Larry Leach Herbarium
What is Botany?
Botany is the study of plants on which humans and other organisms are largely dependent. The science of Botany includes a
variety of sub-disciplines, due to the diversity and size of the plant kingdom.
• Plant Physiology - Study of the functions and vital processes of plants, e.g photosynthesis and mineral nutrition.
• Plant Morphology - Study of macroscopic plant form and life cycles, also includes the study of the evolution and
development of leaves, roots and stems.
• Plant Anatomy - The study of plant cells and tissue.
• Plant Taxonomy - The subdiscipline of identifying, naming, and classifying plants.
• Cytology - Study of structure, function, and life history of plant cells.
• Plant Reproductive Biology - Study of plant heredity and variation.
• Molecular Biology - Study of structure and function of biological macromolecules in plants, including biochemical and
molecular aspects of genetics.
• Economic Botany - Study of the utilization of plants by humans.
• Plant Ecology - Study of relationships between plants and the world in which they live, both individually and in
• Phytochemistry - Study of the chemical aspects of plant life processes, including the chemical products of plants
• Ethnobotany - Study of the uses of plants by indigenous peoples.
Careers in Botany are consequently equally varied. If you are interested in the natural world, Botany may be the career for
Why Study Botany?
Humans are dependent on plants for food, building material, medicines and for aesthetic purposes. Botanists can provide
information and support in terms of the aforementioned needs of humans. They can also assist in terms of environmental management, resulting in the
sustainable use of plant products.
Plant scientists today are being called upon to solve problems ranging from conservation and management of native species, to
gaining increased agricultural yield from reduced inputs, to predicting and dealing with the impacts of invasive plants, pests and diseases.
Why Study Botany at the University of Limpopo ?
At the University of Limpopo , Botany offers fundamental and advanced modules to make up under- and postgraduate degree
qualifications up to Honours level. We are well equipped with a wealth of expertise based on the experience of our staff and the different courses are
presented to equip students for the current trends and requirements.
Many students prefer to progress to higher degrees before seeking employment. Our senior postgraduate programmes (Masters and
Doctoral) offer interesting scientific research work (which includes laboratory and fieldwork) in a diversity of fields such as bio-monitoring, ecology,
plant propagation, plant tissue culture, and genetic transformation of plants. A number of project opportunities are available enabling students to carry out
research under the leadership of very capable supervisors.
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