Flower press – Bidens

In December 2014, I bought a flower press from Amazon to preserve some of the flowers I’ve grown and make pressed dried flowers. Part of the reason for this was to have specimens of flowers I’ve grown in my garden, but also to see whether this process will preserve some of the UV-pattern. I do believe that no one else has looked into this before. I was helped by my lovely assistant – my youngest daughter, who was wearing suitable eye-protection.

This is the flower press I bought from Amazon, which should allow me to press at least 2-4 flowers per layer.

My flower press kit
My flower press kit

I have had one of my Bidens pressed and dried in the flower press for more than 2 months now.

The flower press with the 4 bolts tightened
The flower press with the 4 bolts tightened

The flower is sandwiched in between a cardboard and blotting paper on each side.

Two cardboards sandwiching two pieces of blotting paper
Two cardboards sandwiching two pieces of blotting paper

This was my first attempt at flower pressing, and with a late autumn/early winter Bidens, so I did not expect much. Hopefully subsequent attempts will look nice than this.

The Bidens pressed between the blotting papers
The Bidens pressed between the blotting papers

But the big question I had was, will there still be some of the UV-pattern preserved after dry pressing the flower. Here is the link to Bidens which I had photographed last year when it is fresh. You can compare this to the images below. The flower now looks more orange-yellow in visible light.

Dry pressed Bidens - visible
Dry pressed Bidens – visible
Dry pressed Bidens - UV
Dry pressed Bidens – UV
Dry pressed Bidens - IDS1
Dry pressed Bidens – IDS1
Dry pressed Bidens - IDS2e
Dry pressed Bidens – IDS2e
Dry pressed Bidens - UVIVF
Dry pressed Bidens – UVIVF

So clearly the UV-dark pattern is preserved despite drying the flower, particularly in IDS2e. Hopefully I will be able to collect and preserve plenty of flowers in the coming year which I have grown in my own garden. I do not think I have seen this done by anyone else, so this should be a first for this type of flower imaging.

Boon