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The Cutting Edge
Volume XXIV, Number 4, October 2017
News and Notes | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature |
Aparicio, A., S. Martín-Hernanz, C. Parejo-Farnés, J. Arroyo, S. Lavergne, E. B. Yeşilyurt, M.-L. Zhang, E. Rubio & R. G. Albaladejo.
Phylogenetic reconstruction of the genus Helianthemum (Cistaceae) using plastid and nuclear DNA-sequences: systematic and evolutionary inferences. Taxon 66: 868–885.
Thus study is focused mainly on Helianthemum sensu stricto, an exclusively Old World group in which we have no interest. By the same token, the authors give short shrift to related New World taxa, our greatest concern. One result of mutual interest is the revelation that Helianthemum sensu stricto is not even sister to Crocanthemum, lending credence to the recent segregation under the latter name of all the New World spp. formerly assigned to Helianthemum [see under "Sorrie," this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(4), Oct. 2011]. But the most intriguing result of this study is the apparent nesting of the mono- or oligospecific North America genus Hudsonia among spp. of Crocanthemum, scarcely addressed by the authors (apart from their frequent reference to the clade as "Crocanthemum plus Hudsonia"). This is significant because, in the event Crocanthemum Spach (1836) and Hudsonia L. (1767) were to be combined...well, you get the picture, but these authors do not tread down that path.
Babineau, M. & A. Bruneau. 2017. Phylogenetic and biogeographical history of the Afro-Madagascan genera Delonix, Colvillea and Lemuropisum (Fabaceae: Caesalpinioideae). Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 184: 59–78.
The genus Delonix (with a single sp. introduced in Costa Rica) "is not monophyletic due to the robustly supported placement" of the monospecific, Madagascan Lemuropisum among its spp. The last-mentioned genus is accordingly submerged in Delonix. So just bump the Manual sp. total for Delonix up by one notch, and we'll forge ahead...
Banfi, E., G. Galasso, B. Foggi, D. Kopecky & N. M. G. Ardenghi. 2017. From Schedonorus and Micropyropsis to Lolium (Poaceae: Loliinae): new combinations and typifications. Taxon 66: 708–717.
This contribution offers very little to Costa Rican floristics that is really new, but does bring us up to snuff with some recent developments of which we had been ignorant. The genus Lolium was accepted as distinct in the Manual Poaceae treatment (2003) by Francisco Morales, but was later lumped into Festuca [see under "Columbus," this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(1), Jan. 2011]. That, we thought, was the final word, but it turns out that the proposed inclusion of Lolium within Festuca has not been widely accepted among agrostologists. Moreover, the maintenance of the former genus apparently requires that the sp. treated as Festuca arundinacea Schreb. in the Manual be included therein. To that end, the combination Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) Darbysh. is available. These authors also divide L. arundinaceum into two subspp. and spin off at least two newly segregated spp., all conceivably with consequences for us; however, the authors' taxonomy is opaque: this is a strictly nomenclatural paper, lacking keys, descriptions, specimen citations (except types), and diagnostic discussions. Numerous typifications are effected, including a new epitype for Festuca arundinacea.
Baranow, P., M. Dudek & D. L. Szlachetko. 2017. Brasolia, a new genus highlighted from Sobralia (Orchidaceae). Pl. Syst. Evol. 303: 853–871.
Based on molecular evidence, the authors opt to segregate the new genus of the title (which corresponds to the current Sobralia sect. Sobralia, though we won't go there), even while acknowledging that it is paraphyletic (with respect to Elleanthus). Even if one were inclined to accept these machinations (which we would not be), their impact on Costa Rican floristics would be minimal, as all of the 23 spp. involved are strictly South American (as far as we can tell). The only effect for us would be to diminish the sp. total for Sobralia by the aforementioned number.
Batista G., J. E. & S. A. Mori. 2017. Eschweilera correae (Lecythidaceae), a new species from the cloud forests of Panama and Costa Rica. Brittonia 69: 340–346.
Here is another of those Brittonia papers that we have been sitting on forever for lack of proper pagination, now finally available. Eschweilera correae J. E. Bat. & S. A. Mori has been found in Costa Rica at 700–1050+ m elevation on the Caribbean slope of the Cordillera de Tilarán (in the Reserva Biológica Alberto Manuel Brenes), both slopes of the Cordillera de Guanacaste, and the Pacific slope in the northern Fila Costeña (Fila Tinamastes). Among its Costa Rican congeners, E. correae is compared most closely with E. panamensis, from which it differs by its flowers with the androecial hood double-coiled (vs. triple-coiled) and seeds with the aril lateral (vs. spreading). Circumstantial evidence suggests that Eschweilera correae corresponds (at least in part) to the sp. treated as E. sessilis A. C. Sm. in the second author's Manual account of Lecythidaceae (2007); however, the name E. sessilis is nowhere mentioned in this paper. Includes a key to the "species of the Eschweilera parvifolia group found in cloud forests of Central America" (two of the keyed "species" being actually clades). The new sp. (along with several others) is depicted in color photos of living material.
Bogarín, D., L. Oses & C. M. Smith. 2017. Masdevallia luerorum (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae), a new species from Costa Rica. Lankesteriana 17: 235–244.
Masdevallia luerorum Bogarín, Oses & C. M. Sm., compared most closely with M. lata Rchb. f., is known only from the cultivated type specimen, said to have been field-collected at 500 m elevation in the Valle de General. Its epithet jointly honors Jane and Carlyle A. Luer. According to these authors, the Costa Rican sp. total for Masdevallia is now 34 (though it is not clear whether that includes the new sp.), vs. 31 fide the Manual treatment (2003) by Carl Luer. The new sp. is depicted in an excellent composite line drawing and (along with several more or less similar congeners) various color photos from life. Following a barren July, and including the 10 additional spp. featured in both "Karremans" entries and all three "Pupulin" entries (this column), our running count of new orchid spp. described from Costa Rica since the inception of this newsletter has now reached 385.
Chau, J. H., N. O'Leary, W.-B. Sun & R. G. Olmstead. 2017. Phylogenetic relationships in tribe Buddlejeae (Scrophulariaceae) based on multiple nuclear and plastid markers. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 184: 137–166.
Buddleja (to be treated in Buddlejaceae for the Manual) is revealed as paraphyletic with respect to four oligospecific genera, none of which occurs in Costa Rica. As a result, those four genera are sunk into Buddleja (requiring just one new combination and one nomen novum), and the sectional classification of Buddleja is accordingly overhauled (with two new sections described and one new combination validated at sectional rank). Other than to expand the sp. total for Buddleja (by about 15), the effects of all this on Costa Rican floristics are virtually nil. All the currently accepted spp. ("c. 108") of Buddleja are enumerated (by section) in an appendix.
Clayton, D. & P. Cribb. 2013. The genus Calanthe. Nat. Hist. Publ. (Borneo)/Roy. Bot. Gard., Kew, U. K. 411 pp.
Yes, this is somewhat dated by now, but we're seeing it for the first time. Not that it contains very much of interest to us or our readers: just one of the 207 Calanthe spp. accepted in this work, C. calanthoides (A. Rich. & Galeotti) Hamer & Garay, occurs in the New World, and its name and other vital statistics have not changed since the Manual Orchidaceae treatment (2003) or the earlier (1993) regional revision cited therein. The sp. entry for C. calanthoides offers full synonymy and typology, a brief description, distribution and phenology summaries, and notes, and is accompanied by a an excellent composite line drawing, supplemented by a pair of color photos from life. All the other spp. in the genus are treated similarly, within their respective subgenera (of which there are two) and sections (seven altogether). Synonymy, typology, and a technical description are provided for the genus, followed by an artificial key to subgenera and sections; sp. keys are nested under the last-mentioned categories, but Calanthe calanthoides belongs to a monospecific section, and thus keys out rather directly. The relatively brief introductory part discusses taxonomic history, distribution and ecology, morphology and anatomy, cytology, phylogeny, pollination, and conservation. The volume concludes with an index to synonyms and excluded names, discourses on hybridization and cultivation, a glossary, biographical notes, and an index to scientific names.
Croat, T. B., X. Delannay & O. O. Ortiz. 2017. A revision of Xanthosoma (Araceae). Part. 2: Central America. Aroideana 40: 504–581.
This work is but a small part of a colossal issue of Aroideana in which the authors (or at least the first two) revise the difficult genus Xanthosoma over most of its range (with Brazil the notable exception, in addition to Paraguay and Argentina). We have yet to analyze the other parts, but expect they will contain a few minor revelations. As far as the spp. represented in Costa Rica are concerned, five of the six treated in the Manual (2003) survive largely intact and with the same names. Among these five, the following adjustments need be mentioned: Xanthosoma dealbatum Grayum has now been collected across Panama, and thus no longer qualifies as a Costa Rican endemic; X. robustum Schott is apparently more widely distributed (both geographically and altitudinally) in Costa Rica than indicated in the Manual; and X. undipes (K. Koch & C. D. Bouché) K. Koch is restricted by these authors to southern Central America (Nicaragua to Panama), and has spawned a new sp., X. laselvaense Croat & Delannay. We are, frankly, quite skeptical of the latter, which is based on a single collection from a remote site on the La Selva property, but time will tell. Regarding the sixth Xanthosoma sp. treated in the Manual, the authors have followed a prior worker [see under "Gonçalves," this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(4), Oct. 2011] in recognizing X. mafaffa Schott (applied to the familiar, cultivated Tiquisque) and X. violaceum Schott as distinct from X. sagittifolium (L.) Schott, under which they had been synonymized. All three of the last-mentioned spp. are attributed to Costa Rica (though the Manual voucher for X. sagittifolium remains so identified). This is a nitty-gritty taxonomic work that gets right to the point and has few frills. There is no genus description (unless it comes at the head of the issue); rather, a dichotomous and indented key to spp. (18 in all) kicks things off, followed immediately by the alphabetized sp. entries. The latter include synonymy and typology, diagnostic statements, generous technical descriptions, distribution summaries, occasional brief discussions, and specimen citations (not necessarily comprehensive). There are no indices (at least, not in this part). Most of the spp. are illustrated with at least one color photo from life, and/or (especially in the case of new spp.) of a herbarium specimen. In addition to Xanthosoma laselvaense, six spp. from outside Costa Rica are described as new.
Dauphin López, G. 2017. Adolphe Tonduz y la época de oro de la botánica en Costa Rica. Edit. Tecnol. Costa Rica, Cartago, Costa Rica. 212 pp.
The publication of this work occurred barely in time to be mentioned briefly in our last issue (see under "News and Notes"), but now we have a copy actually in hand, courtesy of the author, hepaticologist Gregorio Dauphin. Gregorio has done a marvelous job of condensing the fruits of many years of arcane research into a slim and eminently readable volume, replete with informative illustrations, lists, and chronologies. The book is divided into three main parts, plus an extensive appendix. The first part sets the stage with an overview of the so-called "golden age" of botany in Costa Rica, beginning with the arrival of Henri Pittier in 1887 and ending with his departure in 1904; included are brief biologies of all the important botanists of that era, along with essays on botanical activity in Switzerland, the Primitiae florae costaricensis, and the passing of the torch to Costa Rican and North American players. The second part examines the life of Adolphe Tonduz himself, from his birth (1862) and formative years in Switzerland to his arrival (at age 26) and subsequent activities in Costa Rica, and ending with his brief and somewhat nebulous 1921 exile in Guatemala, where he died on 19 December of that year from "enterocolitis alcohólica" (as recorded on an official document, reproduced here). The third part surveys Tonduz's contributions to science, with an emphasis on his botanical explorations and collections, for which he is best known; however, Tonduz also conveyed valuable ethnological observations, and it is worth noting that, in addition to vascular plants, he collected fungi, lichens, algae, bryophytes, and even ants! The centerpiece of the appendix is the author's complete translation from French (into Spanish) of "Herborisations au Costa-Rica" (1895–1897), "probablemente la obra más acabada de Tonduz," originally published in four parts in the Swiss journal Bulletin de l'Herbier Boissier. For this feature alone, Gregorio's book is an instant "must-own" for all non-francophones with an interest in Costa Rican botany. The appendix also includes lists of Tonduz's professional correspondents and his botanical and agronomic publications, as well as lists of plant spp. "descritas" (most are nomina nuda) by, plant spp. dedicated to, and type specimens collected by Tonduz.
We are often reminded that history has been manufactured largely by the relative handful of individuals who have ventured, for one reason or another, to record their experiences and observations, inevitably in a self-serving manner. Driven and visionary, Henri Pittier was the creative force during the "golden age," rightfully credited with the foundation of major scientific institutions in Costa Rica. At the same time, he was evidently autocratic, demanding, and highly critical of his subordinates, whom he diminished at every opportunity, while usurping credit for much of their work. It is probably no coincidence that several of those individuals became alcoholics, and died from alcoholism. This work is motivated in part by a desire to set the record straight with regard to Adolphe Tonduz, portrayed as a hard-working yet introverted personality, denigrated by Pittier in correspondence, yet responsible (along with Paul Biolley) for the majority of plant collections bearing Pittier's name on their labels. Inevitably, many of those specimens came to typify new spp. that were dedicated to Pittier—"un verdadero abuso," in the words of Tonduz himself. The author has done a heroic job of resurrecting and preserving the legacy of Adolphe Tonduz, and we congratulate both men!
Delfini, C., V. C. Souza & F. O. Zuloaga. 2017. Taxonomic revision and nomenclatural update of Paspalum sect. Pectinata (Poaceae, Panicoideae, Paspaleae). Phytotaxa 323: 1–26.
Paspalum sect. Pectinata Chase ex H. J. Rodr., one of three sections in P. subgen. Ceresia (Pers.) Pilg., comprises (according to this revision) seven of the 25 spp. included in the last-mentioned taxon. The section is sharply distinguished within the genus by its imbricate, lanceolate, strongly dorsiventrally flattened spikelets with the upper glume usually winged and cordate. Just one sp. of the largely South American sect. Pectinata occurs in Costa Rica, the widespread Paspalum pectinatum Nees ex Trin. (and only one other sp. makes it as far as central Panama). So there is nothing new here for us, unless we count the authors' lectotypification of P. pectinatum. Includes synonymy, typology, and technical descriptions of the section and all its spp., a dichotomous (though unindented) key to spp., distribution summaries, discussions, distribution maps, and exhaustive specimen citations. The introductory part deals mainly with taxonomic history. A composite line drawing portrays spikelet features of all seven spp., but the growth habit of just one (not P. pectinatum!).
Erkens, R. H. J., J. Oosterhof, L. Y. T. Westra & P. J. M. Maas. 2017. Revisions of Ruizodendron and Pseudephedranthus (Annonaceae) including a new species and an overview of most up-to-date revisions of Neotropical Annonaceae genera. PhytoKeys 86: 75–96.
The so-called "overview" of revisions (really, it is just a list), updating an earlier effort from this group, may be of use to some workers, but we are au courant with this stuff. The rest of the paper does not pertain to us.
Figueiredo, E. & G. F. Smith. 2017. (56) Request for a binding decision on the descriptive statement associated with Kalanchoe delagoensis (Crassulaceae). Taxon 66: 771.
The name Kalanchoe delagoensis Eckl. & Zeyh. was accepted in the most recent (2003) synoptic treatment of the genus Kalanchoe, and duly deployed in both the Manual (2010) and Flora mesoamericana (2015). Now these authors want to foment nomenclatural instability (in a journal ostensibly concerned with minimizing same) by having K. delagoensis declared invalid. They note that the description accepted as validating is very brief ("Flores saturate rosei"), and that "at least one other species, K. rotundifolia, had been described as having "floribus [...] rufescentibus..." That observation actually undermines their own argument, as "reddish" is not the same as "pink." And, in any case, the Code does not require that descriptions be diagnostic (only diagnoses; see ICN Art. 38.2). Should these authors get their way, the correct name for this sp. would become Kalanchoe tubiflora (Harv.) Raym.-Hamet, which was much used in the past; presently, however, both K. tubiflora and its intended basionym, Bryophyllum tubiflorum Harv., are considered illegitimate, due to the citation (in the protologue of the latter) of K. delagoensis in synonymy.
Gasper, A. L. de, T. E. Almeida, V. A. O. Dittrich, A. R. Smith & A. Salino. 2017. Molecular phylogeny of the fern family Blechnaceae (Polypodiales) with a revised genus-level treatment. Cladistics 33: 429–446.
The horse has arrived! For further enlightenment, see under "Gasper," this column, in The Cutting Edge 24(1), Jan. 2017. It is now clear that the dismemberment of Blechnum was undertaken largely to obviate synonymization thereunder of the mainly Old World genera Brainea, Doodia, and Sadleria. The latter have a combined total of perhaps 30 spp., most of which already have names available in Blechnum. Nonetheless, the authors adhere to the splitting habit that has become all too prevalent in pteridology, partly on the grounds that lumping "obscures relationships" (we would argue that it emphasizes them!). But where is the "revised genus-level treatment"? In Table 1, we suppose, though it was presented in a much more rigorous manner in the earlier paper.
Guimãraes, P. J. F., M. F. O. Silva & M. J. R. Rocha. 2017. Nomenclator botanicus for Acisanthera (Melastomataceae: Marcetia alliance). Brittonia 69: 231–240.
A previous study by substantially this same group [see under "Rocha," this column, in The Cutting Edge 23(3), Jul. 2016] broached the possibility of fragmenting Acisanthera into four smaller genera, but the present contribution is strictly nomenclatural in nature and maintains the traditional generic concept. The emphasis here is on synonymy and typology, including many new type designations (involving names applicable to all three Acisanthera spp. occurring in Costa Rica). Names of accepted spp. appear boldfaced and in alphabetical order (with accepted infraspecific taxa nested thereunder), each followed by its synonyms (where appropriate). As far as we can tell, the Manual sp. concepts still apply (though distributions are not given), and the names Acisanthera limnobios (DC.) Triana and A. uniflora (Vahl) Gleason remain in place for two of our spp. However, there is a problem with the third name accepted in the Manual, Acisanthera quadrata Pers., which is (as correctly indicated in the Manual) a nomen novum (to avoid a tautonym) for Rhexia acisanthera L. But it turns out that there exists another nomen novum in the same vein, Acisanthera erecta J. St.-Hil., that these authors (and certain others) accept as having priority over A. quadrata (though the case is arguable) and have implemented as the correct name for the sp. We have no beef. Let the consensus rule!
Guo, X., C. C. Tang, D. C. Thomas, T. L. P. Couvreur & R. M. K. Saunders. 2017. A mega-phylogeny of the Annonaceae: taxonomic placement of five enigmatic genera and support for a new tribe, Phoenicantheae. Sci. Rep. 7(7323): 1–11.
Our man Daniel Santamaría tracked this paper down, in a newish online journal published by Nature magazine (we hope it is cited correctly!). The new tribe is of no significance to us, but the ostensibly non-monophyletic status of several genera may (eventually) be. The (potentially) affected genera occurring in Costa Rica are Desmopsis, Klarobelia, Oxandra, and Stenanona. As has already been suggested in at least two prior papers [see under "Chaowasku" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(3), Jul. 2014, and under "Ortiz-Rodriguez" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 24(1), Jan. 2017], Stenanona appears nested within Desmopsis, rendering the latter genus paraphyletic. Klarobelia is paraphyletic with respect to the monospecific, South American Pseudephedranthus, and both "are deeply nested within Oxandra." Various classificatory options are alluded to, but no changes are implemented pending (as usual) additional sampling. Non-monophyly at sp. rank was detected in the genus Guatteria, e.g., for the rather broadly circumscribed G. amplifolia Triana & Planch., but is dismissed as possibly "the result of misidentification."
Hay, A., M. Gottschalk & A. Holguín. 2012. Huanduj: Brugmansia. Roy. Bot. Gard., Kew, U.K. 424 pp.
Lord knows how this masterwork slipped past us. It should and easily could have been cited in the Manual Solanaceae treatment (2015), but we have stumbled onto it (and quite serendipitously) only just now. Another mystery is how the first author, of Indomalesian Araceae fame, came to be associated with a largely Andean Solanaceae genus (for which the first word of the title is a Quechua common name). But getting back to the basics: the new book—a profusely illustrated, coffee-table style production that clearly targets a horticultural readership—is divided into two roughly equal parts: "Botany" and "Horticulture." Of course, we are interested exclusively in the first part, and primarily in one of its four chapters, "Taxonomy" (pp. 88–169). The authors acknowledge that their taxonomic treatment "is based largely" on an unpublished revision by the late Tommie Earl Lockwood (1941–1975), to whom the volume is partly dedicated. On this score we are partially vindicated, as Lockwood's dissertation was cited in the Manual. Seven Brugmansia spp. (in two sections) and three named hybrids are accepted and treated formally in this new work, and the changes for Costa Rica (where the genus is not indigenous) appear minimal: mainly, Brugmansia ×candida Pers., treated as a regular sp. in the Manual, is here restored to hybrid status (as first established by Lockwood), with the same parentage indicated in the Manual discussion of the sp. The taxonomy chapter features synonymy (including "sensu" usages), typology, narrative descriptions, and discussions of variable length for Solanaceae tribe Datureae Rchb., the genus Brugmansia, and each of its constituent spp. and hybrids, as well as a dichotomous (though unindented) key to spp. (which does not include the hybrids), distribution maps, sections on "Doubtful species" and "Excluded names," and, of course, copious, mostly color, and extremely informative illustrations. Other than types, exceedingly few specimens are cited, so we cannot be certain whether additional spp. or hybrids (beyond those treated in the Manual) may have been recorded from Costa Rica. We count two lectotypes, six neotypes, and one epitype that are newly designated by these authors, involving (among other names) the basionyms of Brugmansia sanguinea (Ruiz & Pav.) D. Don and B. suaveolens (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) Sweet, both used for accepted spp. in the Manual. There can be no doubt that this opulent contribution will stand as the last word on all facets of Brugmansia for many decades to come.
Heuchert, B., U. Braun, N. Tkach, D. Marx & M. Röser. 2017. Biography of D. F. L. von Schlechtendal and type material of his new taxa preserved in the herbarium of Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (HAL) and other botanical collections. Schlechtendalia 31: 1–143.
The meat of this contribution is an alphabetical compendium of all the plant names described by Schlechtendal (often in collaboration with Adelbert von Chamisso), with bibliographic protologue references and typology for each. It will come as no surprise to plant taxonomists that this list is quite extensive—more than 100 pages long—hence invaluable to their work. Numerous lectotypes are designated, including the following, for names applicable to spp. occurring (at least potentially) in Costa Rica: Convolvulus variabilis Schltdl. & Cham. [the basionym of Ipomoea variabilis (Schltdl. & Cham.) Choisy], Croton draco Schltdl. & Cham., Desmodium affine Schltdl., Elaphrium simplicifolium Schltdl. (the basionym of Bursera schlechtendalii Engl.), Hydrocotyle mexicana Schltdl. & Cham., Peperomia asarifolia Schltdl. & Cham., and Physalis nicandroides Schltdl. A single neotype is designated, for Borreria scabiosoides Cham. & Schltdl. [the basionym of Spermacoce scabiosoides (Cham. & Schltdl.) Kuntze]. A separate alphabetical listing accounts for names "erroneously attributed" (many in TROPICOS!) to Schlechtendal.
Johnson-Fulton, S. B. & L. E. Watson. 2017. Phylogenetic systematics of Cochlospermaceae (Malvales) based on molecular and morphological evidence. Syst. Bot. 42: 271–282.
As of this writing, Cochlospermaceae is not accepted as a distinct family by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG), who include it in Bixaceae. Barring unforeseen circumstances, it will also be treated as part of Bixaceae in the Manual. These authors argue, mainly on morphological grounds, that Cochlospermaceae should be retained, at least for the time being; their molecular evidence also suggests that, if Cochlospermaceae is to be submerged in Bixaceae, the latter family would also have to include the digeneric, Madagascan Sphaerosepalaceae (currently recognized as distinct by APG). Cochlospermaceae comprises just two genera, Amoreuxia and Cochlospermum, both represented in Costa Rica. The former "is strongly supported as monophyletic" in all of these analyses, but the same cannot be said of Cochlospermum: two of its 12 spp. are "consistently placed outside" the clade harboring all the rest. Neither of these wayward entities has been recorded from Costa Rica, but one, C. orinocense (Kunth) Steud., has been collected in both southeastern Nicaragua (quite near the Costa Rican border) and Panama. The authors enumerate four possible classificatory options for dealing with this situation, ranging from the expansion of Cochlospermum to include all the spp. in Cochlospermaceae to the designation of two new genera for the problematic spp. While inclined toward the last-mentioned option, they settle on another, i.e., to do nothing at present, pending "additional molecular data."
Karremans, A. P. & D. Bogarín. 2017. Two novelties in genus Platystele (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) from Costa Rica. Lankesteriana 17: 215–221.
The two new spp. described in this paper, both known only by their type collections, are named in honor of Manual Pleurothallidinae contributor Carlyle A. Luer (on the occasion of his 95th birthday) or his wife Jane. Platystele carl-lueriana Karremans & Bogarín, compared with P. catiensis Karremans & Bogarín [see under "Fernández" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(3), Jul. 2014] and P. oxyglossa Schltr., hails from 457 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera Central (near Guápiles). On the distaff side, Platystele jane-lueriana Karremans & Bogarín, compared with P. pedicellaris (Schltr.) Garay, was found at ca. 1135 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca (near Moravia de Chirripó). Including Platystele speckmaieri Luer & Sijm (type from Panama), which is news to us, the total number of Platystele spp. now attributable to Costa Rica stands at 20 (vs. just 12 that were treated formally in the Manual). Both new spp. are illustrated with composite line drawings, and P. carl-lueriana is depicted in a color photo from life (as are several similar spp.).
—— & M. Díaz-Morales. 2017. Novelties in Costa Rican Stelis (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae): two new species and a new record in the "Dracontia group". Lankesteriana 17: 193–202.
Not too long ago, Dracontia was recognized as a distinct genus by the JBL crew [see, e.g., under "Karremans," this column, in The Cutting Edge 19(3), Jul. 2012], but has since been returned to Stelis [see under "Karremans," this column, in The Cutting Edge 24(1), Jan. 2017] and is here referred to informally as the "Dracontia group." The two new spp. are Stelis dies-natalis Karremans and M. Díaz (its odd epithet, translated as "birthday," commemorating Carlyle Luer's 95th) and S. aenigma Karremans & M. Díaz. The former is compared with Stelis hydra (Karremans & C. M. Sm.) Karremans [see under "Karremans," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(2), Apr. 2015], the latter with S. dies-natalis (which at first it was believed to represent, hence the epithet). Both are based on just one or two collections from similar elevations (2400–2750+ m) on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca. The new record of the title is for Stelis platystylis (Schltr.) Soto Arenas, a sp. previously known from southern Mexico to Nicaragua, now extended to Costa Rica on the basis of a recent collection (Bogarín et al. 5193, JBL) from 1854 m elevation, probably on the Atlantic slope (although very near the Continental Divide) of the northernmost Cordillera de Talamanca, west of Tablón. Few clues are provided as to how S. platystylis may be recognized, but its closest relative among Costa Rican Orchidaceae is said to be S. cobanensis (Schltr.) Pridgeon & M. W. Chase (treated as Pleurothallis cobanensis Schltr. in the Manual). For all three "novelties," we get a distribution map plus composite line drawings and various color photos of fresh material.
Kiel, C. A., T. F. Daniel, I. Darbyshire & L. A. McDade. 2017. Unraveling relationships in the morphologically diverse and taxonomically challenging "justicioid" lineage (Acanthaceae: Justicieae). Taxon 66: 645–674.
"Justicia is grossly polyphyletic," but monophyly of the New World justicioids is strongly supported by these molecular analyses. That sounds good for us, but there are a few complications. In the first place, note the use of the word "justicioids" (rather than "Justicia") in the foregoing statement; monophyly of New World Justicia itself depends upon the inclusion therein of five other smallish genera, two of which (Megaskepasma and Poikilacanthus) occur in Costa Rica (at least, in cultivation). That is, in fact, rather old news by now [see The Cutting Edge 8(2): 11, Apr. 2001], and we easily can live with it—especially as Poikilacanthus is itself non-monophyletic! However, the authors refrain from validating the indicated new combinations, due in large part to a second complication: the type sp. of Justicia, J. hyssopifolia L., is an Old World native, endemic to the Canary Islands, and belongs in a small clade remote from the New World component of the genus—and furthermore, as implied previously, the Old World component is polyphyletic. The authors enumerate five options for modifying the classification of the justicioid lineage to reflect its phylogeny, ranging from expanding Justicia so as to be congruent with the entire lineage (ca. 1000 spp.!) to restricting it to the small clade that harbors the type sp. They "strongly object" to the two more inclusive options (which would result in the loss of "species-rich, monophyletic and easily diagnosed" genera as Dicliptera and Hypoestes), and appear inclined toward one of the intermediate ones. However, a final decision awaits more extensive taxonomic sampling (said to be in the works). Incidentally, if the New World justicioids were treated as a single genus (one of the intermediate options), the operative genus name would be Dianthera L. (unless the name Justicia were conserved for the New World component—another of the options). The situation for Dicliptera is curiously parallel to that of Justicia: the genus as a whole is polyphyletic, but the New World component is monophyletic (in this case without embedded genera), and the type is an Old World sp.! Even should Dicliptera survive the two sensu latissimo scenarios mentioned above (which would dump all or most of the justicioid lineage into Justicia), it will be in jeopardy, because it is paraphyletic with respect to two oligospecific Old World genera (one of which is itself polyphyletic). The resolution of this dilemma must also await further sampling. Features lots of pretty color photos.
Kilian, N., A. Sennikov, Z.-H. Wang, B. Gemeinholzer & J.-W. Zhang. 2017. Sub-Paratethyan origin and Middle to Late Miocene principal diversification of the Lactucinae (Compositae: Cichorieae) inferred from molecular phylogenetics, divergence-dating and biogeographic analysis. Taxon 66: 675–703.
It all sounds high-falutin', but for us boils down to this: the genus Lactuca (Asteraceae) appears grossly polyphyletic ("the Lactuca lineage is composed of nine well-supported terminal clades"), but as only the type sp. (L. sativa L., AKA lettuce) will be treated in the Manual, that means little to us. And in any case, the authors "have refrained in this study from drawing taxonomic conclusions..., since no satisfying solution is visible yet." Take all the time you need, folks!
Lehnert, M. & A. Weigand. 2016[/2017']. A synopsis of the Neotropical species of Cyathea (Cyatheaceae: Polypodiopsida) with bipinnate fronds. Brittonia 69: 71–90.
Cyathea spp. with bipinnate fronds? How could this not be germane to Costa Rican floristics? But, rather surprisingly, it isn't: the 27 spp. answering to the description of the title are almost exclusively South American, with just three extending northward as far as central Panama. The reason is that the authors' definition of "bipinnate" is strict, requiring that pinnules be entire or only shallowly lobed; and, as it turns out, Costa Rican Cyathea spp. may have fronds that are pinnate (C. stolzei A. R. Sm. ex Lellinger) or pinnate-pinnatifid [C. ursina (Maxon) Lellinger], or else (as in most of our spp.) bipinnate-pinnatifid (i.e., with the pinnules deeply lobed) to tripinnate, but never exactly bipinnate! Why this character-state should exhibit a geographic correlation is somewhat of a mystery, especially as the assemblage treated in this synopsis is (as the authors freely admit) entirely artificial. Just so you'll know that we did not overlook the paper!
Mabberley, D. J. 2017. Mabberley’s plant-book ed. 4. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, U. K. 1102 pp.
Of course, we had to snap this up as soon as it hit the stands, and will be making regular and heavy use of it from this day until the appearance of the fifth edition. The current installment incorporates extensive changes, though it will take us a long while to appreciate all the innovations made since the publication of the prior edition [see The Cutting Edge 15(4): 4–5, Oct. 2008]. Some major ones we have noticed already are: the inclusion of Calyptranthes (Myrtaceae) in Myrcia; the expansion of Dracaena (Dracaenaceae in the Manual; Asparagaceae here) to include Sansevieria; the further expansion of Hibiscus (Malvaceae) to now include Malachra, Peltaea, and Urena (in addition to the numerous genera recognized in the Manual that were subsumed in the previous edition); the near doubling in size of Miconia (Melastomataceae) to include the likes of Clidemia, Conostegia, Leandra, Maieta, Ossaea, and Tococa; and the enlargement of Urochloa (Poaceae) to include Megathyrsus and part of Eriochloa. Most of these changes (and others not mentioned here) come as no surprise to us, being based on publications that have been reviewed in these pages. Selected new combinations related to these taxonomic rearrangements are validated by the author and various colleagues on two pages at the end of the volume. The following are germane to Costa Rican floristics: Dracaena trifasciata (Prain) Mabb. (based on and replacing Sansevieria trifasciata Prain); Hibiscus americanus (L. f.) Mabb. (based on Urena americana L. f.), which replaces U. lobata L. (the epithet lobatus being preoccupied in Hibiscus); Hibiscus capitatus (L.) Mabb. (based on Sida capitata L.), which replaces Malachra capitata (L.) L.; Miconia hammelii (Almeda) Almeda (based on and replacing Clidemia hammelii Almeda); and Urochloa polystachya (Kunth) Mabb. (based on and replacing Eriochloa polystachya Kunth). More surprising to us are some changes that affect familar genera not on our daily radar, viz., the inclusion of Dodecatheon (Primulaceae) in Primula and of Saintpaulia (Gesneriaceae) in Streptocarpus. Horticulturists the world over will be tearing their hair out! A final observation: the author calculates that Astragalus (Fabaceae), with ca. 2850 spp., is "likely the biggest" plant genus, with the following three places "perhaps" occupied by Carex (Cyperaceae; ca. 2100 spp.), Piper (Piperaceae; ca. 2000 spp.), and Miconia (ca. 1900 spp.). He emphasizes, however, the unreliability of these sp. numbers, noting that few large plant genera "have received full attention with regard to the basic 'alpha' taxonomy, despite the international brouhaha about biodiversity and inventory of the planet's plant resources." Amen!
Monro, A. K., D. Santamaría-Aguilar, F. González, O. Chacón, D. Solano, A. Rodríguez, N. Zamora, E. Fedele & M. Correa. 2017. A first checklist to the vascular plants of La Amistad International Park (PILA), Costa Rica-Panama. Phytotaxa 322: 1–283.
Here it is, "fulfillingness's first finale" (to borrow a phrase from Stevie) for the Darwin Initiative [see The Cutting Edge 13(3): 2, Jul. 2006], launched more than a decade ago. Extensive exploration of the most remote regions of the Cordillera de Talamanca by the first author and his associates (most of whom are among the coauthors) has yielded this annotated checklist accounting for 3046 spp. ("likely to be an underestimate"), of which 459 are pteridophytes, three gymnosperms, and the rest angiosperms. Within those major groups, families, genera, and spp. are all presented in alphabetical order. In case of doubt regarding family affiliations, an index to genera heads the list. Each sp. entry specifies growth habit, distribution in PILA (according to elevation and vegetation types), and global distribution, and cites at least one voucher or (in some cases) field observation. Special symbols flag spp. endemic to PILA, new records for Costa Rica or Panama, so-called "keystone" spp. (defined as those that have "a disproportionate effect on [their] environment relative to [their] proportion of the diversity in a habitat"), and exotic spp. The checklist is not based solely on collections by the Darwin group, but incorporates historical collections as well [indeed, Gerrit Davidse (MO) remains the single most productive individual collector for the region]. In total, 18,247 herbarium collections from PILA were compiled (supplemented, perhaps inadvisedly, by 1219 field observations). The sparingly illustrated (with one map and one plate of color photos showing vegetation types) introductory part provides descriptions of the park and its vegetation types, brief essays on park management and botanical exploration, explications of methods and checklist annotations, an analysis of results, and a discussion. The last two features are the most extensive, and of greatest interest to us. A list of new sp. records for Costa Rica and Panama is lengthy, but just 16 are from Costa Rica (most being spp. described since the publication of the relevant Manual volume); while a list of "currently undescribed" spp. would appear to comprise mainly provisional names used in the Manual. More informative are tables of the 20 most sp.-rich familes and genera in PILA. Not surprisingly, by far the most sp.-rich family is Orchidaceae (231 spp.), followed by Polypodiaceae (188), Rubiaceae (179), Asteraceae (151), and Melastomataceae (149). The top genera in the region are Elaphoglossum (70 spp.), Anthurium (62), Peperomia (61), Piper (56), and Epidendrum (50). Of course, lists of this sort are always subject to taxonomic bias (for example, these authors employ an expansive concept of Polypodiaceae). The spp. considered endemic to PILA number 73, and are enumerated separately. The discussion looks more closely at sp. diversity (terrestrial shrubs and epiphytes lead the pack in terms of growth habit), floristic affinities (the strongest is with North America), national and regional importance (with lip service to the vertebrate fauna), human impact, and future exploration ("In general the Panamanian Caribbean slopes need more study"). All things considered, the authors conclude that "the designation of PILA as a World Heritage Site and national park in both Costa Rica and Panama is fully justified." Congratulations to all concerned on a job well done!
Morales, J. F. & N. A. Zamora. 2017. A synopsis of Aspidosperma (Apocynaceae) in Mexico and Central America with a taxonomic clarification of Aspidosperma cruentum and a new cryptic species. Phytoneuron 2017-68: 1–13.
Aspidosperma is one of those tree genera, like Dussia (Fabaceae), that seems especially difficult to nail down taxonomically. For example, although just one Aspidosperma sp. occurs at the Estación Biológica La Selva, it has undergone several name changes during the past four decades. We first learned it as Aspidosperma megalocarpon Müll. Arg., later amended to A. spruceanum Benth. ex Müll. Arg. and, most recently, A. desmanthum Benth. ex Müll. Arg. However, the authors of this synopsis now regard A. desmanthum (along with A. spruceanum) as restricted to the Amazon basin, and resurrect the name A. cruentum Woodson (which has previously served time in synonymy under all three of the aforementioned names) for most of the Mesoamerican material included most recently in A. desmanthum (they suggest that A. cruentum extends to Colombia, but cite no Colombian specimens). The remainder of the Mesoamerican material lately misidentified as Aspidosperma desmanthum comprises the new sp. of the title, A. crypticum J. F. Morales & N. Zamora, which differs from A. cruentum by its linear (vs. narrowly ovate) corolla lobes and fruits with a shorter stipe. The new sp. occurs at 100–400 m elevation in the southern Pacific lowlands of Costa Rica (from the Puriscal region to the Península de Osa), thence southward to Pacific Colombia. A dichotomous key to all the Aspidosperma spp. of Mexico and Central America is followed by individual sp. entries featuring full synonymy and typology, technical descriptions, distribution summaries, discussions, specimen citations (generally representative), and distribution maps. Seven spp. are accepted for the region, of which all but one occur in Costa Rica. Various illustrations depict all seven spp., in one manner or another.
Moran, R. C. & P. H. Labiak. 2016['2017']. The 1-pinnate species of Campyloneurum (Polypodiaceae). Brittonia 69: 186–196.
Non-specialists passingly familiar with the neotropical fern genus Campyloneurum may be surprised to learn that simple leaves are not a universal feature of that taxon. In fact, three of its 55 spp. have once-pinnate leaves, and although these form a clade sister to the rest of the genus, they "seem to differ in no [other] significant way from their congeners." A new subgenus is established by these authors to accommodate this small group, which is also revised. The revision offers no surprises for us, however; only one of these three spp., Campyloneurum magnificum T. Moore, reaches Costa Rica, where it has been collected just twice, at 700–1100+ m elevation, on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera Central and the northern Cordillera de Talamanca. In another mild departure from convention: although most spp. of Camplyoneurum are epiphytic, C. magnificum is typically terrestrial (and the other two member of its subgenus are at least potentially so). Features brief descriptions, distribution summaries, and discussions for the sugenus and each sp., a dichotomous key to spp., synonymy and typology, specimen citations, a distribution map, and an index to exsiccatae. The introductory part is brief, touching on distribution, morphology, and phylogeny. Various features of all three spp. are illustrated photographically.
Ortiz, O. O. & T. B. Croat. 2017. Five new species of Anthurium (Araceae) from the Caribbean forests of Panama. Webbia 72: 71–81.
We cite this article only because four of these five novelties, all members of Anthurium sect. Cardiolonchium Schott, occur in Prov. Bocas del Toro, so near the Costa Rican border that at least some are bound to turn up eventually in Tiquicia. The four in question are: Anthurium alvinii Croat & O. Ortiz, A. baldinii Croat & O. Ortiz, A. cerrofrioense Croat & O. Ortiz, and A. santamariae Croat & O. Ortiz (honoring our pal Daniel Santamaría). The type (and only known specimen) of the penultimate sp. was collected in the headwaters of the Río Tskui, which drains into Costa Rica! All five new spp. are illustrated with color photos of living material and the holotype specimen.
Patil, S. C., P. Lakshminarasimhan & P. Singh. 2017. (2529) Proposal to conserve the name Podostemum (Podostemaceae) with that spelling. Taxon 66: 760–761.
Although the spelling Podostemum has gained favor in recent years (and was used in the Manual), said genus name was also rendered as Podostemon by its original author in the protologue, and many subsequent publications. This proposal seeks to stabilize the situation.
Plunkett, G. M. & A. N. Nicolas. 2016['2017']. Assessing Azorella (Apiaceae) and its allies: phylogenetics and a new classification. Brittonia 69: 31–61.
Some of our readers may recall that the authors of this paper visited Costa Rica not long ago [see "News and Notes," in The Cutting Edge 22(4), Oct. 2015] with the express purpose of obtaining material of Azorella atop Cerro Chirripó (the only place it has been found in the country). Their quest having been successful, and with quarry in hand, they ventured the opinion that it did not belong to Azorella biloba (Schltdl.) Wedd., the name traditionally applied, but might (or might not) belong to a different, otherwise South American sp. (they named it, but we forgot). Upon seeing this paper, we hoped for satisfaction—and we get it, after a fashion: Costa Rica and Panama are mentioned only in the distribution summary of Azorella aretioides (Spreng.) Willd. ex DC., which extends southward to northern Peru; the real A. biloba (which at least belongs to the same section!) is restricted by these authors to Andean South America, from Ecuador to Bolivia and northern Argentina. So why do we have reservations? Because this work is not presented as a rigorous taxonomic revision (at sp. rank), rather an annotated checklist, with only synonymy and distribution summaries (plus occasional notes) for the 58 accepted spp. (and a few infraspecific taxa). The main agenda here is higher-level (supraspecific) taxonomy, with the big story being the authors' decision to lump five mostly oligospecific austral genera (none of which occurs in Costa Rica) into Azorella. This will cause us to adjust the sp. total and (perhaps) overall geographic range of the genus, but is otherwise of no consequence to the Manual Apiaceae treatment. Likewise inconsequential for us is a new infrageneric classification of Azorella (featuring 10 sections) that is unveiled. We plan to run with the name A. aretioides for Costa Rica (what choice do we have?), but have no idea how much confidence to accord the authors' sp. concepts. Is their enumeration of spp. simply an off-the-cuff assessment, compiled hastily as an incidental accompaniment to the grander scheme? Or does it reflect years of intensive taxonomic research on the cusp of being published in a more opulent presentation? It could be either, or anything in between, although we find no statement suggesting that a bona fide revision is on the near horizon. On the other hand, certain rather vague and general statements suggest the opposite, e.g.: "In the future, each of these 10 clades would make an excellent focal point for more intensive sampling, which could then address additional questions of species circumscription...(among other topics)," with a subsequent reference to "the need for these more focused studies." We expect this paper will have a major impact in the Southern Hemisphere, but for us it is (to repeat a hackneyed phrase) "all hat and no cattle." By our count, the authors are responsible for the validation in this paper of one new taxon name and two new combinations at sectional rank, 14 new combinations and three nomina nova at sp. rank, and three new combinations at infraspecific ranks. None of these is relevant to our particular work.
Incidentally: we have been unable to substantiate the alleged occurrence of Azorella aretioides (or any Azorella sp.) in Panama. We suspect that this attribution may have been based on Knapp & Monro 9919 (MO), a specimen in the TROPICOS database that had been misidentified as "Azorella," but which actually belongs in the genus Paepalanthus (Eriocaulaceae). However, the authors of this paper are likely privy to information not available to us.
Portal, R. 2017. Le genre Phalaris à travers le monde. French and English keys. Robert Portal, Val-près-le-Puy, France. 106 pp.
Just what the title says, and somewhat more: separate (and illustrated) French and English keys to the spp. of Phalaris (Poaceae), followed by alphabetically ordered entries for each accepted sp. (including hybrids) and var. Each of these entries includes a protologue citation, common name, principal synonyms, brief description, and distribution summary, as well as a full-page, composite line drawing. Following these entries is a supplemental set of sp. entries, separately alphabetized, featuring "Remarques" (which were evidently too extensive for inclusion in the primary sp. entries). No changes would appear to be in order for the Costa Rican representatives (two non-native spp.) of Phalaris.
Pruski, J. F. 2017. Compositae of Central America–VIII. The genus Lepidaploa (Vernonieae). Phytoneuron 2017-50: 1–39.
This contribution by John Pruski (MO), author of the imminently impending Flora mesomaericana Asteraceae treatment, accepts the newfangled (to us!) Vernonia-segregate Lepidaploa, while retreating to Standley-era concepts for some of its spp. Six of the ten spp. recognized for the Central American region are attributed to Costa Rica, but just one of those six, Lepidaploa tortuosa (L.) H. Rob., bears a name that will definitely ring a bell for active workers on the Costa Rican flora. But although the name L. tortuosa may be familiar, its circumscription has changed with the segregation of L. vernicosa (Klatt) Pruski (comb. nov.) as a distinct sp. endemic to Costa Rica (Vernonia vernicosa Klatt was accepted in Standley's Flora costaricensis, but V. tortuosa L. was excluded from Costa Rica in that work). The four remaining Lepidaploa spp. in Tiquicia are as follows: L. acilepis (Benth.) Pruski (comb. nov.), known to us most recently as L. remotiflora (Rich.) H. Rob. (now restricted to South America); L. argyropappa (H. Buek) Pruski (comb. nov.), the basionym of which was accepted by Standley, but which has been known to us more recently as L. salzmannii (DC.) H. Rob. (the latter based on "a very different plant" from Bahia, Brazil); L. canescens (Kunth) H. Rob., also accepted by Standley (under its basionym), but long known in our region as Vernonia arborescens (L.) Sw. (lately restricted, as a member of Lepidaploa, to the West Indies); and L. chiriquiensis (S. C. Keeley) H. Rob., an erstwhile Panamanian endemic here reported for the first time from Costa Rica (based on two specimens from bosque pluvial, at 900–1700 m elevation, on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Tilarán and the Pacific slope of the northern Cordilerra de Talamanca; fl. mar.). We get synonymy, technical descriptions, and distribution summaries for the genus and each sp. (though typology for only the accepted names), a dichotomous and indented key to spp., representative specimen citations (though without locality information), discussions, and a section on "Excluded species." There are no indices. The brief but well-illustrated introductory part focuses on taxonomic history and morphological characterization. Nine of the ten featured spp. (and all the Costa Rican ones) are illustrated with at least one color image of a herbarium specimen, occasionally supplemented by a drawing or painting.
——. 2017. Compositae of Central America–IX. Talamancaster (Asteraceae), a new grangeoid genus from Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, and Venezuela. Phytoneuron 2017-61: 1–35.
The term "grangeoid," though not explicitly defined here, refers to "a group [presumably including the African genus Grangea] mostly characterized by herbaceous habit, 2+-seriate pistillate florets..., moderately herbaceous phyllaries, and obviously compressed cypselae..." The new genus of the title comprises six spp., four of which occur in páramo habitats in Costa Rica (though only one is endemic there). All six were previously described, but with new combinations in Talamancaster provided here in the name of the author. We originally learned the Costa Rican spp. in the genus Lagenifera, subsequently amended to Lagenophora [see The Cutting Edge 6(1): 7, Jan. 1999], and somewhat later as members of the otherwise Asian genus Myriactis [see The Cutting Edge 8(1): 8, Jan. 2001]. The segregation of Talamancaster is accomplished here principally on the basis of morphological and geographic evidence (duly summarized in a table), though with reference to the limited phylogenetic studies bearing on the subject. The author's treatment, meticulous and profusely illustrated throughout, amounts to a generic revision, with synonymy, typology, detailed descriptions, and discussions at all ranks, a dichotomous and indented key to spp., distribution summaries, mostly comprehensive specimen citations, and distribution maps.
Pupulin, F., M. Díaz-Morales, J. Aguilar & M. Fernández. 2017. Two new species of Pleurothallis (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) allied to P. cardiothallis, with a note on flower activity. Lankesteriana 17: 329–356.
The sp. group centered on Pleurothallis cardiothallis Rchb. f. is characterized by large size (taller than 0.2 m), "ovate to lanceolate, soft-coriaceous, elastic, leaves, deeply cordate at the base when mature..., the basal margins frequently overlapping, without a distinctly protruding mid-vein, matte on upper surface, usually less than 4 times longer than broad," spathaceous bracts that are always prostrate, and membranaceous flowers, "with the sepals and petals thin and almost translucent, with distinct temporal activity, opening and closing several times during anthesis." So defined, the group includes five spp. in Costa Rica: P. cardiothallis, P. oncoglossa Luer, and P. palliolata Ames, plus the two described here as new. Pleurothallis cardiothallis itself, one of the more frequently collected spp. of its genus in Costa Rica, was already said to be "muy variable en tamaño, forma y color" in the Manual Orchidaceae treatment (2003). Concepts of the sp. have also varied much over the years (as well documented in this paper), in part because the provenance of the type specimen is unknown. "Conservatively" interpreting P. cardiothallis as "populations...that closely resemble the illustration of the type," these authors "documented some 30 specimens" of that sp. from Costa Rica, where it is widespread in the Cordilleras de Tilarán, Central, and de Talamanca. They were also able to discriminate the two new spp. (both Costa Rican endemics) alluded to previously: Pleurothallis navisepala Pupulin, J. Aguilar & M. Díaz, compared with P. cardiothallis (to which it would key in the Manual); and P. scotinantha Pupulin, M. Díaz & J. Aguilar, compared with P. oncoglossa (to which it would key in the Manual). The former sp. is known by numerous collections, from 650–1400 m elevation, on the Atlantic slope (and near the Continental Divide) of the Cordilleras de Guanacaste and de Tilarán (in the San Ramón vicinity), while P. scotinantha is known by just two wild collections, from 1250–2050 m elevation, on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera Central and the northern Cordillera de Talamanca. Distribution maps are provided, along with a key to the spp. of the Pleurothallis cardiothallis group in Costa Rica, and both new spp. are profusely (verging on excessively) illustrated with both line drawings and photos (some also featuring related spp.).
One somewhat bothersome incidental observation: cited among the paratypes of Pleurothallis navisepala is C. Chávez 438 (USJ), an isotype of P. chavezii Luer. While this circumstance apparently does not render P. navisepala illegitimate (the holotype of P. chavezii would have to be cited), it does suggest that P. chavezii may be the correct name for the sp. Curiously, however, P. chavezii is not included in the key to the spp. of the P. cardiothallis group, nor does it seem to agree with the description of P. navisepala: the flowers of P. chavezii have (according to the Manual) the dorsal sepal trinerved and much wider than the synsepal, vs. 7–9-nerved and narrower than the synsepal in P. navisepala. This could mean that C. Chávez 438 is a mixed collecton, or that the authors of this paper erred in citing it among the paratypes of P. navisepala; apparently, the latter is the case (A. Karremans, pers. comm.).
——, ——, M. Fernández & J. Aguilar. 2017. Two new species of Pleurothallis (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) from Costa Rica in the P. phyllocardia group. Lankesteriana 17: 153–164.
The "Pleurothallis phyllocardia" group, with (now) nine spp. in Costa Rica, "is characterized by plants with soft-coriaceous, elastic leaves, without a distinctly protruding mid-vein, matte on the upper surface, ovate to lanceolate, usually less than four times longer than broad (mostly <4 cm wide), deeply cordate at the base when mature,...and a spathaceous bract producing flowers that are erect to suberect, not prostrate..." The group comprises about 35 spp. total, ranging from Costa Rica to Bolivia. Described as new in this paper are Pleurothallis luna-crescens Pupulin, J. Aguilar & Mel. Fernández, compared with P. radula Luer and P. rectipetala Ames & C. Schweinf.; and Pleurothallis pudica Pupulin, J. Aguilar & M. Díaz, compared with P. phyllocardia Rchb. f. Both novelties have been collected only by the JBL crew, and in the same general area (700–1450+ m elevation, on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca); P. luna-crescens has been found several times, P. pudica just once. A dichotomous, indented key (at the end) distinguishes all the spp. of the Pleurothallis phyllocardia group in Costa Rica and western Panama. A distribution map is provided, together with composite line drawings and color photos from life for each new sp. (and some related spp., in the case of the photos).
——, A. P. Karremans & N. Belfort Oconitrillo. 2017. Two new species of Echinosepala (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae). Lankesteriana 17: 285–304.
The classification of the spp. presently included in Echinosepala has been unusually unstable, even by the standards of Orchidaceae, during the past quarter century. Although most were originally described in Pleurothallis, they were first associated in two subgenera of Myoxanthus. Soon thereafter, however, both infrageneric taxa were returned (as sections) to Pleurothallis [see The Cutting Edge 3(2): 8, Apr. 1996], wherein they resided at the time the Manual Orchidaceae treatment (2003) was finalized. Even after the establishment of Echinosepala [see The Cutting Edge 9(4): 10, Oct. 2002], the spp. under discussion were transferred yet again, to Brenesia [see The Cutting Edge 11(3): 10–11, Jul. 2004]; however, the resulting concept of Brenesia was ultimately shown to be artificial [see under "Karremans" et al., in The Cutting Edge 24(1), Jan. 2017], and Echinosepala was reinstated. That sordid taxonomic history is recounted in the lengthy introductory portion of this paper, which also presents a detailed morphological discussion of the group and an original phylogenetic analysis (showing that Echinosepala is, after all, most closely related to Myoxanthus!). The two new spp., both Costa Rican endemics, are Echinosepala expolita Pupulin & Belfort, compared with E. pan (Luer) Luer (i.e., Pleurothallis pan Luer of the Manual), and known by four collections, from 850–1300 m elevation, on both slopes of the Cordillera de Tilarán (in the vicinity of San Ramón); and Echinosepala longipedunculata Pupulin & Karremans, compared with E. aspasicensis (Rchb. f.) Pridgeon & M. W. Chase (i.e., Pleurothallis aspasicensis Rchb. f. of the Manual), recorded from just four stations (in the wild), at 1300–1800 m elevation, on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca, the Cerros de La Carpintera, and the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Guanacaste. The two new spp. are featured in a distribution map, a key to the 11 spp. of Echinosepala in Costa Rica is provided, and both new spp. (as well as several related ones) are generously illustrated (with both drawings and photos).
Robinson, A. S. (ed.). 2017. Drosera of the world, Vols. 1–3. Redfern Nat. Hist. Prod., Poole, Dorset, England, U. K.
In three profusely illustrated volumes covering a total of 1544 pp., this massive work provides "the first treatment of the entire genus [Drosera (Droseraceae)] in over 100 years since the Diels monograph of 1906." The authors acknowledge that this is "not a monograph," and by way of confirmation, we may note that it contains no keys of any sort, and cites no specimens. The emphasis here is on detailed treatments for each accepted sp., supplemented by "high quality images that include many rare and infrequently seen taxa." These objectives have been "achieved through extensive fieldwork across all the continents involved," in conjunction with collaboration among a wide range of individuals. The result is visually stunning, as all three volumes are replete with illustrations, mainly color photos of living plants. The first volume contains all the introductory matter, including treatises on botanical history, distribution, diversity, taxonomy, ecology, habitats, morphology, reproduction, survival strategies, and conservation status, along with an updated list of all accepted spp. The latter number 243, with one subsp., six vars., and 14 natural hybrids also recognized. These taxa are organized mainly according to major geographical regions, within which the spp. are ordered alphabetically—for the most part; the sole exception is Oceania, the most diverse region (with 160 spp.), the spp. of which are arranged in subgenera (three in all) and sections. The Drosera spp. of Oceania occupy the second part of Vol. 1 and the first part of Vol. 2, the remainder of which covers the spp. of Asia, North America, and Europe. Volume 3 deals with "perhaps the least known and studied of all Drosera," i.e., those of Latin America and Africa. Terminating Vol. 3 are a bibliography, glossary, and cumulative index to scientific names. Authorship is funky throughout; A. S. Robinson is credited as the editor for all three volumes, but each has a different array of authors, as does each geographic section; for example, Vol. 3 is authored by A. Robinson, R. Gibson, P. Gonella, S. McPherson, R. Nunn, and A. Fleischmann, while the Latin America section (in the same volume) is attributed to A. Robinson, P. Gonella, S. McPherson, and A. Fleischmann. Each sp. treatment features a bibliographic citation of the protologue, synonyms, etymology, distribution and phenology summaries, a discussion of affinities, a basic description, and "Notes," as well as copious (generally) illustrations. Inevitably, some spp. occur in more than one geographic region, and these are treated (to a greater or lesser extent) for each of those regions; one such example is Drosera capillaris Poir., found in both North and Latin America. And a final piece of evidence (if any were needed) as to the non-monographic nature of the work: the Manual treatment of Droseraceae (2010) is not cited, and by all appearances was not consulted. Drosera cayennensis Sagot ex Diels was attributed to Costa Rica in the Manual, but not here, and the reverse is true of D. capillaris. We have no idea how much this puppy sells for, but it must be plenty.
Rojas-Alvarado, G. & A. P. Karremans. 2017. Additions to the Costa Rican Myoxanthus (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae). Lankesteriana 17: 203–214.
This contribution adds two spp. to the Costa Rican total for Myoxanthus, which now stands at 10 (twice the number that were treated formally in the Manual). Myoxanthus affinis (Lindl.) Luer, previously known only from Panama to Peru, is an outright addition, "easily distinguished from all other Myoxanthus species by its...ramicauls that reach up to 70 cm tall...". The authors cite two Costa Rican collections (both their own), from 750–1100 m elevation on the Atlantic slope of the northern Cordillera de Talamanca. The other addition is Myoxanthus cereus (Ames) Luer ex Rojas-Alv. & Karremans comb. nov., based on the name Pleurothallis cerea Ames, cited in synonymy under Myoxanthus octomeriae (Schltr.) Luer in the Manual. In fact, this does not really qualify as a net addition to the flora, because the Manual treatment of M. octomeriae was based exclusively on the type collection of P. cerea (the cited voucher). So the real addition here is M. octomeriae in the sense of its type which, the authors assert, also occurs in Costa Rica. But first things first: Myoxanthus octomeriae is no longer the accepted name for the sp. in question, having been synonymized nearly a decade ago (in a work overlooked by us) under M. congestus (A. Rich. & Galeotti) Soto Arenas. Our question then becomes: given that Myoxanthus octomeriae in the sense of the Manual actually equates with M. cereus, where in Costa Rica does the real M. octomeriae (i.e., M. congestus) occur? These authors provide only a vague indication ("more commonly found at lower elevations [than M. cereus] on both Atlantic and Pacific watersheds of the Costa Rican mountain chains"), and we can find no other reliable information that is more detailed. Myoxanthus congestus differs from M. cereus by its smaller and proportionately narrower leaves, as well as the usual floral details. Distribution maps are provided for both M. affinis and M. cereus (though not for M. congestus), and each is depicted in color photos of herbarium specimens and fresh material.
N.B.: Rather incredibly, "Gustavo Rojas-Alvarado," the first author of this paper, is not the same person as "Gustavo A. Rojas" (IPNI standard form "G. A. Rojas"), who also worked at JBL and co-authored orchid names in this same journal a decade ago [see, e.g., the second entry under "Pupulin" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 16(4), Oct. 2009]. Thanks to Adam Karremans (JBL) for clearing this up! The details have been ironed out in TROPICOS (as well as IPNI).
Saarela, J. M., R. D. Bull, M. J. Paradis, S. N. Ebata, P. M. Peterson, R. J. Soreng & B. Paszko. 2017. Molecular phylogenetics of cool-season grasses in the subtribes Agrostidinae, Anthoxanthinae, Aveninae, Brizinae, Calothecinae, Koeleriinae and Phalaridinae (Poaceae, Pooideae, Poeae, Poeae chloroplast group I). PhytoKeys 87: 1–139.
This must be a major work, to judge from the number of authors, pages, cladograms, and cited references, but it could perhaps have benefited (or not?) from more ruthless editing. The authors have done little to facilitate our task of abstracting the key conclusions relevant to Costa Rican floristics—that is to say, the trees rather obscure the forest. As the "cool-season" qualification might suggest, this study includes relatively few genera represented in Costa Rica, and even fewer spp. In that regard, we are on somewhat firmer ground, so let's take a stab: the genus Trisetum is revealed as polyphyletic, and the only one of its five Costa Rican members [T. irazuense (Kuntze) Hitchc.] included in the study does not appear closely affined to the generic type sp. However, the situation is quite complex, and the authors implement no taxonomic changes involving Trisetum. Ammophila and Deyeuxia (in the sense of its type) are determined to be synonyms of Calamagrostis, and the implied nomenclatural novelties are validated; however, this does not affect us, beyond augmenting (slightly) the sp. total for Calamagrostis. Likewise, eight spp. that have been treated variously in Calamagrostis or Deyeuxia are transferred to Deschampsia, increasing the sp.-total for the last-mentioned genus accordingly, but with no other repercussions for us. Finally, "Polypogon and Agrostis are closely related and neither is polyphyletic," with "species of each variously intermixed in plastid and nuclear ribosomal trees." One might expect Polypogon (with two spp. in Costa Rica) to be synonymized under Agrostis, and while that may result eventually, it ain't happening just yet.
Schneider, J. V. & G. Zizka. 2017. Phylogeny, taxonomy and biogeography of Neotropical Quiinoideae (Ochnaceae s.l.). Taxon 66: 855–867.
The big picture here is of little interest to us—all the constituent genera of subfam. Quiinoideae, including Lacunaria and Quiina, are revealed as monophyletic—rather, it is the lack of monophyly at sp. rank that we find intriguing. In particular, Lacunaria crenata (Tul.) A. C. Sm. is polyphyletic, partly with respect to its two subspp., suggesting that both may merit recognition as spp. Only the autonymic subsp. occurs in Costa Rica, so the effects for us would be minimal. Also appearing polyphyletic is Quiina cruegeriana Griseb., but the potential consequences in that case are more nebulous, and the authors aver that "additional molecular data...are needed."
Silva, O. L. M. & I. Cordeiro. 2017. Disentangling Astraea lobata: three new names in Astraea based on previous varieties of Croton lobatus (Euphorbiaceae). Phytotaxa 317: 297–300.
Three new spp. are discriminated from "the most taxonomically complex species" of Astraea, but all are Brazilian and do not concern us. Presumably, the name Astraea lobata (L.) Klotzsch remains applicable to the sole Costa Rican representative of the genus. The only effect for us is to increase the sp. total for the genus, given as "10" in Manual Vol. 5 (2010); actually, considering several other transfers that have been accomplished in the interim, that total should be approximately doubled.
Simões, A. R. & G. Staples. 2017. Dissolution of Convolvulaceae tribe Merremieae and a new classification of the constituent genera. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 183: 561–586.
Well, we knew this was coming, and the broad oulines of the form it would take; see our recent review [under "Simões" et al., this column, in The Cutting Edge 23(1), Jan. 2016] in which we speculated "that the seven Costa Rican spp. presently maintained in Merremia will end up in two different genera, neither named Merremia." And that is almost exactly what has transpired. The big story here? Rafinesque rides again! As noted by these authors, the old man "seems to have had a particular affinity for Convolvulaceae and named many genera of them." Two of those names are here resurrected to serve in the capacity indicated above: Distimake Raf. now comprises 35 spp., including, in Costa Rica, the former Merremia aegyptia (L.) Urb., M. cissoides (Lam.) Hallier f., M. dissecta (Jacq.) Hallier f., M. quinquefolia (L.) Hallier f., and M. tuberosa (L.) Rendle; while Camonea Raf. has just five spp., with only the former Merremia umbellata (L.) Hallier f. in Costa Rica. Both genera are essentially pantropical (Camonea by virtue of M. umbellata alone), and all the necessary new combinations for each are validated in the names of "A. R. Simões & Staples." The reason for our phrase "almost exactly"? Because one Costa Rican sp., Merremia discoidesperma (Donn. Sm.) O'Donell, is not assigned by these authors to either Distimake or Camonea, and indeed, is nowhere mentioned in this article. We assume that M. discoidesperma falls "among the rarer species of Merremia s.l. that have not yet been sampled," many of which "have morphological characters that suggest they will be placed [in Distimake]." So perhaps M. discoidesperma will wind up in Distimake, or even Operculina (in which it has already been combined); revisions of the two last-mentioned genera, said to be in the works, may provide the answer. For now, we will make do with the material presented here, viz., a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to "the several genera formerly included in tribe Merremieae" (which, by the way, has itself been adandoned) and an enumeration of those genera and their constituent spp., including (at least for the genera) limited synonymy and typology, diagnostic characters, and distribution summaries (as well as distribution maps and numerous photographic illustrations). One final observation: it would appear that New World populations of the former Merremia umbellata need no longer be qualified as belonging to the autonymic subsp., as was done in the Manual Convolvulaceae treatment (2010); these authors "are convinced that Asian plants...are certainly specifically distinct from [the American plants], and...have taken up a species epithet for them."
Singh, R. K. 2017. Lectotypification of three Linnaean names in Impatiens (Balsaminaceae). Phytotaxa 321: 299–300.
It behooves us to mention that one of the lectotypified names, Impatiens cornuta L., is a synonym of I. balsamina L., sparingly cultivated and adventive in Costa Rica.
Soares Neto, R. L., M. R. V. Barbosa & E. H. Roalson. 2017. Cleoserrata (Cleomaceae): taxonomic considerations and a new species. Phytotaxa 324: 179–186.
As of this writing, the Manual draft treatment of Cleomaceae by co-PI Nelson Zamora disdains all the new-fangled segregates of Cleome [see, e.g., under "Patchell," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(3), Jul. 2014] in favor of the (slightly modified) inclusive traditional generic concept. For those inclined toward the splitting option, this synoptic treatment of Cleoserrata will be of greater significance than it is to us. Cleoserrata has been characterized in these pages as comprising five spp. [see The Cutting Edge 15(1): 7, Jan. 2008], but in fact, only two of those spp. (Cleome serrata Jacq. and C. speciosa Raf., both occurring in Costa Rica) had received formal names in said genus. That situation is finally remedied with this contribution, which seals the deal with the description of one new sp. (Brazilian) of Cleoserrata and the validation of two new combinations at sp. rank (neither relevant to Costa Rica). In the process, we get a very brief description of the genus, a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to its spp., synonymy and typology at all ranks, diagnostic statements, distribution summaries (with some specimen citations), and "Notes."
Stauffer, F. W. & J. Stauffer. 2017. The palm (Arecaceae) collections gathered by Bonpland and Humboldt in their American journey: origin and fate of the specimens and typifications. Candollea 72: 5–22.
A scholarly investigation of principal interest to palmophiles. Several lecto- and neotypes are designated, including two of the latter for synonyms of Prestoea acuminata (Willd.) H. E. Moore.
Stone, R. D. & M. C. Veranso-Libalah. 2017. (2527) Proposal to reject the name Kadalia (Melastomataceae: Melastomateae). Taxon 66: 758–759.
The genus name Kadalia Raf. (1838) predates Heterotis Benth. (1849), and could replace it (depending on typification of the former) were this proposal not approved (see also under "Veranso-Libalah," this column).
Testo, W. L., M. Sundue & A. Vasco. 2017. Diplazium hybrids involving D. plantaginifolium and D. ternatum from Mexico and Central America. Brittonia 69: 295–306.
Two new hybrids are described, but both are from northern Mesoamerica. Of greater interest to us is the authors' formalization of hybrid status for the more widespread Diplazium ×verapax (Donn. Sm.) Hieron. (Athyriaceae), occasionally collected in Costa Rica, and which "appears to be a hybrid between D. plantaginifolium and D. werckelanum [sic]." All three entities are included in a tabular comparison of "Diplazium taxa in this study," and some additional evidence is proffered. All the spp. and hybrids dealt with in this paper are represented in distribution maps and reduced illustrations (frond silhouettes). As an aside: we wonder whether "vera-pax," the original spelling of the epithet (in both the basionym and the combination in Diplazium), is correct and should be restored. Granted, "Verapaz" (the Guatemalan type locality) is always written as a single word, but could just as well be rendered as two words. The Latin translation "vera pax" is perfectly correct as two words, and since the epithet was hyphenated in the protologue, there would seem no basis for removing the hyphen.
Van der Werff, H. 2017. Species in Andean Ocotea (Lauraceae) IV. Species with unisexual flowers and densely pubescent leaves, or with erect pubescence or domatia, occurring above 1000 m in altitude. Novon 25: 343–393.
As might be expected from its title, this miscellany is almost entirely outside our realm, but does yield one minor surprise for Costa Rican floristics. The name Ocotea macropoda (Kunth) Mez, used in the Manual Lauraceae treatment (2007) and (up to now) by the author of this paper for a sp. that is rather uncommon in Costa Rica, is now considered to have been misapplied. The type of its basionym, Persea macropoda Kunth, turns out to have glabrous twigs and leaves, in agreement with the protologue, but not with Ocotea macropoda in the sense of the Manual. Thus O. macropoda is rejected as the correct name for the latter sp., and is instead "a likely synonym of O. puberula (Rich.) Nees" (a generally similar sp. to which "O. macropoda" was compared in the Manual). The correct name for Ocotea macropoda of the Manual becomes O. velloziana (Meisn.) Mez. Back in our La Selva days, we learned this same sp. as Ocotea babosa C. K. Allen, cited as a synonym of O. macropoda in the Manual, but of O. velloziana in the present paper (the one constant!). A generous technical description is provided, along with distribution and phenology summaries, a discussion, and selected specimen citations (South American only).
Veranso-Libalah, M. C., R. D. Stone, A. G. N. Fongod, T. L. P. Couvreur & G. Kadereit. 2017. Phylogeny and systematics of African Melastomateae (Melastomataceae). Taxon 66: 584–614.
The African genus Heterotis is polyphyletic, and is restricted accordingly by these authors to a group of seven spp. including the type. As the latter, H. rotundifolia (Sm.) Jacq.-Fél., is the only representative of the group occurring (as cultivated and naturalized) in Costa Rica, there are no immediate changes for us, except as regards the sp. total for the genus indicated in the Manual Melastomataceae treatment (2007). However, there is a potential complication, inasmuch as H. rotundifolia is also one of two candidates to typify the older genus name Kadalia Raf. (see under "Stone," this column, wherein the suprageneric names of the title are mysteriously italicized). The authors have done a good job on this, presenting their new combinations in the context of a key to genera and an annotated enumeration of genera and spp., but none of it really concerns us. We also get nice color photos, de rigueur in the age of online publication.
Wilson, K. L. 2017. Report of the General Committee: 18. Taxon 66: 742–744.
In which the recommendations of the Nomenclature Committee for Vascular Plants reported in our previous issue [see under "Applequist," this column] receive final approval.
Wilson, M., K. Dupree, W. Driessen, B. T. Larsen, A. Löckher, A. Niessen, J. Portilla, M. Salas Guerrero, M. A. Suarez & F. Tobar-Suárez. 2017. A clarification of the taxonomy of Pleurothallis crocodiliceps (Pleurothallidinae, Orchidaceae) and four new species of Pleurothallis in subgenus Ancipitia. Lankesteriana 17: 165–191.
This contribution clarifies very little, and proceeds to further muddy the picture with the reckless description of four ostensibly new spp. based mainly or exclusively on cultivated material purchased from nurseries (in one case, the authors themselves admit that "an unintentional greenhouse hybrid" could be involved). These new "species" likely do not concern us, as the nurseries in question are located in Andean South America; however, with cultivated material, anything is possible! The most significant conclusion of the paper (repeated over and over) is that the Colombian type of Pleurothallis crocodiliceps Rchb. f. (a name that was accepted in the Manual Orchidaceae treatment) is not conspecific with those of three supposed synonyms, viz., P. arietina Ames, P. microchila L. O. Williams, and P. nelsonii Ames (all based on Mesoamerican types). But here the story bogs down. The precise identity and geographic distribution of genuine Pleurothallis crocodiliceps (in the sense of its type) remain unclear, and "it will be necessary...to track down living specimens" to resolve those issues. By the same token, it is uncertain "whether P. arietina, P. nelsonii and P. microchila themselves represent distinct species." As a consequence, there is no key to spp. in this paper, and the authors' inability to concoct one might have signaled them to slow down a bit. Now we are in limbo as to the correct name to use for Costa Rican material heretofore known as Pleurothallis crocodiliceps. Assuming P. crocodiliceps itself to be out of the picture, the safest choice, for the time being, must be P. arietina, the only one of the three erstwhile synonyms based on a Costa Rican type, as well as one of the earliest (P. nelsonii has equal priority). But we will still be in the dark as to the overall geographic range of our sp.! Features an assortment of drawings and photos representing most of the "species" mentioned above (especially the "new" ones).
Wood, J. R. I., M. T. Buril & R. W. Scotland. 2017. Remarkable disjunctions in Ipomoea species (Convolvulaceae) from NE Brazil and Central America and their taxonomic implications. Kew Bull. 72(44): 1–10.
Turns out that the name Ipomoea eremnobrocha D. F. Austin, used for an accepted sp. in Manual Vol. 5 (2010), was based on material belonging to two distinct spp.: one with deeply lobed leaves, and another with unlobed leaves. Although type material of I. eremnobrocha could not be located by the authors, circumstantial evidence (in particular, the type locality) strongly suggests that it corresponds with the lobed-leaved entity. That is good news for us, because Costa Rican material has lobed leaves, hence the name was applied correctly in the Manual (two Costa Rican specimens are cited in this paper under I. eremnobrocha provisionally, because they are sterile, but the voucher cited in the Manual is fertile). The sp. with unlobed leaves, a Panamanian endemic, had never been described, a situation remedied in this paper. The two spp. (plus two similar ones) are compared in a table, and both are featured in a distribution map and composite line drawing. One of the "remarkable disjunctions" of the title concerns Ipomoea eremnobrocha, reported here for the first time from several localities in northeastern Brazil (in addition to Costa Rica and Panama). Incidentally: while the type of I. eremnobrocha may correspond with the lobed-leaved entity, it would appear that the original description favored the taxon with unlobed leaves (now I. isthmica J. R. I. Wood & Buril). The Manual discussion for I. eremnobrocha pointed out that Costa Rican material has white dots on the underside of the leaves, not mentioned in the protologue, as well as smaller corollas (ca. 30 mm) than specified in the protologue (40–45 mm). The present paper confirms that the leaves of I. eremnobrocha have "scattered white glands" abaxially and corollas 20–25 mm long, but mentions no such glands for I. isthmica, which has corollas 45–55 mm long. Furthermore, the authors note that "the epithet 'eremnobrocha'...is based on the Greek 'eremnos' = black and 'brochtos' = throat...which is very appropriate for Ipomoea isthmica but quite inappropriate for [I. eremnobrocha]."
Zamora, N. A., A. Cascante-Marín, S. Choi & S.-Y. Kim. 2017. A new species of Quararibea (Malvaceae) from Costa Rica. Phytoneuron 2017-67: 1–6
The new sp., Quararibea nigrescens N. Zamora, Cascante & S. Y. Kim, is segregated from material that has generally been identified as Q. costaricensis W. S. Alverson. The two entities are readily distinguished in the herbarium by the blackish-drying foliage of Q. nigrescens (whence the epithet). As would be hoped and expected, they differ in numerous other details, rigorously compiled here in a table. Both spp. are endemic to Costa Rica, where Q. nigrescens is restricted to ca. 400–1100 m elevation on the Caribbean slope of the Cordilleras de Guanacaste and de Tilarán; Q. costaricensis is more widespread, favors generally higher elevations (ca. 700–1750 m), and occurs on both slopes. Contrary to an assertion in this paper, the total of 12 Quararibea spp. accepted in the most recent Manual draft treatment of Bombacaceae (by the second author of this paper) does not include Q. nigrescens, specimens of which are merely discussed there as variants of Q. costaricensis; thus, the current Costa Rican sp. total for Quararibea is actually 13. The authors of the present paper (why so many?) missed a chance to point out that sterile material of Q. nigrescens is stunningly similar to that of Dendrobangia boliviana Rusby (Icacinaceae, or Metteniusaceae), as which it has been misdetermined (in the herbarium) by (too!) knowledgeable individuals. The new sp. is illustrated with a composite line drawing and color photos from life.
Zhang, M. & G. Zhu. 2016. Resurrection of the genus Botrydium Spach (Chenopodiaceae), with a description of four new species from China, Peru and Burundi. Pl. Diversity 38: 322–329.
Well, the genus name Botrydium Spach (1836) can't exactly be resurrected, because it is an illegitimate later homonym. Luckily, however, the replacement name Neobotrydium Moldenke (1946) is available, so the authors deploy that. Impacted by this activity is our hapless Apazote, known blissfully for a couple of centuries as Chenopodium ambrosioides L. before abruptly becoming Dysphania ambrosioides (L.) Mosyakin & Clemants several years ago [see The Cutting Edge 15(4): 5–6, Oct. 2008]. The latter is the name currently accepted in the Manual draft treatment of Amaranthaceae, and will likely remain as such, because we are not overly impressed by the rationale of these authors, who employ morphological criteria alone (without the benefit of molecular or cladistic analyses) to discriminate Neobotrydium. The genus in question comprises 20 spp., here enumerated with synonymy and distribution summaries. Four spp. are described as new, but none of these pertains to us. What would concern us (if we were so disposed) is the combination Neobotrydium ambrosioides (L.) M. L. Zhang & G. L. Chu, proffered as yet another name change for a well-known sp. of economic importance. For those who may be interested, a dichotomous key "to Neobotrydium and related genera" is provided (revealing that the last-mentioned genus is characterized by "flowers in a dichasium," vs. "in a glomerule" in Dysphania); however, there is no key to the spp. of Neobotrydium. Trichome types (accorded great importance in the new classification) are depicted in a composite plate of SEM micrographs. By the way, it bears mentioning that Chenopodium ambrosioides has also served as the basionym for combinations involving the genus names Ambrina, Atriplex, Blitum, Botrys, Orthosporum, Teloxys, and Vulvaria!
And now for the bad news: Chenopodium carinatum R. Br., the basionym of a sp. included by these authors in Neobotrydium, is (according to Index nominum genericorum) the lectotype of Orthosporum (R. Br.) T. Nees (1834), which, it would follow, is the name that ought to have been adopted for this genus! So it's back to the drawing board with the new combinations, for anyone who may be so inclined.
Plant Diversity is the latest name for the journal once known as Acta Botanica Yunnanica.