How to make your own algal herbarium

thanks to Univ. Tsukuba for illustrations!

First:
collect your plants at the beach
bring them home in fresh SEAWATER.

 

Herbarium pressing at beach Tsukuba.gif (38742 bytes)

Next:
get a large tray
fill it with clean seawater
put a piece of heavy weight paper in the water 
float the alga into place.

Herbarium pressing 1 Tsukuba.gif (28204 bytes)

Arrange your algae in a stack to wick water away and dry them:
place the algae on a blotter (2) and cover them with cloth or muslin (3 - so that they stick only to paper)
place another blotter (4) on top
place corrugated cardboard spacers (1) on top & bottom to help dry your "sandwich".

Herbarium pressing 3Tsukuba.gif (22992 bytes)

Repeat this stacking for as many algal sheets as you have.

Herbarium presses use heavy weight on top to flatten plants.

Dry the stack with air flow to avoid mildew.

You may have to change the blotters and spacers once before plants are dry.

Herbarium pressing 4 Tsukuba.gif (42385 bytes)

Within a few days, your herbarium specimens will be dry!

Remove the pressed plants and dry the blotters and spacers thoroughly before using them again.

Herbarium pressing 5 Tsukuba.gif (29795 bytes)

There're lots of ways to use plant pressings

- not just science!

Herbarium pressing 6 Tsukuba.gif (30820 bytes)