Size Matters II
Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 8:53AM
[chuck] in Arenga westerhoutii, Science, plant specimens

Making herbarium specimens (see Herbarium Specimens and Moving the Collections Down the Ledo Road) can sometimes be really tedious and time-consuming. Especially when the plant material that you are trying to fit on a sheet of newspaper and press is almost 8 m long. Like the Arenga westerhoutii  Griff. leaf from northern Myanmar shown above. This whole massive structure is one leaf.  To make the specimen, you need a sample of the leaflets and rachis from the tip, middle and base of the leaf.  And if you are making replicate collections - which you always are, you need to do this six to eight times.  Which could involve about 50 sheets of newspaper and maybe 30 minutes or more of snipping, labeling, and pressing.  No wonder they call palms the "big game" of plant collecting.

[NOTE: That's me in the left foreground checking my GPS and looking decidedly uninterested in the whole procedure. The foot path that we are standing on is actually the Ledo Road].

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