from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Phytotomy or plant anatomy is the science of the shape of plants, alongside zootomies (animals) and anthropotomies (humans), an area of anatomy . The description of the external structure of plants is often referred to as morphology , which often limits the term phytotomy to the description of the internal structure of plants. The morphology is often used to identify and classify plants, whereby research into plant anatomy nowadays often takes place at the cellular level.

This science (s) is (are) closely linked to the systematics , which is based on a differentiated description of the internal organs and their function.



Around 300 BC Theophrastus of Eresos wrote some treatises on plants, of which only two survived. He developed concepts for the morphology and classification of plants that did not survive the scientific tests of the Renaissance .

Modern times up to the 18th century

Caspar Bauhin , a Swiss physician and botanist, introduced the nomenclature in the taxonomy of plants. In 1596 he published the Pinax theatri botanici , which first used this naming convention for naming species. The classification criteria included natural - often structural - references and similarities.

The Italian doctor and microscopist Marcello Malpighi was one of the two founders of phytotomy. In 1671 he published his Anatomia Plantarum , the first major advance in plant physiogamy since Aristotle .

The British doctor Nehemiah Grew represents the other of the two founders. He published An Idea of ​​a Philosophical History of Plants in 1672 and The Anatomy of Plants in 1682 . He is recognized as the discoverer of plant cells, speaking of 'vesicles' and 'bubbles'. He recognized and described the reproductive organs of plants and their role in accordance with today's understanding.

In the 18th century, Carl von Linné , Latinized name Carolus Linnaeus , introduced the structure-based taxonomy. In his early work he dealt with the anatomy of plants. While the scientifically recognized exact structural level for comparison and differentiation has changed with increasing knowledge, the basic principles of Linnaeus have been introduced. In 1753 he published his masterpiece Species Plantarum .

19th century

In 1802, the French botanist Charles François Brisseau de Mirbel published his Traité d'anatomie et de physiologie végétale ( treatise on plant anatomy and physiology ), thereby establishing the science of plant cell biology .

In 1812 Johann Jacob Paul Moldenhawer published his contributions to the anatomy of plants with microscopic studies of plant tissue .

In 1813, a Swiss botanist, Augustin Pyrame de Candolle , published the Théorie élémentaire de la botanique , in which he advocated using only the anatomy and not the physiology of the plants for the classification. Based on a scientific basis, he introduced structural criteria for the definition and differentiation of plant genera.

In 1830 Franz Meyen published Phytotomie , the first comprehensive overview of the anatomy of plants.

In 1838, the German botanist Matthias Jakob Schleiden published Contributions to Phytogenesis , claiming that "the lower plants all consist of one cell, while higher plants are composed of (several) individual cells", thereby confirming Mirabel's work.

The German-Polish botanist Eduard Strasburger described the mitotic process in plant cells and went on to explain that new cell nuclei can only arise from existing nuclei through division. His studies on protoplasm were published in 1876.

Gottlieb Haberlandt , a German botanist, studied the physiology of plants and classified plant tissue based on its function. On this basis he published Physiological Plant Anatomy in 1884 , in which he describes twelve different tissue systems (absorptive, mechanical, photosynthetic, etc.).

The British paleobotanists Dunkinfield Henry Scott and William Crawford Williamson described the structure of fossil plants in the late 19th century. Scott's Studies in Fossil Botany were published in 1900.

20th century

According to Charles Darwin 's Origin of Species , the Canadian botanist Edward Charles Jeffrey , who studied the comparative anatomy and phylogeny of various groups of vascular plants, applied the theory to plants by using their shape and structure to establish evolutionary lines. He published his The Anatomy of Woody Plants in 1917 .

The increase in comparative phytotomy was spearheaded by the British botanist Agnes Arber . She published Water Plants: A Study of Aquatic Angiosperms in 1920 , Monocotyledons: A Morphological Study in 1925, and The Gramineae: A Study of Cereal, Bamboo and Grass in 1934 .

After the Second World War , Katherine Esau published Plant Anatomy in 1953 , which became the standard work on the internal structure of plants at North American universities and beyond, and in 2006 it was still in print. This was followed by her Anatomy of seed plants in 1960 .


  • Arthur Johnson Eames, Laurence H. MacDaniels: An Introduction to Plant Anatomy . McGraw-Hill, New York 1947.
  • Katherine Esau: Plant Anatomy . 2nd Edition. Wiley, New York 1965.

See also

Web links

Commons : Phytotomy  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Phytotomy  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations