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

evergreen huckleberry

Capt. Lewis, January 25, 1806 –. . . . The native fruits and buries in uce among the Indians of this neighbourhood are a deep purple burry about the size of a small cherry called by them Shal un, a Small pale red bury called Sol me; the vineing or low Crambury, a light brown bury rather larger and much the shape of a black haw; and a scarlet bury about the size of a small cherry     the plant called by the Canadian Engages of the N.W. sac a commis produces this bury ;  this plant is so called from the circumstance of the Clerks of those trading companies carrying the leaves of this plant in a small bag for the purpose of smokeing of which they are excessively fond     the Indians call this bury (blank in MS).


Capt. Clark, January 25, 1806 –. . . . The native fruits and berries in use among the Indians of this neighbourhood are a Deep purple about the Size of a cherry called by them Shal lun, a Small pale red berry called Sol me; the Vineing or low brown berry, a light brown berry rather larger and much the Shape of a black haw; and a scarlet berry about the size of a Small Chirry     the plant called by the Canadian Engages of the N.W. Sac a com mis produces this berry;  this plant is so called from the circumstances of the Clerks of these tradeing Companies carrying the leaves of this plant in a Small bag for the purpose of Smokeing of which they are excessively fond     the Indians Call this berry (blank in MS).

Capt. Lewis, January 26, 1806 –. . . . The Shallun or deep purple berry is in form much like the huckkleberry and terminates bluntly with a kind of cap or cover at the end like that fruit; they are attached separately to the sides of the boughs of the shrub by a very sort stem hanging underneath the same and are frequently placed very near each other on the same bough ; it is a full bearer.  the berry is easily geathered as it separates from the bough readily, while the leaf is strongly affixed.  the shrub which produces this fruit rises to the hight of 6 or 8 feet sometimes grows on the high lands but moste generally in the swampy or marshey grounds ;  it is an evergreen.  the stem or trunk is from three to 10 Inches in circumference   irregularly and much branched, seldom more than one steem proceding from the same root, tho’ they are frequently associated very thickly.  the bark is somewhat rough and of a redish brown colour.  the wood is very firm and hard.  the leaves are alternate declining and attached by a short fotstalk to the two horizontal sides of the boughs ;  the form is a long oval, reather more accute towards its apex than at the point of insertion ;  it’s margin slightly serrate, it’s sides collapsing or partially foalding upwards or channelled; it is also thick firm [s]mothe and glossey, the upper surface of a fine deep green, while the under disk is of a pale or whiteish green.  this shrub retains it’s virdure very perfectly during the winter and is a beautifull shrub.  the natives either eat these berrys when ripe immediately from the bushes or dryed in the sun or by means of their sw[e]ating kilns ;  very frequently they pound them and bake them in large loaves of 10 or fifteen pounds ;   this bread keeps very well during one season and retains the moist jeucies of the fruit much better than by any other method of preservation.  this bread is broken and stired in could water until it be sufficiently thick and then eaten ;  in this way the natives most generally use it.

Capt. Clark, January 26, 1806 –. . . The (Shal-lun) or deep purple berry is in form much like the huckleberry and termonate bluntly with a kind of cap or cover at the end like that fruit; they are attached Separately to the Sides of the boughs of the shrub by a very Sort stem hanging underneath the same, and are frequently placed verry near each other on the Same bough    it is a full bearer  ;  the berry is easily gathered as it Seperates from the bough, readily, while the leaf is Strongly affixed.  the Shrub which produces this fruit rises to the hight of 6 or 8 feet sometimes grows on high land but most frequently in Swampey or marshey grounds ;  it is an ever green.  the Stem or trunk is from 3 to 10 inches in circumferance   irrigularly and much branched, seldom more than one Stem proceeding from the Same root, tho they are frequently associated very thickly.  the bark is Somewhat rough and of a redish brown colour.  the wood is very firm and hard.  the leaves are alternate declining and attach.d by a Short f[o]otstalk to the two horizontal Sides of the bough’s ;  the form is a long oval, reather more accute towards its apex that [than] at the point of insertion ;  it’s sides partially folding upwards ; or channeled,   it is also thick Smothe and glossy, the upper surfice of a fine deep green, while the under disk is of a pale or whiteish green.  this shrub retains its virdure verry perfectly dureing the winter and is a beautifull Shrub.  the nativs either eate those berries ripe immediately from the bushes, or dried in the Sun or by means of the Swetting Kiln ;  verry frequently they pound them and bake them in large loaves of 10 or 15 pounds weight ;   this bread keeps verry well dureing one Season and retains the moist jouicies of the frute Much better than by any other method of preperation.  The bread is broken and stured in coald water untill it be Sufficiently thick and then eaten,   in this way the nativ’s most generally use it.

Capt. Lewis, February 8, 1806 - I have discovered that the shrub and fruit discribed on the 26th of January is not that which the Indians call the Shal-lon, but that is such as is there discribed, and the berry is estemed and used by the natives as mentioned except that [it] is not like the shallon, baked in large loaves, but is simply dryed in the sun for winter uce, when they either eat them in their dryed state or boil them in water.

A few days later, Capt. Lewis re-described this plant --

Capt. Lewis, February 11, 1806--The[re] is also found in this neighbourhood an evergreen shrub which I take to be another variety of the Shallun and that discribed under that name in mistake on the 26th of January. This shrub rises to the hight of from four to five feet, the stem simple branching, defuse and much branched. The bark is of a redish dark brown, that of the mane stem is somewhat rough while that of the boughs is smooth. The leaves are petiolate the petiole 1/10 of an inch long; oblong, obtuse at the apex and accute angular at the insertion of the petiole; 3/4 of an inch in length and 3/8th in width; convex, somewhat revolute, serrate, smoth and of a paler green than the evergreens usually are. They are also opposite and ascending. The fruit is a small deep perple berry like the common huckleberry of a pleasant flavor. They are s[e]perately scattered & attatched to the small boughs by short peduncles. The natives eat this berry when ripe but seldom collect it in such quantities as to dry it for winter uce.

 
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