The Louis-Marie Herbarium offers this guide to anyone who may be interested in making an herbarium.

    Label template (
    Microsoft Excel and Word files



    The collection of specimens needs to be done with respect for the private property and for the laws governing the parks, nature reserves and preservation zones. Furthermore, the collector must be aware that in order to protect the biodiversity of Quebec, to date, 78 taxa are protected by the law. The list of species is available on the government of Quebec website:


    Harvesting Equipment





    1. Choice of specimen

    Herbaceous plants


    Trees and shurbs




    Seaweeds and aquatic plants


    2. Pressing and Drying

    The pressing and drying method will vary according to the different plant group. The pressing itself consists of placing a specimen in between newspaper sheets, spreading it in its natural standing position, and pressing it flat to dry so it can ultimately be mounted on a cardstock. While spreading the sample, make sure that both sides of the leaves are visible, and turn the flowers or fruits in various directions so that every sides will be visible. On hot and sunny days, it's important to quickly press the specimens or to keep the plastics bags containing the samples in the shade.

    Pressing and Drying Equipment



    5. Mounting

    Mounting method will vary according to the different plant group. Once mounted, vouchers should be stored in cabinets away from light, and at a constant air humidity ranging from 30 to 50%. Mesures to prevent against insect pests damages should also be taken. In these conditions, the dried plant specimens should keep for centuries.

    Vascular Plants and Seaweeds




    Specimens are secured to 29 x 42 cm white cardstocks (A3, tabloid or 11 x 17 in format) using archival grade gummed linen tape. The label is placed at the bottom right corner.


    Herbaceous and woody plants


    Seaweeds and aquatic plants


    Lichens and bryophytes


    In the field, leave the press in full sun, or on the luggage rack of a car, taking care of aligning corrugation flute to allow maximum air flow through the press.

    In the laboratory, use a low heat-source, such as two 60 W bulbs in a plant drier. The press is built by stacking corrugated cardboards and foam (i.e., cardboard-foam-plant in newspaper-cardboard). Fasten Compress between two hardwood board and fasten with the straps. Drying can take up to 48 hours.

    Fleshy plants, seaweeds and aquatic plants take more time to dry. Rotating the press everyday over the dryer should help getting a more uniform drying. Once dry, remove the specimens from the press and store in a dry place, away from direct light and insect predation. A fast and effective drying will help preserve the plants' original colors. It is however preferable to avoid overheating the specimen. Do not exceed a tempertature equivalent to that of two 60 W light bulbs.

    3. Notes

    The following informations noted in the field, in a notebook, will later help to make a label for the herbarium specimen.

    Collection number


    Plant name





    4. Herbarium Label
    The label should be printed on acid-free paper and contain the following information.





    Lichens and bryophytes