“Botany is the branch of Biology that deals with the study of plants.”
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’.
Botany is one of the oldest natural sciences in the world. Initially, botany included real plants as well as all plant-like organisms such as algae, lichens, ferns, fungi, mosses. Later, it was observed that bacteria, algae and fungi belong to a separate kingdom.
History of Botany
Plants are the major source of life on earth. They provide us with food, oxygen and a variety of raw materials for various industrial and domestic purposes. That’s why man has been interested in plants since ancient times.
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 the 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 to understand the process of photosynthesis. Gregor Mendel studied the genetic inheritance in plants through his experiments on pea plants.
With the advent of biotechnology and genetic engineering, scientists have been able to better understand plant structure and have devised better ways to improve crop yield and crop health.
Branches of Botany
Bot any is divided into a number of branches:
Importance of Botany
The importance of Botany can be understood by the following points:
- Botany deals with the study of different kinds of plants, its uses and characteristics to influence the fields of science, medicine and cosmetics.
- Botany is the key to the development of biofuels such as biomass and methane gas that are used as alternatives to fossil fuels.
- Botany 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.
- The study of plants is also important in environment protection. The Botanists list the different types of plants present on earth and can sense when the plant populations start declining.