Home Smithsonian: National Museum of Natural History Home
Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Journals Lewis and Clark as Naturalists

bigleaf maple

Captain Clark first mentioned the maple in November, 1805.  Both captains described it in more detail in their Fort Clatsop entries.

Capt. Clark, November 4, 1805--I walked out on the Stard Side found the country fine,  an open Prarie for 1 mile back of which the wood land commence riseing back,  the timber on the edge of the Prarie is white oke, back is spruce pine & other species of Pine mixed  some under groth of a wild crab & a specis of wood I’m not acquainted [with],   a species of maple & cotton wood grow near this river, some low bushes

Capt. Clark, November 4, 1805--(ed. - this is a second entry)here I landed and walked on Shore, about 3 miles  a fine open Prarie for about 1 mile, back of which the countrey rises gradually and wood land commencies Such as white oake, pine of different kinds, wild crabs [with the taste and flavour of the common crab] and Several Species of undergroth of which I am not acquainted,  a few cotton wood trees & the Ash of this countrey grow scattered on the river bank.  [ed. - Note that here he suggests that this tree is an ash]

Capt. Lewis, February 10, 1806--There is a tree common to the Columbia river below the entrance of cataract river which in it's appearance when divested of it's foliage, much resembles the white ash; the appearance of the wood and bark is also that of the ash. it's stem is simple branching and diffuse. the leaf is petiolate, plane, scattered, palmate lobate, divided by four deep sinuses; the lobes are repand, or terminate in from 3 to 5 accute angular points, while their margins are indented with irregular and somewhat circular incissures. the petiole is celendric smooth and 7 inches long. the leaf 8 inches in length and 12 in bredth. this tree is frequently 3 feet in diameter and rises to 40 or 50 feet high. the fruit is a winged seed somewhate like the maple.

Capt. Clark, February 10, 1806--There is a tree common to the Columbia river below the enterance of cataract River which in it's appearance when divested of it's folage, much resembles the white ash; the appearance of the wood and bark is also that of the ash. it's stem is simple. branching and diffuse. the lief is petiolate, plane, scattered palmate lobate, divided by four deep sinusus; the lobes are repand or terminate in from 3 to 5 accute angular points, while their margins are indented with irregular and somewhat circular incissures. the petiole is celindric smoth and 7 inches long. the leaf 8 inches in length and 12 in bredth. this tree is frequently 2 & 3 feet In diamieter, and rises to 50 or 60 feet high. the froot is a winged seed somewhat like the maple.

 
Smithsonian Institution
Copyright Notice
Privacy Notice