Greetings Everyone! As the weather warms up it is the perfect time to follow-up to the project posted on April 7th; Making a Plant Press by MMA instructor, Andrew Goulet. Below are Andrew’s step-by-step plans for mounting the pressed plants you collected!
So you went out and collected some plants, assembled your plant press, and patiently waited a few days for them to dry. Now it’s time for the fun part! Pressing is a method of preserving plants for later study by drying them completely. In order to catalog each plant, botanists mount specimens on paper and write down any information that could be useful later, such as the location and date it was collected.
What you’ll need:
- Paper (preferably cardstock or coverstock)
- Glue (I used Mod Podge, but any clear drying glue will do)
Open your press and carefully remove your specimens. They should be dry and flat.
Arrange specimens on a blank piece of paper. If some leaves have fallen off during the pressing process, you can arrange them around the plant.
Flip the plants over and apply small dollops of glue to the backside of the leaves and along any thick stems.
Flip the plant back over and gently press and hold down where the glue was applied for a few seconds, or until the glue has started to set.
Tip: If your specimen has a bulky stem or a thin stem that is hard to glue, cut a thin strip of paper and glue it across the stem like a strap.
Once you have mounted your specimen, it’s ready to be labeled. Here is an example of the information you might want to record:
- Common name
- Scientific name
- Where it was collected
- The habitat it was collected in
- Who collected it
- Date collected
Once your specimens are mounted you can frame them, scan them, put them in an album or scrapbook. They make great gifts or even cards. Or, if you want to do as a botanist would, store them face-up in a dry place for later study.