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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

At Camp Choppunish, both Jean Baptiste and the old Nez Perce chief continue to respond favorably to their respective treatments. Lewis describes the local grasses, and he adds two plants to the herbarium.

the Child is revovereing fast. I applied a plaster of Sarve made of the Rozen of the long leafed pine, Beas wax and Beare oil mixed, which has Subsided the inflomation entirely, the part is Considerably Swelled and hard—.

William Clark

Clearwater River at Kamiah, Idaho

Grassy shore, Clearwater river, early morning light

among the grasses of this country I observe a large speceis which grows in moist situations; it rises to the hight of eight or ten feet

Meriwether Lewis

Mandan cutting common reedgrass, Phragmites communis

Indian woman cutting tall reeds on the shor

Photo by Edward S. Curtis circa 1908.

a second speceis grows in tussucks and rises to the hight of six or eight feet; it seems to delight in the soil of the river bottoms which possess a greater mixture of sand than the hills in this neighbourhood.

Meriwether Lewis

Riverbank wildrye, Elymus riparius

Tall, golden grass gone to seed

a third speceis resembles the cheet, tho' the horses feed on it very freely.

Meriwether Lewis

Smooth brome grass, Bromus inermis

Close up of thin blade of grass gone to seed

© James K. Lindsey. Permission via the Creative Commons ShareAlike License.

a fourth and most prevalent speceis is a grass which appears to be the same called the blue grass common to many parts of the United States; it is common to the bottom as well as the uplands, is now seeding and is from 9 inches to 2 feet high; it affords an excellent pasture for horses and appears to bear the frosts and snow better than any grass in our country

Meriwether Lewis

Sandberg bluegrass, Poa secunda

Sandberg Bluegrass (Poa) with a lady bug

there are also several speceis of the wild rye to be met with in the praries.

Meriwether Lewis

Canada wildrye, Elymus canadensis

Stem of green gras with bushy head

Photo Copyright Larry Allain and used with permission from: USDA, NRCS. 2011. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 7 March 2011). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

yellow; On the Kooskooskee Jun: 5th 1806

Pursh (Meriwether Lewis)

Trumpet honeysuckle, Lonicera ciliosa

Long, orange, trumpet shaped petals

New Species Flowers cream colored with a Small fringe of blue. On the Kooskooskee Jun 5th 1806

Pursh (Meriwether Lewis)

Silky lupine, Lupinus sericeus

Lupine with cream colored petals

Photo ©2009 Matt Lavin. Permission via the Creative Commons 2.0 License.