The Word ‘botany’ comes from Ancient Greek “botane” which means “pasture” or “fodder”. Theophrastus is known as “The Father of Botany”.
Botany is a branch of Science (Biology) that deals with plant life. It is the study of the structure and the vital processes of plants including photosynthesis, respiration and plant nutrition.
Nature of Botany
- Botany is one of the world’s oldest natural sciences.
- Many of our early medicines come from plants extracts; aspirin developed as a result of the study of rotting tree bark and penicillin came from mould.
- Botany is the scientific study of plants. A wide range of living organism from smallest bacteria to large living things. Some of these are fungi, bacteria, virus and algae. Now a days most of the algae, fungi and microbes are not considered to be the plant kingdom
- It involves the study of extinct plants or fossilised plants recovered from geological strata which helps us to understand the changing climate of the past. It shows us what the ecological make-up of each climate zone was like at any given period of our distant past
- It includes the study of the interior structure of living things; interaction of plants with other organisms and the environment; study of cells, including their function, structure and life history. Exterior form of plants: including the placement of stems and leaves on a stem and also the study of disease and the structural and functional changes that occur with disease. This can be important for range of fields including conservation biology, ecology, agriculture and horticulture.
- There are various division of Botany: Plant Pathology, Plant Ecology, Palaeobotany, Archaeobotany, Forensic Botany.
Scope of Botany
- Botany is important to study or understand because it has many ecological and economic importance. For instance, plants are used as a source of food, fuel and have medicinal implications. Plants are foundamental part of life on earth. They generate the oxygen, food, fibers, fuel and medicine that allow higher life forms to exist. Plants also absorbed carbondioxide, a significancant greenhouse gas, through photosynthesis.
- A good understanding of plants is very important for the upcoming human socities. It allow us to feed the world.Most of the food we eat comes from plants either directly or indirectly..
- Plants not only organisms that can produce their own food-Cyanobacteria also perform photosynthesis, they might have been the first photosynthetic organism to evolve on earth. Also, these organisms are responsible for the current oxygen levels that we have in the atmosphere.
- Many of our medicine and recreational drugs, like caffeine and nicotine come directly from the plant kingdom. Aspirin which originally came from the bark of willow trees.
- Popular stimulants like coffee, chocolate, tobacco, and tea also come from plants. Most alcoholoic beverages come from fermenting plants such as barley malt and grapes.
- Plants also provide us with many natural materials such as cotton, wood, paper, linen, vegetables oils, some types of rope and rubber.
- The amount of diversity in the field of botany gives it students to choose their specialization as per their choice, aptitude and interesrs. There is huge scope of being a part of this industry merely keeping in mind the amount of diversity it offer. One can be a pert of any reputed organization as a plant explorer, conservationist,ecologist, environment consultant, horticulturist, plant biochemist, nursery manager, genetics, molecular biologist, taxonomist, plant pathologist, environmental consultant and farming consultant.
Moreover, the application of plant science improves the yield and supply of medicines, foods, fibres, building materials and other plant products. The knowledge of plant science is essential for the development and management of forests, parks, wastelands, sea wealth etc