This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The Gardener's Chronicle gives the following as Mrs. Cusson's plan: "For the dissection of leaves I find the process of masceration too long and tedious, to say nothing of the uncertainty as to the results; I have therefore adopted the use of alkali in saturated solution, the specimens to be introduced while the liquid is heated to boiling point. The time of immersion to be regulated by the character of the various leaves, and the nature of the epidermis to be removed. When the specimen is freed from epidermis and cellular tissue, it must be subjected to the action of chlorine to destroy the coloring matter. The introduction of peroxide of hydrogen serves not only to render the lace-like specimen purer in color but preserve it also.
" In destroying the coloring matter in Ferns this also is invaluable; added to the chlorine it gives a solidity to the bleached fronds, and appears to equalize the action of the chlorine. For skeletonizing capsules, the slow process of maceration by steeping in rain-water is alone available - a moderate heat may be applied to hasten the process, but alkali is useless.
"The only known flower which can be dissected is the Hydrangea japoniea. The fibrous nature of the petals renders it easy to skeletonize in the perfect truss in which it grows. Skeletonized leaves and capsules appear to gain in the process a toughness and durability not possessed by them in their natural state".