Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Andrew J. Waskey
BOTANY IS THE study of plants. Botanists study all aspects of plants, including their environment and how they grow. The discipline is one of the oldest sciences and has been closely associated with agriculture, horticulture, pharmacology, and other disciplines concerned with plants. Botany is related to many other sciences such as soil science, chemistry, geography, mathematics, and physics. All the sciences and businesses that use botanical knowledge benefit from pure botanical research. Since prehistoric times, people have used plants for medicine, food, building materials, and making other items such as musical instruments. Plant knowledge was universal among cave dwellers or hunter-gatherers, whose folklore was passed on for generations. Medicine men or women practiced the development of remedies for diseases and injuries, as well as intoxicants. When settled farming communities arose about 12,000 years ago, horticultural plant knowledge also began to move toward a body of knowledge. Ancient civilizations of the ...