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Plants on the trail with Lewis and Clark
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Describes the journey of Lewis and Clark through the western United States, focusing on the plants they cataloged, their uses for food and medicine, and the plant lore of Native American people. - (Baker & Taylor)

When Meriwether Lewis and William Clark embarked on their landmark journey of discovery in 1804, President Thomas Jefferson directed them to notice “the soil and face of the country, its growth and vegetable productions.” The explorers collected and preserved nearly two hundred seeds and specimens, from small prairie flowers to towering evergreen trees, many of them previously unknown to science. From the Indians they encountered, they learned which plants were edible—thus avoiding starvation—and which could be used as building materials for their canoes and shelters. Looking to find a water route across North America, map the uncharted territory, and discuss peaceful trade with the Indians, Lewis and Clark became central figures in the country’s westward expansion and major contributors to its scientific scholarship.

In this welcome companion to Animals on the Trail with Lewis and Clark, Dorothy Hinshaw Patent traces the celebrated journey, examines the rich array of plant life the men sighted, and tells what became of the specimens over the ensuing two centuries. Adorned with William Munoz’s beautiful photographs of a variety of colorful plants, this visual feast is sure to captivate nature lovers and historians alike. Route map, suggestions for further reading, chronology of plants collected, index.
- (Houghton)

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Booklist Reviews

Gr. 5-8. This companion to Patent and Munoz's Animals on the Trail with Lewis and Clark (2002) considers the plants that Lewis and Clark saw along their way and the many that they introduced into the field of botany. Lewis was trained in the identification and preservation of plants before the journey. He wrote about the plants he saw, collected seeds, and pressed and dried hundreds of specimens, some of which can still be seen today. The book also discusses the importance of trees and edible plants to the explorers' success. Excellent color photographs appear on almost every page, spotlighting living examples of individual plants as well as vistas seen along the route. Exceptionally fine clarity, composition, and lighting distinguish these photos. The appendixes include an author's note identifying major research sources and recommending books and Web sites and a herbarium listing 175 surviving specimens and when and where they were collected. Of the many books recently published on the Lewis and Clark expedition, this is one of the most tightly focused, most interesting, and most beautiful. ((Reviewed March 1, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews

School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4-8-A companion volume to Animals on the Trail with Lewis and Clark (Clarion, 2002). An excellent two-page map shows camps and landmarks along the route of the explorers from the (current) Iowa/Illinois/Missouri border north and west to the Pacific Ocean at what is now the Washington/Oregon border. Lewis and Clark led the army expedition to explore and map more than 2000 miles of North America, find a water route across the country, discuss peaceful trade with the Indian tribes, and study and record soil and vegetation along the way. Lewis's knowledge of plants and their medicinal properties and Clark's familiarity with waterway navigation and land surveying led to the overwhelming success of this amazing journey. The explorers filled journals with carefully detailed descriptions of various plant species in their natural settings as well as how they used them as building material, food, and medicines. Patent gives examples that attest to the cleverness and mechanical abilities of the explorers and to the aid they received from the Nez Perce, Mandan, and other tribes. Good-quality, full-color photos and reproductions clearly extend the text. A listing of plant specimens collected and dried by the pair that can be found in the Lewis and Clark Herbarium (Philadelphia), sources for further reading, and a thorough index are appended. The author's knowledge of and keen interest in her subject matter is very evident in this fascinating account that helps bring to life an amazing episode in American history.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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