New England Dried Flower Collecting

A wide variety of wild flowers can be found throughout New England. Drying and collecting these wild flowers can make a great hobby or project for your child. It’s a hobby that will get him or her outdoors, and your child will feel like a real botanist.

What You’ll Need for Your Collection:
Blank Journal
Flower Book or Internet Access
Tissue Paper (optional)
Camera (for rare flowers)

Where Do They Grow?
You can start your flower collecting by looking up some of the flowers listed below. Try to find out their Latin name, place of origin (if not New England), places most likely found, attributes, and other interesting information. You can do this in a book on New England flowers or online. Write the information you find about each flower in your blank journal. Leave the left pages blank. You’ll want a separate spot for each flower.

Finding Your Flowers:
Next, use the information you found on the places each flower grows to find you flowers. This is where you put on your sneakers and head outdoors. Search while hiking mountain sides, fields, or lake paths and other areas. You don’t need to pick a lot. One of each type of flower will do.

Drying Your Flowers:
Bring your flowers home and dry them. Place the flower in the page you’ve started for it. While drying, the flower will leave a mark on the page. If you want to avoid this, you’ll need to place it between two sheets of tissue paper. Place something heavy on the journal and leave it for about two weeks or until dry. For larger flowers, you’ll need to cut them into smaller pieces to dry them, or hang the whole flower upside down to dry. If you dry the flowers by hanging them upside down, you will need a small container to keep each flower in.

Unknown flowers:
As you search, you’ll find wild flowers you haven’t looked up yet. When you get them home, look the flower up in a flower book or online. Then create a journal page and dry them as well.

Below is a list of wild flowers common to New England. You can start with this list. Add to the list as you find and identify flowers from your hikes. A flower book or a search online can give you more flowers to look for. Also, a book and other information can give you an idea of which flowers are rare and shouldn’t be picked – such as pink lady slippers. This is where your camera will come in handy. You can take pictures of these flowers instead, and paste the pictures into your journal.

Wild Flowers to Look for in New England:
Wild Iris
Bunch Berry
Canada Mayflower
Common Blue Violet
Common Milkweed
Dutchman’s Breeches
Golden Alexander
Marsh Marigold
New England Aster
Ox-Eye Daisy
Painted Trillium
Showy Orchis
Trout Lily
Wild Bergamot
Wild Calla

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