Making an Herbarium

An herbarium is an organized collection of plant samples.


5" X 8" plain index cards Clear scotch tape
Clear contact paper
(cut in 6" X 9" pieces)
Plant press or
newspapers and heavy books
Heavy duty scissors Plastic gallon ziplock bags


Collecting the Plants

Ask an adult to walk to the field study site and help you collect different plants. A 'good sample' includes a plant with leaves, stem and flowers or seeds, if possible. If you are working with a plant expert, you may tape your plants to an index card and label them.


Drying the Plants

Carefully place plant samples between sheets of newspaper to dry. Stack textbooks or encyclopedias on top of the plants as they dry. After several days, you can mount the plant samples by taping them onto the index cards. Label each plant. Covering the plant samples with clear contact paper will help preserve them. Be sure to dispose of unused samples.


Labeling the Plants

Identify each plant with its common and scientific name. Be sure the label includes the date you found the plant and its location. List the resource (book, expert, CDROM, Website) you used to identify the plant.