leaf collecting

Ross Koning koning at ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU
Fri Aug 29 14:49:11 EST 1997

At 11:42 AM -0400 8/29/97, BoydHS wrote:
>Please e-mail your answers, since I'm not sure I can get back here to
>check the answers to my questions.  BoydHS at aol.com
>1.Is there a standard proceedure for making a collection of pressed leaves
>as a botany project. (high school level)  I would hope this project to
>appear scienctific, rather than a hobby etc.
>2.Is this idea passe now days?
>3.How are pressed leaves usually displayed?  What information is generally
>included in the display.
>Thanks for any help anyone can give me

I hope a taxonomist will write to you.  I do very
little pressing.  There are books on plant taxonomy
that will give information about how to press the
specimens and mount them on standard acid-free papers
with special glue, and then how to prepare a complete
herbarium label for the sheet.  A search on the word
"herbarium" with "sheet" or "specimen" should give
you a good reference.

These references should give you good ideas for #1 and
#3 (the label!).  The second question should also be
addressed in a taxonomy text.

Herbariums are still in business, and still are growing.
But developing a collection of plants is really not much
science.  USING the collection to answer questions about
the natural pathway of evolution of a particular group of
plants is REAL science, and can be very exciting.  The
herbarium specimens have even been used to isolate DNA and
compare "fingerprints" in the DNA between related plants
as a measure of genetic similarity and so on.  So the
collection itself is not that interesting scientificallly,
but what you DO with the collection is what can make for some
very exciting science.


Ross Koning                 | koning at ecsu.ctstateu.edu
Biology Department          | http://koning.ecsu.ctstateu.edu/
Eastern CT State University | phone: 860-465-5327
Willimantic, CT 06226 USA   | fax: 860-465-4479

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