Dried Plants Are Bits of Data
Friedrich Adolph Wislizenus collected this coralbells sample while a prisoner of war in Mexico Oct. 6, 1846. He brought the sample back to his home of St. Louis, where he gave it to his friend and fellow botanist Georg Engelmann. It is one of more than 8,000 samples collected by pioneers who explored the American frontier in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark. The collection is the first scientific record of the native plants of North America before European settlement.