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Learn and Try Series

Botany

The first edition Idea by Ljiljana Marinković Written by dr Sonja Duletić-Laušević and dr Dušica Janošević Illustrated by Tihomir Čelanović Graphic design by Dušan Pavlić Reviewed by dr Dijana Plut • Editor of the edition: Milena Trutin Collaborator: Vesna Sofrenovi} • Proofreader: Marija Nešić Prepared for printing by Ljiljana Pavkov For publisher: Ljiljana Marinković, director

Published by KREATIVNI CENTAR, 8 Gradištanska street, Beograd contact: +381 11 38 20 483, 38 20 464, 244 06 59 www.kreativnicentar.rs e-mail: info@kreativnicentar.rs n

Printed by Publikum Number of copies 3.000 Copyright©KREATIVNI CENTAR 2008


Sonja Duletić-Laušević Dušica Janošević

Botany Illustrated

Tihomir Čelanović


CONTENTS 23 . . . 7. Grow a plant from the seed . . . The Green Kingdom 24 . . . 8. Examine what a plant feels . . . Botany – he Science of All Time 25 . . . 9. Describe a plant . . . The Great Botanists 26 . . . 10. Learn to differentiate plants . . . If you become a botanist, you can 27 . . . Learn about how plants get their discover… names 12 . . . To become a botanist you need to 28 . . . Advantages of botanist’s job practice... 28 . . . Some difficulties 12 . . . 1. Make a herbarium 29 . . . How to become a Botanist 14 . . . 2. Follow the movement of water 29 . . . Where can I work as a botanist? through the root 30 . . Glossary 14 . . . Learn more about the root 32 . . . Index 15 . . . 3. Follow the movement of water through the stem 15 . . . Learn more about the stem 16 . . . 4. Prove that plants let water out 16 . . . Learn more about the leaf 18 . . . 5. Make a collection of leaves 19 . . . Learn more about changed leaves 20 . . . 6. Give a cutting to your friends 20 . . . Learn more about the flower 22 . . . Learn more about the seed and the fruit 5 6 8 10


THE GREEN KINGDOM Plant kingdom covers almost every inch of our planet – wherever there is light, from the highest and coldest mountain tops to the hottest deserts. Some of the biggest and oldest beings on the planet belong to this kingdom, which provides food for us and spices it. Sometimes it also heals us, helps us warm and dress ourselves, makes our homes, gardens and parks beautiful. If this kingdom didn’t exist, you wouldn’t be holding this book in your hands. So while you’re reading this, you may wish to dedicate yourself to botany, the scientific study of plants, and become a botanist some day.

General Sherman is the name of a 2,500 years old sequoia from California. Its trunk is 83 meters long, while the circumference of its base is as big as 33 meters. One could make 120 houses from its trunk!

Ginkgo is a type of tree which has existed since the age of dinosaurs. In the past this plant was grown by monks in Chinese temples, but nowadays it is grown in parks worldwide.

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BOTANY - SCIENCE OF ALL TIME Plants are interesting beings capable of producing food by themselves. They live fixed to the ground and they don’t need to move – all they need is to absorb water from the atmosphere.

When we speak about plant kingdom, we often use the word – flora. In Roman mythology Flora was the goddess of flowers, spring and youth.

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In prehistoric times our ancient ancestors lived a nomadic life and ate what they found by chance. It was very important for them to be able to recognize edible plants. But when they realized that, instead of picking the fruit of a wild plant, they can grow one, everything changed. This moment can be considered the dawn of civilization, because man was finally able to stay in one place and start to establish settlements. This initial occupation with plants resulted in the development of botany, one of the oldest branches of biology. In the beginning people studied plants that could be used as food or in medicine. They searched for safe ways to tell plant species apart. At first there were no special devices to help them with this – all they could do was to observe plants carefully and describe them precisely. They may have used some sort of a magnifying glass, too.


A significant breakthrough in the study of plant anatomy took place in the middle years of the 17th century. That was when Robert Hook, an all-round English scientist and inventor, noticed small chambers in cork by the means of a microscope and called them cells. Further study revealed that plant cells develop a cell wall on the outside, which provides them with firmness and protection.

Microscope is an instrument which magnifies observed objects. Original microscopes could make an object look 9 times bigger. Modern electronic microscopes can magnify up to 1.5 million times!

Cells are grouped into tissues and they play different roles in a plant: they protect it, keep it in an upright position, let water and liquid substance flow through it, produce food, store supplies‌

During the centuries to follow botany started to develop in various directions. One branch of botany studies the development of plants, while another focuses on where particular plant species grow; yet the other is about how different plant species are used in different cultures. Studying the relationship between plants and the environment offers solutions to many ecological problems that our planet is faced with, which is also a special branch of botany.

By studying fossil remnants paleobotanists discover how plant species appeared, developed and died out throughout the earth’s geological history.

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THE GREAT BOTANISTS Theophrastus had 2,000 students and people from the entire ancient Greek world came to his lectures. He was said to always be willing to talk to people and do good.

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Theophrastus (371-286 BC), the ancient philosopher, naturalist and a student of Aristotle, the great Greek philosopher, studied the plants of Greece. He was very hard-working – he read, observed, contemplated and wrote. About 500 plant species were known at the time and Theophrastus noted plenty of information about the way they look, grow and reproduce. His work had a huge impact on the further development of botany.

The works of Dioscorides were such an excellent and complete overview of the herbs known up to then that they were used for the next 16 centuries.

The most famous botanist of the Roman age was Dioscorides, who lived in the 1st century. Working as a doctor in the army of Emperor Nero, he had an opportunity to travel, collect plants and get to know the flora of different areas of the Roman Empire, as well as to study and make use of the medicinal effects of plants. He described a large number of plant species and gave instructions on how to use them.

For almost his entire life Linnaeus claimed that there were as many species on the Earth as God created. However, in his last works he gave up the concept of the invariability of species and introduced the terms subspecies, variety and race.

Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), the Swedish naturalist, established the natural system of classification of all living things by classifying organisms according to the level of their similarity into species, genera, families, orders, classes and kingdoms. He described about 6,000 different plant species.


Although he was a doctor by profession, Josif Pančić was very devoted to exploring the natural world. He discovered more than 100 plant species in Serbia which hadn’t been described in books until then and there are few scientists who managed to do anything like that. He travelled to every corner of Serbia, collecting specimens, describing the plants he found and classifying them. He put the samples into herbariums which he gave as a gift to schools encouraging teachers to take their students to the countryside. While he was travelling through the area around the town of Užice, which was very rich in conifers, he heard that some kind of spruce, a tree from folklore songs, grew round there. But no one could actually show him the tree. He didn’t give up trying to find out what it looked like, though. However, while some told him the tree looked like a spruce, the others claimed it looked more like a pine tree. Pančić had been looking for the spruce for twenty years. When in 1877 in the village of Zaovine on Tara mountain he came across a group of unknown conifer trees with many cones on top, he asked the peasants who were following him if that was the tree they called spruce. Pančić’s assumption turned out to be true. The discovery of the conifer tree he had been searching for such a long time and which grew only on the steep rocky slopes in the narrow area of the middle course of the Drina river made Pančić famous worldwide. The species unknown until then was named Picea omorika Pančić – Pančić’s spruce.

Pančić spent his summers in the countryside working in the field. He thought botany is learned best in the forest, in the meadow… in the countryside. When he became a professor, he took his students on excursions every year. They studied flora and fauna, took specimens and made herbariums.

Josif Pančić went up and down Kopaonik, his favourite mountain, not less than 16 times. He was buried on its 2,000 m top which has been known as Pančić’s top ever since.

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