School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

dropdown arrow downdropdown arrow upshow/hide menu

Ask A Biologist heading
Pressing plants header

Create Your Own Herbarium

By CJ Kazilek

show/hide words to know

  • Herbarium: a collection of dried plants mounted (usually on paper) labeled and arranged for use by scientists... more

Have you ever seen an interesting plant that you wanted to keep? The best way to preserve a plant specimen is to press it and dry it. Dr. Leslie Landrum has many cabinets of dried plants in the Arizona State University herbarium. This collection allows researchers to go back in time to study plants. The Herbarium has plants that were collected as far back as 1877. You can start your own collection of interesting plants by pressing and drying them. Follow the directions below to make your own plant press.

Materials needed:


  • 2 flat pieces of wood
  • 2 pieces of cardboard
  • old newspaper
  • rope or strong twine
  • garden clippers or scissors
  • paper to mount your dried plant onto
  • glue to stick plant to paper
  • paper to create a label

step 1step 1step 2step 2step 3step 3

Step one:
You will need to create a press to press your plants flat.


Step two:
Find an interesting plant to press.

Step three:
Pressing the plant.
step fourstep 4step fivestep 5step 6step 6

Step four:
Putting the press together.

Step five:
Tying the press together and drying.


Step six:
Mounting your plants.
step 7step 7Step seven: Labeling your dried plants. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

(Thanks to Dr. Leslie Landrum at Arizona State University for suggesting this experiment).

Plant Press Materials

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.

dropdown arrow downdropdown arrow up  Learn More

Plant Press Materials

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.