RE – POST: “GREEN out of the BOX”- Second stop of the environmental journey at the 3rd Gymnasium of Kozani!
November 24, 2023
December 13, 2023

From: 5th Gymnasium Kozani

To: 2nd High School Kozani


Challenge #4: DIY Plant Catalogue

From: 5th Gymnasium Kozani

To: 2nd High School Kozani

Do you remember the plant diary we used to make when we were young at school? It’s worth remembering and starting to make it with our students. What exactly is a plant diary?
It is a collection of dried plants or plant parts, a plant identification guide that we have made that helps us discover and distinguish different plants
that we’re interested in. If our collection is of herbs and wild grasses, then we make a useful herbarium to help us get to know them better.

Needed Materials:

  1. pair of scissors
  2. knife
  3. scaffold and a cloth bag
  4. gloves for the hands
  5. a notebook and some pens or pencils
  6. absorbent kitchen paper
  7. a collection of plants
  8. sheets of newspaper

Why is it worth making a plant catalogue?

Often we come across various wild grasses in the garden or in the countryside that we cannot identify. Which ones are edible and which ones can be boiled or cooked? Some of them may be poisonous and unsuitable for eating.

How do we prepare for collecting plants for our catalogue?

First, we collect detailed information about the plants we are interested in before we go out to look for them. We equip ourselves with a pair of pruning shears, a knife, a scalpel and a canvas bag to help us in the process of collecting and uprooting plants if necessary.

How do we collect the plants to make the plant catalogue?

There are plants that we can easily identify by their leaves. Some plants, however, are much more difficult to distinguish, so it is necessary to collect flowers or even fruits in addition to the foliage. In the process of collecting, it is very useful to take some photos at the same time, which can help us a lot in the identification research, having the complete picture of the plant. It is important to note the location of the plant and its altitude, as many plants grow at a certain height and this can be an important clue in identifying the plant. 

How do we process the plants to put them in the plant catalogue?

First, place the plant or plant parts of each plant on clean absorbent paper and cover it again with paper. Then cover both the top and bottom of the plant with sheets of newspaper to ensure complete moisture absorption. You can place each paper-covered plant between pages of a book and place heavy objects (thick books or bricks) on top to compress them. Usually compression is required for 1-2 weeks to get rid of the moisture and allow the plants to be stored properly in the herbarium. Alternatively, we can purchase special plant compactors, which of course raise the cost of dealing with the plant nursery quite a bit. The organization and filing of the compressed and dried plants can be done in binders with special gelatin sheets or in photo albums where each page contains an integrated gelatin sheet.