Jul. 20, 2022

Drummond's rockcress, Boechera stricta

These plants are Drummond's because they were previously Arabis drummondii. Recent study has split Arabis into several genera, and the taxonomic rule of priority now makes this Boechera stricta. Taxonomic rules are meant to reduce confusion. Good luck with that! Arabis was famous for its confusion. To arrive at the most recent understanding of this group, Al-Shahbaz and Windham examined over 12,000 specimens from across the continent. They came up with 111 species of Boechera. Decoctions of Drummond's rockcress were used by Native Americans to treat a variety of ailments. We know that ease of identification is one of the strongest correlates with use as medicine. So how does that work for an identification that we now understand only because of the availabilty of genome analysis and supercomputers? Most likely the decoctions involved numbers of species from the complex. They share chemical properties that definitely do produce reactions from our innards. As currently understood, Drummond's rockcress grows in AK, AZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, MA, ME, MI, MN, ND, NH, NM, NV, OH, OR, RI, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY, AB, BC, NT, QC, SK, and YT. Allegan State Game Area, Allegan Co MI, 7/16/22. Mustard family, Brassicaceae.