Exploring Biology 310:

Botany

You'll grow in this class. That's a fact.

Botany is the scientific study of the nearly 400,000 known species of plants, including their physiology, structure, genetics, ecology, distribution, classification, and economic importance.

Students splitting plants and planting them Students mixing dirt

Students learn about plant diversity, structure, and function from the perspective of how plants are important to humans. Major topics covered in the course include human nutrition, plant products, and medicinal plants—with the main goal for students to appreciate the important role that plants play in our biological world and in our lives.

  • How to propagate and care for plants in multiple ways
  • How to design and successfully implement an experiment focused on plants and their nutrient composition
  • How to critically evaluate information about plants in the media
Expect to get your hands dirty
Grafting and Propagating

Franken-Cactus

Students gain hands-on experience with multiple methods of plant propagation including growing herbs from seeds, geraniums from cuttings, African violets from tissue culture, and grafting cacti. (You’ll realize you never need to buy a houseplant again!)

Closeup of a cactus being cut with a scalpel Students grafting a segment of cactus using tape Students grafting cactus using foreceps
Anti-Microbial Properties

Fighting Disease… with Fruit?

First choose a plant—walnuts, citrus peels, mint leaves, you name it. Next create an extract to test the disease-fighting properties of that plant. The extracts are tested against bacterial cultures—and ultimately to determine if the extracts can prevent the growth of E. coli and S. aureas.

A student pouring a liquid solution into a mortar and pestle filled with plant tissue Students using pipettes in the lab Student using foreceps to place samples in a petri dish
Vital Nutrients

How "Super" is Your Superfood?

Ever wonder why foods like green tea, blueberries, and kale are held in such high esteem by health professionals and fitness buffs? In this class, you’ll examine the nutrient composition of various plants, screening for antioxidants, phenolics, and flavonoids.

Closeup of a pomegranate Liquid tea solutions in beakers Test results showing different colors of liquid solution
Organic vs. Conventional

Spot the Difference

By conducting a case study comparing organic and conventional tomato cultivation in Florida and California, students learn and evaluate the economic, biological, and social differences among different agricultural systems. In addition, students will grow and care for their own domestic pepper and tomato plants in Loyola’s greenhouse throughout the entire semester.

A young pepper plant growing in a pot next to a backpack A student handing another student a stack of pots in the greenhouse
The professor really loves plants, and you could tell she was totally into what she was teaching. This made the course so much better. We learned about more than plant processes. We covered a wide range of plants and their uses.