Plant scan updates
Now in the scanning queue are:
Stryphnodendron (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) -- This legume genus, distributed from Nicaragua to Paraguay, was monographed by Viviane Scalon, a doctoral student at the Univ. São Paulo in 2008. Her thesis is not yet published or available online, but we do have material annotated by her in 2005 which we've added to the database, increasing our representation of Stryphnodendron from seven species to seventeen. According to Scalon's abstract, there are 36 taxa (including varieties) in the genus, 9 species of which are still waiting to be described.
Wimmeria (Celastraceae, 16 spp.) -- This Central American genus was borrowed and annotated by doctoral student Curtis Clevinger (TEX) in 1999. A monograph hasn't been published but the freshly annotated material is useful. We've increased our scan representation from two species to twelve (out of 16 total, fide G. Carnevali et al., Novon 19(2): 150-155. 2009.)
"Barbasco" (fish poison) -- Checking our determinations of scanned Fabaceae, I noticed our only scanned specimen of the cultivated Amazonian fish poison, Lonchocarpus utilis, looks like something else, probably Swartzia calva. Interesting, because it was a collection made in Peru in 1981 by an ethnobotanist, who had carefully recorded the plant's use as a fish poison, and the name given by the locals, 'barbasco,' the same name given to the cultivated Lonchocarpus. .... A little googling turned up a Venezuelan publication (J. Rondon 2002. Guia descriptiva de los barbascos de Venezuela. Rev. Fac. Farmac. 43: 34-42.) that lists numerous species, in eight flowering plant families used as 'barbasco' in Venezuela. Two of these are species of Swartzia, though neither are native to Peru.
Four scans of the real Lonchocarpus utilis have been added. This is a species known only from cultivation in the Amazon. It is vegetatively propagated and never known to flower. Also scanned is its close relative L. urucu, which occasionally flowers and is extremely difficult to distinguish from L. utilis. I hope our scans help.
In most places, it appears that fishing with poison in the Amazon is now illegal or strongly regulated.