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Cleaning heads

Hey, this is Nina! Today at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Trevor and I continued cleaning Echinacea, Liatris, and Solidago heads. We learned a new technique to clean seed heads today, which involves sorting the achenes based on the location on the head. For my Echinacea heads, I separated 30 achenes from the top of each head and 30 from the bottom of each head (not including any ray achenes present at the bottom of the head). Here’s a timelapse of me cleaning one of the heads. I got some help today when Marisol, a lovely intern from Lake Forest College, helped me clean some of my Echinacea heads. Trevor separated achenes based on location on and counted the number present on each head. From preliminary data, Trevor thinks there is a lot of variation from plant to plant, but no trend between numbers of achenes based on location on the stem. Tomorrow, I hope to finish cleaning my seed heads and move on to scanning!

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