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Work on the Flora of Oregon reveals new plant species in OSU Herbarium

The Oregon Vascular Plant Checklist (www.oregonflora.org/checklist.php) lists 201 Oregon species, subspecies, and varieties of Brassicaceae; the OSU Herbarium has 5,357 specimens documenting these taxa.

A floristic treatment contains detailed descriptions and measurements of each taxon, comments on plant ecology and distribution, and identification keys for all genera and species. As part of authoring this work, Dr. Al-Shehbaz examined each Oregon Brassicaceae specimen to confirm its identification and to clarify which characters to feature within the identification keys. Consequently, he has corrected the identification of ~500 specimens, resulting in the discovery of three genera and six taxa newly documented in Oregon. Three of these (Descurainia incana, Planodes virginicum, and Draba cana) represent range extensions of native species from adjacent states, and three are exotic species previously misidentified. Three genera—Abdra, Odontarrhena, and Tomostima—are recognized for the first time in any flora of the New World or Europe.

The Flora of Oregon Volume 2 will be the first published record of these plants in our state. It is scheduled for publication in fall 2017. The information will also be presented through the Oregon Flora Project interactive Atlas and Photo Gallery at http://oregonflora.org.

Dr. Al-Shehbaz is a senior curator at Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, MO. He was co-director of the Flora of China project, and is principal author of the Brassicaceae for the floras of North America, China, Mesoamerica, Japan, the Himalayan Mountains, and several South American countries.