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Thread: Preserving Nepenthes pitchers

  1. #1

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    Preserving Nepenthes pitchers

    Since I found out about herbariums and preserving plant material, I found this method of preserving nepenthes pitchers.

    Basically all you need to do is cut the pitcher and throw the liquid from inside of the trap, then wash it with water to make sure there's nothing else inside and then wash it with a little bit of ethanol alcohol to remove the water. Grab a jar preferably glass(baby food jars...etc) and put the pitcher inside, then just put 70% ethanol alcohol until the whole pitcher is covered in the ethanol. I read somewhere online that it is recommended that you use 70% ethanol as there is something with 70% that does the trick(usually found at most stores). you MUST seal the container very well, triple tape or something to prevent evaporation or the ethanol from dripping out.

    This pitcher of N. Sanguinea was placed there about two weeks ago. I also placed some orchids because they look very nice. Use this method of preserving plants that are very thick and heavy. I tried to put a rose in a jar, and it floats, so it really has to be something heavy.

    The pros and cons: I find about this method as I read in a website is that the color of the plants tend to disappear due to the alcohol but as far as preserving the structure it is a great method. Also I don't like the idea of having jars with 70% ethanol as it is flammable so make sure to keep it out of the heat and place in shade or away from candles, lights..etc. You will need a lot of ethanol, so go to the dollar store and buy 10.
    N. sanguinea:














    Orchid flower:




  2. #2
    mcmcnair's Avatar
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    Very interesting but when I preserve pitchers I want that color pattern to stay otherwise there's not much point
    NCSU's Carnivore Nut
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    Class 5 Nepenthes hoarder lance's Avatar
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    Cool idea! I'm sure this would come in use for trips to indigenous Nepenthes countries where certain new species need to be identified back at the lab.


    In addition to growing plants, I design and build RC planes powered by Tesla batteries. Check out my progress at www.chargedplanes.com

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    Sundrew's Avatar
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    Fantastic! I've been wondering if there was a method for preserving pitchers. I do wish you could keep the colors, but it's great nonetheless.

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    I've always wanted to try encasing a pitcher in resin. You can preserve flowers that way, so I would guess pitchers would work just as well. This is the best example I can find of what I mean: http://www.iamanangelchaser.com/prod...in_forest.html

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    Very cool! I agree with mcmcnair that the color is important. Otherwise this would be the perfect method for preserving pitchers.

    One method I tried was drying the pitchers in the freezer. This generally keeps the color although usually it has a yellow tinge to it. Sadly it doesn't preserve the shape as well as the above method. Some things is noticed were wrinkling of the lids and some of the sides. Not perfect.

    The resin method seems like it could be the solution. I really need to experiment with this. What would prevent the pitcher from rotting inside the encasing? That seems like the biggest obstacle to overcome.

    I guess the only way to preserve a pitcher with original color and shape is through photography.
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    My friend Jeffery has bunch of car resin. If he preserved a pitcher like that, he could color it too.
    Hmmm...

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    I agree with everyone else about the color, there should be a way to make this happen, I wonder if oil could somehow work. I can't remember very well but I remember seeing someone dipping plants on mineral oil for preservation. Would it work for neps as well? Or how about other kinds of oil?

    I think this method is great regardless of the color at least for preserving the structure is great.

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