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Pressing Plants

August 1st, 2005, 12:34 AM
ok, so i have always collected botanical specimins, only aussie natives though as that is my only interest, not only for my work but out of interest. so i have always pressed my findings using heavy books, i would put them inbetween paper towel sheets and leave them under lots of books for about 6-8 weeks depending how the memory worked at the time.

so i finally got off my butt and made a great (if i may say so) plant press. so im wondering if anybody knows how to press plants effectivly and now that i have a tight press how long i leave samples for, and is there a difference in time for flower and leaf samples etc....

what is the minimum time i can leave them??

and if you press how do you store yours? i use shoe boxes lines with acid free paper, any ideas for better storage would be great....

thanks lovlies

August 1st, 2005, 11:04 AM
Hey Mel

I leave any I do an entire year...use acid free paper and put them in the largest books I can find.

If you try to take them too early they stick to the paper, have to completely dry out.

They are lovely once done, what are you going to do with them?

August 1st, 2005, 05:10 PM
i basically collect for my herbarium. as an environmmental scientist and consultant i deal with lots of plants, so if you ahve samples it can often make the job alot easier and you can become very familiar with the physical structures of plants in person rather than in text which is often hard to use...
i have about 10yrs of samples in the collection.

also botany is one of my loves, an extension of my work and i love to collect rare specimens, in australia you cannot collect rare stuff without a licence which i have so that makes it easy.

i have some great samples of endangerd australian plants and use these often in my work or for educational purposes, not to mention some of these plants are almost extinct so to have samples can greatly help conservation in many ways....such as education,, propagation, physiological studies and such....

also in my field to have a good collection makes you pretty cool in a sense, so it also gets you browny points when you can show the famous botanists your collection, hey we have to bragg about something...

mine are all mounted when dry, put on acid free paper with details of collection at the bottom..then stored, one day i will probably donate them to someone or a botany school or such......

a year you say, i ahve only ever left them 8weeks at the most and find they are fine mostly, i have had no probs with moisture at all....

my new press is so tight, it just squeezes those buggers together so hard, and i find they seem to dry fast.... but i cant remember how my 10yo ones were done, thats the prob, i suppose i wil experiment and let you know....whats the bet they were done over a year because i forgot them, i bet you a dollar i did that :cool:

well lets see then.....

thanks luba :angel:

August 1st, 2005, 05:13 PM
It's so humid here that the humidity gets into everything now in the summertime.

The thicker or broader the plant/flower the longer you leave it as you know and you only do it for weeks.

I've just done it the way I always did it and never looked at them for months LMFHO cause I didn't want to destroy them, let air or sun/humidity at them, know what I mean?

August 1st, 2005, 05:20 PM
thats thedifference, the humidity, its not that humid here even in summer, my stamp collection is my indicator and they have experienced no probs here, so perhaps the lack of humidty is the key.

when i lived in a humid place the humidity even stuffed my stereo so i can imagine a year would be jsut about right in such a place......

the only reason mine stay for a year is my crap memory, i tend to forget them until i go and use the book their in and then i remember, then mount, i suppose that is the surprising bits really, its fun to find a cool specimin you forgot about, then take it to all my cronies and we all drool over the specimin, ah well i think its cool and thats what counts really :D and hey some of my heros are botanists, so to emulate them and impress them is the ultimate for me, wow to me their all heros(most ppl dont quite get that) :D :p

August 1st, 2005, 05:34 PM
Don't you dare let them drool over them or you'll have to press them all over again :p