What is Botany? History

Botany is also called plant sciencePlant biology. It is the scientific study of plants and It is a branch of biology. It deals with the study of plants, including their structure, properties, and biochemical processes. It is also include are plant classification and the study of plant diseases and of interactions with the environment. The principles and findings of botany have provided the base for such applied sciences as agriculture, horticulture, and forestry.

The term botany is derived from an adjective botanic that is again derived from the Greek word “botane”. One who studies ‘botany’ is known as a botanist. It is one of the world’s oldest natural sciences. Initially, Botany included all the plant-like organisms such as algae, Lichens, Ferns, Fungi, Mosses along with actual plants. Later on, it was observed that bacteria, Algae and fungi belong to a different kingdom.

History of Botany

The Greek scholar Theophrastus was one of the early Botanists of the world. He is also known as the “Father of Botany” due to his major writings on plants. One of his books called “Enquiry into Plants” classified the plants based on the geographical ranges, sizes, uses and growth patterns. The other work called “On the Causes of Plants” explained the economics of growing plants.

The invention of compound microscope by Robert Hooke in 1665 marked the advancement of scientific knowledge in the field of Botany. It helped in the study of the anatomy and physiology of plants. The discovery of chlorophyll helped in understanding the process of photosynthesis.


Importance of Botany

  1. It deals with the study of different kinds of plants, its uses and characteristics to influence the fields of science, medicine and cosmetics.
  2. It is important in the area of economic productivity because it is involved in the study of crops and ideal growing techniques that helps farmers increase crop yield.
  3. The study of plants is also important in environment protection. The Botanists liste the different types of plants present on earth and can sense when the plant populations start declining.
  4. Using scientific methods for more yielding of craps.

Branches of Botany

  1. Plant Pathology: It is the study of organisms and environmental conditions that are responsible for causing diseases in plants, the mechanisms by which the disease occurs, and the methods of controlling plants diseases.
  2. Plant Ecology: It studies the distribution of plants, how do the environmental factors affect plants and the interaction between plants and other organisms.
  3. Palaeobotany: This is the branch of botany that deals with the recovery and identification of plant fossils, thereby, studying the evolutionary history of plants.
  4. Archaeobotany: It is the branch of Botany in which the scientists study as to how were the plants used by the people in the past. Understanding a plant also helps in understanding the medicinal and spiritual significance of a plant in the past.
  5. Forensic Botany: It is the use of plants and parts of plants such as pollens, seeds, leaves, etc. to investigate criminal or non-criminal cases, legal disputes pr questions, to discover the cause of death or former location.