This entry describes one of 30 specimens that were sent to President Jefferson from Fort Mandan and then logged into the Museum in Philadelphia on November 16, 1805, but subsequently lost. We include this species as an example of the breadth of discovery and the explorers’ scholarship; attribution to this species is based upon Lewis’ description, early botanical work on the specimens, current botanical literature, and knowledge of the regional flora.
Capt. Lewis, July 30, 1804 - No 18. was taken 30th July grows in the praries in high situations, it's radix is pe[r]ennial, it grows about three 1/2 or 4 feet high it has a long top root is but little branced, it's colateral brances are short and furnished with many leaf stems which are garnished by a great number of small leaves which are attatch[ed] by pairs on either side and resemble some of the sensative bryers, tho I could not discover that this plant partook of that quality. it's flower is of a gloubelar form composed of a number of fibers of a yellowish white, and produces as a fruit a bunch of little pees which are all bent edgeways into the form of a semicircle and so closely connected and compressed as to form a globular figure of a curious appearance.