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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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The Cutting Edge

Volume XXVII, Number 4, October 2020

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

Faramea myrticifolia Dwyer (Rubiaceae) wins this season’s prize, hands down. Not only was it found fertile (flowers and immature fruits) during this (the rainy) season, it is also a rarely collected sp. and, as far as we know, these are the first photographs of it live. Furthermore, in these times of slim pickens, this collection can do us double service as an in-country distribution record, for the otherwise empty “Leaps and Bounds” column of this issue. When described, the sp. was known only from the type, collected in 1985 from the vicinity of Las Brisas de Pacuarito, Prov. Limón. At the time of publication of the Manual Rubiaceae treatment (2014), it was still known from a total of only five specimens, including the then-most-recent one collected (in 2005, from Nicaragua) about 25 km due north of where these photos (vouchered by Oviedo-Brenes et al. 4391, USJ) were taken.

Faramea myrticifolia Dwyer (Rubiaceae)

This new record adds a considerably lower elevation (127 m), a new geographic region (Llanura de San Carlos), and even a new phenology record (the only previous flowering record having been from March). In Manualese, the modified distribution statement for F. myrticifolia would read: “Bosque muy húmedo, (100–)300–600 m; vert. Carib. Cords. de Guanacaste y Central, N Cord. de Talamanca, Llanura de San Carlos. Fl. mar., oct. SE Nic. y CR.” In these locked-down times, lucky (and careful, we hope) are those who continue the essential work of exploratory botany! Thanks to Manual Aristolochiaceae co-author Esteban Jiménez and colleagues Federico Oviedo y Marco Cedeño for the photos and data of their collection. Oh, and one final thought: what in blazes was the epithet myrticifolia meant to convey? The protologue provides no clue,

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