The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, January 21, 1806

Clark, January 21, 1806

Thursday 21st of January 1806

Two of the hunters Shannon & Labieche returned haveing killed three Elk, ordered a party to go in quest of the meat early tomorrow morning and the hunters to return and continue the chase-. the Indians left us about 12 oClock.

The root of the thistle called by the nativs Chan-ne-tak-que is pirpendicular and possesses from two to 4 radicles; is from 9 to 15 inches in length and is Commonly about the Size of a mans thum the rhine Somewhat rough and of a brown Colour; the Consistence when first taken from the earth is white and nearly as Crisp as a Carrot, when prepared for use by the Same process before discribed of the white bulb or gash she quo, qua-mosh, it becomes black and is more Sugary than any root I have met with among the nativs; the Sweet is prosisely that of the Sugar in flavor, this root is Sometimes eaten when first taken from the ground without any preperation, in this way it is well tasted but soon weathers and becoms hard and insipped. it delights most in a deep rich moist lome which has a good mixture of Sand- The Stems of this plant is Simple ascending celindric and hisped. the root leaves, posses their virdue and are about half grown of a deep Green. the Cauline leaf as well as the Stem of the last Season are now dead, but in respect to it's form &c. it is Simple Crenated and oblong, rather more obtuce at it's apex than the base or insertion, it's margin armed with prickles while it's disks are hairy, its insertion decurrent and position declineing. the flower is also dry and mutilated the pericarp seems much like that of the Common thistle it rises to the hight of from 3 to 4 feet.