Spring is the perfect time to create your very own herbarium. A Herbarium is a collection of plants that have been pressed, dried, identified, and filed. The collection of plants can be from your own backyard to a woodland or coastal area you like to explore. If you’d like to collect plant specimens from public land or a conservation park, you’ll need to apply for a permit.
Last spring, I collected plant specimens to press and dry. Before I pressed each specimen, I included a label indicating the date, its name, and where I collected it.
If you don’t have a flower press, then use the old newspaper and weighted book method like this:
Once specimens were dry, I added each one to an A4 or A5 cardstock, depending on the plant’s size. On a Herbarium Identification Card Jo created for the Woodland Nature Study Guide, I wrote down the plant’s details while referring to the label I had previously included to paste onto the cardstock.
Once the specimen Identification cards were prepared, I laminated the cards. Some plant specimens will be too thick to push through the laminator. In this case, paste the specimen onto the cardstock and slip the card into a plastic sleeve before filing.
I chose an A4 binder to hold my herbarium cards. You can create your own binders or files instead.
I’ve created a Herbarium Identification Card set for you. It includes a cover page. You can either use the one I made for you or create your own.
The card set includes both A5 and A4 sizes.
A herbarium will encourage you to remember the plant’s name and help you to identify one should you forget it. I’m so pleased that while bushwalking recently, I was able to identify some plants I didn’t know last year from memory, and this was my goal for the year.
So, get started, and be sure to share images of your herbarium with me.