Thursday, November 6, 2014

Canandaigua Botanical Society Herbarium

Celebrate 140 years of the Canandaigua Botanical Society!


Canandaigua Botanical Society Herbarium      

Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 10 AM       
Indoor presentation at FLCC - room C 220   

  We’ve seen the extensive species collection of the Rochester Academy of Science Herbarium at the Rochester Museum and Science Center, but did you know that the Canandaigua Botanical Society also has an herbarium?   I've know about the Canandaigua Botanical Society for the past 15 years.  I've heard about the collection of botanical specimens collected long ago by Canandaigua Botanical Society members...but I've yet to see this collection.  Please come to learn about and view the Canandaigua Botanical Society Herbarium with  Dr. Bruce Gilman.
Opening a press
Looking for specimens worth mounting

The Herbarium was established at FLCC in 1976 with plant materials from field botany.  Collections were made for class projects.  The herbarium holds plants indoors for teaching and learning.

The 4th largest herbarium in the world is at the NY Botanical Gardens where cabinets are on tracks.

The Herbarium at FLCC is for teaching and documenting types of plants in this region.  Current holdings include 15,000 individual sheets. 

A vasculum is often used in the field to collect specimens as it prevents wilting before mounting. 

Typically, plants collected in the field are set between blotter paper (newspapers) and corrugated cardboard where they are then pressed for several days before mounting. Tightening plants in a press for three days allows specimens to retain color nicely. The FLCC plant presses were made with recycled boards and are held together with straps.  

Bruce and Thomas gave a demonstration on how to mount specimens onto 12x18 - 100% cotton herbarium sheets (~$.70 each) using gummed linen tape that will hold items for 100 years.  Each mount should then have a label.

            Scientific Name: Class/Order/Family/Genus/Species
            Common Name:
            Locality: where plant was collected
                        City, County, State
            Date: of collection
            Collector: and Number:

The label information can then be entered into a database.

Bruce mentioned that students often use the NY Natural Heritage Program manual to determine habitat:

Bruce showed us the cabinets where the mounted specimens are kept.  Mounted specimens are in folders according to species and are alphabetized by families.  
We located trout lily of Maya Hobday

Many species ‘unpressable’ and can not be mounted easily but are still valuable specimens in the herbarium collection.  Examples include bark, fruit, seeds, fossils, fungi, and twig samples.  These are kept in cardboard containers, paper bags, and trays. 

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