Fresh plant material

What to do with fresh plant material

To minimise damage to specimens, fragile plant material should be placed immediately into a temporary plant press at the collecting site. Use an old telephone book or something with a hard cover and absorbent pages. Arrange the specimen on one page of the book, folding it over to the next page if it is too large. Close the book on the specimen and keep everything in place by securing the covers together with a couple of large rubber bands (cut-up car inner tubes are ideal).

More robust material can be placed into a large plastic bag with a moistened paper towel inside, and transferred to a plant press later.

Ideally, all specimens should be transferred to a plant press within 24 hours. If necessary, plant material can be kept in the fridge for a few days, but delicate objects are likely to deteriorate.

Specimens may then be deposited at one of the main herbaria in Auckland (Auckland Museum, AK), Wellington (Te Papa, WELT), or Lincoln (Landcare Research, CHR). If you are preparing the specimen for your own herbarium, follow the guidelines below for pressing and drying specimens. It is advisable to check with the curators of the herbaria before submitting material to them.

This page last updated on 23 Sep 2012