Labeling your plants | Ask A Biologist
Diversity: having many different types, or kinds, a variety.
Habitat: the place where an animal or plant lives.
Latin: language spoken in ancient Rome and still used today for many scientific terms and names… more
Scientific name: the Latin name used by scientists around the world to describe a particular plant or animal. Scientific names have two parts. The first part describes the genus, or group of related species. The second part describes the specific species. Example: Acromyrmex versicolor is the scientific name for the leafcutter ant. There is only one scientific name for each plant or animal and scientific names are always italicized.
Taxonomy: the practice and science of classification which includes identifying and grouping like things. Its roots are in the Greek, taxis (order, or arrangement) and nomos (law or science). Biological classification… more
Unique: one of a kind.
Once your plant has been mounted, it is important to clearly label the sample. Things to include on your label would be the name of the collector, date, plant name, and place where it was found. More details on labels including one that you can download are located below.
Labeling Your Dried Plants: and hints for filling in the information
You can click on the label below to get the printable sheet with six labels. We also include a few tips and hints for filling in the information.
Hints for filling out the labels
Name of collector:
Use a Global Positioning System (GPS) if you have access to one. Otherwise include as much information as you can give. You want someone else to be able to find your plant so be as specific as you can. If you know the approximate elevation that is great. If you drove on a road to get to the plant describe how to get there by car. For example take I-60 east, to the Country club exit 1 mile north, turn left onto Main Street. About 1/2 mile east of Main Street 30 feet in from the road sign on the left-hand side. If there is a mile marker on the road, use it. If you can, include the names of other plants that you see around the one you have collected. For example: There are many Brittle Bushes around, and one tall mesquite to the north of the plant. Describe your plant:
- Is it flowering?
- Does it have fruits on it?
- What color are they?
- How tall/wide is the plant you are sampling from.
- Are the leaves a certain color or texture?
- Sometimes flowers or fruits can fall off an herbarium sheet no matter how careful you are, and colors are not going to be as brilliant when the plant has been dried.
Describe the habitat you found your plant in: Taxonomists often want to know the range of habitats a certain plant can live. Some example habitats:
- A wash (area that water flows through in periods of rainfall)
- Desert (fairly open area, cacti)
- Scrub (between the mountains and the desert many small shrubs)
- Ponderosa Pine (High in the mountains, around flagstaff)
- Riparian (near a river)
- Urban (areas people live in)
Name the plant:
Every living species has its own unique name that is sometimes called the scientific name. These names are Latin and include the Genus and Species. If you know the scientific name, write that down. You can also include the common name.
The common name is what people in a particular part of the country or world use to talk about a plant or animal. For example, the cougar (common name) is one of the big cats found in North and South America. The scientific name of the cougar is Puma concolor. Notice that the name is in italics.
Also include other plants in the area
If you can, name as many species around the plant: What is the level of diversity around the plant? Sometimes naming the species around a plant can help you figure out which habitat you are in. It can also help you see if there is any relationship between plants. Do you see salt bush every time you collect a teddy bear cholla?
Books to help you identify your plants
From the Audubon Society Collection:
The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees, Published by Knoph.
(Their are multiple regions to pick from)
The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers,
Published by Knoph.
(Their are multiple regions to pick from)
Shrubs and Trees of the Southwest Deserts, Janice Emily Bowers and Brian Wignall, Southwest Parks and Monuments, 1993.
Shrubs and Trees of the Southwest Uplands, Francis H. Elmores and Jeanne R. Janish, Southwest Parks and Monuments, 1976.
Flowers of the Southwest Deserts, Natt N. Dodge and Jeanne R. Janish, Southwest Parks and Monuments, 1992.
Flowers of the Southwest Mountains, Leslie P. Arnberger and Jeanne R. Janish, Southwest Parks and Monuments, 1992.
Read more about: Create your own herbarium
The Importance of Plant Labelling
Garden Design, Herbs, Perennials, Shrubs & Trees
peterboroughmastergardeners 1 Comment
By MJ (Mary-Jane) Pilgrim, Master Gardener
Why should we label the plants in our gardens? The answer is simple–so that we know their names & can then give them the correct care. For herbaceous plants, the labels act as placeholders over the winter, so that we don’t accidentally disturb them, or try to plant bulbs too close to them while they are dormant.
Figuring out how to handle labeling is one of the trickier parts of perennial and vegetable gardening. Do you keep the tags your plants come with, filling your garden with dozens or hundreds of bits of plastic? Do you tape them into a special garden notebook, so you can keep track of where all of the information for your plants? Or do you simply toss the labels in the recyling bin as soon as you get the plants in the ground?
For me, the answer to all of these questions was ‘no’ simply because most of my first plants came from local plant sales and were probably pretty common (and invasive?) plants. The white paper address label from the sales were usually blank the following spring so I was no further off than when I started. Then, I started buying more unique perennials at garden centres — the real money kind of plants. It seemed a shame to toss those beautiful tags full of information, so I buried them close to the plant which worked well — but the tags did crack and disintegrate after a couple of seasons. Tags created with my simple Dymo labeller were often blackened by the sun after a similar amount of time. Then, I listened to a speaker at my local horticultural society discuss his approach to labels — one of those portable labelling systems that could take a special kind of tape: “high temperature/low temperature”. He reported that his labels were lasting 10 years and counting. Being a “techy” kind of person, I bought one from Brother/Staples about 5 years ago and I’ve been pretty happy with it. I also record plant information and cultivar names into my mobile phone’s “notes” feature in categories such as ‘hostas’, ‘coneflowers’, ‘sedum’, ‘trees’ so that if I forget to create a label, or the label goes through the chipper in the spring (yikes!), I still have something to go back to. Keeping a list of plants I’ve purchased on my mobile device also helps but doesn’t prevent me from purchasing duplicates. Sigh. (Been there, done that, too many times to count).
My last reason for labelling is that any visitor to your garden will ALWAYS want to know the names of your plants! They may already THINK they know what it is, and they are happy to have their knowledge confirmed with the presence of a tag.
Downside of Plant Labeling
- The amount of time it takes to check the plant, produce the label, and attach it, not to mention regular checking and replacing of broken, moved and missing labels
- The cost to purchase the labeller ($100 ish) and the label tape ($30 per roll)
- Labels can be easily be mistakenly moved from one area to another at cleanup time — and a wrong label is worse than no label.
- Labels can sometimes detract from the beauty of the garden.
Reasons to Label:
- You’ll remember your plants’ names, and can give them the correct care.
- You’ll remember which heirloom veggies are which for reordering next year.
- You’ll know which very expensive perennial you purchased LAST year did not show up at all this year.
- The labels act as placeholders so that you don’t accidentally plant something new in the space being held by another, but dormant, plant or bulb.
- “Oh, I’ll remember what this is.” Oh no, you won’t; trust me.
- Plants are worth WAAAAYYY more at plant sales if you know the cultivar name — we normally know the genus and species, but the cultivar name is much more tricky and often impossible to determine after the fact.
Plant Label Materials:
- Simple white plastic labels for seed-starting are available at many landscape supply stores, but what to use for the actual marking?
- Copper labels – use a ballpoint pen to make a true inscription on the thin copper — although these are sometimes difficult to read years from now.
- Paint the plant names on both sides of hand-sized smooth river-style rocks.
- Cheapest option: plastic mini-blinds or wooden popsicle sticks but these often fade or disappear.
- Strips of galvanized “duct hanger” metal strips, cut to length with a plastic label.
- Metal hairpin-type labels with a plastic label: sturdy, but easy to step on or pull out with a rake.
According to my research, the following will work on plastic, wooden and/or metals tags: pencils, ballpoint pens, paint pens, Sharpies, and supposedly fade-resistant nursery marking pens. According to some articles I’ve read, the unexpected hero is the ordinary pencil on plastic or wood: it’s perfect for all but the shiniest materials. A great suggestion is to include the plant information on the back of the marker, too. If the front fades or is damaged, the info on the more protected back side will hopefully still be readable.
MY Preferred Labeling System: hairpin-type label stakes (Lee Valley), pushed more than halfway down with white “live forever” plastic label tape (Amazon) printed on a small Brother labeller (see picture).
One last suggestion for plant record-keeping is the digital camera. It’s so easy to take a picture of the label right against the plant in the garden — you’ll then have a visual record of the name and where the plant is growing.
Hope this helps to save some time, energy and frustration for someone!
Plant marking — OLIPACK
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Nowadays, plants, like any kind of product, require labeling, and therefore nursery owners and gardeners need solutions to help them cope with this task. Like any field of activity, the labeling of plants and seedlings can be considered from different angles, so let’s look at this process from the side of the means used, materials and solutions that are used in labeling seedlings. In order to carry out marking, an information carrier is needed, which will be placed on the plant and means of applying information, with the help of which the required information will be placed on the carrier. You can apply information either using a printer (thermal transfer printers are excellent for this purpose), or manually (using marker paint or a regular pencil). But as a carrier of information when marking plants, a variety of materials can be used, such as: a tag for marking plants, a peg tag, a self-adhesive label, let’s take a closer look at each type of material.
A loop tag for marking plants or simply a tag is the most popular carrier of information when marking seedlings. This happened because it is easy to apply information on it, it is easy to place it on plants (due to the built-in lock), from where it will never fall off, if of course it is correctly fixed and because such tags are moderately priced. It is also durable and resistant to UV radiation, moisture, mechanical stress.
A peg tag is used when there is nowhere to place a regular tag for marking plants. This can happen if you want to mark a herbaceous plant that has no branches or a very young plant. In this case, the peg is stuck into the ground near the plant or into the pot in which it grows.
Self-adhesive plant label
Self-adhesive labels or simply self-adhesive is a universal labeling tool that is used almost everywhere where information needs to be applied, and not only when labeling plants. This label cannot be stuck on the plant, it is attached to the pot in which it grows.
The Olipak company is engaged in the manufacture of plant and seedling labeling products, such as tags or self-adhesive labels. If you want to buy a tag for marking plants, then in this section you will find the products you are interested in. This section presents a colored loop tag for labeling plants. If you need pegs, you can see the information on this page. Available sizes of self-adhesive labels are shown here.
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Plant marking: loop tags, pegs in SHTRIH.
Professional plant growing, sale of seedlings and seedlings, home floriculture and growing vegetables and herbs on a personal plot requires constant identification of varieties for ease of control and care of plantings. Our store offers convenient devices for marking plants in the form of hanging tags and separate plastic pegs.
The range of garden tags includes products made of synthetic materials with a long service life, which allow you to write and retain information about the plant.
Why you should order plant tags from us
- We have been selling labels for over 14 years;
- We supply high quality products;
- We offer a wide range of goods and services for marking: thermal transfer printers, labels, scanners, data collection terminals and much more;
- We offer a flexible system of discounts for large wholesalers;
- We work with companies, chain stores, individual entrepreneurs;
- We ship goods to all cities of Russia.
Scope of application
- hypermarkets and garden centers;
- online stores for gardeners;
- professional nurseries;
- private horticultural firms;
- agricultural firms;
- wholesale and retail horticultural centers;
- shops for gardeners;
- flower departments.
Materials for the production of plant labels
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a synthetic polymer substance used to create durable material, films, labels. It has high strength, chemically inert in contact with salts, alkalis, alcohol. It has water-repellent properties, is resistant to tearing, and does not decompose upon contact with biological material. Withstands temperature fluctuations. Allows you to use the finished product for a long time.
Noroplast is a substance used as an antistatic additive for synthetic plastics. Gives special properties to finished products, reduces the likelihood of static electricity during friction. It is used to create colored tags for marking garden plantings.
Polyplast is a composite material with improved strength characteristics, resistant to mechanical damage. Easily recovers its shape after a wrinkle, securely holds printed information on the surface. Refers to inexpensive materials for the production of garden tags.
Polyart is a synthetic material used to create thin canvases that mimic the surface of a paper surface. Can be used for printing and typographic finishing. It has antistatic properties, moisture and grease resistance, tear resistance.
Valeron is one of the strongest materials for creating labels, has increased strength and resistance to tears and punctures. Withstands heavy loads, does not change its properties during sudden temperature changes, is resistant to most chemicals, and is not affected by UV rays. Suitable for issuing premium tags.
Robuskin is a dense synthetic material coated on both sides, can be used at low or high temperatures. Repels dirt, water, is not affected by aggressive substances. The surface is suitable for printing information.
Methods for imprinting data on labels
Manual method — drawing text with a pen, marker or pencil. Used for individualization and quick data entry.
Thermal transfer printing — has a stable base that adheres well to synthetic surfaces. They have the ability to maintain clarity and brightness of the image for the entire period of operation. Used for quick release of tags and labels.
Flexographic printing is used to apply textual information to marking means when ordering medium volume runs. It provides a fast and high-quality labeling process and is used by manufacturing companies and trade organizations with a large turnover.
Features and types of plant markings
Hanging loop tags are attached to branches or stems without damaging them. Safe in contact with the plant, create the possibility of marking on the surface of the strip.