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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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The Cutting Edge

Volume XVIII, Number 4, October 2011

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

FABACEAE. Consultation involving Daniel Santamaría and Manual co-PI (and Fabaceae author) Nelson Zamora has revealed that A. Rodríguez et al. 7514 (INB), the Manual voucher for Aeschynomene elegans Schltdl. & Cham., is actually a specimen of A. paniculata Willd. ex Vogel. In fact, it is only the second Costa Rican record of the last-mentioned sp., the Manual distribution statement for which should accordingly be amended to "250–650 m; vert. Pac., región de Turrubares, N Valle de General." By the same token, the elevational range for A. elegans should be changed to "550–1700+ m" and the phrase "región de Turrubares" deleted from the distribution statement and "fr. nov." from the phenology summary. As for replacing the A. elegans voucher, we can do no better than to suggest any of the 10 Costa Rican specimens cited by Rudd (Contr. U. S. Natl. Herb. 32: 86. 1955), all historical collections at F and US not represented at INB or MO (though many are no doubt duplicated at CR) and the phenological status of which we are ignorant.

HUMIRIACEAE. This story is still developing, but here is what we can communicate at present: while working on a project involving collections from Panama, George Schatz (MO) and Mary Merello (MO) decided that material from Nicaragua and Costa Rica that has been passing under the name Vantanea occidentalis Cuatrec. (including in the Manual) actually represents V. depleta McPherson, described in 1988 from Panama. Determinations of critical, fertile material have been confirmed by Gordon McPherson (MO) himself. Vantanea depleta was characterized as differing from V. occidentalis in having just 15–18 stamens per flower (the inspiration for the epithet), vs. 50–180. The Manual description of "V. occidentalis" records the stamen number as "ca. 60," but that figure may have been taken from the literature. Manual users may be tempted to make the change from V. occidentalis to V. depleta, modify the stamen number, and alter the overall geographic range to "SE Nic.–Pan." However, Manual co-PI Barry Hammel cautions that “any such change seems a bit precipitous to me, unless it is predicated upon something more than stamen number.” Having boiled up three flowers from Q. Jiménez et al. 1315 (INB), a fine Costa Rican collection, Barry reports counting 30–40 stamens per flower—closer to the lower end of the range for V. occidentalis than to the upper end for V. depleta! This could mean any number of things, e.g.: that V. depleta cannot be maintained as distinct from V. occidentalis, that the stamen number for one or the other sp. requires modification, or that the Costa Rican material represents a third sp. Only time will tell.



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