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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Field Botany Plant Collection Project

One of the courses I am enrolled in this semester is Field Botany taught by Dr. Bruce Gilman. The course is a very generic course covering a wide variety of plants that can be found in the northeastern region of the US, and more specically in the Finger Lakes. We covered deciduous trees/shrubs, wildflowers, conifers, lichens, mosses, and ferns. Most of the classes were spent outdoors learning to key out the specimens and looking at live plants. Now that it's getting on in the season, and alot of the plant life has died back, or lost their leaves, we've been in the classroom looking at preserved specimens from FLCC's herbarium.

We've had a semester-long project that required us to collect 15-20 plant species, press them, and document them. This project is due this coming week, and since most of my posts are related to wildlife, I thought I'd share my collection. I DO enjoy all parts of nature :) not just the cute furry kinds. Before I share what I collected, I would like to mention the field guides we've been using. They are pretty basic, and very user-friendly.

The four that were required for the course were:



Two other books I used, and are part of my personal collection were:



Ok, so on to the plants! In September I went home to my parents house to collect my specimens. I collected the plants and bagged them with a number, and then field ID'd them with my Dad. Then I got home and properly (well, kinda...) keyed the rest of the plants out. I'm still struggling with a couple, as you'll see.

My specimens, plant press, and field guides.


Panicle leafed dogwood - Cornus racemosa

Redbud - Cercis canadensis


 Riverbank grape - Vitis riparia


 Bittersweet nightshade - Solanum dulcamara

 Virginia creeper - Parthenocissus quinquefolia

 Aster unknown

 New England aster - Aster novae-angliae

 Goldenrod species - unidentified yet

American elm - Ulmus americana

 American basswood - Tilia americana

Staghorn sumac - Rhus typhina

 Periwinkle - Vinca minor

 Fern species - unidentified

 Colt's foot - Tussilago farfara

Wood strawberry - Fragaria vesca

We literally just learned ferns last week, so I have been putting off trying to figure out what #13 is. I really have no excuse for #8, other than goldenrod's are SUPER aggravating to key out. There are many, many, many, many of them...and they look alike. So, tomorrow I'm going sit with my wildflower guides and figure it out.

I also have to include 5 of these, for plants of my choice:


And 15 of these for each of the specimens...


And THAT is about it. I have been 75% done with this project for 2+ months, but due to laziness and business, I haven't touched it! Poor plants have been hanging out in the plant press, but as of Monday it will be complete.

Until next time...




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