Cool drying

Lammers lammers at FMNH785.FMNH.ORG
Tue Mar 14 13:54:46 CST 1995

I have had good luck for many years with cool drying, preparing specimens
of most angiosperms with good color retention and minimum shrinkage.
Generally, the presses are placed on a concrete sidewalk or wooden deck
in full sunshine, with the corrugations oriented to the prevailing
winds.  I do not change corrugates or newspapers and do not use blotters.
I also have good results from placing an ordinary window fan up against
the corrugates, forcing cool air rapidly through the press.

The exception is plants with a thick latex, such as Asclepias.  Without
at least some gentle heat, they turn into a mass of fungus-chow.  Not
a pretty sight.  I suspect that succulents might present similar problems,
but we haven't too many of those 'round Chicago ...

Thomas G. Lammers
Department of Botany
Field Museum of Natural History         lammers at
Chicago IL 60605-2496

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