Imagine preserving the colour and shape of a flower for nearly 15 years! A team of researchers at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) museology department claims to have developed a technique that can do just that.
The technique, according to the researchers, will benefit the flower business across the globe and help scientists preserve and conserve endangered, vulnerable and useful species of plants for study purposes.
"Our technique involves procedural treatment of flowers and leaves with certain chemicals, including copper sulphate, priopionic acid at a specific temperature that checks de-oxidation in flower cells and also drastically retards activities responsible for their degradation," associate professor Abdul Raheem K. told reporters.
After preserving the flowers for the last five years with this technique, the researchers a few days back approached the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) to get their technique recognised.
"They (BSI officials) appreciated our work a lot saying the technique would immensely help botanists in maintaining herbariums (collection of dried plants) which tend to deteriorate after some time," Raheem K. told IANS on phone from Aligarh.
"Our project, 'Prevention of botanical species, retaining their natural pigment', has even been lauded by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing," he said.
The researchers' team is busy carrying out experiments to improve their technique. "We will definitely apply for a patent for the technique that would definitely provide a boost to florists across the globe and assist scientists to carry out studies on plants, keeping them in their original shape for years," said Raheem.
The researchers have used the technique successfully on flowers like the rose, dahlia, sunflower and bougainvillea.