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Branches of botany and what each one studies

Botany is a science that has been of vital importance to humans since the beginning of civilization. And it is that the plant world is not only very wide, but it provides us with such varied and necessary goods such as food, medicine, fabrics and construction materials.

If you want to learn more about studies related to the science of botany, stay in this AgroCorrn article where you will find everything about the branches of botany and what each one studies .

You may also be interested in: Branches of geography and what each one studies

What is botany and what is it for?

The definition of botany tells us that it is a science, specifically a branch of biology that is responsible for studying plants in all their fields and levels. The etymology of the word comes from the Greek βοτάνη, whose meaning is grass, although it is also sometimes called phytology, which comes from the words plant and treatise.

If we consider the origin of botany, we must go back to Prehistory itself, when the first humans learned to identify the different plant species in search of edible plants or those with medicinal properties. It is considered to Theophrastus , a philosopher of ancient Greece, the father of botany, and in their treaties and studies laid the foundation to be developed in the coming centuries.

When we consider more specifically what botany studies , we find that it actually encompasses very different organisms as an object of study, as well as algae, plants, fungi and cyanobacteria, some of which have little in common. .

Due to this, botanical studies have a large number of different branches, which we will see in detail a little further below. And what do you have to study to be a botanist? Depending on the country, this may change but, for example, in Spain this field of work can be accessed from different degrees, although the usual thing is to do it from an Agronomic Engineering, from Biology, from a Forest and Natural Environment Engineering or from an Engineering de Montes, all of them with the appropriate specialties.

What are the branches of botany

This science has a large number of branches, since as we have said, it covers a huge area of ​​study that must be divided according to where botany is applied. The main division differentiates pure from applied botany, the first being a study of species as a basic science, and the second working knowledge to obtain practical ends. These are some of the main branches of botany :

  • Phytochemistry
  • Cell biology
  • Histology
  • Phytopathology
  • Phytogeography
  • Geobotany
  • Paleobotany
  • Bryology
  • Phanerogamic botany
  • Cryptogamic botany

Below we will explain some of these branches of botany in detail.


Phytochemistry, as its name suggests, focuses on the study of phytochemicals , which are those that can be derived from plants . Phytochemistry can be considered a branch of both botany and chemistry.

It seeks to identify the compounds that different plant species produce and how these can affect humans or be used for some benefit. Plants produce phytochemicals as part of their survival and defense mechanisms in countless ways, and many of them can be beneficial to our health.

Cell biology

This branch of botany studies the cell individually , as a basic unit of life. The biology cell identifies and studies the functions and structures of the cell, seeking to explain their processes and functions.

It is a branch of great importance, since the knowledge it provides is basic for the others. It is closely related to genetics and biochemistry.


This branch of botany consists of the study of the microanatomy of tissues and cells of animals and plants. Observation is carried out by light and electron microscopes, using tissue cultures as samples. Similar to cell biology, it is a branch of great importance for the development of the others.

If you want to learn a little about plant histology, here we explain the Types of plant tissues, their characteristics and functions .


Phytopathology studies the diseases that plants suffer , either due to infectious organisms, also called pathogens, or factors such as environmental conditions.

We work here with bacteria, viruses, fungi, nematodes, parasitic plants and phytoplasmas, among others, although the larger insects and animals that prey on the plants are left out


This branch focuses on identifying the geographical distribution of the different plant species throughout the planet, covering all its aspects and different scales.

This branch is essential to help others to locate vegetables on the planet and, thus, know what their natural environment is like and understand them much better.


Geobotany studies the different ways in which plants adapt to the particular conditions of their environments, both individually and in community. It is a branch of botany as diverse as the different habitats in which plants develop.


The branch of botany called paleobotany focuses on the study and recovery of plant remains from past eras, already fossilized or preserved in another way. It seeks to provide information about what species that are no longer among us were like and how current plants have evolved.

You may also be interested in discovering the Origin and evolution of plants with this other post.

Systematic botany

This descriptive branch of botany studies the diversity of existing organisms, as well as the relationships that exist between them. It focuses on completing the information about the different evolutionary steps and describing each species as much as possible.

What does bryology study

Bryophytes , commonly called mosses but which include more types of plants, are a much less popular branch for the general public, but of great importance in the development of plant life on our planet. Bryology is precisely responsible for the study of these species, in all their fields and aspects. It encompasses the study of both the mosses themselves , as well as the anthocera and liverworts .

If you want to discover more about this topic, you can consult this other article on Bryophyte Plants: examples and characteristics . Now that you know what botany is and what each of its branches studies, as well as the importance of botany for humans, you may be interested in learning what the natural sciences and their branches are .

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