Every Wednesday for the past few weeks my volunteer Veronica and I have been cleaning and assessing the condition of the botanical fluid specimens in the spirit store. Many of the specimens have not been topped up since the 1930s. Some are in extremely poor condition and most likely cannot be restored. Others, like the pineapple below, however have been quite hardy and can be rehydrated and topped up.
Fungus and lichens are probably the most likely candidates for survival after drying up. The specimen below is one of the few that has not suffered from evaporation.
A few specimens had no labels. Thanks to the lovely people at Kew Botanic Gardens, we were able to determine that this specimen was a type of algae.
The salvageable specimens will be rehydrated and topped up once we have completed the inventory. Hopefully a few of them will go on display in the forthcoming new gallery!