Procurement and Preservation of Plants
Plants have been used by humans for thousands of years for a great variety of purposes. While many people collect plants as a hobby, specimen collections also contribute to the broader scientific community. To provide the greatest value, the specimen must be collected and documented properly. This chapter provides basic guidelines on how to collect plants in the field, process the specimen through pressing and drying, and properly mount the specimen for long-term storage. While the chapter focuses on techniques used for vascular plants, special cases and alternative techniques are also summarized.
Key wordsBotany Floristics Vascular plants Plant collecting Curation Herbarium Molecular studies
We would like to thank the staff of the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden herbarium and library, especially herbarium collections manager, Mare Nazaire, and workroom manager, Rachel Poutasse, for the crash course on what happens to a plant after it is passed on to them. I have a much greater appreciation for the staff and volunteers who deal with the 12,000 to 15,000 specimens deposited each year.
We would also like to thank the California Native Plant Society and the UC and Jepson Herbaria, specifically, Dr. Brent Mishler, David Baxter, and Danny Slakey, for providing a workshop on specimen collection while I was preparing this chapter.
Finally, we would also like to thank Fred Roberts, Jr. and Christine Rudalevige for the technical and language review of the manuscript.
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