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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

Main | Family List (MO) | Family List (INBio) | Cutting Edge
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The Cutting Edge

Volume VI, Number 4, October 1999

News and Notes | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature

ASCLEPIADACEAE. Marsdenia laxiflora Donn. Sm., collected and determined by whiz-kid Francisco "Chico" Morales (4361), hails from the oft-touted Hacienda Tiquires, in the Cantón de Acosta, southwest of San José. It was previously believed to range from Mexico to Nicaragua.

ASTERACEAE. Continuing his diligent work with composites, bioprospector and closet taxonomist Alexander "Popeye" Rodríguez informs us of his own collection (2491) of Verbesina guatemalensis B. L. Rob. & Greenm., from the foot of Volcán Miravalles. This sp. had been reported only from Mexico to Nicaragua.

CANELLACEAE. A sterile specimen (Rodríguez 4682) from a sapling, brought in by prospector "Popeye" from the intriguing Cerro Nara--in the coastal range just southeast of Quepos--by look and taste happily confirms a new locality in Costa Rica for this family. As yet undetermined to genus, this same species was only recently discovered on the Osa Peninsula, that being the first report of the family from Central America (see The Cutting Edge 4 (1): Jan. 1999). We await anxiously for flowering material, but meanwhile have sent dried leaves to DNA stars Liz Zimmer and Yin-Long Qiu, for their work on this and related families. We can breath somewhat easier now that this repository of untold scores of information is known from two individuals!

CONVOLVULACEAE. Ipomoea wrightii A. Gray, unusual for its filiform, often spiraled peduncles, has been recovered by Manual co-PI Barry Hammel from among material identified as Merremia quinquefolia (L.) Hallier f. Although widespread and often cultivated, I. wrightii had never before been found in Costa Rica. The collection, courtesy of parataxonomist/park guard Ulises Chavarría (1046), is from the edge of open woods in Parque Nacional Palo Verde.

CYPERACEAE. Cyperus thyrsiflorus Jungh., previously known both to the north (Nicaragua) and south (South America), can now be reported definitively from Costa Rica on the basis of Gómez-Laurito 1307 (from near the mouth of the Río Matina, near Puerto Limón) and Haber & Zuchowski 9606 (from Monteverde). According to correspondent Jorge Gómez-Laurito (USJ), to whom we owe this information, this is an apparently rare sp., very similar to the better-known C. hermaphroditus (Jacq.) Standl.

MALPIGHIACEAE. Noteworthy rediscoveries, continued: another collection by "Popeye" Rodríguez, this one from El Rodeo (Rodríguez et al 3013), in the western Valle Central, is the first made in Costa Rica this century (and just the second ever) of the mainly South American Mascagnia stannea (Griseb.) Nied. The only previous Costa Rican record is the type of Grisebach's basionym, an Anders Oersted collection from nearby Aguacate. Just one other Central American collection of this sp. is known: Croat 24495, the type of Mascagnia sericans Nied. subsp. buricana Cuatrec. & Croat (see the Flora of Panama), from the Península de Burica. Thanks to malpigh guru William Anderson (MICH) for the determination, from a scanned image conveyed electronically.

MYRSINACEAE. Ardisia escallonioides Schltdl. & Cham., ostensibly ranging from Mexico to Nicaragua, can now be reported from Costa Rica, on the basis of a Francisco Morales collection from the afore-mentioned Hacienda Tiquires.

SAPINDACEAE. Another of Chico Morales's pet families yields dividends, in this case, two sp. of Matayba new to the country: Matayba apetala Radlk., previously known from ± throughout Mesoamerica (except Costa Rica) and the Caribbean islands, has been collected from near Tilarán and in the Valle de El General; and Matayba scrobiculata Radlk., reported essentially from everywhere that's anywhere (Mexico to Brazil) in the Neotropics, except Costa Rica, can now be reported from near Tilarán and our recent hot-spot, Fila Chonta (above Quepos).

VITACEAE. And finally, thanks again to (who else?) Chico: Cissus anisophylla Lombardi, previously reported only from Ecuador and Panama, is recorded alive and well in our all-time favorite, the Osa Peninsula and nearby Fila Retinta in front of Palmar Norte, as well as Quebrada Gamba, near Golfito. This is a new identification of several, relatively old collections, first among them attributable to head-man at the MO herbarium Jim Soloman (19262).



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