In the strict sense herbarium is a form of scientific documentation collecting. So making of a herbarium generally is domain of botany scientist 's. Practice herbariums by secondary school students or youngest colleagues of theirs has completely another destination and the form herself is only a complement, addition. Fundamentally the most important is to learn how to recognize plants properly and to choise an adequate topic. Usually this schoolboy herbariums has simplified character and oneself stay only a document-formality, as this or another species is recognized.
If target of herbarium preparing is to learn the basics of systematic botany, there is appropriate to get nonrandom (students say ambitious) topic. In fact top evaluated herbariums (boecouse the point) are logical related with different areas of biological or medical knowledge. Let's say with ecology 'plants, who like azote' (nitrophilous), systematics ('plants from families...'), genetics and comparative anatomy of plants 'comparative of selected organs of conifers witch are met at forests and their garden variety', medicine 'treatment plants', or extremely 'poisonous plants' (the second is less popular but probably most interesting). Finally it should be taken at this moderation: subject 'Protected plants at reserve...'' related strict with nature protection, sholdn't be accepted. Don't know why, isn't it?
Notoriously emerging proposals 'Plants around my house' are so boring and contain the same common specimens that do not really fulfill our purpose and meaning to work on the herbarium is negligible. This will be better than even the 'Selected garden plants' subject (though also no revelation!). They say: 'fine feathers make fine birds', so also at your herbarium work should be inserted. Herbarium 'Potted Plants', will be certain treated as an example of laziness, even if this 'functional group' is of interest to the author...
From my own experience I know that the work itself - prepared, rated and revised - remains an interesting souvenir, which can come back to remember the spring and holidays. Of course it is difficult to require such high-flown raptures over the herbarium with is made under a duress...
The indentify actually has two steps. The first is the preliminary determination of the species in the area on the basis of an illustrated guide. This let to avoid rare or protected species. Sometimes it happens that we fail to properly recognize the protected plant and unaware collect the specimen. In this case, it can't be planted again - it has become... (that plants we don't publishe in the herbarium). It is understood that can happen 'malpractices' - nobody recognizes each plant correctly, however the author should make every effort to protect the native flora. I'd like to emphasize: author herbarium can not first collect, then think. This action is irreversible and harmful to a nature.
We should collect each one visible organs example of the plant (flower, root - but not extensive rhizomes, leaves, etc...) And, if possible, the seedling. Typically it's enough for a dry one, up two specimens.
The next step is to confirm the diagnosis with a guide key. We use key by following the links: 1a non flower plants that reproduce by spores 2b plants reproduce from seeds photos 3 If we have to deal with a horsetail or ferns we go to step 2, and if the seed plant we 'jump through' to the point 3, which for some will allow us to determine whether the plant is a gymnosperm or flowery (ie define a subclass). It's followed the instructions to specify the name of the species and sometimes more specifically to the variety (although for students 'play' with lower taxa of species usually don't give meaningful results). You must specify the name of the species, not only generic. The mere finding of Pinus sp. (species of pine) is overeating junk, the more the plants published in herbaria by high school students are not very difficult to recognize. Completely different, eg Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine). I recall that the first word is a generic name (Pinus, pine) and the second is species.In conclusion we can say that we denote specimens to two-segment Latin name (usually polish name is also two-segment, although it is not a rule).
Most students use the keys that are available in the library, it means usually the older items - such as Władysław Szafer's keys. This is not a mistake, but it should be noted that the nomenclature has been partially changed. Finding any actual name is not very troublesome and it's properly done pro forma (a formality). In my humble opinion, leaving the old name is not a reason to lower the assessment.
Typically, the 'simplified keys' (ie 'Meet hundred plants' by Janina Szaferowa) does not allow you to specify all encountered species. Then you should reach for the more professional position. However, you can't considered that such keys prevent correct identify.
The next day, again replace newsprint to dry and back cover books. This procedure should be repeated until the plant is completely dry. Typically, the frequency of paper change decreases over time. It is difficult to determine the time of such drying. It depends on the species ('fleshiness' and actually the amount of water in the plant), the conditions under which the specimen has been collected (if it was wet, than longer ...) and so, the drying time will be shortened or lengthened. But absolutely we can't forget to change the paper, otherwise our plant collections quickly turn into a collection of fungi...
It is worth noting that not every plant we can prepare at herbarium. At least not in home conditions. I can't imagine dry cactus (Echinocactus cinnabarinus)... The same applies to plant organs: fleshy fruits (berries, drupes, etc. completely unsuitable to this. We are left with a beautiful, yet wet spot in the herbarium... :)
In fact, after the passage of these steps, we can take up a formal part. Herbarium sheet should include a description of the specimen, according to the stencil:
In the first two cases, we give the names of taxa: polish first, then Latin (unless you do not have polish - it's just Latin). Actually, the order doesn't matter scientifically, but usually so nicely presented. If the card is printed at the computer, so the Latin names of generic and species will have been written italics, and family by simple font. In fact, in the case of writing a card manually, these rules can be omitted. After the Latin name, we don't give placed in the keys and guides information, who first validly described the species (L. Carr., etc.). Describing the position, we give the name of the place (eg Koziegłowy) and habitat, choosing from: roadside, garden, forest, peatbog, and similiar. The other two do not require comment.
This can be done even so (handwriting at the right side):
Just stick plants on A4 size paper (you can, of course, bigger, but usually the size of A4 is enough), the best 'goose bumps' slice (you can buy it in a pharmacy just under that name). It is easy to insert this patch in another place without damaging the specimen. If the specimen desn't have enough place on a piece of paper then can be placed only a fragment or you can break it (Beggars cant be choosers). Such a card should be labeled, put into a document sleeve and you're done!
On the herbarium card we shouldn't place additional information. Actually it is a small mistake. Even if a teacher recommended to writing a few interesting facts, that should be done on a separate page.
On the last page (no specimen) we should post the position on the basis of which we denotes the plant, such as: Mowszowicz Jakub: National wild and garden weeds, State Forestry and Agricultural Publisher, Warsaw, 1975, as well as the positions through which 'had some' plants to our topic: for the topic 'Poisonous plants' position in the style of Clinical toxicology, etc.
Guidance comes from Wikibooks and is under the GNU Free Documentation License. Original title: How to make a good herbarium.