Students develop an awareness and knowledge of local plants by collecting samples of woody and herbaceous plants from nearby forested areas, such as East Rock Park. Woody plants should include representative deciduous trees (oaks, hickories, maples, beech, chestnut, birches, etc.) and coniferous trees (pines, hemlock, spruce, larch, red cedar), as well as herbaceous plants (annuals, biennials, perennials). One or more field guides to trees and shrubs and wildflowers are needed for field and laboratory work.
In collecting specimens, choose tree branches which have average-sized leaves which will fit on standard-sized herbarium paper. Keep specimens fresh by placing them in a vasculum or similar sturdy container. Place in a press between newspaper and blotting paper, using cardboard dividers. Dry for several days before mounting on herbarium paper with Elmer’s glue. Label sheets as to species (common and Latin names), locality, habitat type, date of collection, name of collector, and additional notes of interest. Store specimens in a box or cabinet where they are protected from damage.