Freezing remnant Echinacea

Congratulations, Team Echinacea! We are done processing all of the Echinacea heads that were harvested from prairie remnants in 2020, 2021, and 2022. On Thursday, I completed the final step of the ACE process: freezing. We want to preserve some remnant achenes for future experiments, so we stored them in the seed vault freezer at the Chicago Botanic Garden. They are now documented in the seed bank database. Here’s a summary of the remnant Echinacea stored in the freezer:

  • 2020 and 2021: X-ray sheets (random sample of informative achenes) for all heads harvested in 2020 and 2021. Envelopes (achenes not part of random sample) for paired samples only.
  • 2022: X-ray sheets and envelopes for all heads harvested in 2022.

With efficient packing, I was able to cram all of these achenes into two freezer bags. However, sealing the bags was definitely a two-person job. Echinacea from 2020 and 2021 are in one bag, and 2022 gets a bag all of its own. It feels very satisfying to wrap up these three years of data!


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