Mother Earth Living

Herb Basics: A Brief Lesson in Botany

A quick overview of botany to help you understand the basics
By The Herb Companion Staff
May/June 1999


Content Tools

Related Content

Eco-Friendly Nursery Decor

Finding adorable and eco-friendly nursery decor is easy! It's narrowing down the options that is the...

Herbs and Herbalists

It's a constant battle: medicine versus herbs. This is how Marguerite got interested in herbs.

Hello Cleveland!

Blogging about beginner gardening.

Herbal Educational Services to Host Two Conferences in 2012

Learn more about two conferences that could open your mind to the world of herbal medicine.

In the world of herbal medicine, distinguishing between various plant parts is important. Here’s a quick overview of botany to help you understand terms commonly used on labels, in books, and in the bulk aisles of your local health-food store.

• Herbs have four basic parts: the root, the stem, the leaf, and the flower or fruit (in most cases, the flower is the part that becomes the fruit). The aerial parts are those aboveground: the stem, leaves, flowers, and fruits.

• Roots take different shapes depending on whether they need to hold reserves over the winter or during a dormant period. Taproots dig deep to bring up minerals and nutrients, while shallow, moplike roots serve as a solid base for top-heavy plants.

• The stem supports the plant and transports nutrients from the roots to the leaves and flowers. A rhizome is considered to be a root by many, but it is actually a modified stem designed to store food reserves for the plant’s future use. Rhizomes usually lie just under the surface of the soil.

• In most green, flowering plants, the leaf is the structure where photosynthesis occurs. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert sunlight into energy that creates chemical compounds.

• Some plants are self-pollinating, meaning that they have flowers with both male components (stamens) and female components (pistils). Other plants have separate male and female flowers and are cross-pollinated by outside sources, such as bees, birds, wind, and water. The reproduction of some plants can be controlled by separating the genders. The ginkgo tree, for example, is usually sold only as a female in this country, without the males necessary to ensure the production of fruit, which has an offensive smell.

Click here for the orignial article, Herb Basics.








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe today and save 50%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.