The 10 Best Botany Textbooks

video play icon 10 Best Botany Textbooks

This wiki has been updated 14 times since it was first published in February of 2019. Botany is a wide-ranging, challenging science that can be extremely rewarding, especially when you enhance your studies with the proper materials, such as these informative textbooks. We’ve gathered a variety of authoritative works suitable for a host of users, from self-taught horticulturists and enthusiastic beginners to college students pursuing a professional career in the field. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Botany: An Introduction

2. Botany for Gardeners

3. Raven Biology of Plants

Editor's Notes

August 21, 2020:

When updating this list we decided to make two changes to the lineup. First, we said goodbye to DK's Plant Propagation, which is still an immensely enlightening read, to make room for Flora: Inside the Secret World of Plants. This is because Plant Propagation is a bit more closely niche to horticulture rather than botany as a whole, while Flora touches much more broadly on the discipline using the same visually appealing layout, clear writing, and excellent photographs DK is known for. For those who are interested in botany as it applies to gardening, Botany for Gardeners should help fill the void Plant Propagation left. And for a few extra resources to assist with gardening, check out this list we have on the subject here.

We removed Medical Botany: Affecting Human Health as it hadn't been updated since about 2003, which makes it tricky for readers to rely on it, as the medical field makes leaps and bounds within short spaces of time. We wanted to keep ethnopharmacology on the table, however, and so added The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants in its place. This text goes into clear detail on hundreds of plants and their biological processes as well as how they affect the people who consume them on a physical and mental level. Further than that, it looks at various cultural stances on certain plants and ritualistic and medicinal uses as well.

Principles of Plant Genetics and Breeding, Plant Physiology and Development, and Botany: An Introduction all have new editions, while Plant Identification Terminology remains an excellent reference for students and professionals.

March 05, 2019:

Botany is a complex and broad discipline, so we selected informative textbooks that catered to different branches, such as Medical Botany: Second Edition, Principles of Plant Genetics and Breeding, and Plants in Our World. For autodidacts and those looking to cut their teeth on home gardening and identification, we included instructive volumes like Botany for Gardeners, Plant Propagation, and Botany in a Day. Two of the most respected and comprehensive tomes in the field, Raven Biology of Plants and Botany: An Introduction, made high rankings due to their authority, helpful pedagogy, and clear writing style. We prioritized usefulness and depth of information, so the best choice for you will depend on what your personal needs are.

Special Honors

FlowerChecker Whether you're an ecologist looking to carry out fieldwork more effectively or an amateur exploring the great outdoors, the FlowerChecker company app helps people identify plants with the assistance of botany and horticulture experts. You simply take a picture of an unknown plant, moss, lichen, and even fungi, and get it identified by an international team of specialists within a few hours for a small fee.

Course Horse Available to people who live in bigger cities like Boston, Denver, New York, and Los Angeles, Course Horse offers short classes and remote learning for a variety of skills to enrich your life and advance your career, including mixology, cooking, photography, calligraphy, and glasswork. They feature plenty of botany-related classes, touching on everything from cannabis and urban flora to plant science, gardening fundamentals, and much more.

4. Flora: Inside the Secret World of Plants

5. Plants in Our World

6. The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants

7. Botany in a Day

8. Plant Physiology and Development

9. Principles of Plant Genetics and Breeding

10. Plant Identification Terminology

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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