Herbarium of tree leaves

Collect tree leaves to create your very own herbarium! This activity is organised as part of the “Vive nos arbres” project, aimed at promoting the heritage of Geneva’s trees.

Herbier de feuilles

To create a herbarium, collect leaves every time you go for a walk, spring summer or autumn.

The leaves are similar to a tree’s signature They serve to identify the different species. Creating a herbarium of tree leaves offers you the opportunity to study and compare them at first hand.


variable; depends on the time devoted to collecting leaves


  • illustrations of leaves (to be downloaded at the bottom of this page)
  • old newspaper
  • PVA glue or scotch tape
  • a cardboard sleeve, if desired


Study the illustrations of leaves closely before going out to collect them. Do not take more than one leaf per tree. Choose carefully: don’t take leaves that are too big or too small.
Place each leaf flat between the old newspaper pages.
Once you return home, correctly position the leaves collected in the newspaper and place one or two heavy books on top. Wait three or four days before removing them then place the books on top again for two or three more days.

When the leaves are perfectly dry, stick them on the illustration of the leaf or in a notebook using PVA glue or scotch tape.

To prolong the experience

After collecting specimens, a botanist labels each plant sample with the name of the plant, the date, the place where the leaf was collected and the name of the collector.

Do the same and make a label for each of the leaves you collect.

Did you know?

Geneva’s botanical tradition dates back to the 18th century and has continued growing ever since. Today, the botanical conservatory and garden of the City of Geneva boasts one of the five largest herbariums in the world containing some 6 million plant samples. Every year, scientists from around the world come to the consult it. Guided visits are organised for the general public twice a year.

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Conservatoire et jardin botaniques - Système d'information du patrimoine vert - Arbres

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Article modifié le 07.06.2023 à 11:14