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Archive | Herbaria, precious witnesses of our flora

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Nov20,2023

Archives | Herbaria, precious witnesses of our flora

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Specimens from the Quebec Herbarium, Green Week, March 26, 2011


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Do you remember doing herbaria at school? Collecting a sample of each species to identify and preserve it requires patience, delicacy and a sense of observation. While some herbaria are designed for pleasure, others allow researchers to conserve and document our plant heritage.

The oldest herbaria of the planet date from the mid-16th century.

The plants contained in herbaria are exceptional witnesses that allow researchers to retrace the evolution of the botanical world.

A quote from Errol Duchaine

A report from the Green Week team broadcast on May 5, 2012 introduces us to the herbarium of Brother Marie-Victorin who has found refuge at the Montreal Botanical Garden.

< p class="StyledImageCaptionLegend-sc-57496c44-2 sbxsP">Report on the Marie-Victorin herbarium and its move to a suitable location for its conservation at the Montreal Botanical Garden. Journalist: Michel Marsolais, Director: Marie-Ève ​​Thibault, Animation: Errol Duchaine.

The Marie-Victorin herbarium contains hundreds of thousands of specimens of our flora. It was from these plant samples that the botanist wrote his famous work La flora Laurentienne in 1935. The book was republished a few times.

Laurentian flora is still a reference guide today.

Since 2012, the Marie-Victorin herbarium has moved from the basement of the Montreal Botanical Garden to the Biodiversity Center of the University of Montreal located on the Botanical Garden site.

At the time of the move, the specimens in the herbarium were reclassified to adopt a more modern model. The information contained in the herbarium was also integrated into a database.

According to the curator of the Marie-Victorin herbarium Luc Brouillet, the collection has great scientific and heritage value.

March 26, 2011 , Green Week broadcasts the report Plant Memory, which presents the Quebec Herbarium and the Louis-Marie Herbarium of x27;Laval University.

Report by Aubert Tremblay on two important herbaria in Quebec: the Quebec Herbarium and the Louis-Marie Herbarium of Laval University . Director: Raynald Daoust The show is hosted by Errol Duchaine.

The Quebec Herbarium contains the plant archives of 160,000 dried plants, glued to cardboard and carefully classified in 130 cabinets.

I would say that a herbarium is like a library. These are documents that are used to support different types of work that can be done.

A quote from Normand Dignard, curator of the Quebec Herbarium

Reporting to both the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Agriculture , the Quebec Herbarium is the only one that belongs to the provincial government.

It is located in the Quebec Scientific Complex, in Sainte-Foy.< /p>

Created in 1942 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Colonization, the Quebec Herbarium specializes in the identification, conservation and study of weeds.

At the Charles-Eugène-Marchand pavilion of Laval University is the Louis-Marie Herbarium.

The Louis Herbarium -Marie is the biggest in Quebec. It brings together 770,000 plants.

Curator Serge Payette explains in the report that herbaria are used today to produce very sophisticated analyzes on a molecular level.

Researchers from the Herbarium Louis-Marie of Laval University is working to produce a reference work as colossal as that of Brother Marie-Victorin to document the flora located in the north of the province.

Journalist Aubert Tremblay explains that plant conservation techniques have not changed much since the creation of the very first herbaria.

It starts with interest in the native lands around us. The primary goal of making a herbarium is to know the flora.

A quote from Claire Lacombe, botanist

On May 16, 1985, the botanist from the Montreal Botanical Garden, Claire Lacombe, was the guest of host Normand Harvey on the show Au jour le jour. She explained to us the steps to follow for creating a herbarium.

< p class="StyledImageCaptionLegend-sc-57496c44-2 sbxsP">Claire Lacombe, botanist at the Montreal Botanical Garden, explains the steps to follow for designing a herbarium. The show is hosted by Dominique Lajeunesse.

First, picking wild plants is not allowed everywhere, you have to find out.

Once we have established where we are going to pick plants, we equip ourselves with plastic bags that will preserve the humidity and condition of the plant until we return home. We pick the whole plant, even the root.

Back home, you have to set up the herbarium to dry the plants .

There is no question here of putting plants between the pages of a dictionary or an old directory. Humidity would cause the sample to brown and even blacken.

Claire Lacombe suggests placing the specimens between corrugated cardboard and sheets of newspaper which will absorb humidity of plants.

Making a herbarium is a good way to satisfy your curiosity and perfect your knowledge of botany.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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