MadSci Network: Botany

Re: Chemical mixture for preserving plants?

Area: Botany
Posted By: Wendy Allan, Recent Grad student, Forest Biology - Plant Physiology, University of Victoria
Date: Mon Jul 21 16:36:41 1997
Area of science: Botany
ID: 869162543.Bt
I do  not know an exact chemical recipe for preserving plants. However,
there is a process whereby fresh plant specimens (i.e. leaves) are
preserved for several years. Plant specimans that are preserved in this way
are usually found in a herbarium. The specimans are preserved and then 
placed between plastic sheets and labelled. A collection of the preserved
specimens are then placed within a bound column to make a kind of book.
If you want to find out about this process, go to a university botany
lab and ask to see the herbarium and the person who maintains it. 
I hope this helps a little.

Wendy Allan

Admin note:
David Hershey adds the following:

Perhaps you are referring to glycerin. Wyman (1986) recommends it only for certain types of foliage such as Beech, Eucalyptus and Magnolia. The crushed ends of the branches are placed in one third glycerin, two thirds water for 3 weeks or until the you can feel the glycerin on the edges of the leaves.

The best flower drying method is silica gel.


Wyman, D. 1986. Wyman's Gardening Encyclopedia. New York: Mcmillan.

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