This week my collection is a real one, or actually two. When I was a schoolkid, our Summer vacation was a whole three months period, but it was not just for play and rest. We had to collect plants and learn their names. The collection was called a Herbarium, and mine looks like this:
Each year we had to collect 40 plants, press them, find out their Finnish and Latin names, attach the flowers on white papers and write the labels in ink. Here is my Alsike clover, Trifolium hybridum. (I was surprised to notice just now that the Alsike part of the name is the same as in Finnish, so it must be someone's name.)
Back to school in September, the biology teacher would check all the collections, and then we had a test. She would show any plant in our own Herbarium, and cover the label, and we would say the Finnish and Latin name of the plant and its genus.
No mistakes were allowed. In the picture above I have a pressed red clover, Trifolium pratense, but the fresh sample I picked today is the Trifolium medium. It has a red flower as well, but notice how the three green leaflets are more pointed and narrower than those of the red clover.
It took me about five minutes to collect the little bunch of wild flowers, more than ten species. I wonder why collecting 40 during a Summer felt sometimes like a burden? Well, it was really 40 new ones each year, three Summers in a row. One could naturally begin in May and find the last ones in September. Sometimes one just was too late there:
The Geum rivale, water avens, was past bloom today.
My specimen was from June 1962, so I knew when to pick this one.
The Chamerion angustifolium has different names in Britain and in America. I'm surprised how well the colour has kept.
Before the time of colour pictures one had to look at the details of the flower more carefully and compare them with the drawings of the guide book.
When we were just married, Mr K. and I started our own Herbarium and collected about a hundred flowers in it. The last picture is from this new collection. I managed to find the right kind of labels for them. Still sometimes when I see a wild flower, the Latin name just comes to my mind. Maybe not very useful, but fun anyway.
The original Accumulator Seriali posts are on my daughter's blog, Paperiaarre. Her blog is on a new website worth visiting.