Memories of Christmas Past

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10 Herbarium 1Vintage Newspapers: Manchester Museum’s Herbarium is not only an archive of trees and plants…

Christmas Treasures in the Herbarium

Many of the plant specimens stored in the herbarium in the Manchester Museum are pressed and mounted on A3 sheets of paper, called herbarium sheets. These are stored in acid-free, pest resistant boxes, in taxonomic order on open shelves.

dsc_0158Herbarium corridor, Herbarium Manchester Museum.

The herbarium sheet below is a pressed specimen of plant called Metrosideros tomentosa. It’s common name is New Zealand Christmas Tree, or fire tree, because of its vibrant red flowers from November to January.

Metrosideros tomentosaHerbarium sheet with a Metrosideros excelsa specimen, Manchester Museum.

And here is what it looks like in flower:

PohutukawaCornwallisAlso known in New Zealand as pōhutukawa, it is one of twelve Metrosideros species endemic to New Zealand. Renowned for its vibrant colour and its ability to survive even perched on rocky, precarious cliffs…

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