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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

The canoes must be towed and the cargo portaged around Missouri River rapids as the Expedition winds through a mountainous area between Tower Rock and the Dearborn River. Lewis describes sunflowers, currants, and serviceberries.

the river clifts were so steep and frequently projecting into the river with their perpendicular points in such manner that we could not pass them by land, we wer therefore compelled to pass and repass the river very frequently in the couse of the evening.

Meriwether Lewis

Missouri River at Mountain Palace

Cliffs along the Missouri River at Mountain Palace

The sunflower is in bloom and abundant in the river bottoms. The Indians of the Missouri particularly those who do not cultivate maze make great uce of the seed of this plant for bread, or use it in thickening their soope.

Meriwether Lewis

Common sunflower, Helianthus annuus

Small sunflower bloom

there is but little of the broad leafed cottonwood above the falls, much the greater portion being of the narrow leafed kind

Meriwether Lewis

Narrowleaf cottonwood, Populus angustifolia

Large cottonwood tree on the Missouri River

there are a great abundance of red yellow perple & black currants, and service berries now ripe and in great perfection. I find these fruits very pleasent particularly the yellow currant

Meriwether Lewis

Golden currant, Ribes aureum

Golden currant bush with yellow berries

The survice berry differse somewhat from that of the U' States the bushes are small sometimes not more than 2 feet high and scarcely ever exceed 8 and are proportionably small in their stems, growing very thickly ascosiated in clumps. the fruit is the same form but for the most part larger more lucious and of so deep a perple that on first sight you would think them black.—

Meriwether Lewis

Serviceberry, Amelanchier alnifolia

Blue and green immature serviceberry fruits