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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

The men at Fort Clatsop continue sewing moccasins in preparation for their trip home. The Captains write about the sword fern, deer fern, and seashore saltgrass.

There are also two species of firn which are common to this country beside that formerly discribed of which the natives eat the roots. these from their disparity in point of size I shall designate the large and small firn. both species continue green all winter.—

Meriwether Lewis

Sword fern, Polystichum munitum and deer fern, Blechnum spicant

Fern with small leaves framed by two large sword fern leave

the Indians inform us that we shall have great abundance of a small fish in March
the salt marshes also produce a coarse grass, Bull rushes and the Cattail flagg.

Meriwether Lewis

Salt marsh at Fort Clatsop

Marsh with coarse grasses and cattails

Photo taken with permission at Lewis and Clark National Historic Park, Fort Clatsop.

The large firn, rises to the [height] of 3 or four feet

Meriwether Lewis

Sword fern, Polystichum munitum

Steep hill covered with very large ferns

The small firn also rises with a common footstalk from the radix and are from four to eight in number.

Meriwether Lewis

Deer fern, Blechnum spicant

Single fern with skinny, long leaves

The grasses of this neighbourhood are generally coase harsh and sedge-like, and grow in large tufts. there is none except in the open grounds.

Meriwether Lewis

Seashore saltgrass, Distichlis spicata

Large tufts of tan and gold grass on the edge of the ocean beach

Photo by Jo Ann Townsend.