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

Douglas fir

Capt. Lewis, February 6, 1806--No. 5. is a species of fir which arrives to the size of Nos. 2 and 4, the stem simple branching, diffuse and proliferous. the bark thin, dark brown, much divided with small longitudinal interstices and sometimes scaleing off in thin rolling flakes. it affords but little rosin and the wood is redish white [2/3ds. of the diameter in the center, the ballance white,] somewhat porus and tough. the twigs are much longer and more slender than in either of the other species. the leaves [are acerose], 1/20th. of an inch in width, and an inch in length, sessile, inserted on all sides of the bough, streight, their extremities pointing obliquely toward the extremities of the bough and more thickly placed than in either of the other species; gibbous and flexable but more stif than any except No. I. and more blontly pointed than either of the other species; the upper disk has a small longitudinal channel and is of a deep green tho' not so glossy as the balsam fir, the under disk is of a pale green.

Capt. Clark, February 6, 1806--No. 5. is a species of fir which arives to the size of No. 2, and No. 4. the stem simple branching, diffuse and proliferous. the bark thin dark brown, much divided with small longitudinal interstices scaleing off in thin rolling flakes. it affords but little rosin and the wood is redish white 2/3ds. of the diamieter in the center the ballance white somewhat porus and tough. the twigs are much longer and more slender than in either of the other species. the leaves are acerous 1/20 of an inch in width, and an inch in length, sessile, inserted on all sides of the bough, streight, their extremities pointing obliquely towards the extremities of the bough and more thickly placed than in either of the other species; gibbous and flexable but more stiff than any except No. I and more blontly pointed than either of the other species; the upper disk has a small longitudinal channel and is of a deep green tho' not so Glossy as the balsam fir, the under disk is of a pail green.

Capt. Lewis, February 9, 1806--in the marshey ground frequently overflown by the tides there grows a species of fir which I take to be the same of No. 5. which it resembles in every particular except that it is more defusely branched and not so large, being seldom more than 30 feet high and 18 inches or 2 feet in diameter; it's being more defusely branched may proceed from it's open situation seldom growing very close. the cone is 2 1/2 inches in length and 3 3/4 in it's greatest circumference, which is near it's base, and from which it tapers regularly to a point. it is formed of imbricated scales of a bluntly rounded form, thin not very firm and smoth. [Captain Lewis includes a drawing of the cone's scale at this point.] a thin leaf is inserted into the pith of the cone, which overlays the center of and extends 1/2 an inch beyond the point of each scale. the form of this leaf is somewhat thus. overlaying one of the imbricated scales.

Capt. Clark, February 9, 1806--In the marshey grounds frequently overflown by the tides there grows a species of fir which I took to be the same of No. 5. from examonation I find it a distinct species of fir. it is more perfusely branched. This tree seldom rises to a greater hight than 35 or 40 feet and is from 2 to 4 feet in Diamieter; the Bark the same with that of No. I. only reather more rugid. the leaf is acerose, 2/10 of an inch in width and 3/4 in length, they are firm stiff and somewhat accuminated, ending in a short pointed hard tendril, gibbous thickly scattered on all sides of the bough as respects the 3 upper sides only; those which have their insertion on the under side incline sidewise with their points upwards giveing the ]eaf the shape of a sythe. the others are perpindicu]ar or pointing upwards, growing as in No. I. from small triangular pedestals of a soft spungy elastic bark. the under disk of these leaves or that which grows nearest to the Base of the bough is of a dark glossy green, whi]e the upper or opposit side is of a whitish pale green; in this respect differing from almost all leaves. The boughs retain their leaves as far back as almost to the sixth year's groth. the peculiarity of the budscales observed in No. I. is obsd in this species. The cone is 3 1/2 Inches in length, and 3 in circumfrance, of an ovale figure being thickest in the middle and tapering and terminateing in two obtuce points. it composes several flexable, thin, obtusely pointed smoth and redish brown imbricated scales. each scale covering two small winged seed and being itself covered in the center by a small thin inferior scale accutely pointed. The Cone is some what of this figure. [Captain Clark includes a drawing of the complete cone at this point.] they proceed from the sides as well as the extremities of the bough, but in the former case allways at or near the commencement of some one years groth which in some instances are as far back as the third year.

 
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