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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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The Cutting Edge

Volume XXVI, Number 4, October 2019

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

Acosta, J. M., F. O. Zuloaga & R. Reinheimer.  2019. Nuclear phylogeny and hypothesized allopolyploidization events in the subtribe Otachyriinae (Paspaleae, Poaceae).  Syst. Biodivers. 17: 277–294.

Here we get some token satisfaction, at least for the time being.  In our review of a prior paper from this group [see under "Acosta," this column, in The Cutting Edge 22(1), Jan. 2015], we were scratching our heads over the authors' failure to validate a new combination in their new genus Rugoloa for Panicum stagnatile Hitchc. & Chase, "despite its striking gross-morphological similarity" to the former Panicum pilosum Sw. (which did get transferred to Rugoloa).  Although P. stagnatile remains banished from Rugoloa, at least its status is (temporarily?) resolved with the new combination Hymenachne stagnatilis (Hitchc. & Chase) Zuloaga.  At the same time, the former Panicum grande Hitchc. & Chase, most recently the basis for the monospecific new genus Aconisia [see under "Grande Allende," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(2), Apr. 2014], becomes Hymenachne grandis (Hitchc. & Chase) Zuloaga (and five additional new combinations in Hymenachne are validated for spp. not occurring in Costa Rica).  Unfortunately, the authors seem to be going out on a limb with these nomenclatural innovations, with a lot of rationalization and wishful thinking on display.  Of the six genera they accept in subtribe Otachyriinae, all but one [Anthaenantia, represented in Costa Rica by the former Leptocoryphium lanatum (Kunth) Nees] are on shaky ground, according to the authors' own cladograms and discussion.  One of their datasets shows Hymenachne (in its expanded sense) as diphyletic, the other shows Rugoloa as both polyphyletic and nested in Hymenachne, and both show Steinchisma (represented in Costa Rica by the former Panicum laxum Sw.) as nested in Otachyrium.  So we doubt the last word has been spoken on these issues.  Someone needs to reevaluate these cladograms (once they are finalized) with a view to recombining all these segregate genera to approximate as closely as possible Panicum sensu lato of yore (even if it means losing a few traditional genera, such as Hymenachne).  It strains credulity and defies common sense (we would argue) to class the former Panicum pilosum and P. stagnatile in different genera.  N.B.:  we have corrected (above and in TROPICOS) the authors' "Hymenachne grande" and "Hymenachne stagnatile" to accord with the feminine gender of the genus name.

Anderson, C. 2019. Hiraea costaricensis and H. polyantha, two new species of Malpighiaceae, and circumscription of H. quapara and H. smilacina.  Edinburgh J. Bot. 76: 269–284.

One of the new spp. obviously concerns us, but nothing else in this article does—the issue of Hiraea quapara (Aubl.) Sprague vs. H. smilacina Standl. having already been accommodated in the Manual Malpighiaceae treatment (2007).  Even the existence of Hiraea costaricensis C. E. Anderson (sp. nov.), here segregated from H. smilacina, may have been presaged in the Manual by the following statement under the latter sp.:  "muchas plantas de la vert. Pac. salen de[l] marco en su vestidura y el tamaño y forma de sus láminas foliares y sámaras."  The new sp., restricted to the Pacific slope of Costa Rica (with one collection from Monteverde and the rest from the Península de Osa), may be "immediatetely separate[d]" from H. smilacina by "the striking basifixed hairs of the stems and laminas" (lacking in the last-mentioned sp.).  It is not clear, from this article, whether H. smilacina sensu stricto is confined (in Costa Rica) to the Atlantic slope.  All the spp. mentioned in the title are illustrated with composite line drawings.

Baldini, R. M., A. L. MacVean, G. Cristofolini, T. F. Daniel, A. Managlia & M. Galloni.  2019. Synopsis and typification of the names published by Antonio Bertoloni in Florula Guatimalensis and in preceding publications.  Phytotaxa 420: 199–223.

Most plant names attributed to Italian botanist Antonio Bertoloni (1775–1869) were published in his Florula guatimalensis, which appeared in Vol. 4 of the journal Novi commentarii Academiae Scientiarum Instituti Bononiensis.  Thus their protologues have generally been cited (as throughout the Manual) using the BPH abbreviation "Novi Comment. Acad. Sci. Inst. Bononiensis," and the publication date (1840) of the aforementioned volume.  The authors of this paper now reveal that all of those names had actually been validated previously by Bertoloni, in two papers authored by his colleague, Antonio Alessandrini (1786–1861), and published in an even more obscure Italian journal, Nuovi annali delle scienze naturali (BPH abbreviation "Nuovi Ann. Sci. Nat.").   This means that the protologue citations for these names must change in as many as five respects:  first, for bibliographic completeness, they should now be rendered as "Bertol. in Ant. Aless."; second, third, and fourth, the journal abbreviation, volume number, and page number must be changed; and fifth, the year of publication must be changed for about 43% of the names.  The first of Alessandrini's papers, published in 1838, debuted 26 of Bertoloni's names, including the basionym of Odontonema tubaeforme (Bertol.) Kuntze (to name the sole Costa Rican sp. affected).  Alessandrini's second paper, with 34 Bertoloni names, was published on 7 April 1840, and although "no record has been kept of the exact date of publication" of Flora guatimalensis, the authors believe they "may reasonably assume," based on circumstantial evidence, that it "would have been published later."   On that perhaps arguable basis, the following names pertinent to Costa Rica are subject to the first four changes enumerated above:  Asplenium polyphyllum Bertol. (Aspleniaceae), Cecropia obtusifolia Bertol. (Urticaceae), Polyclathra cucumerina Bertol. (Cucurbitaceae), and the basionyms of Lycoseris crocata (Bertol.) S. F. Blake (Asteraceae), Tabebuia rosea (Bertol.) DC. (Bignoniaceae), Tithonia longiradiata (Bertol.) S. F. Blake (Asteraceae), and Triplaris melaenodendron (Bertol.) Standl. & Steyerm. (Polygonaceae).  All of that amounts to inconsequential academic trivia (which we will heed nonetheless); however, buried deeply in this arcane publication, and further obfuscated by some questionable syntax, is a minor bombshell for Costa Rican floristics, that has nothing to do with the Alessandrini papers.  A reevaluation (presumably by the fourth author) of the type of Justicia barbata Bertol. has shown it to be "a good match for Lamourouxia lanceolata Bentham" (Scrophulariaceae, or more recently, Orobanchaceae); moreover, "Bertoloni's  vs. Bentham's name takes precedence at specific rank," prompting the new combination Lamourouxia barbata (Bertol.) MacVean, Cristof., T. F. Daniel & Baldini.  Apparently we are expected to take up the latter name, excess author baggage and all, at least until someone with nothing better to do submits a conservation proposal.  And finally this:  "because only one leaflet of the type specimen is present at BOLO," an epitype is designated for Philadelphus myrtoides Bertol. (Hydrangeaceae), the accepted name for a sp. that (at least according to Manual Vol. 6) occurs in Costa Rica.  Illustrated, mainly with photos of types and plates in Flora guatimalensis (all in color).

Baleeiro, P. C., P. T. Sano & R. W. Jobson.  2019. Molecular phylogeny of the Utricularia amethystina complex (Utricularia sect. Foliosa) assessed using plastid and nuclear sequence data.  Syst. Bot. 44: 398–404.

The name Utricularia amethystina Salzm. ex A. St.-Hil. & Girard (Lentibulariaceae) was applied, in Manual Vol. 6 (2007), to a terrestrial or subaquatic sp. indicated as widespread throughout the Neotropics.  The results of this study (and a prior one by the same authors) suggest that the entity so circumscribed harbors an intolerable amount of diversity, and that U. amethystina sensu stricto is limited to "southern Bahia (Brazil) through some Restingas and Tabuleiros phytophysiognomies on coastal plains up to the State of Para and Guiana Shield, and lowland savannahs of the Amazon basin (Brazil and Peru)."  The rest of the material that has been so identified apparently represents at least nine distinct spp., five of which already have valid binomials (previously relegated to synonymy).  Having said all of that, this study is so doggedly Brazil-centric that it is quite impossible to draw any conclusions regarding the status of (say) Mesoamerican or Costa Rican material belonging to this complex.

Cascante-Marín, A. & C. Trejos Hernández.  2019. Diversidad y vulnerabilidad de la flora orquideológica de un bosque montano nuboso del Valle Central de Costa Rica.  Lankesteriana 19: 31–55.

The backbone of this article (though not directly referenced in the title) is an annotated (synonymy, habit, distribution, phenology) and vouchered checklist (presented as an appendix) of the Orchidaceae of the Cerros de La Carpintera (concentrating on the higher elevations), to the southeast of San José.  Based to a significant extent on their own field work, the authors account for 136 spp. (in 52 genera), more than double the total of the most recent comparable checklist [see The Cutting Edge 10(3): 8, Jul. 2003].  The most diverse genera are Epidendrum (with 22 spp.) and Stelis (14 spp.), though 62% of the listed genera are represented by a single sp. (figures that certainly reflect the proclivities of orchid taxonomists more than anything else).  Epiphytic spp. account for 91% of the total, and 40 spp. (29% of the total) are deemed vulnerable.  Not one sp. is claimed as endemic to this particular mountain range, and only 17 as endemic to Costa Rica (though several of the latter are rather narrowly distributed in the general vicinity).  The introductory part of the paper is profusely illustrated, mainy with color photos of orchids (seemingly a requirement for any paper on this family).  Appendices include (in addition to the checklist itself) a list of orchid spp. (13 in all) known from the Cerros de La Carpintera only by a single specimen collected prior to 1940, and another of spp. (31 in all) attributed to the Cerros in prior works (including the Manual), but excluded from the present list because a voucher had been misidentified or dubiously identified, was collected outside the study area (e.g., at a lower elevation), or could not be located.

Daly, D. C. 2019. A new identity for Tetragastris panamensis.  Studies in neotropical Burseraceae XXIX.  Brittonia 71: 345–346.

The new combination Protium stevensonii (Standl.) Daly (based on Tetragastris stevensonii Standl.) is validated, replacing the superfluous (though not illegitimate!) nomen novum P. picramnioides Byng & Christenh., as well as the long-accepted Tetragastris panamensis (Engl.) Kuntze (the epithet of which is preoccupied in Protium).  For further insights, see under "Daly," this column, in The Cutting Edge 26(1), Jan. 2019.

Das, P. & J. Mazumdar.  2019. Taxonomic study of Pteris tripartita and P. wallichiana (Pteridaceae) from India.  Phytotaxa 414: 41–47.

Pteris tripartita Sw., the accepted name for a pantropical sp. represented in Costa Rica, is lectotypified desultorily on an Indonesian specimen collected by Thunberg (one of the two Thunberg collections cited in Flora mesoamericana Vol. 1).  Is there no end to this stuff?

Debouck, D. G., N. Chaves-Barrantes & R. Araya-Villalobos.  2019. New records of Phaseolus microcarpus (Leguminosae: Phaseoleae) for Costa Rica.  J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 13: 209–215.

The first offical Costa Rican record of Phaseolus microcarpus Mart. (Fabaceae) was reported in these pages some time ago [see under "Leaps and Bounds" in The Cutting Edge 20(2), Apr. 2013], based on a single collection from Parque Nacional Diriá, in the northern Península de Nicoya.  The authors of this paper, bean specialists all, now report an additional 13 Costa Rican populations of P. microcarpus, based on their field work in northwestern Costa Rica during 2015–2018.  These populations are concentrated in four principal areas of Prov. Guanacaste:  in the vicinity of Bahía Junquillal; Parque Nacional Santa Rosa; Parque Nacional Diriá; and about the estuary of the Río Tempisque.  In Manualese, we would render its Costa Rican distribution as:  "Bosque seco y húmedo, 0–300(–550) m; llanuras de Guanacaste al S hasta vecindad de Colorado, N Pen. de Nicoya (P.N. Diriá)."  The authors report that "P. microcarpus is a heliophilous legume thriving in open spaces and not in the shade," but provide no information on flowering phenology.  In view of its surprisingly wide distribution in Costa Rica, and especially its occurrence in the heavily botanized Parque Nacional Santa Rosa, it is a wonder that this sp. had not been previously found in the country.  On the other hand, this (as we have just learned!) is a highly unusual Phaseolus sp., with single-seeded, samaroid fruits, and older collections may well exist in herbaria misdetermined as, e.g., Desmodium (as was the first recognized Costa Rican collection!).  Includes a distribution map and color photos (flower, fruits, and habitats).

De la Cruz-López, L. E., F. Vergara-Silva, J. Reyes Santiago, G. Espino Ortega, P. Carrillo-Reyes & M. Kuzmina.  2019. Phylogenetic relationships of Echeveria (Crassulaceae) and related genera from Mexico, based on three DNA barcoding loci.  Phytotaxa 422: 33–57.

Nothing definitive ever seems to emerge from these studies on Crassulaceae [see, e.g., "Nikulin," this column, in The Cutting Edge 24(1), Jan. 2017].  This, "the first most comprehensive phylogenetic analysis for Echeveria," is no exception.  "Four main clades were retrieved within 'the Echeveria group'," with members of the genus Echeveria occupying three of those clades.  However, Echeveria is paraphyletic with respect to several other elements, including the genera Graptopetalum and Thompsonella (neither of which occurs in Costa Rica) and at least some spp. of Sedum.  The authors consider that their results "suggest that Echeveria and the Echeveria Group require a redefinition," and proffer a few half-hearted suggestions along those lines, but conclude with the usual plea, that "more DNA data are needed."  The sole Costa Rican representative of the group, Echeveria australis Rose, was not included in the study, so we are unable to even speculate on its fate.

Del Guacchio, E., A. R. Bean, G. Sibilio, A. De Luca, O. De Castro & P. Caputo.  2019. Wandering among Dehnhardt's gums:  the cold case of Eucalyptus camaldulensis (Myrtaceae) and other nomenclatural notes on Eucalyptus.  Taxon 68: 379–390.

Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh., the accepted name for a sp. cultivated occasionally in Costa Rica, was recently conserved with a conserved type [see under "Brummitt," this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(2), Apr. 2011], based on a belief that its original author had applied the name "to a plant different from that to which the name has commonly been applied."  These authors contend that such is not the case:  original type material exists that concords in all respects with the sp. long known as E. camaldulensis, hence the aforementioned conservation "appears superfluous."  Of greater interest to us is the derivation of the epithet, which we had assumed to be based on some Australian place-name.  Instead, it references the "Garden of Camaldoli," near Naples, Italy, where the plants yielding the material studied by Friedrich Dehnhardt were grown (by him, it seems).

Espírito Santo, F. S., A. Rapini, P. L. Ribeiro, S. Liede-Schumann, D. J. Goyder & J. Fontella-Pereira.  2019. Phylogeny of the tribe Marsdenieae (Apocynaceae), reinstatement of Ruehssia and the taxonomic treatment of the genus in Brazil.  Kew Bull. 74(30): 1–79.

Marsdenia (Apocynaceae, formerly Asclepiadaceae), as interpreted most recently, is a pantropical assemblage of some 150–200 spp., at least 10 of which are represented in Costa Rica.  The results of this paper suggest that the New World spp. of Marsdenia comprise a monophyletic group, but are not closely related to the Asian M. tinctoria R. Br., which happens to be the generic type sp.  Retention of the New World spp. in Marsdenia would require that "almost the whole tribe" be swept up in the vortex, including "the iconic genera Hoya and Dischidia."  Thus these authors opt to restrict Marsdenia to "a small group of Asian species," while rebranding the 110 or so New World spp. with the genus name Ruehssia H. Karst.  The trouble is, the body of this paper is concerned only with the 42 spp. found in Brazil, just one of which, the former Marsdenia macrophylla (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Schult.) E. Fourn., extends northward to Costa Rica; thus we have the combination Ruehssia macrophylla (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Schult.) H. Karst. (validated along with the genus description), but get nothing for the nine other Costa Rican spp. affected by this change (and the African and Australian members of old Marsdenia are even further at sea, without even a genus name to go by!).  It's all very intriguing, to be sure, but we'll have to let it slide for the time being.

Frazão, A. & L. G. Lohmann.  2019. An updated synopsis of Tanaecium (Bignonieae, Bignoniaceae).  PhytoKeys 132: 31–52.

This self-described synoptic treatment features synonymy and typology at all ranks, a technical description of the genus (but none for the spp.), a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp., distribution and phenology summaries, "notes," and a section entitled "Incertae Sedis" (addressing a single, likely extraneous sp.).  The authors recognize a total of 21 spp. in Tanaecium, according to its latest circumscription [see under "Lohmann," this column, in The Cutting Edge 21(3), Jul. 2014], vs. just 17 as indicated in the Manual draft treatment of Bignoniaceae by Francisco Morales and Quírico Jiménez.  The latter work accepts three Tanaecium spp. in Costa Rica:  T. jaroba Sw., T. pyramidatum (Rich.) L. G. Lohmann, and T. tetragonolobum (Jacq.) L. G. Lohmann.  Unexpectedly, this paper adds (at least provisionally) two others:  Tanaecium crucigerum Seem., attributed to "Costa Rica (Limón)" (though no vouchers are cited, and we can find no supporting evidence for the claim); and T. dichotomum (Jacq.) Kaehler & L. G. Lohmann (the combination validated here, albeit unintentionally), treated for the Manual (and elsewhere) as Fridericia dichotoma (Jacq.) L. G. Lohmann (the evidence for the transfer is deferred to a paper "in press").  The introductory part of this paper is very brief, and illustrations are limited to a single composite color plate of photos (flowers, fruits, and seeds of selected spp.) from life.  Two other new combinations (not germane to Costa Rica) are validated, one intentionally, one not.  A lectotype is designated for Tanaecium crucigerum, even though, according to TROPICOS, that name was lectotypified some time ago (on a different specimen!) by the late Richard A. Howard.

Krings, A., A. Franck, R. Hammer, B. Jestrow, R. Renfro & J. Lange.  2019. Gonolobus taylorianus (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae: Gonolobinae) in Florida, U.S.A.  J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 13: 315–317.

This is kind of weird:  Gonolobus taylorianus W. D. Stevens & Montiel, described only in 2002 (though known previously by misapplied names), has been found naturalized in at least one population in southern Florida.  The sp. in question occurs naturally from Guatemala to Costa Rica, and has sometimes been cultivated in that region for its edible fruits (suggested by the authors as a possible reason for the Florida introduction).  Even in Costa Rica, it is habitat may generally be described as ruderal.

Lucas, E. J., B. Holst, M. Sobral, F. F. Mazine, E. M. Nic Lughadha, C. E. B. Proença, I. R. Costa & T. N. C. Vasconcelos.  2019. A new subtribal classification of tribe Myrteae (Myrtaceae).  Syst. Bot. 44: 560–569.

Subtribes and such are not our concern, but we note in passing the authors' reinstatement (based on prior research) of the genus Feijoa and, in particular, of the binomial F. sellowiana (O. Berg) O. Berg, for the well-known sp. ("Pineapple guava," to anglophones) mentioned in Manual Vol. 6 [under the name Acca sellowiana (O. Berg) Burret] as "cult. ocasionalmente" in Costa Rica.

Luján, M.  2019. Playing the taxonomic Cupid:  matching pistillate and staminate conspecifics in dioecious Clusia (Clusiaceae).  Syst. Bot. 44: 548–559.

This pioneering test study employs phylogenetic analyses of molecular data "to assess whether sexual morphs" in the dioecious genus Clusia "are conspecifics" (their wording, not ours).  The author concludes that his "is a suitable approach" to this problem, and provides a "taxonomic treatment" (technical descriptions, extensive specimen citations, comments, distribution maps) of the four spp. used in the study.  Two of those four occur in Costa Rica:  Clusia stenophylla Standl. and C. uvitana Pittier.  As far as we can tell, the resultant geographic ranges of these spp. do not deviate significantly from the ones concocted by Manual co-PI and Clusiaceae contributor Barry Hammel (MO) based on traditional morphological appraisals (although the global distribution of C. uvitana should apparently be extended a tad).  Even so, these techniques may eventually prove useful in more problematic cases.  Illustrated with color photos of staminate and pistillate material of the four study spp., and a few others.

Mazumdar, J., M. W. Callmander & N. Fumeaux.  2019. Typification and nomenclature of the ferns described in N. L. Burman's Flora Indica.  Candollea 74: 93–109.

Of the 12 names actually typified in this paper, just two apply to taxa occurring (at least in cultivation) in Costa Rica:  Polypodium acutum Burm. f. (a synonym of Osmunda regalis L.) and Polypodium trapezoides Burm. f. (a synonym of Pteris vittata L.).  Real good.

Ortiz, O. O., R. Flores, G. McPherson, J. F. Carrión, E. Campos-Pineda & R. M. Baldini.  2019. Additions to the flora of Panama, with comments on plant collections and information gaps.  Check List 15: 601–627.

Most of these additions are germane mainly to Panamanian floristics, e.g., wide-ranging spp. that happen never to have been found in Panaman.  A few, however, signify the loss of putative Costa Rica endemics:  Ouratea rinconensis Whitef. (Ochnaceae); Sobralia purpurella Dressler & Bogarín [Orchidaceae; see under "Dressler," this column, in The Cutting Edge 18(3), Jul. 2011]; Syngonium armigerum (Standl. & L. O. Williams) Croat (Araceae; though there is a dubiously identified juvenile specimen from southeastern Nicaragua); and Topobea dimorphophylla (Almeda) Penneys & Almeda (Melastomataceae; as Blakea in the Manual).  Also worth noting is Pera oppositifolia Griseb. [Peraceae, or (in the Manual) Euphorbiaceae], previously known only from Costa Rica and Cuba.  Illustrated with two composite color-photographic plates of plants and three of distribution maps.

Paton, A. J., M. Mwanyambo, R. H. A. Govaerts, K. Smitha, S. Suddee, P. B. Phillipson, T. C. Wilson, P. I. Forster & A. Culham.  2019. Nomenclatural changes in Coleus and Plectranthus (Lamiaceae):  a tale of more than two genera.  PhytoKeys 129: 1–158.

This must be the "conspectus" promised in a prior article by this group, in which the morphological and phylogenetic evidence underpinning the authors' decision to (among other things) resurrect Coleus from Plectranthus sensu lato (i.e., in the sense of Manual Vol. 6) was presented.  For further information, see our review [under "Paton," this column, in The Cutting Edge 26(2), Apr. 2019] of that article.  The bulk of the paper currently under consideration is a nomenclator, enumerating (alphabetically) each sp. accepted by the authors in Coleus (294 spp.), Equilabium (42 spp.), and Plectranthus (72 spp.), annotated (with protologue citations, synonymy, typology, and distribution summaries), illustrated (with composite color photographic plates of living plants), and followed (by lists of unplaced and excluded names).  In this section, 212 new combinations are validated; however, as indicated in our prior review, these are of no concern to us, as combinations (in Coleus) were already available for the only two affected spp. occurring (both as introductions) in Costa Rica.  Of somewhat greater interest to us are the revised genus descriptions (interspersed in the nomenclator), as well as a description of Lamiaceae subtribe Plectranthinae Endl. and a key to its genera (eight, under this system).  The brief introductory system pairs an account of taxonomic history with a reprisal of the authors' arguments for their new classification.

Pederneiras, L. C., C. M. Dussán, N. Mitidieri, S. Romaniuc-Neto, A. F. Costa & V. F. Mansano.  2019. Nomenclatural revision of Ficus sect. Americanae (Moraceae):  typification of Ficus crocata and allied species.  Phytotaxa 414: 262–268.

And what will all these people do when the typification well runs dry?  As ultimately it must, of course, especially at the rate things are going.  Maybe then some actual biology will get done!  For now, this:  17 names (16 spp. and one var.) lectotypified in the genus Ficus.  Those that pertain (at least tangentially) to Costa Rica are as follows:  Ficus matiziana Dugand, the currently accepted name for the sp. treated In Manual Vol. 6 as F. bullenei I. M. Johnst. (also lectotypified here); two putative synonyms of Ficus velutina Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.; and Urostigma crocata Miq., the basionym of Ficus crocata (Miq.) Miq.—an accepted name for a concept that conflates (according to some interpretations) F. goldmanii Standl. and F. morazaniana W. C. Burger of the Manual (among other things)—plus seven of its putative synonyms.  These authors themselves take no position on the correct applications of any of these names (that would verge on biology!), merely citing the opinions of prior workers.

Peterson, P. M., R. J. Soreng, K. Romaschenko, P. Barberá, A. Quintanar & C. Aedo.  2019. New combinations and new names in American Cinnagrostis, Peyritschia, and Deschampsia, and three new genera:  Greeneochloa, Laegaardia and Paramochloa (Poeae, Poaceae).  Phytoneuron 2019-39: 1–23.

Perhaps in reaction to the GLOVAP caper [see under "Christenhusz," this column, in The Cutting Edge 25(2), Apr. 2018], these authors are rushing into print with new combinations based on their as-yet-unpublished molecular studies.  Which makes it a bit difficult for us to follow what is going on!  First off, for our purposes we can dispense with the three new genera, none of which occurs in the Mesoamerican region.  Second, we will remind our readers yet again that the sole sp. treated under Deschampsia in the Manual Poaceae account (2003), D. flexuosa (L.) Trin., was later transferred to the genus Avenella [see The Cutting Edge 14(2): 4, Apr. 2007], which apparently does not even belong to this alliance; for that and other reasons, none of the seven new combinations validated here for Deschampsia affects us.  However, the authors' resurrection of the obscure and formerly monospecific Cinnagrostis Griseb. (now with 62 spp.) and their expansion of Peyritschia (from seven to 32 spp.) involve 101 new combinations, all pertinent to New World taxa and several to Costa Rican spp.  A little bookkeeping is in order at this point:  first, some of our readers may recall that two of the three spp. treated under Calamagrostis in the Manual recently suffered name changes affecting their epithets [see under "Sylvester," this column, in The Cutting Edge 26(3), Jul. 2019]:  the former Calamogrostis nuda (Pilg.) Pilg. became C. bogotensis (Pilg.) Pilg., while the former C. pittieri Hack. became C. planifolia (Kunth) Trin. ex Steud.  That knowledge allows us to comprehend that the three Calamagrostis spp. of the Manual now find themselves in three separate genera:  C. bogotensis (the former C. nuda) remains in Calamagrostis; the former Calamagrostis intermedia (J. Presl) Steud. becomes Cinnagrostis intermedia (J. Presl) P. M. Peterson, Soreng, Romasch. & Barberá; and the transformation is complete for the former Calamagrostis pittieri, now Peyritschia planifolia (Kunth) P. M. Peterson, Soreng, Romasch. & Barberá.  That closes the book on Cinnagrostis, where Costa Rica is concerned, but we still have some unfinished business with Peyritschia.  And now for a second dose of bookkeeping:  some time ago, two of the five spp. treated under Trisetum in the Manual were transferred to Peyritschia [see The Cutting Edge 11(2): 6, Apr. 2004], and a more recent paper [see under "Saarela," this column, in The Cutting Edge 24(4), Oct. 2017] suggested that further changes for Trisetum were on the horizon.  Now, all five of our former Trisetum spp. join the former Calamagrostis pittieri in the genus Peyritschia.  The former Trisetum deyeuxioides (Kunth) Kunth and T. kochianum Hern. Torres were the first to go, as Peyritschia deyeuxioides (Kunth) Finot and P. pringlei (Scribn.) S. D. Koch, respectively.  The existence of Trisetum pringlei (Scribn. ex Beal) Hitchc. had forced the nomen novum T. kochianum, and now the favor is returned:  the former T. pringlei cannot retain its epithet in Peyritschia, where it is preoccupied, and so inherits the unwieldy nomen novum Trisetum graphephoroides P. M. Peterson, Soreng, Romasch. & Barberá.  The same four authors (in the same order) are credited with more straightforward new combinations in Peyritschia for the two remaining Costa Rican spp. affected by this, the former Trisetum irazuense (Kuntze) Hitchc. and T. tonduzii Hitchc. (though they get the gender wrong for the first of these).  The paper closes with lists of unplaced taxa and "Confirmed Calamagrostis occurring in Latin America," plus a key to the "genera of American grasses presently or formerly treated in Calamagrostis or Deyeuxia."  In addition to being non-indented, the key is highly technical and relies heavily on geography (the first couplet, in particular); moreover, all the larger genera (except Peyritschia) key out at least twice.  None of this breeds confidence in the authors' classification.  And one final thought:  there ought to be a rule in the Code prohibiting more than two authors for scientific names!  What a bear, to cart all of this extra baggage around indefinitely.

Pinzón, J. P., I. M. Ramírez-Morillo, G. Carnevali, W. Till, D. Butcher & J. J. Ortiz-Díaz.  2019. Taxonomic treatment of the Tillandsia utriculata complex (Bromeliaceae).  Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 104: 262–323.

This is a standard revision of the complex centering on Tillandsia utriculata L., the type sp. of its genus.  As here somewhat broadly interpreted, this complex comprises 18 spp., mainly of Mexico but ranging to Costa Rica, northern Venezuela, Florida, and throughout the Antilles (with T. utriculata itself accounting for most of the extra-Mexican distribution).  The group is characterized by its inflorescences with a flexuous rachis, remote floral bracts, and flowers appressed to the rachis; tubular corolas, the petals free and without basal appendages; exserted stamens, in two unequal series, with pale green, non-tapering filaments that are rounded or broadly elliptical in cross-section; and green, exserted styles.  There are no taxonomic novelties here, those having been dispatched by (some of) the authors in previous papers.  However, there is one revelation for us, dating to one of those papers that we had overlooked:  the sp. that was treated in Manual Vol. 2 (2003) under the name Tillandsia makoyana Baker is now correctly T. cucaensis Wittm. (and we would modify its overall geographic distribution slightly to "S Méx.–CR"); the real T. makoyana (which has violet petals, vs. "verde a verde crema" as described in the Manual, or simply "green," according to this paper) is a Mexican endemic.  That said, the authors saw (or at least cite) rather few Costa Rican specimens, the Manual voucher for T. makoyana being among those omitted.  Beyond this one issue, there is nothing here of vital interest to us.  Includes technical descriptions of the complex and each sp., a diagnosis (paraphrased above) of the complex, a dichotomous (though, sadly, non-indented) key to spp., synonymy and typology, phenology and distribution summaries, discussions, distribution maps, and specimen citations.  There are no indices.  The brief introductory part addresses (among other things) taxonomic history and reproductive biology.  Importantly, all the spp. are illustrated with composite color plates of photos of live material.

Pringle, J. S.  2019. (2678) Proposal to reject the name Cicendia stricta (Gentianaceae: Chironeae: Chironiinae).  Taxon 68: 404–405.

The name Cicendia stricta Griseb., which "appears never to have been used as an accepted name, or cited in the synonymy of an accepted name, in any publication subsequent to its original publication," is here identified (for the first time) as applicable to the sp. (occurring in Costa Rica) presently known as Gyrandra brachycalyx (Standl. & L. O. Williams) G. Mans.  As implied by the very existence of this proposal, C. stricta has priority (by 90 years) over the basionym of G. brachycalyx, and the epithet stricta remains available in Gyrandra.  Furthermore, the name Centaurium strictum (Schiede) Druce, though currently applied to a different sp. (not known from Costa Rica), was widely misapplied in the past, especially to Gyrandra brachycalyx (see the "sensu" synonymies in the Manual).  So both nomenclatural stability and the potential for confusion are at stake here.  We say:  priority über alles!  And a pox on rejection and conservation.

Santamaría-Aguilar, D., R. Aguilar & L. P. Lagomarsino.  2019. A taxonomic synopsis of Virola (Myristicaceae) in Mesoamerica, including six new species.  PhytoKeys 134: 1–82.

The Manual Myristicaceae chapter (2007) by Quírico Jiménez recognized eight spp. (two with provisional names) of Virola for Costa Rica, which seemed like an optimistic total at the time.  However, this synopsis, presaging its first author's Flora mesoamericana treatment of the family, ups the ante considerably, accepting 14 Virola spp. for the Mesomaerican region as a whole and 10 for Costa Rica alone!  Several name changes are also involved:  of the six published names used in the Manual, just three—Virola koschnyi Warb., V. multiflora (Standl.) A. C. Sm., and V. sebifera Aubl.—continue to be used for Costa Rican material (though not necessarily in the same sense as in the Manual).  The two outright additions to the Costa Rican flora are Virola amistadensis D. Santam. and V. chrysocarpa D. Santam. & Aguilar, both described here as new and extending into Panama; the former is known from Costa Rica by a single collection (A. Chacón 194; CR, MO) from 650 m on the Atlantic slope of the eastern Cordillera de Talamanca, while the latter is segregated from V. koschnyi, comprising most of the material from the Pacific slope attributed to that sp. in the Manual.  Virola koschnyi is thus largely restricted in Costa Rica to the Atlantic slope (excepting one collection from the Puriscal region), and its alleged occurrence in Ecuador is also debunked by these authors.  The two provisionally named Virola spp. of the Manual now have valid binomials:  Virola sp. A is correctly V. laevigata Standl. [see under "Annotate Your Copy" in The Cutting Edge 25(3), Jul. 2018], while Virola sp. B becomes V. fosteri D. Santam. sp. nov. [its epithet honoring esteemed field botanist Robin B. Foster (F)].  While these entities were indicated (questioningly) as Costa Rican endemics in the Manual, both are now known to extend into Panama.  That leaves three names in Virola that are now conspicuously missing in action, vis-à-vis the Manual Myristicaceae account.  According to this synopsis, all three have been misapplied in our area, as follows:  Costa Rican and Panamanian material previously referred to V. guatemalensis (Hemsl.) Warb. (now restricted to northern Mesoamerica) and V. surinamensis (Rol. ex Rottb.) Warb. (now restricted to South America and the Antilles) becomes V. montana D. Santam. sp. nov. and V. nobilis A. C. Sm., respectively, while Costa Rican material formerly identified as Virola macrocarpa A. C. Sm. (now restricted to Colombia) becomes V. allenii D. Santam. & Aguilar sp. nov. (its epithet honoring, of course, the late Paul H. Allen).  While of no direct concern to us, Panamanian material previously included in V. macrocarpa is the basis for yet another new sp.  Just two of the 14 Mesoamerican Virola spp. extend into South America (and only V. sebifera, of the Costa Rican contingent).  Includes a dichotomous (though non-indented) key to spp., synonymy and typology, enumerations of "Distinctive characters" and "Field characters" (though no formal descriptions, except for new spp.), distribution and phenology summaries, common names, representative specimen citations, and distribution maps.  There are no indices.  The introductory part features sections on morphology (with a key to the Mesoamerican genera of Myristicaceae), biogeography, ethnobotany, and taxonomic history.  Generously illustrated with composite line drawings (of the new spp.) and color photos of both living and herbarium material, and strategically deploying numerous and very useful comparative tables.  A lectotype and an epitype are designated for Virola koschnyi.

Taylor, C. M.  2019. Rubiacearum americanarum magna hama pars XLIV:  review of the Palicourea pilosa group, with some new species and a new subspecies (Palicoureeae).  Novon 27: 102–130.

None of the 10 new spp. is relevant to Costa Rican floristics, but the one new subsp. is, as will be seen.  This contribution treats (minimally, with synonymy and typology, distribution summaries, and notes) 25 spp. in the titular group, of which only six occur in Costa Rica.  Except for (in most cases) their generic affiliation, the status is quo for four of those, which were treated in Manual Vol. 7 (2014) under the names Palicourea standleyana C. M. Taylor, Psychotria acicularis C. M. Taylor, Psychotria cyanococca Dombrain, and Psychotria pilosa Ruiz & Pav.  However, bedlam has been visited upon the other two, i.e., those dubbed Psychotria hazenii Standl. and Psychotria recordiana Standl. in the Manual.  Although the author still regards the taxa traditionally denoted by those names as distinct, she has decided that the corresponding types are conspecific.  The older Psychotria hazenii wins the nomenclatural battle, but Psychotria recordiana prevails taxonomically; that is to say, the type of Psychotria hazenii represents the sp. that has been called Psychotria recordiana, not the other way around. That being the case, the sp. called Psychotria recordiana in the Manual now becomes Palicourea hazenii (Standl.) Borhidi, while Psychotria hazenii of the Manual requires a new name; for the latter purpose, Psychotria ramonensis Standl. (cited in synonymy under Psychotria hazenii in the Manual) fills the bill, here rechristened as Palicourea ramonensis (Standl.) C. M. Taylor (comb. nov.).  Okay, well, the Manual did acknowledge that Psychotria hazenii "es similar a P. recordiana," and that the latter name "se aplica provisionalmente al material costarricense," said to differ in certain ways from material from Ecuador (whence the type).  Those differences are reflected here in the recognition of two subspp. of Palicourea hazenii (i.e., Psychotria recordiana of the Manual), one (described as new) Central American, the other (autonymic) South American.  As a consequence, the most precise and up-to-date name for the taxon called Psychotria recordiana in the Manual is now Palicourea hazenii subsp. centroamericana C. M. Taylor.  All ist klar?

Téllez-Valdés, O., C. Nepi, V. Hollowell, S. Gonzalez, O. Poncy & L. Guglielmone.  2019. Lectotipificación y actualización nomenclatural en Dioscorea (Dioscoreaceae)/Lectotypifying and nomenclatural updating in Dioscorea (Dioscoreaceae).  Revista Mex. Biodivers. 90(e902691): 1–5.

The name lectotypified is Dioscorea pubescens Poir. (1813), which (by virtue of priority) replaces D. pilosiuscula Bertero ex Spreng. (1825), "a name traditionally used since its description" [including in the Manual Dioscoreaceae treatment (2003) by co-PI Barry Hammel].  We continue to be dumfounded by the erratic and unpredictable behavior of plant taxonomists, some of whom automatically resort to the conservation option, while others, in comparable situations, follow priority.  There would appear to be no rhyme or reason to any of this, and certainly no rules, and nomenclatural stability suffers as a consequence.  Clearly, it was a grave error to ever open the conservation floodgates, and we will never stop paying the price.  Getting back to basics:  the authors provide (for Dioscorea pubescens) full synonymy and typology, a distribution summary, specimen citations, and a color photo of the new lectotype (as well as, of course, an explanation for their lectotypification).  And good for them, this is how it oughta be done:  only by those who have actually done the biology!

Welker, C. A. D., M. R. McKain, M. S. Vorontsova, M. C. Peichoto & E. A. Kellogg.  2019. Plastome phylogenomics of sugarcane and relatives confirms the segregation of the genus Tripidium (Poaceae: Andropogoneae).  Taxon 68: 246–267.

According to these authors, the genus "Saccharum, in the broad sense, comprises ca. 40 species"; that statement is at odds with the Manual treatment (2003) of Saccharum, which must have recognized the genus in its "broad sense" (as implied by the inclusion of New World countries in its native geographic range), yet indicated a total of just 25 spp.  Not a big deal, really; these people know way more than we do about grasses!  That said, their molecular analysis reduces the size of Saccharum somewhat with the removal of six spp. to the genus named in the title.  Those six spp. actually represented the Old World members of Erianthus, which has been recognized irregularly as a genus distinct from Saccharum.  As for Erianthus sensu stricto (comprising ca. 22 New World spp.):  the results of this study "are consistent with either considering it as a distinct genus or including it in Saccharum" (i.e., the two taxa have a sister-group relationship).  Thus, the composition, size, and geographic range of Saccharum remain unsettled:  in the broadest cladistically tenable sense (i.e., minus only Tripidium), it would include ca. 34 spp. widely distributed in both the New and Old Worlds, but in the narrowest sense (minus both Tripidium and Erianthus s. str.) would be limited to just 12 or so Old World spp.  Included among those dozen are the two Saccharum spp. recorded (as introductions) from Costa Rica, both of which will remain it that genus under either scenario.



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