Botany is the scientific discipline that deals with the study, description and classification of plants, as well as their relationships with each other, with other organisms and with their environment. It is a branch of biology.
The word, as such, comes from the Latin botanicus, which in turn comes from the Greek βοτανικός (botanikós), derived from βοτάνη (botanē), which means ‘herb’.
Botany mainly studies the plantae kingdoms, which encompasses land plants; fungi, which includes fungi, and chromista, mainly algae. All these organisms have in common the presence of chloroplasts and not having mobility.
Botany is a broad field that is subdivided into different specific branches that deal with the study of specific aspects of plants. Among them we find:
- Phytochemistry, which is responsible for the chemical composition of plants;
- Plant cytology, which studies cell organization;
- Plant histology, which deals with tissue formation;
- Plant physiology, which analyzes the functioning of the metabolism;
- Phytography, which deals with growth and development, as well as the morphology of plants;
- Plant genetics, which focuses on issues such as reproduction and inheritance;
- Phytopathology, which includes studies on plant diseases;
- Ecology, in which relations with their environment are analyzed;
- Phytogeography, which deals with studying the geographical distribution of plants;
- Paleobotany, which is responsible for research and analysis of plant fossils.
Plants are very important for life on planet Earth, because in addition to being the main recipients of solar energy, they are also responsible for the generation of oxygen. In addition, virtually everything we eat or use is directly or indirectly related to plants and their processes.
On the other hand, the knowledge provided by a discipline such as botany is extremely important for life and the expansion of scientific knowledge, hence not only biologists, but agronomists, foresters, pharmacists, doctors and anthropologists. study
Plants are collected and cataloged in herbal. There they are dried and described for study and preservation.
Botanical gardens also serve this purpose, as they contribute to the study, preservation and dissemination of plant diversity. And, unlike the herbarium, in the botanical garden the plants are displayed alive.
Botany, since ancient times, can be in two main branches: pure and applied botany.
- Pure botany is the one whose main objective is to expand knowledge about plants and their reciprocal relationships and with the environment.
- Applied botany, is that in which research is assumed from its utilitarian profile, that is, how this knowledge can be effectively applied to agriculture or the production of pharmaceutical products.
Systematic botany is one that is responsible for the taxonomic classification of plants according to their characteristics, morphology, anatomy, physiology and DNA. Its objective, then, is the identification, classification and nomenclature of plants.