The procedures followed in the fieldwork process include a collection of samples, identifying them, pressing, mounting, drying, recording field notes and storage. Requirements for the identification process include a dissection kit, books with plant descriptions, microscope and relevant dichotomous keys.
Plant samples collected from the field are labelled according to the area they were found. A template is used to store information that is similar to a large number of plant samples; which can be printed in bulk later on. The plant samples are labelled with special field numbers for easy accessibility. It is important to collect adequate plant matter from a selected species including flowers, roots, leaves and fruits; and barks of plants with hard stems. This is to ensure that there are adequate samples for the entire identification process. Plant samples collected from a particular area should be stored together, and duplicates of the samples should have similar numbers. The identification of plant samples is done through the use of keys and the dissection kit. Plant parts collected are cross-checked with the keys and subsequent genera or species are derived. Lichens can be recognized by the use of colour tests present in the kit.
A microscope is used in the process of splitting up the samples and viewing fine structural components of the plant specimens. Photographs and books containing correctly identified plants are also used to compare the features of the unknown plant samples. The samples may be classified into families, after which expert advice is sought from taxonomists and specialists to identify the actual plant represented by the specimen. While sending the samples for identification, necessary information to be attached includes the suitable growth conditions for the plant, the altitude and characteristics of its natural habitat and parts of the plant including leaves, fruits, stem and flowers. If photographs of plants have been used, they should be sent alongside a detailed account of the plant and an attached sample.Order Now