The Study of Plants and Flowers - A Botany Guide for Kids and Students

Did you know that there are about 400,000 plant species on Earth? Many thousands of plants on land and in the ocean are not identified or categorized. Plants keep us alive, as sources of medicine, oxygen, and food, but we don't know very much about the majority of plant species. Plant life and its importance are studied in botany. Flowers, trees, grasses, cacti, seaweed, and other plants are all studied as part of botany. Botanists work hard to learn about, organize, and help protect different kinds of plants. Earth has a lot of exciting, wonderful living things that are ready for you to study!

What is Botany - Definition

Botany is the study of plants. In botany scientists find answers to questions about plants and what they can be used for.

A plant is something that is alive and grows by using something called photosynthesis. Plants usually need water and sunlight to live and grow.

Photosynthesis is basically how plants eat. They use the energy from the sun to make their own food, so they don't have to move around, and can stay rooted to one place. They often provide nutrients to the animals that eat them.

Let's get back to our botany definition, then. Botany is the study of living things which use photosynthesis to make food. This can include trees, grasses, mosses, fungi, kelp, or algae. Botany is kind of like zoology, but for plants! Zoology is the study of animals. The genetics of plants, the way they breed and grow, and the way humans impact plants are all studied in botany. Flowers, leaves, stems, tree trunks, and a lot more are also studied.

Who Are Botanists?

Botanists study a lot of things that have to do with plants. A lot of other scientists know about botany too. Some of the scientists that have botany knowledge include conservation biologists, biochemists, horticulturalists, and molecular biologists. These scientists study things like how to protect different kinds of plants and animals, how chemicals react with living things, and a lot more instead of only botany. Flowers, seeds, leaves, and fruits are studied, and studies can sometimes have a big impact on agriculture as well. Basically, botanists are needed so that a lot of other people can use what they learn to learn new things about their own fields, from medicine to history.

How Do They Work?

Whether a botanist is scraping the fungus off of a tree in the Amazon Rainforest, or working at a desk with a lab coat for at a pharmacy, a botanist's major tool is one thing: science! Chemistry and biology are used to get answers to some important questions. Botanists use things like microscopes, computers, cameras, sample bags, hand tools, and pen and paper to find answers to hard problems and get results. They can work in clean laboratories, in the jungles, in deserts, in greenhouses, or even in the ocean.

How Can I Become a Botanist?

If you are interested in continuing to learn about the planet and each type of plant, botany can be a great career choice for you. Start by paying attention in school sciences and then continue on to take a botany or biology major in college. Many botanists go onto doctoral programs, and have careers relating to saving plants or classifying new plant species. When choosing a career, many botanists teach, or sometimes to go into laboratories. Biochemists and biophysicists can earn on average about $79,390!

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