Thursday, 18 April 2013

Visit to the Herbarium at Kew Gardens

Day Three and we are taken on a tour of the herbarium at Kew.

This is where specimens are put that have been borrowed or presented to Kew. I was surprised to see that they are attached to newsprint and kept between pieces of cardboard, tied up with string. It all seemed surprisingly low tech if not a bit cheap and didn't seem to relate to the importance and science that was going on but it has worked for a couple of hundred years so why change it?

This was in the 'spirit room' where some samples are pickled in a mixture of water, alcohol and formulin.

Was this Wing A or B, C, D or E? Anyway it was one of the oldest parts of the building which has been extended every 30 years or so to house the collection as it has grown.

A newer Wing.

Some of the different ways a plant is recorded: the actual plant, dried, pressed photographed and drawn to very precise rules.

Records from the East India company in their mahogany cases. These samples can only be used at Kew and are not available to borrow.

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