History and Subdisciplines
The origins of this branch of biology are rooted in human beings’ attempts to improve their lot by raising better food crops around 5000 b.c.e. This practical effort developed into intellectual curiosity about plants in general, and the science of botany was born.
Some of the earliest botanical records are included with the writings of Greek philosophers, who were often physicians and who used plant materials as curative agents. In the second century b.c.e. Aristotle had a botanical garden and an associated library.
As more details became known about plants and their functions, particularly after the discovery of the microscope, a number of subdisciplines arose. Plant anatomy is concerned chiefly with the internal structure of plants. Plant physiology delves into the living functions of plants. Plant taxonomy has as its interest the discovery and systematic classification of plants.