200 Years. 200 Stories. Story 137: “Specimens From a Famous Expedition ”

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herbarium sheet from the Lewis and Clark expedition

Specimens From a Famous Expedition

Today’s Three Weeks Behind the Scenes photograph gives you a one-of-a-kind look at a specimen from our Botany Collection. The state flower of Oregon is a species of barberry (Berberis aquifolium Pursh) native to the Pacific Northwest. This Oregon grape was discovered and collected by Meriwether Lewis in 1806 during the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1803–06). Frederick Pursh’s description of this species in 1813 was based on this specimen. Specimens from the Lewis and Clark Herbarium and others collected long ago are now proving useful for studying the environmental conditions that existed before the Industrial Revolution.

How else have Lewis and Clark’s finds made their way to the Academy?

Photography: Cora Rivera.

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