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Roque, Jason R. HUB 32 June 16, 2011 History of Botany Early:

Ms. Melanie Medecillo Botany – Lecture

The History of botany has started with ancient writings and classifications of plants. Such writings are found in several early cultures. Most of the early works for botany can be found in Ancient Indian sacred texts, ancient Zoroastrian writings, and Ancient Chinese works. (1) Several of the factual examples of ancient Indian regarding plant classification is found in the Rigveda. This is a collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns that ranges to 3700–3100. The sacred Hindu text Atharvaveda divides plants into eight classes: Visakha (spreading branches) Manjari (leaves with long clusters) Sthambini (bushy plants) Prastanavati (creeping plants) Amsumati (with many stalks) Kandini (plants with knotty joints.

Meanwhile the Taittiriya Samhita classifies the plant kingdom into: Vrksa, Vana and Druma (trees) Visakha (shrubs with spreading branches) Sasa (herbs) Amsumali (spreading plant) Vratati (climber) Stambini (bushy plants) Pratanavati (creeper) Alasala (spreading on the ground)

Other examples of early Indian taxonomy include Manusmriti, a Law book of Hindus, which classifies plants into eight major categories. (2) The Greco-Roman world also produced a number of botanical works including the Historia Plantarum and De Materia Medica.

In ancient China, lists of different plants and herb were found at least the time of the Warring States (481 BC-221 BC). Many Chinese writers over the centuries contributed to the written knowledge of herbal medicines and its help to the community. The Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD) does include the notable works of the Huangdi Neijing and the famous pharmacologist Zhang Zhongjing in relation to plant pharmaceutics. There were also the 11th century scientists and statesmen Su Song and Shen Kuo who compiled learned treatises on natural history, emphasizing herbal medicine. (3)

Early Modern: The three founder of Botany are German physician Leonhart Fuchs (1501–1566) along with Otto Brunfels (1489-1534) and Hieronymus Bock (1498–1554) (also called Hieronymus Tragus). (4) In the early part of 16th century, Ulisse Aldrovandi an Italian Researcher was scientifically researching plants. Using an early microscope in the year of 1667, Robert Hooke discovered cells in cork, and a short time later in living plant tissue. The Germans Jacob Theodor Klein and Leonhart Fuchs, the Swiss Conrad von Gesner, and the British author Nicholas Culpeper contributed and published Herbals Covering the Medicinal Uses of Plants.(5) During the 18th century, systems of classification became deliberately artificial and served only for the purpose of identification. In the 18th century an increasing number of new plants had arrived in Europe, from newly discovered countries and the European colonies worldwide, and a larger amount of plants became available for study until such time in 1754 Carl von Linné (Carl Linnaeus) divided the plant Kingdom into 25 classes which really contributed a great impact and help to the arising knowledge about botany. (5) The division of the plant Kingdom by Carl Linnaeus had increased knowledge on anatomy, morphology and life cycles, lead to the realization that there were more natural affinities between plants, than the sexual system of Linnaeus indicated. (5) Botany was greatly stimulated by the appearance of the first “modern” text book, Matthias Schleiden's Grundzuge der Wissenschaftlichen, published in English in 1849 as Principles of Scientific Botany. (2)

Modern: Various alternative natural systems that were widely followed by the interested researchers of botany were proposed by Adanson (1763), de Jussieu (1789), and Candolle (1819) The studies on evolutionary relationships and phylogenetic classifications of plants has come up with the ideas of natural selection as a mechanism for evolution required adaptations to the Candollean system. A considerable amount of new knowledge today is being generated from studying model plants. Sequencing of the genome of the plant has been widely used to inculcate and more extensively study the wide classification and identification of plants. In 1998 the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group published a phylogeny of flowering plants based on an analysis

of DNA sequences from most families of flowering plants. As a result of this work, major questions such as which families represent the earliest branches in the genealogy of angiosperms are now understood. Investigating how plant species are related to each other allows botanists to better understand the process of evolution in plants. (6)

References: 1. Retrieved from on June 14, 2011 2. Morton, Alan G. (1981). History of Botanical Science: An Account of the Development of Botany from Ancient Times to the Present Day. London: Academic Press. 3. Needham, Joseph; Lu, Gwei-djen & Huang, Hsing-Tsung (1986). Science and Civilisation in China, Vol. 6 Part 1 Botany. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 4. Retrieved from on June 14, 2011 5. Hoek, C. van den, Mann, D.G. and Jahns, H.M. 2005. Algae: An Introduction to Phycology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 6. Devos, Katrien M.; Gale, MD (2000). "Genome Relationships: The Grass Model in Current Research

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