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Activity 07: Herbarium

Objective: Creating a scientific herbarium
Learning outcomes: Learners are able to acquire knowledge on how to create a herbarium on the basis og a text and they’re able to describe prominent criteria of plants.
Previous knowledge: Knowledge of the identification of species
Duration: approx. 60 min
Materials / Conditions: Text 1: Creating a herbarium, Shovel, plastic bag, fastener
Methods / Techniques: individual work, description
Learning subject: Biodiversity / Module 3: collecting, processing and analyzing environmental data / Level: First contact

A herbarium is a collection of dried plants for scientific purposes which also composed of the plants‘ names and further information. In this activity, you will learn how to create a herbarium.

1. Read Text 1: „How to create a herbarium“ and search the internet for reasons why to create one.

2. Take your shovel, plastic bag and fastener outside and look for a herbaceus plant. Dig it out of the ground, put into your plastic bag which you should close airtight immediately as the plant could wither otherwise.

3. Take notes of significant features such as the number of petals, the stipe’s specific features, distribution of leaves and the foliar surface’s structure.

4. Press the plant according to the rules in Text 1. After it has dried completely, attach it to an A4 sheet of paper and add information on where you found the plant and the characteristics you noted down before pressing.

Text 1: „Creating a herbarium“

An herbarium is a collection of dried and pressed plants. For hundreds of years scientists and plant lovers have preserved dried plants for study in herbariums. The great taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus had 14,000 specimens in his herbarium!

Plant presses work best for drying and pressing flowers and plants, but they can also be effectively pressed between newspaper and books.

Herbariums can contain entire plants (including roots), seeds, leaves, or flowers. Try to gather specimens from a variety of places: your backyard or garden, a field, a river or lake shore, a beach, a swamp, or a forest.

Use a tree, weed, or flower guide to identify your specimens. You may want to write out a label with the specimen's common and scientific names, as well as the date and the location where you found it. Press your specimens as soon after collecting as possible. They should take about 1-3 weeks to dry out completely.

Attach the pressed specimens to heavy paper or cardstock. Thin strips of masking tape or plastic tape work well for whole plant specimens and glue works well for attaching seeds. Be sure to include a label for each specimen including information on its family, location (state/country as well as what the surroundings looked like) and who collected it.


Possible results / Results:
- Creating a label for herbaria
- Describing a plant’s features

Related activities:

Author: Leonie Muy and Sandra Schöffer
Aus dem Deutschen übersetzt von Jana Prokaka

en/learning/courses/subjects/s01/m03/first-contact/a07.txt · Last modified: 2015/09/15 10:06 by sschoeffer