Check and Check

Once the initial cleaning of Echinacea heads has been completed the next step in the ACE workflow is (re)checking.

Checking is an important step to get a precise count of achenes per head to accurately measure plant fitness. The bags with the cleaned head, achenes, and chaff are checked to ensure that there are no achenes in the chaff or left on the head.  Once the envelopes have been thoroughly checked they are labelled according to experiment. Both envelopes are then organized numerically in a box where the next step is to be scanned.

Kathryn checking Echinacea heads and chaff for stray achenes

After this point paper markers are used to identify where in the ACE process the envelopes are. Once checking is complete a paper marker that reads “Checked, labeled, & ready for scanning behind this card” is placed in the box.  As volunteers work through the process the paper markers are moved to the appropriate positions (see images below).The next stop on the achenes’ trip is to the scanner to accurately count everything (all the achenes) from the image.


Boxes of achenes and corresponding chaff envelopes in sequential order in the “Ready to be Scanned” area.

Box with markers indicating it has been not only checked but also some achenes have been scanned.


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