Economic Botany


Kalpita Bhatta


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Economic Botany



Course Objectives

•Investigate utilization of crop plants.
•Study of origin, distribution, botanical description, brief idea of cultivation and economic uses of cereals, pulses, beverages, natural fibers and medicinal plants
•Gain knowledge about the taxonomic diversity of important families of useful plants
•Is able to map and recognize geographical, historical and cultural contributions of economically important plants
•Understanding of the roles of potentially important plant and plant products to the development of human culture

 Course Outcome

COs Course outcomes Mapping COs with POs (High-3, Medium-2, Low-1)
CO1 Understand core concepts of Economic Botany and relate with environment, populations, communities, and ecosystems PO1-3, PO2-3, PO4-2, PO8-2, PO9-1
CO2 Able to get idea of cultivation and economic uses of cereals, pulses, beverages, natural fibers and medicinal plants and evolution of new crops/varieties and importance of germ plasma diversity PO1-3, PO2-3, PO4-2, PO8-2, PO9-3
CO3 Increase the awareness and appreciation of plants & plant products encountered in everyday life PO1-3,  PO8-2, PO9-3

Course Syllabus

Module –I: Origin of Cultivated Plants
Concept of Center of Origin, Their importance with reference to Vavilov’s work. Examples of major plant introductions; Crop domestication and evolution of new crops/varieties, importance of germplasm diversity.

Module-II : Cereals and Legumes:Wheat and Rice (origin, morphology, processing & uses); Brief account of millets.
Origin, morphology and uses of Chick pea, Pigeon pea and fodder legumes.

Habitat sketch of Rice
Qualitative test for presence of strach in Rice and confirmatory test for starch as non reducing sugar

Module-III : Sources of sugars and starches.Morphology and processing of sugarcane, products and by-products of sugar cane industry. Potato – morphology, propagation & uses


Habitat Sketch of Sugarcane

Module-IV : Spices and Beverage.Listing of important spices, their family and part used.
Economic importance with special reference to fennel, saffron, clove and black pepper
Tea, Coffee (morphology, processing & uses)

Photograph or Live Specimen of Tea plant and its Leaves.

Module-V : Sources of oils and fats.

General description, classification, extraction, their uses and health implications of groundnut, coconut, linseed, soybean, mustard and coconut (Botanical name, family & uses). Essential Oils: General account, extraction methods, comparison with fatty oils & their uses.


Estimation of saponification value of fats and Oils.
Test for the presence of lipid and oil in groundnut seed or oil
Extraction of Essential Oil

Module-VI : Natural Rubber and Drug-yielding plant.Para-rubber: tapping, processing and uses.
Therapeutic and habit-forming drugs with special reference to Cinchona, Digitalis, Papaver and Cannabis; Tobacco (Morphology, processing, uses and health hazards).

Tapping processes in Rubber plant.

Habitat Sketch Of Cinchona Plant

Module-VII :Timber plants and Fibers
General account with special reference to teak and pine.
Classification based on the origin of fibers; Cotton, Coir and Jute (morphology, extraction and uses).


T.S of Pinus Stem
Test for the presence of Lignin in the stem of the jute
Test for Presence of Cellulose in Cotton Fibre

Text Books:
1. Kochhar, S.L. (2012). Economic Botany in Tropics, MacMillan & Co. New Delhi, India.
2.Wickens, G.E. (2001). Economic Botany: Principles & Practices. Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands.

Reference Book:

1.Chrispeels, M.J. and Sadava, D.E. 1994 Plants, Genes and Agriculture.Jones & Bartlett_ Publishers.

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Session 5

Session 6

Practice-1 (2hrs)

Habitat Sketch of Rice.

Session 7

Session 8

Practice -2 (2hrs)

Qualitative test for the presence of starch in rice and confirmatory test for starch as non reducing sugar

Session 9

Session 10

Assignment-1: Flip class

To prepare a report on different varieties of rice and millets found in India.

Session 11

Session 12

Assignment 2

To study and prepare a list of locally available pulses.

Session 13

Session 14

Importance of Legumes to man and ecosystem.

Session 15

Assignment-3: Flip Class

Briefly write down the benefits of legume in crop rotation.

Session 16

Session 17

Practice -3 (2hrs)

Habitat Sketch of Sugar Cane.

Session 18

Session 19

Session 20

Session 21


Prepare a checklist of Spices and Condiments used regularly in our food intake.

Session 22

Session 23

Session 24

Session 25

Session 26

Assignment-5: Flip Class
Give a sketch of a coffee plant and described its different parts with special reference to its pod.

Session 27

Session 28

Practice-5 (2hrs)

Estimation of the Saponinification value of fat and oil.

Session 29

Session 30

Practice-6 (2hrs)

Test for the presence of lipid and oil in groundnut seed or oil.

Session 31

Session 32

Session 33

Assignment-6: Flip class
Comment on the statement"Coconut is one of nature's greatest gift to mankind".

Session 34

Session 35

Practice -7 (2hrs)

Extraction of Essential Oil

Session 36

Session 37

Session 38

Practice-8 (2hrs)

Tapping of Rubber

Session 39

Session 40

Practice-9 (2hrs)

Habitat Sketch of Cinchona Plant.

Session 41

Assignment 7

Documentation of different medicinal plants and their parts used.

Session 42

Session 43

Session 44

Assignment-8: Flip Class
Give a pictorial description of different products of tobacco.

Session 45

Session 46

Assignment-9: Flip class

To prepare a list of timber yielding plants of India

Session 47

Session 48

Session 49

Session 50

Practice-11 (2hrs)

Test for the presence of Lignin in the stem of jute.

Session 51

Assignment-10 : Flip class
To study and list down the different varieties of cotton and add a note on bt cotton.

Session 52

Practice-12 (2hrs)

Test for Presence of Cellulose in Cotton Fibre

Case Studies

Case Studies

Our Main Teachers

Ihave completed my Ph.D.  under Utkal University. Presently working as Assistant Professor in the Department of Botany, CUTM, Bhubaneswar. I have four years of teaching experience in a broad area of Cell and Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Plant Physiology, Environmental Biology, and Ecotoxicology. I have worked as a Junior Research Fellow in Chilika Development Authority for […]