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- Date: 1696
- 1 : a branch of biology dealing with plant life
- 2 a : plant life
Botany, plant science(s), phytology, or plant biology, is a branch of biology. It is the scientific study of plant life. Botany covers a wide range of scientific disciplines concerned with the study of plants, algae and fungi, including structure, growth, reproduction, metabolism, development, diseases, chemical properties, and evolutionary relationships between taxonomic groups. Botany began with early human efforts to identify edible, medicinal and poisonous plants, making it one of the oldest sciences. Today botanists study over 550,000 species of living organisms.