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

golden currant

Capt. Lewis, July 17, 1805--there are a great abundance of red yellow perple & black currants, and service berries now ripe and in great perfection. I find these fruits very pleasent particularly the yellow currant which I think vastly preferable to those of our gardens. the shrub which produces this fruit rises to the hight of 6 or 8 feet; the stem simple branching and erect. they grow closly ascociated in cops either in the oppen or timbered lands near the watercou[r]ses. the leaf is petiolate of a pale green and resembles in it's form that of the red currant common to our gardens. the perianth of the fructification is one leaved, five cleft, abreviated and tubular, the corolla is monopetallous funnel-shaped, very long, superior, withering and of a fine orrange colour. five stamens and one pistillum; of the first, the fillaments are capillare, inserted into the corolla, equal, and converging; the anther ovate, biffid and incumbent. with rispect to the second the germ is roundish, smo[o]th, inferior pedicelled and small; the style, long, and thicker than the stamens, simple, cylindrical, smooth, and erect, withering and remains with the corolla untill the fruit is ripe. stigma simple obtuse and withering.   the fruit is a berry about the size and much the shape of the red currant of our gardins, like them growing in clusters supported by a compound footstalk, but the peduncles which support the several berries are longer in this species and the berries are more scattered. it is quite as transparent as the red current of our gardens, not so ascid, & more agreeably flavored.

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