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Where to begin??!?....

Posted by riverminty (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 21, 08 at 23:47

Hellos, I am less than a week away from becoming 18 and have recently taken up a serious interest in Botany and/or biology. I love plants and learning about them fascinates me, but I'm not sure how to go about educating myself in the best way. Obviously, there are thousands upon millions of plants to study, and I'm not sure what to start with.

Does anybody know of any good resources for jumping in afresh to the science of botany, or some refutable (sp?) books or websites? I don't mind if they're rather text-y. :)

Thank you so much!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Where to begin??!?....

Hi riverminty,
Here's a site that may interest you. It talks about Botany, fields of study and a lot of other interesting areas and topics relating to it. One of the best places to learn about plants are the forums here on GardenWeb. A lot of experienced people with a ton of information.

Here is a link that might be useful:

RE: Where to begin??!?....

Look into university degree courses in botany or plant sciences.


RE: Where to begin??!?....

riverminty, I cannot answer your questions specifically but in the broadest terms, you will find that there are two paths to learning:- Synthesis and Analysis. You can look back on your own learning and discover which works better for you. In the first method, one starts off with the cell and works up to tissues, organs, systems and ultimately the whole plant. In the second method, one starts off with the whole plant and proceeds to break it down to macro parts - leaf, stems, roots and working down through (in the case of the stem) xylem, phloem, cambium, cell. There is a third way, (and I am still working on it) the historical perspective. To give an example, I struggled with Archimedes Principle in high school but I did not get it right until I "studied" the life Of Archimedes a little. The legendary bath; the legendary golden crown of Hieron all helped but this was long after high school. All I understand now about microbes was learnt from the "Microbe Hunters" by Paul de Kruif which I first read two years after my formal education was over (I am still a slow learner). From the 'historical perspective' one starts from the point of ignorance (Archimedes did not always know the flotation principle)and follows the pioneer through the discovery process. "Microbe Hunters" does it particularly well. It is the only book I describe as enchanting; and I have read many, many fairy tales.

RE: Where to begin??!?....

Hi riverminty,

All the suggestions so far are excellent. I started with a book called "Botany in a Day," can you believe it? A very useful book that gives you a jump start on identifying plant families. More books and other resources at the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Books for Learning Plants

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