2. Your specimens need to be angiosperms--flowering
ferns or gymnosperms) and must have flower, fruit, or both
3. Your plants specimens must represent wild plants. Do not collect cultivated material--nothing planted in yards, in flower beds, etc., even if you didn't plant it. Cultivated material will not be accepted.
4. You may not collect in these places: The
of Texas A&M University,
Creek Park, Bee Creek Park, or the Arboretum. Avoid the Texas
Cooperative Wildlife Collection and
Nature Trails. Be careful with parks, golf courses, apartment
trees and shrubs there are often planted. National and State parks are
a no-no-without a permit.
5. Plants must be properly collected, identified, and
dried (see complete directions below.)
6. The project is due in two stages. Hand in a first group of 5 specimens plus labels and
summary sheet for
by the start of your lab period on the date indicated on the syllabus.
be graded and returned so that you can see how you are
The full collection (15 new plants plus the original 5,
WITH OLD AND NEW LABELS, PLUS NEW AND OLD SUMMARY SHEET)
is due by the date indicated on
fail to turn in the first 5 plants along the way, you will only
be allowed to turn in 15 at the end. Your first 5 plants
be part of your final collection--do not swap anything out.
2. COLLECTING THE PLANTS: You can make high quality specimens by pressing the plants while in the field, following the instructions of your TA. If you can't press in the field, put your collected plants into plastic bags, keep them cool and moist (but do not freeze them!), and press them as soon as possible (preferably the same day.) For keying, collect and plastic-bag a small bit of fresh plant material in addition to the pressed specimen. This extra fresh material will keep up to a week or two in the fridge (wrapped in wet paper towel or newspaper in a baggie or plastic container) or may be frozen for longer storage but poorer quality. It will not be good for pressing. Flat, dry plants are hard to key.
MATERIAL will not be accepted at all: either flower or fruit
both) must be present in the dried specimen. Root parts are required
herbaceous species. Press enough material to essentially fill
of folded newspaper--about 11" x 16". Small species should be
individuals, large herbs should be folded
(not cut), and
plants should be trimmed so that critical characteristics (leaves,
fruits) are present in the preserved specimen. Try not to turn in
things in bits. Put nothing in plastic--it will mold. Loose
parts go in a paper envelope marked with your name and collection
number. There should be no loose
soil. DON'T collect
or damaged plants. Very WET specimens will not be
accepted. For more information, see the course
each specimen in 1/2
(e.g. p. 1 and p. 2 of the Batt) of folded newspaper and include a
specimen label data form.
tape, staple, clip, or glue anything. Don't worry about
mounting your plants.
***If you collect anything more than normally sharp or with with stinging hairs or with irritant sap, please label the outside of the newspaper and the top of your collection sheet in BIG RED LETTERS. E.g. "Stinging hairs!" or "Caution--prickly!!"
THE PLANTS: You'll
through the use of your key is much
easier if you have fresh material and
in the laboratory. Also, your T.A. and
coordinator are there to help (but not provide names). Read
Guidelines for help on which books to use. Remember to check your
identification after keying
by comparing your specimen against material in the student herbarium. In
you can be 100% sure of all your IDs before you turn anything
in. You are free to
work in Rm. 004. This room has dryers, books needed for identification,
and the reference herbarium. Please don't remove books from 004. Access
to room 004 for study and keying
is available every week day, except during lab practical weeks. DO NOT
EXPECT to identify your plants with a guidebook or the web or by just
the herbarium. Plan now to spend some
time in the lab. Seriously.
4. PRESERVING THE PLANTS: Dry your
soon as possible after pressing. NOTE:
When using the dryers in Rm. 004, allow AT LEAST 5 days.
Juicy or bulky specimens will take longer. The
can be taken out and put back in, but plants remain in th press until
dry. You may also try using a box fan
blowing through the press at home. Using an oven or a microwave
does not do the job. Wet
5. TURNING IN THE PLANTS: Refer to the Checklists
in your packet for what is needed for each part of the project. Hand in field log,
labels, and a COLLECTION
SUMMARY SHEET with the first 5 and with the full
collection. On the summary
sheet, provide: 1) your name, 2) your lab section, 3) your collection
and 4) your identifications (family, genus, specific epithet). Other
on the collection summary sheet are used for grading. Please list
in alphabetical order by
family and turn in the plants in the same
as the list. You absolutely MUST return your plant
press (press boards, 20 blotters, and 11 corrugates) when you turn
in your final collection or we'll give you an I for the course and
2 .Complete data (1 point per label): This information includes everything listed for your field log, above. Don't forget to include the citation on the label--the title or author and year of the book you used to key, and page number where species description of plant appears. Get this information when you key the plant out! Any unfilled blank on a label means the loss of that label's data point.
***IMPORTANT: If you correct one of your first 5 plants, be sure to include BOTH labels in the final collection.
3. Complete specimen (1 point per plant):4. Diversity. When the final grade is determined, one point will be deducted from the total for each family less than 15 that you have. Only correctly-identified, acceptable specimens count. We won't count it if it's sterile, cultivated, very wet, or violates one of the following rules:
5. Time. Because it takes so
we must have them all in on time. Late penalties
are 1 point per
day for the first five plants and 5 points per day for the full
collection. Early turn-in is encouraged--beat the rush!
Return to the
Biology 301 homepage or to the
Table of Contents for the lab.