Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2004


Published in Great Plains Research Vol. 14, No. 1, 2004. Copyright © 2004 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


Since the publication of Lewis and Clark: Pioneering Naturalists by Paul Russell Cutright in 1969 and the arrival of the expedition's bicentennial, more and more people are interested in the botanical results of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The combined efforts of explorer Meriwether Lewis and botanist Frederick Pursh provided the foundation of our knowledge of the flora of western North America as well as the earliest portrayal of western plants as botanical art. Despite all the ordeals of the expedition, Lewis managed to collect specimens of about eighty currently recognized plant species that were described as new to science by Pursh in his classic 1813 two-volume work, Flora Americae Septentrionalis.