Plants as living things, exhibit the seven life processes-nutrition, respiration, excretion, sensitivity, movement, reproduction and growth. A few other characteristics of the plants are life cycle, death, adaptations (short term and long term), evolution and homeostasis.
History of botany is as old as man himself. During the early civilizations Assyrians, Egyptians, Chinese and Indians (Sushruta, Parasar and Charak) had significant .contributions to the understanding of plants, especially, their medicinal importance. Greek philosophers like Aristotle (the-father of biology), Theophrastus (the father of botany), not only described plants but also tried to categories them.
The classic contribution of Theophrastus is ‘Historia Plantarum’. During the golden age of Greece, ‘Materia Medica’ of Dioscoreds and ‘Natural History’ of Pliny were also significant. The period between 200-1200 AD is considered as Dark age in botany as there was no significant contribution to the field during this period. The modern or the science age started in 1400 AD, when distinct scientific approach to the study of plants was initiated. More and more branches of botany developed during this time by the pioneering contributions of Robert Hooke (Father of cytology), Nehemiah Grew. (Father of anatomy), Carolus Linnaeus (Father of taxonomy), Stephen Hales (Father of plant physiology).
The knowledge on plants is on the rise and during the course of evolution as a discipline, a number of basic and applied branches have developed.
The scope of botany deals with course content of plant sciences and utility of plants in relation to mankind and nature. Starting from classical aspects like morphology, anatomy, taxonomy, the scope of botany has evolved into the modern Biotechnology.
Man is always, dependant on plants for food, clothes, shelter, medicines, spices, beverages and forest products. Through the applied fields of botany, the usefulness of plants has become manifold. Besides, plants are also of aesthetic importance and also provide ample scope for employment.