Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pressed for Time

Roan and Eric in one corner
Roan holding her new find
This is Roan and Eric. They are taking their biology lab subject in PUP (Polytechnic University of the Philippines) requiring them to create herbarium sheets. For the past weeks they have been combing the different garden shops to find 10 members each of the numerous botanical families assigned to them, namely ferns, Commelinaceae (spiderworts), Cycadaceae (cycads) and Vitaceae (grape family).
On the day I met them in Manila Seedling Bank last week, they were seated in a corner with their newspaper pile, wood press and denatured alcohol bottle.  They have just found new fronds of ferns and Cycas riuminiana, and doused then with the
Newspaper and denatured alcohol
denatured alcohol to hasten moisture loss.   The leaf was then flattened onto a sheet of old newpaper, covered and pressed along with their other leaf acquisitions.  Roan just finished collecting the 10 fern species and Eric, almost the same
Pressing the sample in paper
with the spiderworts.  They had a hard time completing the cycads as there were lesser small specimens sold in MSB and the big displayed varieties are quite expensive.   So their hunt was still far from over.  After collecting all, the waiting game to dry will follow and the process to authenticate the plant identities.  The semester's end is nearing, which gives pressure for them to find their sought after species at the earliest.

Plywood to press on the samples

I have not heard from both Roan and Eric, whether they finished their goal of getting the required plants. But one thing I am sure is that both of them have found a new respect and love for botany. In the past days they have gone through the numerous members of their four assigned families, learning more about the varieties and the beauty of plants in general.  I heard Roan say she was starting to love plants.  Eric on the other hand brought home seedlings of 2 cycads. Hopefully we add 2 more young ones into the ranks of plant lovers in the country.
Anthony Arbias helps both to sort out the fern samples


Batang Lakwatsero said...

i miss my Plant Systematics class.. puro ganyan yung ginagawa namin.. nakatamad pero enjoy!

Jayrah Padilla said...

Haha!!!..We've been so desperate in finding our plant specimens under our assigned family....I'm so glad that you have documented my of the most stressing but exciting requirements ever in Plant sys!!! we surely have fell in love with PLANTS

helico_aureus said...

it so cool to study and identify diffrent plant species.. mamahalin mo talaga ang halaman sa biology :))