Plant Press Specimens

I made a small plant press (~ 5″ x 7.5″) a number of years ago in a community class and figured I’d give it a try for this assignment.

As for my flower choices, I didn’t start out with a purple theme in mind, but that’s how things turned out. I got started on this assignment later in the week, rather than earlier – so the specimens were not completely dry. I opened the plant press for the sake of the assignment pictures and then returned the plants to the press for further drying. The press is pretty effective with parts of plants, but I would definitely seek out a larger scale tool for ongoing work with more varied specimens. It was also a challenge to get the full inflorescence pressed in a way that made all the parts visible.

As these came from my yard, it’s not an issue – but I’m curious about issues of ethical harvesting when it comes to acquiring plant specimens to preserve. Is there some equivalent of best practice guidelines for removing plant material from areas not in one’s own yard?


  1. Great job Jennifer,
    these did turn out very nice! I love that you used your press you made a while back. It is a very pretty plant press. Did you cut the front plants cover for the press out with a jigsaw? The woodworking looks amazing, as well as the touch of paint. Perhaps adding more locality information, as far as the country and state would be useful for your specimen labels. If you were to make a “real” herbarium specimen other data that can be useful are associated plants or habitat information, as well as the author of the plant names. So for the purple cone flower Linnaeus first described it in 1753 as Rudbeckia purpurea, and later on Conrad Moench in 1794 decided this plant fits better under the genus Echinacea. So it is now commonly known as Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench. Well done!

    1. Jennifer

      Will do on the information for documentation in the future. And as I recall that’s how the cover piece plants were created. We added the color & glued the arrangement, but I didn’t cut the pieces myself.

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