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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 IV, Number 3, July 1997

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

CONVOCATION. Folks from all around converged on San José during 15-20 June for the annual meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology, held jointly with the Organization for Tropical Studies, and superbly organized by former INBio exec Jorge Jiménez. The meetings, dedicated to venerated OTS godparents Don and Bev Stone, addressed the theme "Tropical diversity: origins, maintenance and conservation." Manual contributors in attendance included W. John Kress (US, Heliconiaceae) and Lucinda McDade (ARIZ, Acanthaceae). Several attendees managed to visit INBio, including pteridologist Mónica Palacios-Ríos (XAL), MO grad student Lucia Lohmann, former MO students Gerardo Aymard (PORT) and Ivón Ramírez (currently working in Mérida, Yucatán), and Los Tuxtlas flora guru Guillermo Ibarra-Manríquez.

Manual co-PI's Barry Hammel and Nelson Zamora presented a poster entitled "Floristic diversity in Costa Rica: analyses from the last 10 years of concentrated inventory." Their data account for at least 8400 native or naturalized flowering plant spp. in Costa Rica (compared with just 6085 enumerated by Standley in 1937-1938); based on this, they hazard a "very accurate estimate" of ca. 9600 total vascular plant spp. for the Manual. The five families with the most spp. are Orchidaceae (underrepresented in the data-base by about 500 spp.), Fabaceae, Poaceae, Rubiaceae, and Asteraceae. Manual-sponsored collecting efforts during the last 10 years have (by design) focused on lower elevations, with fully 1/3 of the collections coming from 0-200 m. But although the vascular flora of Costa Rica is relatively well known for a tropical country, many un- or underexplored areas remain.

Following the meetings, Kress partook of some frenzied Heliconia collecting (partly in the company of Hammel), while Ibarra-Manríquez journeyed to the Cordillera de Guanacaste with Zamora and crack parataxonomist Reinaldo Aguilar in search of Reinhardtia (Arecaceae).

ON THE ROAD. Manual co-PI Nelson Zamora spent nearly a month (12 May to 7 June) this past quarter working in several European herbaria. More than half of this time was passed in Scotland, where he worked for 15 days at E wrapping up a treatment of the Mesoamerican spp. of Dussia (Fabaceae: Papilionoideae) with Toby R. Pennington (Terry's son). Nelson spent an additional 10 days in England, working principally on Sapotaceae at K, plus three days in Switzerland (G), studying Fabaceae types and specimens in the de Candolle herbarium (G-DC). Welcome back to Tiquicia!

SECRET SABBATICAL. Manual co-PI Barry Hammel was in residence at MO from 23 April to 4 June. During this time he worked almost exclusively on Clusiaceae, revising and updating his treatment for Doug Stevens's Flora of Nicaragua, and preparing manuscripts on Clusiella and Tovomitopsis/Chrysochlamys.

HELP ON THE WAY. The Manual project is very fortunate indeed to have engaged the voluntary services of Gail Swick, Lecturer in Spanish at Washington University in St. Louis. Gail, who is from St. Louis, lived for 18 years in Spain. She had previously visited Costa Rica, and wanted to return during her summer leave. Gail will be editing Spanish-language manuscripts, including those translated from English as well as those written originally in Spanish. She arrived in Costa Rica on 3 July, and will work with us until the end of the month.

WINDFALL PROFITS. Anton Weissenhofer and Werner Huber, Austrian students credited a couple of years ago with several "leaps and bounds" from the Golfito area, were back in Costa Rica for a two-month stint (May to July) at the Esquinas forest. They brought in another interesting batch of specimens, including many from tall trees, epiphytes, and lianas--windfalls, literally, from a recent hurricane.


BIGNONIACEAE. J. F. Morales (INB) & Quírico Jiménez M. (INB).
Accounts for 74 spp. in 34 genera, though 4 spp. and 3 genera (Podranea, Pyrostegia, Spathodea) are known only in cultivation. Seven of the native genera comprise arborescent plants (Amphitecna, Crescentia, Godmania, Jacaranda, Parmentiera, Tabebuia, Tecoma), while the remainder consist solely of vines (Tourrettia) or lianas. The largest genera are Arrabidaea (9 spp.) and Tabebuia (6 spp.), followed by Amphitecna, Cydista, and Mansoa (with 5 spp. apiece). One sp. (of Amphitecna) is treated under a provisional name. Parmentiera valerii Standl. would appear to be the only Costa Rican endemic in the family. This treatment does not include Gibsoniothamnus or Schlegelia, lately relegated to Schlegeliaceae.

COMBRETACEAE. Quírico Jiménez M. (INB).
Combretum, with 7 of the 15 spp. treated here, is the largest of the 5 genera represented in Costa Rica. Rounding out the list are Terminalia (3 native spp., plus the naturalized Old World T. catappa L.), Buchenavia (2 spp.), and Conocarpus and Laguncularia (each with a single sp. of manglares). Two spp., Buchenavia costaricensis Stace and Combretum graciliflorum Stace, are endemic to Costa Rica.

CORNACEAE. Quírico Jiménez M. (INB).
The small Costa Rican contingent of this family comprises just 3 spp.: Cornus disciflora DC. and C. peruviana J. F. Macbr., both of mid- to upper elevations, and the lowland Nyssa talamancana Hammel & Zamora. Of these, only C. disciflora is well known and frequently collected. No sp. is politically endemic to Costa Rica, but N. talamancana ranges only to W Panama.

CUCURBITACEAE. José González (INB) & Luis J. Poveda (Universidad Nacional Autónoma, Heredia).
Twenty-four genera are treated here, with 59 spp; six of the genera (Citrullus, Cucumis, Cucurbita, Lagenaria, Momordica, Sicana) and 12 of the spp. are known only as adventives or in cultivation. The most diverse genera in Costa Rica are Cyclanthera (8 spp.), Cayaponia (7 spp.), and Sechium (including Frantzia and Polakowskia; 6 spp., of which 2 are known mainly in cultivation). Six spp. would appear to be Costa Rican endemics: Cyclanthera cogniauxii C. E. Jones & Kearns, Sechium tacaco (Pittier) C. Jeffrey, S. talamancensis (Wunderlin) C. Jeffrey, S. venosum (L. D. Gómez) Lira & F. Chiang, S. villosum (Wunderlin) C. Jeffrey, and Sicyos sertuliferus Cogn.

OLACACEAE. Quírico Jiménez M. (INB).
Seven of the 11 spp. occurring in Costa Rica belong to Heisteria, the most diverse of the 5 genera recorded for the country. The others are Schoepfia (3 spp.) and Chaunochiton, Minquartia, and Ximenia (each with a single sp.). These totals differ only slightly (one more Heisteria sp.) from William Burger's (1983) Flora costaricensis treatment of the family (Fieldiana, Bot. n. s., 13: 14-27), though a few of the names have changed. One sp. of Heisteria is here proposed as new, and one Schoepfia (corresponding to Burger's "species A") remains unidentifed to sp.; a specimen of the latter was the basis for Sleumer's (1984) erroneous report of Heisteria media S. F. Blake from Costa Rica (Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 38: 70). Two spp. are indicated as endemic to Costa Rica: Heisteria povedae Q. Jiménez sp. nov. ined. and H. skutchii Sleumer.


APOCYNACEAE. Rauvolfia viridis Willd. ex Roem. & Schult., a South American sp. not recorded even from Panama, has turned up on the Pacific slope of Costa Rica at Palo Verde (U. Chavarría et al. 1440) and near San Mateo.

DILLENIACEAE. Family authority Gerardo Aymard (PORT) stopped by INBio during his recent visit to Costa Rica, and was able to confirm his earlier, tentative determination (from a scanned image) of a Barry Hammel collection from San Carlos as Doliocarpus foreroi Aymard [see The Cutting Edge 3: July, 1996]. Another Hammel collection, from the Lomas Sardinal (16 km N of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí), was identified by Gerardo as Doliocarpus dasyanthus Kubitzki subsp. robustus Aymard; neither the sp. nor the subsp. had previously been collected from N of El Valle de Antón, Panama.

EUPHORBIACEAE. A collection from the Golfo Dulce region by INBio big guns Reinaldo Aguilar and Nelson Zamora represents Alchornea grandis Benth., not known, until now, from N of Panama.

ROSACEAE. Amelanchier denticulata (Kunth) K. Koch; heretofore unknown from S of Honduras, has been collected at 1600-1800 m elevation near Cerro Caraigres (S of San José) by INBio botanist Francisco Morales. This is a country record for the genus, as well as the sp. Chico's investigations for his Manual treatment of Rosaceae have shown that Prunus fortunensis McPherson, previously regarded as a Panamanian endemic, is widespread in Costa Rica from the Cordillera de Tilarán southward.

RUBIACEAE. Hammel 20342, from the Boca Tapada region of northernmost Costa Rica, has been identified by MO specialist Charlotte Taylor as Psychotria flaviflora (K. Krause) C. M. Taylor. This represents the first Central American record for this Amazonian sp.

SAPOTACEAE. A flurry of new records, confirmed by co-PI Nelson Zamora's recent work at K (see under "News and Notes"): two puzzling collections from the Reserva Biológica Carara can now be identified as Chrysophyllum lucentifolium Cronquist [not to be confused with Pouteria lucentifolia (Standl.) Baehni, a synonym of Chrysophyllum venezuelanense (Pierre) T. D. Penn.], not previously reported from N of Panama; Pouteria belizensis (Standl.) Cronquist, not heretofore recorded from S of Honduras, can be attributed to Costa Rica on the basis of various collections, mostly from the Zona Norte; several collections from the Península de Osa represent Pouteria chiricana (Standl.) Baehni, previously known from Panama and N South America; and finally, the Amazonian Pouteria ramiflora (Mart.) Radlk., though not recorded from Colombia, Ecuador, or Panama, has popped up in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica (near the Panamanian border), courtesy of collector nonpareil Gerardo Herrera.


Anderson, C. 1997. Monograph of Stigmaphyllon (Malpighiaceae). Syst. Bot. Monogr. 51: 1-313.

The 90 spp. (and 2 vars.) of this mainly neotropical genus range from S Mexico to N Argentina, with one [Stigmaphyllon bannisterioides (L.) C. E. Anderson] also occurring in coastal W Africa. Only two novelties are published here (neither relevant to Costa Rica), and no formal infrageneric taxonomy is adopted. The spp. are arranged non-alphabetically according to informal "groups." Seven spp. are attributed to Costa Rica: S. adenophorum C. E. Anderson (known only by the type collected near Golfito); S. columbicum Nied. (an otherwise S American sp. known by two collections from the Puriscal region); S. ellipticum (Kunth) A. Juss. (Pacific slope and S from Limón); S. lindenianum A. Juss. (mainly Atlantic slope and Golfo Dulce region); S. puberum (Rich.) A. Juss. (Atlantic lowlands and Golfo Dulce region); S. retusum Griseb. (Pacific slope and near Upala); and S. tonduzii C. E. Anderson (endemic, Nicoya Peninsula and thereabouts) Two additional spp., S. bannisterioides and S. ciliatum (Lam.) A. Juss., "skip" Costa Rica and are perhaps to be expected. All spp. are described and mapped, and most are illustrated. Includes a key to the seven New World genera of Malpighiaceae with samaras bearing an enlarged dorsal wing, a key to all spp. of Stigmaphyllon, and keylets to selected subsets of similar spp. not adequately contrasted in the main sp. key. An appendix features 10 geographically restricted keys to Stigmaphyllon spp., including one to separate the 15 spp. known from "Mexico and Central America."
Andersson, L. 1997. A new revision of Joosia (Rubiaceae--Cinchoneae). Brittonia 49: 24-44.
The 11 spp. of this essentially Andean genus range (fide Andersson) from W Panama to N Bolivia. The author did not see material of Joosia umbellifera H. Karst. (the most widespread sp.) collected in 1993 from the Fila Costeña of Costa Rica [see The Cutting Edge 2: January, 1995]. Three new spp. are described, and another is resurrected from synonymy. One composite line-drawing, range maps, key to spp., generous specimen citations, cladistic analysis, and index to exsiccatae.
Atwood, J. T. & D. E. Mora. 1997. Maxillaria cedralensis, a new species from the highlands of Costa Rica. Selbyana 18: 31-32.
Maxillaria cedralensis J. T. Atwood & D. E. Mora is described from a single wild collection, from 2000 m elevation in the mountains S of San José. The new sp. is attributed to the M. cucullata Lindl. complex, of which a key to the Costa Rican members (M. cedralensis, M. obscura Lindl. & Rchb. f., and M. punctostriata Rchb. f.) is provided. Black-and-white photo of a living specimen.
Austin, D. F. & Sebsebe D. 1997. Unique fruits and generic status of Stictocardia (Convolvulaceae). Kew Bull. 52: 161-169.
The Old World genus Stictocardia is represented in Central America only by the apparently introduced S. tiliifolia (Desr.) Hallier f., which superficially resembles an Ipomoea sp. Reinterpretation of Stictocardia fruits reveals a unique suite of character-states (accrescent calyx, thin exocarp, 4-lobed septum, and 4-lobed, loculicidal endocarp) that, together with certain other features (e.g., black foliage glands), appears to support maintenance of the genus. The authors refer Stictocardia to the tribe Argyreieae, rather than Ipomoeeae. Includes detailed line-drawings of fruit structure, a table comparing Stictocardia and Ipomoea, and a tabular synopsis of the former genus--but no cladistic analysis.
Bergen, M. A. van. 1996. Revision of Catharanthus G. Don. Series of Revisions of Apocynaceae XLI. Agric. Univ. Wageningen Pap. 96-3: 9-46/Belmontia, N. S. 176: 9-46.
Seven of the 8 spp. are endemic to Madagascar, including Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don, naturalized in Costa Rica and throughout the tropics. The remaining sp. occurs in India and Sri Lanka. No novelties here. Includes a key to spp., range maps, line-drawings, and index to exsiccatae. Published under two different covers on the same day.
Bock, I. 1996. Eine neue Form von Restrepiella ophiocephala aus Costa Rica/New form of Restrepiella ophiocephala from Costa Rica. Orchidee (Hamburg) Suppl. 3: 3-10,
Restrepiella ophiocephala (Lindl.) Garay & Dunst. forma clausa I. Bock, distinctive in having cleistogamous flowers, is based on cultivated material originally collected by Clarence Horich from ca. 1250 m elevation near Sabanillas de Acosta, Prov. San José. Three excellent color photos, plus a rather crude line-drawing. Fully bilingual (German/English).
Brummitt, R. K. 1997. Report of the Committee for Spermatophyta: 45. Taxon 46: 323-328.
Conservation of Silene gallica L. (Caryophyllaceae) against three clearly or potentially priorable names is recommended, as is (unanimously) conservation of Jungia L. f. (Asteraceae) against two earlier homonyms.
Cannon, M. J. & J. F. M. Cannon. 1997. A new species of Oreopanax (Araliaceae) from Costa Rica. Novon 7: 102.
Oreopanax anomalus M. J. Cannon & Cannon is known only by the holotype, Bello 1341 (BM), from 1600 m elevation in the Monteverde region. The new sp., of "very obscure" relationship, is distinctive in its "very narrow leaves unusually closely packed around the inflorescences and along the branches." Not illustrated.
Doyle, J. J., J. L. Doyle, J. A. Ballenger, E. E. Dickson, T. Kajita & H. Ohashi. 1997. A phylogeny of the chloroplast gene rbcL in the Leguminosae: taxonomic correlations and insights into the evolution of nodulation. Amer. J. Bot. 84: 541-554.
Leguminosae (Fabaceae) is confirmed as a monophyletic taxon, as are two of its three subfamilies, Mimosoideae and Papilionoideae. However, as suggested by previous studies, Caesalpinioideae appears to be highly unnatural, with sequences occurring "in four distinct places in topologies of most parsimonious trees."
Dressler, R. L. 1997. New species and combinations in Costa Rican orchids. Novon 7: 120-126.
Three of the four new spp. are known only from a single (holotype) specimen: Oncidium imitans Dressler, from 1800 m elevation on the San Isidro slope of Cerro de la Muerte (compared with O. obryzatoides Kraenzl.); Ornithocephalus grex-anserinus Dressler & D. E. Mora, from 500-700 m near San Miguel de Sarapiquí, highly distinctive in several floral features; and Paphinia subclausa Dressler, from 900 m near Grecia (compared with P. rugosa Rchb. f.), which replaces P. clausula Dressler (misapplied to Costa Rican material). Scaphyglottis atwoodii Dressler, known only from the Estación Biológica La Selva, is compared with S. bilineata (Rchb. f.) Schltr. Four new combinations are also validated here: Encyclia peraltensis (Ames) Dressler (based on Epidendrum peraltense Ames), which "may prove to be a natural hybrid"; Reichenbachanthus subulatus (Schltr.) Dressler (based on Scaphyglottis subulata Schltr.), which predates and supplants the recently published R. lankesteri (Ames) D. E. Mora & J. B. García (Brenesia 37: 81. 1992); Stellilabium lankesteri (Ames) Dressler (based on Telipogon lankesteri Ames), and Trichosalpinx rotundata (C. Schweinf.) Dressler (based on Pleurothallis rotundata C. Schweinf.). The four new spp. are all well illustrated with line-drawings.
Gómez-Laurito, J. 1997. Ocotea morae (Lauraceae): a new species from Costa Rica. Novon 7: 145-146.
Ocotea morae Gómez-Laur. is known by just three collections, all from ca. 800-850 m elevation in the Reserva Biológica Alberto M. Brenes (formerly Reserva Forestal de San Ramón), on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Tilarán. It most resembles the common understory treelet O. dendrodaphne Mez, but differs in being a tall tree (to 22 m) with very large (ca. 6 x 6 cm!) fruits. Fine line-drawing.
González, M. I. & D. E. Mora de Retana. 1996. El color de las flores en la taxonomía de cuatro especies de Stanhopea (Orchidaceae). Revista Biol. Trop. 44: 525-539.
A statistical analysis of floral colors in four spp. of Stanhopea occurring in Costa Rica results in refined characterizations. A key (based mainly on flower colors) is provided to distinguish the spp. studied (Stanhopea costaricensis Rchb. f., S. gibbosa Rchb. f., S. wardii Lodd. ex Lindl., and S. warscewicziana Klotzsch).
Grant, J. R. 1997. Typification of the extraordinarily black-petaled Tillandsia insignis. J. Bromeliad Soc. 47: 77-79, 86-87.
The illustration chosen by Smith & Downs (Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 14: 791. 1977) to lectotypify Guzmania insignis Mez does not qualify as original material, hence is superseded by the more appropriate element selected here (i.e., the specimen on which the illustration was based). The new designation obviously does not affect prevailing usage of the name Tillandsia insignis (Mez) L. B. Sm. & Pittendr. (Bromeliaceae). Excellent color photos of living plants.
--. 1997. Sinopse do gênero Werauhia. Bromélia 4(1): 28-39.
A popular abridgment, for Brazilian readers, of one portion of the author's controversial paper (Trop. Subtrop. Pflanzenwelt 91: 1-57. 1995) dividing Vriesea s. l. (Bromeliaceae) into three smaller genera. Features a key to the Vriesea segregates, plus a complete "catalogue" of Werauhia spp., updated to include combinations published since the 1995 work. Spiced up with numerous fine, color photos. Fully bilingual (Portuguese/English).
Hammel, B. E. 1997. Three new species of Celastraceae from Costa Rica, one disjunct from Mexico. Novon 7: 147-155.
The Mexican disjunct is Gymnosporia haberiana Hammel, based on specimens from the Estación Biológica Los Tuxtlas, in Veracruz, and the Costa Rican Cordilleras de Guanacaste and Tilarán. With Gymnosporia magnifolia (Loes.) Lundell here affirmed as a synonym of G. urbaniana (Loes.) Liesner, the mainly African Maytenus-segregate Gymnosporia now comprises three neotropical spp., of which two are South American. The two genera are contrasted. Maytenus recondita Hammel is represented by a wide range of material, mostly from 700-1700 m elevation from the Cordillera de Guanacaste to the Cordillera Central, but with isolated collections from the Cordillera de Talamanca, the Península de Osa, and W Panama. This material has been previously referred loosely to M. schippii Lundell. Crossopetalum enervium Hammel is apparently endemic to Costa Rica, where it is known from ca. 100-1700 m elevation in the Cordilleras de Guanacaste and Tilarán, the Llanura de San Carlos, and the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca. The new sp. has been confused with the most common Costa Rican Crossopetalum, most recently known as C. eucymosum (Loes. & Pittier) Lundell, a name here consigned to synonymy under C. parviflorum (Hemsl.) Lundell. Keys are provided for the three neotropical spp. of Gymnosporia and the five Costa Rican spp. of both Maytenus (including M. grisea Lundell, here newly reported) and Crossopetalum. Excellent illustrations of all three novelties by Manual artist Silvia Troyo. As noted in the last issue of the Edge, reprints of this article can be had State-side at:
and from Costa Rica at:
Hershkovitz, M. A. & E. A. Zimmer. 1997. On the evolutionary origins of cacti. Taxon 46: 217-232.
Just as we were getting comfortable with the notion of birds being dinosaurs, we learn that cacti are purslanes...or is it the other way around? Analyses of ITS nrDNA sequences show Cactaceae to be phylogenetically nested within Portulacaceae. And why not? [N. B.: the two family names have equal priority!]
Hughes, C. 1997. (1297) Proposal to conserve the name Leucaena (Leguminosae) with a conserved type. Taxon 46: 355-356.
The currently accepted type sp. of Leucaena, a name widely used for a well-known and economically important genus, is identifiable (by means of its type) with a sp. of Acacia. Conservation with a new type is here proposed for the name Leucaena, to preclude the possibility that it might fall into synonymy under Acacia.
Janovec, J. P. & H. Robinson. 1997. Charadranaetes, a new genus of the Senecioneae (Asteraceae) from Costa Rica. Novon 7: 162-168.
The new, monotypic genus accommodates the sp. long known as Senecio durandii Klatt, only recently (Phytologia 80: 255. 1996) rechristened as Pseudogynoxys durandii (Klatt) B. L. Turner, and, at least for the time being, to be known as Charadranaetes durandii (Klatt) Janovec & H. Rob. No cladistic analysis is offered in support of this reclassification; indeed, no phylogenetic argument of any kind is invoked. The new genus is instead justified on the basis of a handful of minor morphological differences purported to exclude this sp. from three other oligotypic Senecio segregates, themselves of questionable utility. This gets a bit like shortening table legs, guys. Push it much further, and the whole card-house may come tumbling down. They all look just like Senecio's to us! SEM micrographs, exsiccatae, range-map and (the most welcome feature of this paper) a key to the Costa Rican genera of Asteraceae tribe Senecioneae; a list of the sp. names attributable to each genus would also have been useful, though beyond the scope of this contribution.
Jenny, R. 1997. Masdevallia history, Masd. erinacea and Masd. platyglossa. Orchid Digest 61: 87-90.
Contains biogeographical data on the late Clarence Kl. Horich (1930-1994), with description of a Costa Rican field-trip in his company.
Jiménez Madrigal, Q. & T. D. Pennington. 1997. A new species of Pouteria Aublet (Sapotaceae) from Costa Rica and Colombia. Novon 7: 169-171.
Pouteria bulliformis Q. Jiménez & T. D. Penn. exhibits the now well-documented Península de Osa-Chocó geographical disjunction. The new sp. is compared with P. simulans Monach. of Panama, Venezuela, and Peru. The authors report that the sp.-total for Pouteria in Costa Rican now stands at 33 (but see under "Leaps and Bounds"). Fine line-drawing.
Kennedy, H. 1997. Two new endemic Costa Rican species of Calathea (Marantaceae): Calathea hammelii and C. gloriana. Selbyana 18: 33-37.
The two new spp. belong to Calathea sect. Breviscapus, characterized by cryptic, basal inflorescences. Both are known only from the Estación Biológica La Selva, where they were discovered in the early 1980's by perspicacious manual co-PI Barry Hammel, to whom Calathea hammelii H.A. Kenn. is dedicated. The last-mentioned sp. was treated under the name Calathea cuneata H. A. Kenn. in Hammel's (1986) account of La Selva Marantaceae (Selbyana 9: 234-242), while C. gloriana H. A. Kenn. was treated as C. elegans H. A. Kenn. Features very detailed descriptions, plus black-and-white photographs of living plants in situ.
Liede, S. 1997. American Cynanchum (Asclepiadaceae)--a preliminary infrageneric classification. Novon 7: 172-181.
Of interest to us are a key and a detailed table in which Cynanchum is contrasted with other, frequently confused New World genera, including Metastelma and Tassadia.
Lira, R., J. Caballero & P. Dávila. 1997. A contribution to the generic delimitation of Sechium (Cucurbitaceae, Sicyinae). Taxon 46: 269-282.
A phenetic analysis of Sechium and allies, using both palynological and macromorphological characters, supports Jeffrey's (Kew Bull. 33: 347-380. 1978) circumscription of the genus, i.e., to include Frantzia, Microsechium, and Polakowskia.
Luer, C. A. 1997. New species of Lepanthes and Pleurothallis (Orchidaceae) from Guatemala, Panama, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. Lindleyana 12: 34-55.
Pleurothallis medusa Luer is based on a single specimen gathered by an unknown collector at "San José, alt. 8800 ft. [= ca. 2700 m]." The new sp. is questioningly attributed to Costa Rica on the basis of the type locality; however, it is highly improbable that the type was collected in Costa Rica, in our opinion, since the capital city lies at just 1160 m, and we know of no other "San José" as high as 2700 m.
-- & R. Escobar Restrepo. 1996. Icones pleurothallidinarum XIII. Systematics of the genus Restrepia (Orchidaceae). Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 59: 1-168.
The 48 spp. of Restrepia here accepted are arranged in three newly described subgenera, two of which are monotypic; the oligotypic autonymic subgenus is further divided into two sections. The genus is strongly centered in the northern Andean region, from Venezuela to Peru. Just three spp., all in subgen. Restrepia, are known from Costa Rica: Restrepia lankesteri Ames & C. Schweinf., endemic to the Tapantí region; R. muscifera (Lindl.) Rchb. f. ex Lindl., from 600-1600 m in all the main cordilleras; and R. trichoglossa, at ca. 1450-2400 m from the Cordillara de Tilarán south. The latter two spp. represent complexes, widespread from Mexico to Ecuador or (R. trichoglossa) Peru. A fourth sp., Restrepia aberrans Luer (subgen. Ecmeles), hails from lowland Bocas del Toro Prov., Panama, and may be expected in adjacent portions of Costa Rica. Extravagantly illustrated with exquisite, color, close-up photos of nearly every sp., plus detailed line-drawings and range maps for all spp.; also features a combined key to subgenera, sections, and spp. (unfortunately, non-indented), a unique "Rapid Approximate Identifier" (a concise tabular presentation of critical diagnostic features for each sp.), generous descriptions, specimen citations, and discussions, a glossary, and an index to scientific names.
Mabberley, D. J. 1997. The Plant-book ed. 2. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK. 858 pp.
Hot off the presses! Have fun looking up such recent marvels as Ticodendron and Ticodendraceae, Ruptiliocarpon ("~ Lepidobotrys"), Gamanthera, and Povedadaphne (unfortunately, as "Poveodaphne," and "~ Ocotea"), not to mention the likes of Jessea (as "Jessa") and Talamancalia (as "Talamacalia"). Seems an inexcusably high percentage of misspellings for a work of this sort, especially since the above represents an utterly random assortment. Still, this volume will continue as an indispensable adjunct to our work (we panic when it cannot be found). $49.95 at MO's Garden Gate Shop.
Macqueen, D. J. & H. M. Hernández. 1997. A revision of Calliandra series Racemosae (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae). Kew Bull. 52: 1-50.
The seven spp. comprising this group range from NW Mexico to central Panama, but only Calliandra calothyrsus Meisn. occurs south of Nicaragua. Two new combinations and one new subsp. Keys to spp. and subspp. (with a separate key to seedlings), detailed line-drawings, range maps, and "selected" specimen citations; the introduction includes sections on pollination biology and hybridization.
Marroquín, J. S. & J. E. Laferrière. 1997. Transfer of specific and infraspecific taxa from Mahonia to Berberis. J. Arizona-Nevada Acad. Sci. 30: 53-55.
Citing "an increasing amount of evidence [that] indicates that Mahonia is probably paraphyletic, while Berberis is quite possibly polyphyletic," the authors furnish new combinations in Berberis for those New World members of Mahonia still lacking them. The sole Costa Rican sp. in this category becomes Berberis volcania (Standl. & Steyerm.) Marroq. & Laferr.
Mora, D. E. & F. Pupulin. 1997. Two new species of Macroclinium (Orchidaceae) from Costa Rica. Selbyana 18: 7-10.
The novelties are Macroclinium doderoi D. E. Mora & Pupulin and M. robustum Pupulin & D. E. Mora. The former, compared with M. glicensteinii J. T. Atwood, is known by a few collections from ca. 1000-1500 m elevation in the Turrialba region, Prov. Cartagao. Macroclinium robustum, most similar to M. ramonense (Schltr.) Dodson, has been collected only at Alajuelita (ca. 1850 m elevation), near San José. By our count, the Costa Rican sp.-total for Macroclinium (a segregate of Notylia) is currently 9, of which five have been described during the last decade. Very fine line-drawings.
Morton, C. M., M. W. Chase, K. A. Kron & S. M. Swensen. 1997 ['1996']. A molecular evaluation of the monophyly of the order Ebenales based upon rbcL sequence data. Syst. Bot. 21: 567-586.
The molecular data tentatively suggest that Styracaceae may be diphyletic, with Styrax (the only Costa Rica representative) sister to Clethra (of the monotypic Clethraceae). Numerous morphological and anatomical correlations are trotted out in support of this relationship. [N. B.: Styracaceae is the older family name.]
Pennington, T. D. 1997. The genus Inga: botany. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK. 844 pp.
Monographic studies of sizeable taxa have become increasingly rare, due to the expectations of academic insitutions and funding agencies for quick and frequent production. Terry Pennington (K) is apparently one of the very few plant taxonomists still in a position to realize projects of this magnitude. The important and familiar neotropical genus Inga (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) has been the subject of intensive taxonomic study during the past decade, especially by Mario Sousa (MEXU) for Flora mesoamericana (see Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 80: 223-269. 1993) and Nelson Zamora (INB) for our own Costa Rican Manual (see Brenesia 36: 63-149. 1991), in addition to Pennington. The present volume, the culmination of this fertile period, offers a concise and even-handed synthesis of Inga systematics in an extremely pleasing, user-friendly format. The circumscription of the genus is altered slightly so as to include the South American Affonsea, generally excluded on the basis of its multicarpellate gynoecium. A new infrageneric classification of Inga, differing considerably from that of eminent Costa Rican systematist Jorge León (Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 53: 265-359. 1966), is here unveiled. This consists of a single-tier system of 14 sections, 10 of which are new or of new rank (several series of sect. Inga sensu León are raised to sectional rank). A total of 252 spp. are formally treated, with 6 others regarded as "imperfectly known," and one very recently published sp. noted in an "Addendum." Although 57 spp. are attributed to Costa Rica in Fig. 6.2 (p. 97), our count yields just 52 (including the introduced I. edulis Mart.), of which three are represented by two subspp. each. The Costa Rican complement, representing 12 of the 14 sections (all except sect. Longiflorae and sect. Affonsea), includes 8 endemic spp. (Inga bella M. Sousa, I. bracteifera N. Zamora & T. D. Penn., I. canonegrensis N. Zamora & T. D. Penn., I. herrerae N. Zamora, I. jimenezii N. Zamora, I. litoralis N. Zamora, I. mortoniana Jorge León, I. skutchii Standl., and I. tenuiloba N. Zamora & T. D. Penn., plus one endemic subsp. (I. exalata T. S. Elias subsp. umbilicata N. Zamora & T. D. Penn.). Several new lectotypifications, new spp. and subspp., and new combinations at the subsp. level are here published; those novelties of interest to us are Inga sertulifera DC. subsp. leptopus (Benth.) T. D. Penn., I nobilis Willd. subsp. quaternata (Poepp. & Endl.) T. D. Penn., I. multijuga Benth. subsp. aestuariorum (Pittier) T. D. Penn., I. bracteifera, I. tenuiloba, I. canonegrensis, I exalata subsp. umbilicata, and I. vera Willd. subsp. affinis (DC.) T. D. Penn. Inevitably, Pennington's species concepts differ from those of other recent workers, but to a surprisingly minor degree; the only startling innovation is the relegation of the familiar name Inga paterno Harms to synonymy under I. jinicuil G. Don.

All sp. treatments feature generous descriptions, and most spp. are mapped and well illustrated (mostly with line-drawings, and a few photos). The discussions are often brief or even wanting (nomenclatural issues have particularly been ignored), but some corners obviously had to be cut. Only "selected" collections are cited for most spp., but an index to exsiccatae compensates somewhat. The 101-page introductory section includes chapters by guest authors on wood and bark anatomy, cytology, amino-acid chemistry, and flavonoid patterns. A chapter on ecology and reproductive biology would have been nice, though perhaps it is asking a bit much. The key to spp. is divided into six major geographical regions; within most of these regions, separate keys are provided to the spp. of each section present. Very unfortunately, there is no key--anywhere in the volume--to the 14 sections, although concise descriptions of each section are provided in a "Conspectus of the genus," immediately preceding the sp. keys. The lack of a key to sections compromises the utility of an otherwise highly accessible piece of work. Separate indices to scientific and vernacular names conclude the volume.

Despite a few flaws (notably the lack of a key to sections), this is a well-edited and beautifully presented work that sets a very high standard for monographs of large genera. The author's strategy of extensive field-work and close collaboration with regional experts (including Manual co-PI Nelson Zamora) has resulted in the delivery of a highly competitive product in record time. We congratulate Terry Pennington on this masterful effort, and look forward to his next opus magnus.

Pipoly, J. J., III. 1996. Notas sobre el género Cybianthus (Myrsinaceae) en Colombia y Panamá. Caldasia 18: 285-294.
Deals with Cybianthus subg. Conomorpha, of which the only Central American sp. is Cybianthus montanus (Lundell) G. Agostini, of Costa Rica and Panama. Newly synonymized under the last-mentioned name are Conomorpha gentryi Lundell and Conomorpha rufa Lundell. All three names are based on Panamanian types, and were published after Lundell's (1971) Flora of Panama Myrsinaceae treatment (Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 58: 285-353). Cybianthus montanus is here attributed to Costa Rica for the first time, as far as we can determine, on the basis of Skutch 2797, from 975 m in the Valle de El General.
Pires, J. M. 1995 ['1994']. Nomenclatura botânica dos gêneros Elaeis, Alfonsia e Barcella: o dendê africano e suas duas espécies afins, na América tropical. Bol. Mus. Paraense Emílio Goeldi, N. S., Bot. 10: 167-181.
In which it is maintained that Elaeis oleifera (Kunth) Wess. Boer (1965) is to be preferred over the usual E. oleifera (Kunth) Cortés (1896). Apparently, Cortés had no intention of making a new combination, but was misinterpreted by Index kewensis.
Plunkett, G. M., D. E. Soltis & P. S. Soltis. 1997. Clarification of the relationship between Apiaceae and Araliaceae based on matK and rbcL sequence data. Amer. J. Bot. 84: 565-580.
The combined analyses portray the order Apiales as dominated by two major clades "that correspond largely to the traditional family circumscriptions" of Apiaceae and Araliaceae. However, Apiaceae subfamily Hydrocotyloideae appears polyphyletic, with several genera (Hydrocotyle, Centella, and Micropleura) more closely related to Araliaceae. These "araliaceous hydrocotyloids" come out near Delarbrea and Mackinlaya, two small Indo-Pacific genera which, the authors suggest, "may be the descendants of a very ancient lineage of pro-araliads that may have given rise to both Apiaceae and Araliaceae." The authors advocate some classification that retains the "core" Apiaceae and Araliaceae at family rank, rather than lumping them as proposed, e.g., by Judd et al. (Harvard Pap. Bot. 1: 1-51. 1994).
Prance, G. T. 1997. Additions to neotropical Dichapetalum. Kew Bull. 52: 213-219.
Two new arborescent spp. of Dichapetalum (Dichapetalaceae) are described, both occurring in Costa Rica: D. moralesii Prance (honoring INBio firebrand Francisco Morales), from 300-2300 m elevation in the Cordillera Central and on Cerro Caraigres (S of San José); and D. morenoi Prance, from 1100 m in the Cordillera de Guanacaste (but mainly from SE Nicaragua). The former is compared with D. axillare Woodson, the latter with D. nevermannianum Standl. & Valerio; both new spp. are illustrated with composite line-drawings. The author now acknowledges that D. brenesii Standl., which he formerly synonymized under D. axillare, is a distinct sp., but that D. costaricense Prance is synonymous with D. axillare. These new spp. and new interpretations, together with other recent updates, raise the neotropical sp.-total for Dichapetalum to 26 [compared with 17 in Prance's (1979) Flora Neotropica treatment]. A revised key to all 26 spp. is presented here.
Soltis, D. E. & P. S. Soltis. 1997. Phylogenetic relationships in Saxifragaceae sensu lato: a comparison of topologies based on 18S rDNA and rbcL sequences. Amer. J. Bot. 84: 504-522.
The results of the analysis agree with previous molecular studies in supporting a narrow circumscription of Saxifragaceae as comprising ca. 30 herbaceous genera (none occurring in Costa Rica) in the broad "rosid" clade. Costa Rican taxa traditionally included in or allied with Saxifragaceae appear to be ± distantly related. Hydrangeaceae sensu Cronquist (with only Hydrangea in Costa Rica) comes out near Cornaceae in the "asterid" clade. Grossulariaceae sensu Cronquist appears highly unnatural, with (considering only Costa Rican genera) Escallonia and Phyllonoma falling out in disparate regions of the "asterid" clade, and Ribes rather near Saxifragaceae s. s. in the "rosid" clade. The authors offer no explicit proposals for a new classification.
Tryon, R. 1997. (1288) Proposal to reject the name Acrostichum ebeneum (Pteridaceae). Taxon 46: 339-340.
A compelling argument is presented for the rejection of the basionym of Pityrogramma ebenea (L.) Proctor, a name that has only recently supplanted the long-familiar P. tartarea (Cav.) Maxon.
Turner, B. L. 1997 ['1996']. Synoptical study of the Acacia angustissima (Mimosaceae) complex. Phytologia 81: 10-15.
The familiar, weedy Acacia angustissima (Mill.) Kuntze (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae), ranging from SE Arizona and S Kansas to Panama, is treated as comprising six varieties. Only the autonymic variety extends south of Mexico.
Verdcourt, B. & R. Polhill. 1997. (1291-1292) Proposals to conserve the names Myrica and Gale (Myricaceae) with conserved types. Taxon 46: 347-348.
Alluding to "considerable" differences, the authors support the recognition of three genera within Myrica sensu Linnaeus. These have been generally known as Comptonia (E N Amer., one sp.), Gale (circumtemperate, 2 spp.), and Myrica (widespread, 40+ spp.). Rejection of this proposal would result in the application of the name Myrica to the two Gale spp., while nearly 40 new combinations in Morella would be required for spp. that have always been treated under Myrica (including 3-4 in Costa Rica). Acceptance would entail just one major drawback, i.e., the familiar, N temperate Myrica gale L. (presently the type sp. of Myrica) would have to be called Gale belgica Dumort.
Zamora, N. & B. B. Klitgaard. 1997. A new species of Platymiscium Vogel (Papilionoideae: Dalbergieae) from Costa Rica. Novon 7: 216-218.
Platymiscium curuense N. Zamora & Klitg. (Fabaceae: Papilionoideae) is endemic to Costa Rica, where it ranges along the Pacific coast from the Península de Nicoya to the Península de Osa at ca. 0-400 m elevation. It is compared with P. albertinae Standl. & L. O. Williams, P. parviflorum Benth., and P. hebestachyum Benth. Five spp. of Platymiscium are now known from Costa Rica. Excellent line-drawing.


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