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Theophrastus a Greek, is known as the father of botany his original name was Tyrtamus. He was born in 370 BC and till 287 BC contributed his valuable time and life in studying plants. Because of his contributions and research, we know so much about plants, their medicinal properties, and how we can grow them well in different climates and areas. 

Who is the Father of Botany?  

Theophrastus is known as the Father of botany for his incredible contribution to plants and life science. He is the first person who had researched plants and give the botany term to the study of plants. And that’s why he is also known as the founder of botany. He is also known by different names like plant biologist. His interest areas of the study were ethics, grammar, history, natural history, physics, botany, life science, plants. He was a scholar, botanist, biologist, physicist, and philosopher too. He was the successor to Aristotle (Father of biology).   

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 Importance of Botany

Studying, experimenting smallest herb to the biggest trees comes under botany. It covers all areas like plant pathology, biotechnology, etc. Theophrastus created the first classification of plants and divided plants into trees, shrubs, sub-shrubs, and herbs.

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Why know History?

Reading about the history and related facts about it will give you a story, behind facts, etc. These will increase your interest, knowledge as well as you find learning for your subject easily. Especially if you are from the biology stream reading history related to the Father of botany and others will be helpful. We can not ignore history and move ahead, but we can learn historical facts and can definitely grow. Great-minded people are boons to society.   

Books by Father of Botany

Because of so much interest in the fields and philosophy, he (Theophrastus) wrote many books, related to plants. Most plants of the middle age were described by him in the book Enquiry into Plants & On the Causes of Plants. The book covers food, herbs, shrubs, and spiny plants. This seems a small thing now but it has a big impact and helps in one or another way. People who start in the field of botany can understand it better. Two of his famous books which one should read are Historia Plantarum and De Causis Plantarum. If you are interested in botany you must read the books.    

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Research and work

In the area of natural science, Aristotle was studying animals, and Theophrastus studying plants. Interestingly two of the great minds Father of botany, and Father of biology worked and begin research together. Theophrastus also discussed resins, gums, and juices. He also wrote about the making of wine, and the medical uses of plants. He also realized the importance of soil to plants, climate, and detected and closely studied the process of germination. All this work is helping every generation. Discovering medicinal herbs is so much important for health sectors. Much of Greek plants information has come from his own observation as he has traveled throughout Greece. He also had a botanical garden of his own, he brought plants from other places too like cotton plants, banyan, pepper plants, etc.    

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Contributions and Interests

When Theophrastus was serving in a school the school flourished greatly during that time. His two surviving botanical works inquiry into plants and on the causes of plants were an important influence on renaissance science. There are also works on moral characters on the sensation on stones, and fragments on physics and metaphysics. He studied grammar and language and also continues Aristotle’s work on logic. Naming as Father of botany is a deserving and proud thing done for such a personality. It is a little thing which we can do.  


Aristotle and Theophrastus

The two are great minded people. By studying plants and animals. Both begin their research into natural science. Aristotle tutored Alexander the Great in three hundred and forty.  Theophrastus accompanied Aristotle at that time duration. Their writing for the treatment of the same themes differed a little. Theophrastus wrote on warm, cold, water, fire, sea, melting, etc.   

Theophrastus on happiness

In ethics, he regarded happiness as depending on external influences. He believed that life is ruled by fortune not wisdom. His interest in work and towards life and ethics made him a philosopher in those times. 

Extra points

  • Reading discoveries will give you a whole new perspective for the related subjects you will read.
  • Theophrastus was not an alcoholic, his researches were for purpose of the health of society and plants.
  • As there is the Father of botany, similarly there are other founders too. 
  • Going after your dreams and interests is really important. One can have an interest in more than one field or area. 
  • Having moral values and ethics are important for all people

By: Priya Panwar

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