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Plant “taxidermy”

Discussion in 'Habitat and Exhibit' started by Buff42, Apr 29, 2021.

  1. Buff42

    Buff42 New Member

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    Probably a dumb question but just started getting into articulation, mostly fish, and was curious as to if if anyone does and or if it is even possible to preserve live plants? I know people use fake ones usually from what I’m seeing but if it were to get a plant and dip it in for example clear gloss plastidip or a clear coat in general whether I set it up as a dip or sprayed it on while hanging would the live plant stay preserved? Kinda like if you were to do a live plant encased is a resin mold? My only thought would obviously be it would probably be fragile? Idk just a newbies thought

    tia
     
  2. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

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    freeze dried
     
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  3. Lance.G

    Lance.G Well-Known Member

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    Glycerin will preserve plants and keep them soft and movable.
     
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  4. crablover

    crablover Well-Known Member

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    Lance is correct. Thin down your glycerin and cut your plant specimen stem at a 45 degree angle. You can tint the glycerin with food coloring and put the cut stem in the solution and allow some time for it to be drawn throughout the plant. You can then position the stem, branch and leaves and put into a box with dry rice. The shape will be preserved but your specimen will never completely dry since glycerin attracts moisture from the air, hence the flexibility. Hope this helps
     
    Buff42 likes this.
  5. There is (or was, not sure if it's still made) a product called Never-Say-Dye made just for preserving fresh plants. It is also glycerin based but contains other compounds as well to preserve the tissue and much of the natural color and maintain flexibility. I've purchased it in green, yellow, and clear formulations. Plants that I used this on years ago, such as various prairie grasses and Indian paintbrush, are still flexible and in excellent condition. They didn't require any additional dying or painting. I don't know if it is still available through taxidermy supplies companies as I haven't ordered it in a long time. However, unopened (NOS?) bottles occasionally show up on Ebay from time to time.
     
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  6. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

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    first off it wouldnt be taxidermy but is related in building scenes foregrounds and sets for habitat depiction.. certain grasses can be preserved by soaking/ spraying and freeze dry works excellent for mushrooms lichens flowers and cactus.some however become very fragile and need to be cased under glass. some mosses can be soaked or sprayed with fin flex then dyed or airbrushed.there are a few books on museum preperation
     
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  7. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    The short answer is "NO!" All the "infusions" (really osmosis) of plant with glycerine will leave you with a greasy mess. Dioramas constructed of natural materials has a finite lifespan. As Byrdman discusses, freeze drying works well but the subject matter is still organic. It is quite fragile and if you don't have it enclosed in glass, the quality will degrade quickly. Even Carl Akeley, during a time when quality diorama materials weren't so relatively, constructed his own native habitat materials artificially.
     
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  8. Buff42

    Buff42 New Member

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    @George @byrdman @BigShotshells @crablover @Lance.G
    Thank you guys for the replies!
    That being said I may mess with some things but are there any good reputable places to buy fake plants? Only reason I didn’t really think to check everywhere is because with fish obviously I’d like to use aquatic plants from the area the fish were from. Currently did a mummified Polypterus polli so I was looking for African aquatic plants and if I can be even more anal to go for plants from their range I’d be even more excited also working on some South American fish like black piranha and vampire tetras
     
    Lance.G likes this.
  9. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member

    "fin flex', haven't heard that in a while, lol.... you're showing your age byrdy