I really enjoyed collecting and pressing “plant voucher specimens” for this class. This is my first attempt at pressing ever, and I did have some complications during my first run. For the press I used 2 boards of plywood and 2 tow straps (2 tow straps were sadly lost in the creation of this plant press). To layer between plants I used haphazardly cut pieces of cardboard boxes, paper towels, and newspaper.
Any imprint on the cardboard was reflected on the leaves – making it difficult to view the venation in the pressed subjects. In the future, I will apply more layers in between the newspaper plants. Paper towels, while textured, left no print and seem to be mostly reusable after drying. Wet fruits from the devils club were pressed too closely to a leaf and left a splotchy pattern- likely due to water retention. Coupling the use of more paper towels with the long-term possibility of creating a structure with more ventilation.
First Specimen is the prickly devilsclub…
Next up, the itchy cowparsnip…
I first identified the pretty bladder-campion for this class. As I have grown to enjoy it, I have also begun to notice it everywhere. Would be really cool to dissect because of the cool inflated calyx.
Last Voucher I collected is the yellow avens. I see these spikey fruits(?) on my dog a lot. They resisted the press to the best of their abilities! Very strong and pokey.
Excellent job Olivia! You really got some heavy duty straps it looks like, you can probably torque down the press much more than is needed. Newspaper generally works the best for the pressing, the paper towels have a structure to the paper that might show up as an impression on the leaves if you press it too hard. For plants that are really bulky we sometimes use sheets of thin foam to help with the unevenness of some bulky plant specimens. Nicely done and great documentation!