Dried Plants

The Penn State Herbarium

Today the horticultural systematics class visited the Penn State Herbarium. Most people have no idea Penn State has a Herbarium; it is hidden away in the Whitmore Lab basement. The director is Dr. Claude dePamphilis, and the curator is Dr. Alfred Traverse. Currently the PSU Herbarium hold approximately 105,000 specimens, making it the third largest herbarium in Pennsylvania. If you want to contact someone at the PSU Herbarium the phone number is 814-865-6201.

Checking My Flooded Firs

I spent several hours this afternoon examining the firs that I flooded for twelve weeks last year. I’ve been giving them some time to recover, and today I checked the survivors. Some of the Nordmann fir produced respectable numbers of roots. I was happy about that.

Roots after the flood.

I did not expect to see roots being formed off of the old primary roots. I thought they would be dead, and all roots would be either adventitious or from root tissue close to the stem. So this sight surprised me:

Roots at the bottom of the rhizotron, growing from old primary roots.

I collected all the light colored roots to measure root length, quantity, and area. Thankfully I did not have very many samples to process; it was time consuming.

Roots collected from one flood survivor.

I noticed that the flood survivors had impressive lenticels. I am thinking about adding some form of lenticel measurement to my data collection.

My, what large lenticels you have!

I have a lot of writing to do right now, so the image analysis will have to be done around that. Tonight I spent some time learning how to use ImageJ, a program that should help me determine root lengths and areas. I’m going to need to invest more time in learning the program before I’ll be ready to start analysis of my images.

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