How to Dry Pressed Plants?
monique at bio.tamu.edu
Wed Sep 16 13:48:17 EST 1998
Forgot to point out that it must be one of the small (ca. 1 ft. cube)
ELECTRIC jobs. You want it to stay well away from the presses (6" min) and
you would never want to use gas or propane, etc. Also a good idea to sweep
out plant crumbs on a regular basis.
MDR in College Station Texas, where it is so wet right now
that if you put plants in a press and didn't dry them on purpose, they would
never dry, and might just keep growing. (Ever see a cactus do that?)
>Ooh! Oooh! I know this one! If the cabinet is intact and it's just the
>heating unit that is kaput, go to the nearest Walmart and purchase a small
>space heater. Just put it on the floor of the cabinet and fiddle with the
>controls until you get a steady 100-110 (max120F) in the cabinet. You may
>need to put a hole through the wall or back of the cabinet for the cord, but
>that is much cheaper than buying a new cabinet. The space heaters last only
a >year or so when run nearly continuously, but they are cheap (~$30) and
>reliable. We have ours rigged with a thermostat that will shut the cupboard
>off if the temperature goes over a certain point, so we are not likely to be
>starting any fires.
>Hope this helps,
>>We have an ancient herbarium drying cabinet from Lane Science Equipment
>>that breaks down roughly once a week during use and is clearly nearing
>>(past?) the end of its useful life. A replacement that appears to be
>>identical would cost about $1,600. We run two courses that require
>>herbarium collections, one aquatic and one terrestrial, so the cabinet is
>>in use roughly one semester out of two, however when it is in use it is
>>usually nearly full.
>>How do your students dry pressed specimens? There's an illustration in one
>>of the Carolina catalogs of a press set upright on a couple of bricks with
>>two light bulbs underneath -- anybody try that? I'm open to any and all
>>suggestions for an inexpensive space-efficient scheme.
>>William E. Williams
>>Biology Department, St. Mary's College of Maryland
>>St. Mary's City, MD 20686 USA
>>WEWilliams at osprey.smcm.edu
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