Herbarium Help: Figuring Out Unknowns

The second part of my research this summer is dealing with the data, both my data from this summer and data from previous years. Part of this means trying to figure out the identify of our “unknowns:” plants that are particularly hard to identify out in the field. Most of the problem comes down to the fact that the majority of the plants we’ve been trying to identify are juveniles less than four years old. There are almost no manuals on how to identify juvenile plants, which can look very different from the adults, so we’ve had to figure most of these out on our own. Each year’s research students working on this project have figured out how to identify a new group of problem plants and their contributions have been invaluable to my research.

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