The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, June 5, 1806

Lewis, June 5, 1806

Thursday June 5th 1806. Colter and Bratton were permitted to visit the indian villages today for the purpose of trading for roots and bread, they were fortunate and made a good return. we gave the indian cheif another sweat today, continuing it as long as he could possibly bear it; in the evening he was very languid but appeared still to improve in the use of his limbs. the child is recovering fast the inflamation has subsided intirely, we discontinued the poltice, and applyed a plaster of basilicon; the part is still considerably swolen and hard. in the evening R. Feilds Shannon and Labuish return from the chaise and brought with them five deer and a brown bear. among the grasses of this country I observe a large speceis which grows in moist situations; it rises to the hight of eight or ten feet, the culm is jointed, hollow, smooth, as large as a goos quill and more firm than ordinary grasses; the leaf is linnear broad and rough; it has much the appearance of the maden cain as it is called in the state of Gergia, and retains it's virdure untill late in the fall. this grass propegates principally by the root which is horizontal and perennial. a second speceis grows in tussucks and rises to the hight of six or eight feet; it seems to delight in the soil of the river bottoms which possess a greater mixture of sand than the hills in this neighbourhood. this is also a harsh course grass; it appears to be the same which is called the Corn grass in the Southern states, and the foxtail in Virginia. a third speceis resembles the cheet, tho the horses feed on it very freely. a fourth and most prevalent speceis is a grass which appears to be the same called the blue grass common to many parts of the United States; it is common to the bottom as well as the uplands, is now seeding and is from 9 inches to 2 feet high; it affords an excellent pasture for horses and appears to bear the frosts and snow better than any grass in our country; I therefore regret very much that the seed will not be ripe before our probable departure. this is a fine soft grass and would no doubt make excellent hay if cultivated. I do not find the greenswoard here which we met with on the lower part of the Columbia. there are also several speceis of the wild rye to be met with in the praries. among the plants and shrubs common to our contry I observe here the seven bark, wild rose, vining honeysickle, sweet willow, red willow, longleafed pine, Cattail or cooper's flag, lamsquarter, strawberry, raspberry, tonge grass, musterd, tanzy, sinquefield, horsemint, coltsfoot, green plantin, cansar weed, elder, shoemate and several of the pea blume flowering plants.-