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Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Journals Lewis and Clark as Naturalists

pinkfairies, ragged robin

Capt. Clark, May 29, 1806--Capt. L-s met with a singular plant in blume of which we preserved a specimen.   it grows on the steep fertile hill sides near this place the radix is fibrous, not much branched, annual, wo[o]dy, white and nearly smooth.   the stem is simple branching ascending 2 1/2 feet high.   celindric, villose and of a pale red colour.   the branches are but fiew and those near it's upper extremity.   the extremities of the branches are flexable and are bent down near their extremities with the weight of the flowers.   the leaf is sessile, scattered thinly, nearly lineor tho' somewhat widest in the middle, two inches in length, absolutely entire, villose, obtusely pointed and of an ordinary green.   above each leaf a small short branch protrudes, supporting a tissue of four or five small leaves of the same appearance of those discribed.   a leaf is placed under neath each branch and each flower.   the calyx is one flowered Spatha.   the corolla superior, consists of four pale perple petals which are tripartite, the centeral lobe largest and all terminate obtusely; they are inserted with a long and narrow claw on the top of the germ, are long, Smooth and deciduous.   there are two distinct sets of stamens the first or principal consists of four, the filaments [of] which are capillary, erect, inserted on the top of the germ alternately with the petals, equal short, membranus; the anthers are also four each being elivated with it's fillaments; they are reather flat, erect sessile, cohering to the base, membranous, longitudinally furrowed, twise as long as the fillament naked, and of a pale purple colour, the second set of stamens are very minute, are also four and placed within and opposit to the petals, those are scercely precptable while the first are large & conspicious, the fillaments are capillary equal, very short white and smooth.   the anthers are four, oblong, beaked, erect cohering at the base, memb[r]anous, shorter than the fillaments, white naked and appear not to form pollen, there is one pistillum; the germ of which is also one, celindric, villous, inferior, sessile, as long as the first stamuns, and grooved.   the single style and stigma form a perfect monopetallous corolla only with this difference that the style which elivates the stigma or limb is not a tube but solid tho' it's outer appearance is that of a tube of a monopetallous corolla swelling as it ascends and gliding in such manner into the limb that it cannot be said where the style ends or the stigma begins, jointly they are as long as the corilla, while the limb is four cleft, sauser shaped, and the margin of the lobes entire and rounded.   this has the appearance of a monopetallous flower growing from the center of the four petalled corollar which is rendered more conspicuous in consequence of the first being white and the latter of a pale purple.   I regret very much that the seed of this plant are not ripe as yet and it is probable will not be so dureing our residence in this neighbourhood.

Capt. Lewis, June 1, 1806--I met with a singular plant today blume of which I preserved a specemine; it grows on the steep sides of the fertile hills near this place, the radix is fibrous, not much branched, annual, woody, white and nearly smooth.   the stem is simple branching ascending, [2 1/2 feet high] celindric, villose and of a pale red colour.   the branches are but few and those near it's upper extremity.   the extremities of the branches are flexable and are bent down near their extremities with the weight of the flowers.   the leaf is sissile, scattered thinly, nearly linear tho' somewhat widest in the middle, two inches in length, absolutely entire, villose, obtusely pointed and of an ordinary green.   above each leaf a small short branch protrudes, supporting a tissue of four or five smaller leaves of the same appearance with those discribed.   a leaf is placed underneath ea[c]h branch, and each flower.   the calyx is a one flowered spathe.   the corolla superior consists of four pale perple petals which are tripartite, the central lobe largest and all terminate obtusely; they are inserted with a long and narrow claw on the top of the germ, are long, smooth, & deciduous.   there are two distinct sets of stamens the Ist or principal consist of four, the filaments of which are capillary, erect, inserted on the top of the germ alternately with the petals, equal short, membranous; the anthers are also four each being elivated with it's fillament, they are linear and reather flat, erect sessile, cohering at the base, membranous, longitudinally furrowed, twice as long as the fillament naked, and of a pale perple colour.   the second set of stamens are very minute are also four and placed within and opposite to the petals, these are scarcely persceptable while the Ist are large and conspicuous; the filaments are capillary equal, very short, white and smooth.   the anthers are four, oblong, beaked, erect, cohering at the base, mernbranous, shorter than the fillaments, white naked and appear not to form pollen.   there is one pistillum; the germ of which is also one, cilindric, villous, inferior, sessile, as long as the Ist stamens, and marked with 8 longitudinal furrows.   the single style and stigma form a perfict monapetallous corolla only with this difference, that the style which elivates the stigma or limb is not a tube but solid tho' it's outer appearance is that of the tube of a monopetallous corolla swelling as it ascends and gliding in such manner into the limb that it cannot be said where the style ends, or the stigma begins; jointly they are as long as the corolla, white, the limb is four cleft, sauser shaped, and the margins of the lobes entire and rounded.   this has the appearance of a monopetallous flower growing from the center of a four petalled corollar, which is rendered more conspicuous in consequence of the Ist being white and the latter of a pale perple.   I regret very much that the seed of this plant are not yet ripe and it is pro[ba]ble will not be so during my residence in this neighbourhood.

 
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