Create a Herbarium Specimen

Create a Herbarium Specimen - Body


  1. A plant from your garden or neighborhood (one you are allowed to pick)
  2. Sturdy paper or cardboard
  3. Glue
  4. Pen or pencil
  5. Materials for drying the plant (see step 3 for details)


  1. Select a plant in your garden or neighborhood (one you are allowed to pick). This will be your herbarium specimen.
  2. Collect a sample of the plant. Try to get as many plant parts as possible (seeds, leaves, roots, flowers, stems).
  3. Identify the plant. Apps like iNaturalist (Android)(Apple) can help in identifying plants.
  1. Dry the plant. You can do this with a plant press. You can also DIY a plant press by placing the plants in a notebook and placing the notebook under a pile of heavy books.
  1. Glue the plant to paper or cardboard (the sturdier the better!). When you glue the plant to the paper or cardboard, try to show off as many of the plant’s features as possible.
  2. Write a specimen label. Consider including the following:
    • The name of the plant
    • Where you picked the plant
    • The name of the preserver (you!)
    • The date
glass display case containing three herbarium specimen

Extension: Write a Museum Label

Here we see three herbarium specimens on display in The Huntington’s exhibit Nineteen Nineteen. We can see each specimen has a specimen label attached to the mounting paper with the plant. In the bottom right of the photo, we can also see a museum label!

The museum label is different than the specimen label. The specimen label contains basic scientific information about the plant being preserved. The museum label tells a story! Write a museum label for your herbarium specimen .