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1. The branch of ethnobiology that studies the plant lore and agricultural customs of a people.
2. The study of such lore and customs.

eth′no·bo·tan′i·cal (-bə-tăn′ĭ-kəl) adj.
eth′no·bo·tan′i·cal·ly adv.
eth′no·bot′a·nist n.


(Botany) the branch of botany concerned with the use of plants in folklore, religion, etc
ˌethnoˈbotanist n


(ˌɛθ noʊˈbɒt n i)

1. the plant lore and agricultural customs of a people.
2. the systematic study of such lore and customs.
[1885–90, Amer.]
eth`no•bo•tan′ic (-bəˈtæn ɪk) eth`no•bo•tan′i•cal, adj.
eth`no•bot′a•nist, n.


a specialty in botany that studies the lore and uses of plants as illustrative of the customs of a (usually primitive) society. — ethnobotanist, n.ethnobotanic, ethnobotanical, adj.
See also: Botany
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References in periodicals archive ?
When twentieth-century Western scholars began to study indigenous cultures in their own right, a different way of looking at human plant uses emerged, with ethnobotany becoming a field that also studied the complex interrelationship between culture and the physical environment.
The guide is divided into 11 sections: (1) "Introduction"; (2) "Offices of American Indian Education"; (3) "Field Trips"; (4) "Teaching Kits"; (5) "Reference Books for Adults"; (6) "Cultural/Historical (Folklore, Biographical, Photographs/Crafts/Art, Games, Ethnobotany)"; (7) "Children's Books"; (8) "Periodicals"; (9) "Classroom Visits"; (10) "Seminars and Classes"; and (12) "Websites." (BT)
Ethnobotany, the study of native peoples use of plants for medicines and other applications, has already yielded a wealth of treatments.
Cox and Michael Balick, his colleague and coauthor of an internationally acclaimed book on ethnobotany, Plants, People, and Culture, share a similar philosophy.
New this year to the Hopi Marketplace is an ethnobotany tour by a Hopi Native guide, who will take visitors on a walk along the museum's nature trail and tell about native plants and their uses, both as food and medicine.
His program, Ethnobotany Across Curriculum, exposes students to the history, cultural uses, and scientific applications of ethnobotany--the study of how people of a particular culture and region make use of indigenous plants--while improving their English-language proficiency.
Gwich'in ethnobotany and traditional land use are the subjects of two new books from the Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute (GSCI).
This was a pivotal event in his life, the scientist recalls, because his fascination with ethnobotany was first sparked while living with the Samoans and observing their many practical uses of plants.
"[Indigenous] knowledge greatly reduces the number of plants that we screen intensively and increases our potential for success," observes Steven King, the company's senior vice president for ethnobotany and conservation.
"Our animal studies at Shaman indicate that this tropical medicinal plant does not cause toxicity yet leads to weight reduction with no change in level of food consumption," said Thomas Carlson, M.D., vice president of Medical Ethnobotany at Shaman.
Participants work on the garden daily and take workshops on topics such as permaculture techniques, soil building, fruit tree pruning and grafting, plant propagation, ethnobotany, and the medicinal uses of plants.
Nabhan achieves such insights into the complex relation between culture and habitat by blending conservation biology and ethnobotany. He adds a plea for preserving biodiversity and wild habitats through traditional wisdom, intimate knowledge of the landscape, and selection of native plants and seeds based on local customs.