Botany

Botany is that branch of Biology that deals with the study of plants. The term ‘botany’ springs from an adjective ‘botanic’ that's again derived from the Greek word ‘botane’. The person who studies ‘Botany’ is known as a ‘Botanist’. Botany is one among the world’s oldest natural sciences. Initially, Botany included all the plant-like organisms like algae, lichens, ferns, fungi, mosses alongside actual plants. Later on, it was observed that bacteria, algae and fungi belong to a different kingdom.

History of Botany

Plants are the major source of life on earth. They provide us with food, oxygen and a spread of raw materials for various industrial and domestic purposes. That is why humans have always been curious about plants since time out of mind .

The Greek scholar Theophrastus was one among the first Botanists of the planet . 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 supported geographical ranges, sizes, uses and growth patterns. Dioscorides was another Greek physician from 90-40 A.D. who wrote an encyclopedia about herbal medicines referred to as “De Materia Medica”. This book was used as an important medicinal guidebook for over 1500 years until the invention of the compound microscope.


The invention of light microscope by Hooke in 1665 marked the advancement of knowledge domain within the field of Botany. It helped in the study of the anatomy and physiology of plants. The discovery of chlorophyll helped in understanding the method of photosynthesis. Renowned scientist studied the genetic inheritance in plants through his experiments on pea plants.

With the arrival of biotechnology and gene-splicing , scientists are ready to understand the plant part during a better way and have devised better ways of improving crop yield and crop health.

What are the branches of Botany?

Botany is divided into a number of branches:

  • Plant Pathology

It is the study of organisms and environmental conditions that are liable for causing diseases in plants, the mechanisms by which the disease occurs, and therefore the methods of controlling plant diseases.

  • Plant Ecology

Plant ecology studies the distribution of plants, how do the environmental factors affect plants and therefore the interaction between plants and other organisms.

  • Palaeobotany

It is a type of botany that deals with the recovery and identification of plant fossils, thereby, studying the evolutionary history of plants.

  • Archaeobotany

It is the branch of Botany in which scientists study as to how the plants were 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.

  • Forensic Botany

Forensic botany is the use of plants and parts of plants like pollens, seeds, leaves, etc. to investigate criminal or non-criminal cases, legal disputes or questions, to discover the cause of death or former location.

Importance of Botany

Plants are an integral part of human life. They are used in various aspects of day to day lives. Botany studies the characteristics and uses of those plants and hence is extremely important. The importance of Botany are often understood by the subsequent points:

  • Botany deals with the study of various sorts of plants, its uses and characteristics to influence the fields of science, medicine and cosmetics.

  • Botany is the key to the event of biofuels like biomass and methane gas that are used as alternatives to fossil fuels.

  • Botany is vital within the area of economic productivity because it's involved within the study of crops and ideal growing techniques that helps farmers increase crop yield.

The study of plants is additionally important in environment protection. The Botanists list the different types of plants present on earth and can sense when the plant populations start declining.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Botany?

Botany is that branch of Biology that deals with the study of plants. The term ‘botany’ springs from an adjective ‘botanic’ that's again derived from the Greek word ‘botane’.

2. Where can Biologists work?

The industries in which one can work are - 

  • Chemical Industry

  • Food Companies

  • Arboretum

  • Forest Services

  • Biotechnology Firms

  • Oil Industry

  • Land Management Agencies

  • Seed And Nursery Companies

  • Plant Health Inspection Services

  • National Parks

  • Biological Supply Houses

  • Plant Resources Laboratory

  • Educational Institutions

3. Who is a Botanist?

The person who studies ‘Botany’ is known as a ‘Botanist’.

4. What are the branches of Botany?

Botany is divided into a number of branches:

  • Plant Pathology

It is the study of organisms and environmental conditions that are liable for causing diseases in plants, the mechanisms by which the disease occurs, and therefore the methods of controlling plant diseases.

  • Plant Ecology 

Plant ecology studies the distribution of plants, how do the environmental factors affect plants and therefore the interaction between plants and other organisms.

  • Palaeobotany

It is a type of botany that deals with the recovery and identification of plant fossils, thereby, studying the evolutionary history of plants.

  • Archaeobotany

It is the branch of Botany in which 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.

  • Forensic Botany

Forensic botany is the use of plants and parts of plants like pollens, seeds, leaves, etc. to investigate criminal or non-criminal cases, legal disputes or questions, to discover the cause of death or former location.