The Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition - Vol. 6

By Meriwether Lewis; William Clark et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter Twenty-Eight
At Fort Clatsop January 21 -- March 17, 1806

[ Lewis] Wednesday [NB: Tuesday] January 21St 1806.

Two of the hunters Shannon & Labuish returned having killed three Elk. Ordered a party to go in quest of the meat early tomorrow morning and the hunters to return and continue the chase. the Indians left us about 12 O'Clk. The root of the thistle,1 called by the natives shall-ne-tâh- que is a perpendicular fusiform and possesses from two to four radicles; is from 9 to 15 Inces in length and about the size a mans thumb; the rhind somewhat rough and of a brown colour; the consistence when first taken from the earth is white and nearly as crisp as a carrot; when prepared for uce by the same process before discribed of the white bulb or pashshequo quawmash, it becomes black, and is more shugary than any fuit or root that I have met with in uce among the natives; the sweet is precisely that of the sugar in flavor; this root is sometimes eaten also when first taken from the ground without any preperation; but in this way is vastly inferior. it delights most in a deep rich dry lome which has a good mixture of sand. the stem of this plant is simple ascending celindric and hisped. the root leaves yet possess their virdure and are about half grown of a plale green. the cauline leaf as well as the stem of the last season are now dead, but in rispect to it's form &c. it is simple, crenate, & oblong, reather more obtuse at it's apex than at the base or insertion; it's margin armed with prickles while it's disks are hairy, it's insertion decurrent and position declining. the flower is also dry and mutilad. the pericarp seems much like that of the common thistle. it rises to the hight of from 3 to 4 feet.--

-226-

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