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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 4, October 2007

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

ASTERACEAE.  Chaptalia runcinata Kunth, though widespread in South America, is a rare sp. in southern Mesoamerica, where it has long been known by just two collections, one each from Costa Rica and Panama.  The Costa Rican attribution apparently traces to the citation by Burkart (1944; Darwiniana 6: 505–594) of a historic collection (Brade 2202, probably destroyed at B) from 800 m elevation at “Mocotte (Guanacaste).”  “Mocotte” refers to Cerro Mogote, a Pacific slope subsidiary peak of Volcán Santa María in the Cordillera de Guanacaste.  We have just tentatively identified as C. runcinata a recent collection (Grayum 12805) from 1100 m elevation on Cerro Pedregal, a Pacific slope subsidiary peak of Cerro Cacao, also in the Cordillera de Guanacaste.   Chaptalia runcinata differs from the familiar, weedy C. nutans (L.) Pol. in its bracteate (vs. ebracteate) peduncles and erect (vs. nodding) capitula.

GESNERIACEAE.  Achimenes misera Lindl., previously known from Mexico to El Salvador and Honduras, can now be reported disjunctly from Costa Rica.  The critical collection was made by Manual co-PI Barry Hammel (#24362), who had been stalking these suspicious herbs for a considerable time.  Finally he found them flowering, on the flanks of Cerro Caraigres, on the Pacific side of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca [for images of the plant and more details, see this quarter’s “Season’s Pick”; for a photographic feature on the collecting site, see the “Season’s Pick” in The Cutting Edge 8(3), Jul. 2004].

LYTHRACEAE.  Cuphea mimuloides Schltdl. & Cham. had already been treated in full for Armando Estrada’s (CR) soon-to-be-published Manual account of Lythraceae, on the basis of a collection from extreme southeastern Nicaragua, within 5 km of the Costa Rican border.  Lucky for us, because now it has turned up on the Tico side of the border, and minimal changes were needed on the proofs.  Unexpectedly, the bona fide Costa Rican station for C. mimuloides is not in the northeastern corner of the country, but the northwestern:   near Cuajiniquil, in Prov. Guanacaste.  The critical determination of Grayum 11415 (MO), by family specialist Shirley A. Graham (MO), led us to a second specimen, J. González & Guadamuz 2547 (INB), collected a week earlier in the same small area.  Both specimens were gathered in or near seasonal lagoons.

POACEAE.  In November, 2004, legendary Costa Rican field botanist Gerardo Herrera participated in one of Manual co-PI Mike Grayum’s NGS-funded collecting trips to the torrid Península de Santa Elena, in far northwestern Costa Rica.  Although he has not botanized since then, and may never do so again (having recently undergone knee surgery), it is clear that Gerardo still has the eye.  One of his collections, from the summit ridge of the peninsula, is the first Costa Rican record of Panicum venezuelae Hack., otherwise known from Guatemala, Honduras, and scattered localities in South America and the Antilles.  The original identification, by Manual co-PI Barry Hammel, was affirmed by family specialist Gerrit Davidse (MO), who remarked:  “Good old Gerardo came through again! ”  And this just in:  D. Solano & Morales 4600, collected on 12 September from a mangrove association along Bahía de Salinas, in far northwestern Costa Rica, has been determined by INB volunteer Ted Bradley as Eriochloa aristata Vasey var. boxiana (Hitchc.) R. B. Shaw.  This taxon had been known from Mexico to the coastal region of central Nicaragua, as well as from Colombia, Venezuela, and the Antilles.

VERBENACEAE.  Lantana canescens Kunth was a sp. that “skipped” Costa Rica, having been reported from Mexico and Guatemala, as well as from Venezuela and Colombia to Bolivia and Argentina.  We have just now become aware that a specimen from the canyon of the Río Grande de Térraba, collected by Manual co-PI Barry Hammel (#18630), was determined in 2003 as L. canescens by Verbenaceae specialist (and Manual family contributor) Ricardo Rueda (HULE).  We have double-checked this, and concur with the identification.


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