Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
The ﬁrst part of my job in compiling the herbarium for KBGA was to collect, identify, and press the ﬂowers. I researched the speciﬁc information about each individual ﬂower such as the scientiﬁc names and to what speciﬁc butterﬂies the plants host or supply nectar. An unpredicted challenge was ﬁnding out that a plant may change families, leaving it hard to determine how to label it. Brian Campbell, an extremely helpful gardener (actually the Horticultural Specialist!) at Knoxville Botanical Gardens, assured me I wasn’t the only one confused on this issue. It occurs often and can sometimes be difﬁcult to keep up with, so it is not a huge deal when a plant gets re-categorized. I even toured the University of Tennessee’s Herbarium (which is a huge building and not a book, housing about 600,000 specimen) and met with Professor Wofford, the curator. He walked me through the highly organized plant files while informing me about temperature control, collecting strategies, and identiﬁcation methods. Dr. Wofford informed me that the plant files need to be kept at a cool temperature for optimum preservation. In making the Herbarium book for KBGA, I utilized more primitive methods than were demonstrated to me by Dr. Wofford. The book identifies 29 of the plants growing in the Butterfly Garden, and is available for anyone exploring the gardens to use as a guide for learning more about these golden pollinator flowers!