What is a botanist?

A botanist is a scientist specializing in the field of science known as botany which is a branch of biology and the study of plant life. Botany is a word derived from βοτάνη, an ancient Greek word meaning grass, forage or pasture. Traditionally, the study of algae and fungi by both psychologists and mycologists has been included in botany. In a more rigorous sense, current botanists are scientists who are studying about 20,000 bryophytes and 391,000 species of vascular plants that include 369,000 flowering plant species for a total of 410,000 land plant species.


It is believed that botany originated during prehistoric times, when the first men identified herbs and continued to cultivate and collect poisonous and medicinal plants for food, making botany among the first branches of science known as herbal medicine. Herbalism is the study of plants for medicinal purposes. During these medieval times, there were physical gardens usually attached to monasteries that contained plants of medicinal significance. These gardens would later become the first botanical gardens for universities that were established around 1540 and onwards, were for academic use to facilitate the study of plants. The Padula botanical garden is one of the first examples of this. University efforts to describe and catalog their collections have led to

Important botanists over the centuries

In recent years, the evolution of botanical science has been enhanced by the development of technology. Botany has continued to evolve over the years thanks to several scientists, such as Leonhart Fuchs and Otto Braunfels who have turned away from the old traditional systems that involved replicating previous works. Instead, they decided to record the observations they made themselves. There is also Bock who developed his plant classification system. During the years 1515 to 1544, the doctor Valerio Cordus was the author of ” Historia Plantarum” which was of botanical and pharmacological significance. In 1546, he also wrote a ” Dispensatorium a pharmacopeia”which has had a lasting importance. From 1516 to 1565, the naturalist Conrad von Gesner published herbalists who covered the medicinal use of plants, with the herbalist John Gerard doing the same between 1545 and 1611. Ulisse Aldrovandi, a naturalist, invented natural history which included the study of plants while Polymath Robert Hooke continued to discover cells in living plant tissue.

The importance of the study of botany

Botany is essential because plants support all animal life by generating the food and oxygen used by humans and other living organisms with aerobic respiration and chemical energy to facilitate existence. Plants, cyanobacteria and algae are among the main groups of organisms that undergo photosynthesis, a process that converts carbon dioxide and water into sugars that are used as a source of both organic molecules used in the structural components of cells and of chemical energy. oxygen, a gas required by almost all living respiratory organisms as a by-product of photosynthesis in the atmosphere. Furthermore, plants influence the global cycles of water and carbon while their roots stabilize and bind the soil thus preventing soil erosion. Plants are a fundamental component for the future of humanity as they supply oxygen, food, products for people and medicines. They also create and preserve the soil. In this regard, botanists are important because they help us understand the importance of plants in our daily lives.

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