C. orchioides Gaertn.), casting doubt on its recent referral to the monospecific Heliacme (see under Ravenna, this column). Monophyly for Hypoxis can be achieved by the exclusion of two Australian spp. and the inclusion of the oligospecific, African Rhodohypoxis.

Kuo, L.-Y., F.-W. Li, W.-L. Chiou & C.-N. Wang. 2011. First insights into fern matK phylogeny. Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 59: 556–566.

Having overcome certain obstacles to the use of the matK gene in fern phylogeny, the authors undertake a preliminary evaluation of its efficacy. They decide that it is a very powerful tool, yielding "better resolved relationships among families." One example: Lomariopsidaceae, comprising Cyclopeltis, Lomariopsis, and Nephrolepis according to the widely accepted classification of Smith et al. [see The Cutting Edge 13(4): 9–10, Oct. 2006], is shown to be non-monophyletic, with Nephrolepis "relatively distant" from the other two genera.

Labiak, P. H. 2011. Stenogrammitis, a new genus of grammitid ferns segregated from Lellingeria (Polypodiaceae). Brittonia 63: 139–149.

Despite conflicting results from molecular studies regarding its affinities, the so-called "Lellingeria myosuroides group" is here accorded generic status, under the name Stenogrammitis Labiak, because it "has been recovered as monophyletic in all analyses so far, is easily distinguished morphologically, and...shows distinct patterns of diversity and biogeography..." The new genus differs from its closest relatives—Grammitis segregates Lellingeria and Melpomene—by its laminae with the "veins single and unbranched in each segment, the fertile veins with the dark sclerenchyma visible beneath the sporangia, linear hydathodes, and only one sorus per segment." It seems to us that, when authors advocate the creation of segregates from segregates, they begin to make the case for lumping everything back together again (Grammitis über alles!). Having said that, new combinations in Stenogrammitis are validated for 24 spp., including three that occur in Costa Rica: Stenogrammitis hellwigii (Mickel & Beitel) Labiak (under which Lellingeria guanacastensis A. Rojas is newly synonymized), S. jamesonii (Hook.) Labiak, and S. limula (Christ) Labiak. Although the name Lellingeria myosuroides (Sw.) A. R. Sm. & R. C. Moran has previously been used for Costa Rican material (e.g., in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1), it was apparently misapplied to the sp. here dubbed Stenogrammitis jamesonii. Eight lectotypifications are also effected, none appearing to impact current usage. Selected features are depicted using both line drawings and photographic images.

Lucas, E. J. & M. Sobral. 2011. (2013) Proposal to conserve the name Myrcia against Calyptranthes (Myrtaceae). Taxon 60: 605.

Molecular investigations by this group, some as yet unpublished, have established that Calyptranthes and Marlierea (to mention only those genera occurring in Costa Rica) are nested within Myrcia, with Marlierea being polyphyletic as well. To maintain all of these currently recognized genus names would require that up to five additional clades receive new genus names. Thus, the authors favor the option of combining all of these entities in a single genus. Their problem is that Calyptranthes Sw. (1788), with about 274 accepted infrageneric names, is older than Myrcia DC. (1827), with about 377 such names. Seeking to minimize the number of necessary new combinations ("in the interests of nomenclatural stability"), the authors propose to conserve Myrcia over Calyptranthes.

Maas, P. J. M., L. Y. T. Westra, H. Rainer, A. Q. Lobão & R. H. J. Erkens. 2011. An updated index to genera, species, and infraspecific taxa of Neotropical Annonaceae. Nordic J. Bot. 29: 257–356.

Delivers exactly what is promised in the title, with accepted names bold-faced and synonyms italicized. Accepted names are provided for synonyms, but the reverse is not true (except for homotypic synonyms). Holotypes are indicated for each name (and indexed separately at the end, by collector), but type localities are omitted. Four new lectotypifications are effected (none relevant to Costa Rican floristics). The abstract claims that "several new combinations are made," but we went through the entire index (albeit rapidly) and could not find any of these.

Mathieu, G., L. Symmank, R. Callejas, S. Wanke, C. Neinhuis, P. Goetghebeur & M.-S. Samain. 2011. New geophytic Peperomia (Piperaceae) species from Mexico, Belize and Costa Rica. Revista Mex. Biodivers. 82: 19–49.

Twelve new spp. and one new combination are validated for Peperomia subgen. Tildenia (Miq.) Miq. ex Dahlst., comprising tuberous, acaulescent, terrestrial plants with peltate or subpeltate leaves. The group is principally montane and has a bicentric distribution, with spp. concentrations in northern Mesoamerica (Mexico and Guatemala) and the Andean region (Peru and Bolivia). Few spp. occur in the intervening countries, evidently just two in Costa Rica, both of which are endemic and described here as new. These are Peperomia paramuna Callejas, of páramo habitats (as reflected in its epithet), and P. unifoliata Callejas, from lower elevations (800–1100 m) on the Pacific slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca. The former sp. is compared with Peperomia gracillima S. Watson, a sp. that "is probably restricted to Mexico." William Burger (F) used the name P. gracillima in his 1971 Flora costaricensis treatment of Piperaceae, apparently for the same entity that is here named P. paramuna; however, the lone Costa Rican specimen seen by Burger (R. L. Rodríguez & Jiménez 154) is not cited here, nor is its locality (2200 m on Volcán Irazú) accounted for in the distribution summary (which limits P. paramuna to 3100–3400 m on Cerro Chirripó). Peperomia unifoliolata, as one might expect, is distinctive in its solitary leaves, prompting a comparison with the recently described P. linaresii Véliz, of Guatemala and El Salvador (which differs in leaf shape and fruit details). Includes a dichotomous, indented key to all the Mexican and Central American members of subgen. Tildenia, as well as distribution maps for the taxonomic novelties. The latter are all illustrated with composite line drawings, supplemented in a few cases (not the Costa Rican spp.) with photos of living material.

Pupulin, F., D. Bogarín & M. Fernández. 2011. Illustrations and studies in neotropical Orchidaceae. 2. A note on Pleurothallis luctuosa (Pleurothallidinae), with a new species. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 112: 239–252.

During their studies on the orchid subtribe Pleurothallidinae, the authors discovered that the name Pleurothallis luctuosa Rchb. f. was being applied traditionally (including by the Manual) to at least two different spp. One of these, restricted to Costa Rica and Nicaragua, is here described as new under the name Pleurothallis neglecta Pupulin, Bogarín & Mel. Fernández (rather amazing that an epithet like neglecta has remained available in such a large and bewildering genus as Pleurothallis). The new sp. is distinguished from P. luctuosa proper (itself restricted to Costa Rica and perhaps western Panama) by its conduplicate (vs. "subsemiterete") leaves, floral coloration, and various other aspects of floral morphology. The two spp. appear to be sympatric, or virtually so, in the San Ramón region. South American material that had been included in P. luctuosa (as according to the range specified in the Manual) apparently represents at least one additional, undescribed sp. By great good fortune, the Manual voucher for P. luctuosa (Chávez 396) does indeed pertain to that sp. in the strict sense. Includes an amended descripton of P. luctuosa and a distribution map and specimen citations for both spp., as well as original composite line drawings of both spp. and a color plate comparing their flowers. Several early drawings of P. luctuosa by A. R. Endrés (collector of the holotype) are also reproduced. Interestingly, the epithet luctuosa, meaning "mournful," suggested itself to Reichenbach as he was "examining the first opening, black-purple flowers" and "was surprised by the news of the death of [Endrés]."

Adding Pleurothallis neglecta to the four other new Costa Rican orchid spp. reported in this issue of The Cutting Edge(see this column under Bogarín & Karremans, Bogarín & Pupulin, and Dressler & Bogarín), and throwing in Campylocentrum generalense Bogarín & Pupulin (see those authors under "Germane Literature" in our last issue) for good measure, finally pushes our official "running count" (of new orchid spp. described from Costa Rica since ca. 1993) past the 300 milestone, all the way to 305.

——, C. Ossenbach, R. Jenny & E. Vitek. 2011. Typi orchidacearum ab Augusto R. Endresio in Costa Rica lecti. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 112: 265–313.

The once-shadowy Auguste R. Endrés (1838–1874) spent the last seven years of his life botanizing mainly in Costa Rica, generating a legacy of botanical contributions "extraordinary in quantity and quality." Based on these materials, a total of 111 orchid taxa (109 spp. and two vars.) have been described to date. This article comprehensively catalogues the orchid types collected by Endrés in Costa Rica and housed at W. Lectotypes are selected for 11 sp. and two varietal names, and a neotype for one sp. name. Black-and-white photographs of all these newly designated types are presented. As far as we can tell, prevailing usages are upheld in all cases. Interested parties will find a wealth of information about these particular names and specimens, including some of Endrés's rarely mentioned localities, as well as historical insights on the man himself, who felt he was being used by the German herbarium botanist Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach ("I begin to consider these cabinet-celebrities as vampires nourishing their inflated fame at the cost of the lifeblood of those poor fools they condescendingly call 'collectors'").

Ravenna, P. 2003. Heliacme, a new genus of New World Hypoxidaceae. Onira 8: 5–9.

The genus Heliacme Ravenna is segregated from Curculigo and described as new, distinguished from the latter inter alia by its unilocular (vs. trilocular) ovaries with parietal (vs. axile) placentation and indehiscent, capsular (vs. baccate) fruits. These differences are expressed in a key couplet. The combination Heliacme scorzonerifolia (Lam.) Ravenna is validated for the single sp., which was treated under Curculigo in the Manual (and just about everywhere else). This paper (and those that follow) was ostensibly published in time to have been considered for the Manual Hypoxidaceae treatment (2003), but this issue of Onira did not arrive at the MO library until 14 April 2011. For further insight on the issue of Heliacme, see under Kocyan et al. (this column).

——. 2003. The actual range of Heliacme scorzonerifolia (Hypoxidaceae). Onira 8: 25–26.

In which the author reveals the full extent of his intellectual isolation by announcing in print that he has just learned that the sp. known to most of the world as Curculigo scorzonerifolia (Lam.) Baker occurs northward "to Peru, Guyana, Suriname, and Cuba," and going on to speculate that "its presence in Central America should be expected." In a prior article (see previous entry), he had specified the range as "Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay." Specimens are duly cited in support of the spurious range extension. We expect the author will eventually catch onto the fact that C. scorzonerifolia has been known from throughout the Mesoamerican region for the better part of the past century (which should be the occasion for yet another article).

——. 2003. A neotype for Heliacme scorzonerifolia (Hypoxidaceae). Onira 8: 47.

Good grief, couldn't this have all been accomplished in a single article? Unable to track down authentic type material of Hypoxis scorzonerifolia Lam., the author designates a Schomburgk collection from Guyana as neotype.

Razafimandimbison, S. G., D. A. Halford, T. D. McDowell & B. Bremer. 2011. (2015) Proposal to conserve the name Morinda citrifolia (Rubiaceae) with a conserved type. Taxon 60: 607.

Morinda citrifolia L., an economically important sp. and the only pantropical member of its genus, has been lectotypified on a specimen identifiable as representing an Asian sp. widely known as M. coreia Buch.-Ham. This proposal seeks to replace that lectotype with another that accurately reflects the prevailing application of the name. Were it to be declined, the name M. citrifolia would replace M. coreia for the Asian sp., and the pantropical sp. (occurring in Costa Rica) currently known as M. citrifolia would become Morinda nodosa Buch.-Ham.

Rodrigues, A. G., A. E. L. Colwell & S. Stefanović. 2011. Molecular systematics of the parasitic genus Conopholis (Orobanchaceae) inferred from plastid and nuclear sequences. Amer. J. Bot. 98: 896–908.

The New World genus Conopholis was considered dispecific in Francisco Morales's (INB) Manual treatment of Orobanchaceae (Vol. 6), in accordance with the reigning taxonomic revision. Costa Rican and Panamanian material was assigned on the same basis to C. alpina Liebm. var. alpina, a taxon that also occurs sympatrically with C. a. var. mexicana (A. Gray ex S. Watson) R. R. Haynes in northern Mesoamerica. This study reveals three main lineages in Conopholis, corresponding to the North American C. americana (L.) Wallr., C. alpina var. mexicana, and Costa Rican and Panamanian populations of C. a. var. alpina. Surprisingly, Mexican populations that had been included in C. a. var. alpina instead appear nested within C. americana. The authors suggest that Conopholis may harbor at least three spp., as according to the aforementioned lineages. Under such a scenario, Conopholis panamensis Woodson could become the operative name for Costa Rican and Panamanian floristics. However, the authors postpone a taxonomic decision, pending "a fine-scale morphometric analysis" and other studies.

Rodríguez, A., A. K. Monro, O. Chacón, D. Solano, D. Santamaría, N. Zamora, F. González & M. Correa. 2011. Regional and global conservation assessments for 200 vascular plant species from Costa Rica and Panama. Phytotaxa 21: 1–216.

This tour-de-force product of the extensive botanical explorations in the Cordillera de Talamanca funded by the Darwin Initiative assigns IUCN threat categories to 200 so-called "keystone" spp. occurring in the La Amistad Biosphere Reserve, shared by Costa Rica and Panama. Threat categories are designated on a global or regional basis (according to whether or not the sp. in question is restricted to the study area). Predicted distributions throughout Costa Rica and Panama are mapped for each sp., as calculated on the basis of a computer algorithm (GARP) "that generates a model of the ecological niche for a species based on the range of environmental conditions known for each point locality observation used." Additional information provided in each sp. entry includes local common names, growth habit and sexuality, global distribution, total number of herbarium collections from Costa Rica and Panama, elevational range in Costa Rica and Panama, and percentage estimates of the regional "extension of occurrence" in protected areas and the loss of suitable habitat. The criteria used to evaluate the threat categories are summarized in the introductory section, and the rationale for each decision is discussed in the sp. entries.

Salazar Rodríguez, A. H. 2009. Alberto Manuel Brenes: el naturalista. Edit. Univ. Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica. 183 pp.

This is far and away the most extensive biography yet published of Alberto Brenes (1870–1948), the San Ramón native who probably still reigns as the most prolific collector of Costa Rican plant specimens (with ca. 27,000 numbers). Yet, we were hoping for something more: more photos, more information on his collecting localities, perhaps even maps (or which there are none). Some of these deficiencies can probably be blamed on Brenes himself who, rather notoriously, published next to nothing during his lifetime (the "Literatura citada" in this work includes just one bonafide publication by Brenes). Of the handful of sepia-toned photos reproduced in this book, we count just four that depict Brenes himself, most of which we have seen elsewhere. Textually, the most interesting portions of the book from our perspective are the "Notas orquideológicas (1920–1922)" and other unpublished writings of Brenes, transcribed by the author of this book and apparently presented here for the first time. These allude to many of Brenes's collecting localities, but do not provide useful insights into the precise whereabouts of any of the more mysterious ones. Brenes's participation in Austrian expeditions to the Golfo Dulce and Guanacaste regions in 1930 (he was 60 years old) was noteworthy, if at all, for the paucity and poor quality of the botanical material collected, attributable to (in Brenes's estimation) a shortage of time, poor drying facilities, and (consequently) infestations of mold. We suspect that the remainder of the text, impeccably sourced and footnoted, will be of greater interest to historians than botanists. However, we do get the customary lists of taxa named after Brenes and those based on his collections, and learn, to our surprise, that he was an enthusiastic collector of both fungi and lichens (which should perhaps be factored out of his "plant specimens collected" total!). This is a fairly reverent biography, without a lot of dirt, leaving the impression that Brenes lived a relatively dull and boring life compared to, say, Henri Pittier [see The Cutting Edge 9(4): 7–8, Oct. 2002]. In fact, there were some sordid details in Brenes's life, but these were omitted "por respeto a la privacidad a la que tenemos derecho todos los seres humanos" (according to footnote 1, on p. xi). We will leave it to interested parties to track down this information themselves, from the source material cited in this volume.

Turner, B. L. 2011. Recension of the genus Malacomeles (Rosaceae). Phytologia 93: 99–106.

Two Mexican taxa formerly included in Amelanchier (one at varietal rank) receive combinations at sp. rank in Malacomeles, boosting the sp. total for the latter genus to five. One of these is M. denticulata (Kunth) G. N. Jones, occurring disjunctly in Costa Rica, where it has been generally known as Amelanchier denticulata (Kunth) K. Koch. The author does not indicate why he has chosen to recognize Malacomeles as distinct from Amelanchier, nor, indeed does he allude to the controversy (see the comments of Standley and Steyermark in Flora of Guatemala Vol. 4) in any way. A "recension" would seem to be a synoptic treatment, as this includes a key to spp., synonymy, brief distribution summaries and discussions, and distribution maps, but no formal descriptions or specimen citations (apart from the types of accepted names).

Wen, J. 2011. Systematics and biogeography of Aralia L. (Araliaceae): revision of Aralia sects. Aralia, Humiles, Nanae, and Sciadodendron. Contr. U. S. Natl. Herb. 57: 1–172.

This is the third installment of the author's monograph of the largely Asian and north temperate genus Aralia, completing the project. Aralia is now circumscribed to include a total of 71 spp., parceled unevenly into six sections. Only one sp. is recorded from Costa Rica, a fair-sized tree of dry forests that has long been known as Sciadodendron excelsum Griseb. However, Sciadodendron is deeply nested within Aralia, as clearly shown by the author's molecular analyses, and the combination Aralia sect. Sciadodendron (Griseb.) J. Wen is consequently validated herein. Section Sciadodendron, restricted to Central and South America, includes four spp. in addition to Aralia excelsa (Griseb.) J. Wen (which combination was published in 2002). Includes dichotomous (though non-indented) keys to sections and to the spp. of each section, synonymy, typology, technical descriptions, and distribution summaries for the family and each of its sections and spp., specimen citations, discussions, distribution maps, a section on excluded names, and indices to exsiccatae and scientific names. The introductory portion addresses taxonomic history, phylogenetic relationships, morphology (with many micrographs of leaf-epidermal features and pollen), chromosome numbers, infrageneric classification, reproductive biology, and biogeography. Very fine composite line drawings depict each sp., supplemented by 15 pages of color photos of living plants (with a full page devoted to A. excelsa).

Whitson, M. 2011. (2016) Proposal to conserve the name Physalis (Solanaceae) with a conserved type. Taxon 60: 608–609.

Previous molecular studies, including one involving this author [see The Cutting Edge 12(2): 16, Apr. 2005], have shown that the "New World species of Physalis form a strongly supported group, of which P. alkekengi is not a member." The Old World Physalis alkekengi L., apparently of Asian origin, is a familiar horticultural subject marketed under the name "Chinese lantern plant." It also happens to be the type sp. of Physalis, meaning that, should the current proposal be rejected, all but one of the ca. 75 New World spp. currently residing in that genus would require combinations under the completely obscure name Herschelia T. E. Bowdich. To obviate that ghastly scenario, the author proposes to conserve Physalis L. with P. pubescens L. as the conserved type. In the likely event this proposal is accepted, Alkekengi Mill. will become the generic name applicable to Physalis alkekengi, with Alkekengi officinarum Moench replacing the latter as the correct binomial.

Zamora, N. A. 2011. El caso de Lonchocarpus costaricensis (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae), una especie endémica de Costa Rica: un complejo taxonómico-nomenclatural, y una nueva especie. Anales Jard. Bot. Madrid 68: 7–14.

Here Manual co-PI Nelson Zamora formalizes and solidifies certain interpretations that were debuted without fanfare in his recent Manual treatment of Fabaceae. As indicated in the title, these center around Lonchocarpus costaricensis (Donn. Sm.) Pittier, a name that had previously been applied broadly (e.g., by Standley) to include two distinct spp. Contemporary authorities, including both Nelson and Flora mesoamericana principal Mario Sousa (MEXU), now restrict L. costaricensis to a comparatively rare Costa Rican endemic. They differ, however, on what to call the more common and frequently collected element of the former mixture, which extends into Nicaragua. Sousa, in his Flora de Nicaragua (2001) Lonchocarpus account (and elsewhere), has adopted the name Lonchocarpus macrocarpus Benth. for this entity, based on his dubiously valid relectotypification of L. macrocarpus on a pecimen of unknown provenance and arguable identity. But Nelson rejects Sousa's relectotypification, reverting to Pittier's original designation (which Sousa had abandoned as "mechanical"). This action restricts the name Lonchocarpus macrocarpus to a South American entity, according to Nelson, while leaving L. macrocarpus sensu Sousa without a valid name. The latter had been treated as "Lonchocarpus sp. C" in the Manual, but that provisional name may now be replaced with Lonchocarpus felipei N. Zamora, here described as new (the epithet honoring Spanish prince Felipe de Borbón, an early supporter of INBio). The two formerly confused spp., Lonchocarpus costaricensis and L. felipei, are contrasted minutely in tabular fashion, and the new sp. is illustrated with a composite line drawing (by INBio's Claudia Aragón) and photographs of living material.

Zuchowski, W. 2008. Tropical trees of Costa Rica. Zona Tropical, San José, Costa Rica. 95 pp.

This small, slender, Golden Guides®-style offering would appear to be a minor spinoff of the author's magnum opus, Tropical plants of Costa Rica [see The Cutting Edge 14(3): 12–13, Jul. 2007]. It treats a small selection of conspicuous tree spp.—not all of them native—using photos (by Turid Forsyth) that, for the most part, were already published in the earlier work (based on our limited spot-check) and text that is adapted from that work. However, at least one sp. (Symphonia globulifera L. f.) appears to be included here for the first time. The spp. are arranged in alphabetical order—by English common name! There is an index to common and Latin names and also (something new to us) a "visual index," consisting of all the photos in the book downsized so that 15 fit on a single page. Some tourists may find this guide useful, mainly because of its size, but we would recommend the parent volume to anyone with a serious interest in plants. There is supposed to be a "companion volume," Tropical blossoms of Costa Rica, but we have yet to see that.


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