Drymonia decora (Gesneriaceae), A Gesneriad

Drymonia decora J.R. Clark & J.L. Clark, sp. nov.*
Type: Ex hort.Costa Rica––San José: Refugio de Vida Silvestre Boracayán, Fila Costeña, San José-Puntarenas Province border, ca. 10 km E of Dominical. Southern Fila Tinamastes in the region of the Catarata de San Luis near Cuesta Yeguas, in cloud forest along ridge, canopy 30 m tall with emergents to 40 m, epiphytes abundant, 9°15.5´N, 83°45´W, 1000 m. 31 May 2003, living plant cultivated at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (accession no. 2003-0412, J.R. Clark et al. 478); flowered in cultivation, 21 March 2006, B.K. Holst 8878, (Holotype SEL; Isotypes US, USJ).

EtymologyThe epithet is Latin for ‘graceful’ and is in reference to this species’ characteristic pendulous habit, not commonly seen in other species of Drymonia. The name is also meant to pay honor to both Ann Patton, co-owner and manager of Boracayán, and her grandmother, Ann Esworthy. The English name ‘Ann’ is derived from the Hebrew ‘channah’ meaning ‘grace.’ The junior Ann and her husband, John Bender, graciously hosted the field team during their work in this scientifically and ecologically important new reserve. The elder Ann and her husband Walt are long-time supporters of Selby Gardens, having served in various capacities since the Gardens’ inception in the early 1970’s. Ann and Walt Esworthy’s connection formed the original impetus for the floristic inventory project resulting in this discovery.

Comments: Drymonia decora is the most recently discovered of now 24 species of Drymonia recognized from Costa Rica (Kriebel, 2006; Kriebel-Haehner, 2006). Drymonia decora can be easily distinguished from other species of Drymonia by its strictly pendulous habit and also in the gland-tipped pubescence of the calyx. These characters readily differentiate D. decora from the superficially similar D. submarginalis Gómez-Laurito & Chavarría. Drymonia decora is also in marked contrast to the vegitatively similar species D. peltata (Oliver) H.E.Moore, that has a characteristic upright, branching habit; leaves of D. decora, although occasionallysubpeltate, are not fully peltate as is always the case in D. peltata.

* Clark, J.R. and J.L. Clark. 2008. Drymonia decora (Gesneriaceae), a new species from the Fila Costeña, Costa Rica. Selbyana 29: 147-151.

Kriebel, R. 2006. Drymonia tomentulifera, sp. nova de Costa Rica, y notas sobre la biología reproductiva del género Drymonia (Gesneriaceae: Episcieae). Lankesteriana 6(2): 43–47.
Kriebel-Hahner, R. 2006. Gesneriáceas de Costa Rica / Gesneriads of Costa Rica. Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad, Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica, 368 pages.