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Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Collection: Species Details Lewis and Clark as Naturalists
Plant    Species Name:
Allium geyeri S.Wats.
syn. Allium dictyotum Greene

Common Name:
Geyer's onion


Three Forks, Montana
Near Three Forks
  July 23, 1805

The Lewis and Clark Herbarium includes one Allium specimen, labeled "On the Kooskooskee, April 30th 1806. Reveal et al. attribute the collection date to May 30th when they were camped on the Kooskooskee (Clearwater) rather than the April date when they were at the Walla Walla River. Although Coues has suggested that the species is Allium tolmiei, Reveal et al. Are of the opinion that the extant specimen is A. geyeri and that the onions discussed in the journals on July 23, 1805 are probably A. textile, not A. geyeri. Moulton notes that the onion of the high plains is probably A. tolmiei or A. douglassi while the onion from the river border would be A. geyeri.

What is clear from the journal entries is that the Corps found wild onions and wild garlic at various locations during their expedition and that the onions were a welcome component of their diet.

An image of the specimen in the Lewis and Clark herbarium. . . .

Allium geyeri (PH-LC 7)

The copyright for this image is retained by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia; this image is used with their permission.

Journal Entries:

These passages were written in Broadwater County, Montana.
Capt. Lewis, July 22, 1805--on this Island I met with great ...  more>>

See following caption
collected by G.R. Vasey, Washington Territory, 1883

See following caption
Allium geyeri (Wagner00419)

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