The Adamello Park started to create its own herbarium in 1999, with the help of Enzo Bona of Capo di Ponte. Many specimens of exsiccate will be available for consultation in the new Park offices in Breno.
This experience, as well as leading to the creation of a document of great historical and scientific importance for the Vallecamonica, will allow students, researchers and natural history enthusiasts to deepen their knowledge of the floral heritage of our valley.
Herbaria: from ancient Greece to the present day
The study and use of plants, or parts of them (flowers, leaves, fruits, roots, etc.), has ancient origins. In fact man has, since ancient times, always been fascinated and attracted by the discovery and knowledge of the natural world, from which to draw sustenance and precious medicinal substances.
Why a herbarium is useful: to give a name to living things
Probably the cause which has determined and still determines the creation of a herbarium should be sought in the innate need to “tidy up” the infinite variability of living things, which still today constitutes the main theme of Biological Science: to describe, to catalogue, to classify species, with the aim of giving an univocal name to all living things.
To make a herbarium is not just to produce a small work of art, of great aesthetic value, but also to undertake a venture of great scientific and historical value.
A herbarium allows us to obtain valuable information on the variability of plant species, their geographical distribution, their phylogenetic evolution, and the link with the climatic and ecological conditions of the territory where they are located.
How to create a herbarium
Simplifying to the extreme what in reality is a task that takes time, scientific expertise, commitment and dedication, the creation of a herbarium can be thus summarized:
* Collection of plants (the sample must contain all parts of the plant);
* Annotation of ecological and geographic data (place, date, habitat, notes on the ecology etc.)
* Identification and classification (with the use of specific scientific texts, taxonomic guides);
* Special treatment for the preservation of samples, if necessary;
* Mounting on card (with glue, pins, etc)
* Labelling (with indication of the family, genus, species and notes on the sample collection, classification, habitats, etc.)
* Filing of exsiccata.
To date the herbarium of the park contains the following taxa: