Botany : I. Lower Cryptogamia. II. Phanerogamia of the Pacific Coast of North America
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Image ID: SIL-SIL19-28-027
Supplied Caption: Botany, Plate II
In 1838, the United States sent 346 men, including a team of nine scientists and artists, in six sailing vessels on a bold voyage in the name of science. This voyage was named the United States South Seas Exploring Expedition, but it is otherwise known as the Wilkes Expedition, the U.S. Ex. Ex., or simply the Ex. Ex. It lasted four years and covered the Pacific Ocean from top to bottom. The team also surveyed other places like the Columbia River in the state of Washington, which would not actually become a state for another 50 years. It was here that they examined this specimen of the Golden Spider Flower or Golden Bee Plant. It is a two-foot high plant commonly found in the semi-arid climate west of the Rocky Mountains. It thrives in soil that is rich in clay and volcanic ash. This plant indicated that a nearby volcano, Mount St. Helens, had previously erupted although scientists had no record of this. It would be 142 years later that Mount St. Helens would erupt again in 1980.
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