What makes a daisy a daisy? And what does a daisy do? Students learn techniques for observing, collecting, identifying, and preserving plants. Hands-on activities help them hone their observation skills and learn how to identify and classify specimens. Students can put these skills to work in the field, observing plants and collecting specimens to press and preserve.
People often assume that drawing skills are something you're born with. But the truth is, like any other skill, drawing is something you can learn. Start sketching with these helpful hints.
Without your eyes to guide—and possibly distract—you, what would you notice that you otherwise might not have? Enlist the help of a few friends, and find out.
A twig is just a twig—or is it? You can identify a plant, tree, or shrub just by closely observing one small part of it. After this activity, you'll never again dismiss a twig.
Test your classification skills with this leafy challenge. Examine drawings of 12 oak leaves, and see if you can determine the common and scientific name for each one of the dozen.
Long and narrow like a feather or small and symmetrical like a rose petal—the variety of oak leaves runs the gamut. See if your leaves match any of the 12 varieties featured in this sheet of hand drawings.
When it comes to identifying plant species, making mistakes is part of the process. That's why this botanist and curator recommends, "Never erase anything!"
There are 10 divisions in the plant kingdom. The largest order, flowering plants, has 235,000 species. The smallest, gingkoes, has a single species. Learn more about the orders in the kingdom Plantae.
Collecting specimens is necessary for studying and documenting new species—making responsible collecting all the more important. Find out how you can practice it.
The New York Botanical Garden has plant specimens that date back to the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-1806. What better place to learn how to protect and store your botanical treasures?
Autumn leaves, flawless fronds, prickly grasses, and perfect petals—all are great specimens to be noted and preserved. Find out how to press like a pro.