Concept

Vasculum

Summary
A vasculum or a botanical box is a stiff container used by botanists to keep field samples viable for transportation. The main purpose of the vasculum is to transport plants without crushing them and by maintaining a cool, humid environment. Construction Vascula are cylinders typically made from tinned and sometimes lacquered iron, though wooden examples are known. The box was carried horizontally on a strap so that plant specimens lie flat and lined with moistened cloth. Traditionally, British and American vascula were somewhat flat and valise-like with a single room, while continental examples were more cylindrical and often longer, sometimes with two separate compartments. Access to the interior is through one (sometimes two) large lids in the side, allowing plants to be put in and taken out without bending or distorting them unnecessarily. This is particularly important with wildflowers, which are often fragile. Some early 20th century specimen are made from sheet alum
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