Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Garbage Bag Method

What's the proper way to collect plant specimens to be filed at an herbarium? If there's plant mounting and drying equipment available within 24 hours of collecting a specimen, the garbage bag method is a good option.

Equipment needed: large plastic bag, pruning shears, masking tape, marker, GPS, notebook, pen
1. Find the plant you want to collect (it must be fruiting or flowering)
2. Describe the plant's surroundings and its GPS coordinates in your notebook and assign it a number
3. If the plant is large (more than a foot tall/wide), use shears to clip off a piece with flowers/fruit
    If the plant is small, uproot the whole thing (this kills the plant)
4. Using masking tape and a marker, label the specimen with the number you wrote in your notebook
5. Put the labeled specimen in your plastic bag
6. When you're finished collecting, return to base to press all the specimens in your bag

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