Preserving Plants in an Herbarium

Sunday, April 14, 2019
1 – 2 p.m.

$8/$10 per person
Ages 10 & up, accompanied by adult

An herbarium is a collection of plant specimens that have been pressed, dried, and mounted on heavy archival paper and grouped with a label that provides information about the name of the plant, where and when it was collected, and other information that the collector noted as potentially important. Properly prepared and housed in modern museum cabinets, in a climate-controlled environment, herbarium specimens will survive indefinitely. Specimens collected by Carl Linnaeus in the 1700s are still used for research today. The Chicago Botanic Garden has a small herbarium of approximately 21,000 specimens. The typical use of an herbarium is in studying plant taxonomy (diversity and classification of plants). But herbarium collections can be used to address many other important subjects, such as movement of invasive species, climate change, genetic diversity and evolution, and extinction. Herbarium specimens are often a work of art. Sometimes they are challenging to prepare (for example, a cactus can be difficult!). Chicago Botanic Garden botanists Pat Herendeen, Ph.D., and Nyree Zerega, Ph.D., will introduce participants to the science of making plant collections and preparing herbarium specimens. A variety of herbarium specimens will be on display, and participants will be able to make their own specimen to take home. Limit 20.  Pre-registration required. This workshop is suitable for ages 10 (with accompanying adult) and up; adults only may also register.

Plant Science Lab, Regenstein Center