Sampling VT’s Stinky Phil to make a museum specimen

Once Stinky Phil was done blooming, we sampled portions of its flowering structure or inflorescence. First, this walk-around shows Stinky Phil’s condition before sampling:

Herbaria try to be thorough and sample all parts of the plant, especially the reproductive structures. In this case, we waited until the flower was done blooming so the public could enjoy it. We also did not sample all parts of the plant so that we would not injure Stinky Phil and lower the odds of it blooming again.

We begun removing portions of the spathe, or big modified leaf that surrounded the flower stalk.

Sawing through Stinky Phil’s surprisingly stout spathe (or modified leaf around the flower stalk).

Next we sampled portions of the spadix, or the tall, spike-like structure that held the actual flowers.

This walk-around shows what remained of Stinky Phil after our sampling.

Next: Plant press preparations and pressing Stinky Phil’s spathe

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