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This subject is featured in the Outline of botany, which is incomplete and needs further development. That page, along with the other outlines on Wikipedia, is part of Wikipedia's Outline of Knowledge, which also serves as the table of contents or site map of Wikipedia.
(In response to User:Plantsurfer) I don't think this article is ready for FAC, but it's really close. I think the biggest problem, as 512bits said, is the prose. We need to talk about how many fancy words many of you have added to this article. When I read it, it's pretty clear that a bunch of British scientists (no offense) wrote most of it, in both the good and the bad way. Someone should be appointed to go through the article and smooth out the tone; if you think my writing is too casual that's fine, but let's make it consistent (and preferably less crusty).
To AfadsBad—yeah, that section definitely sounds like Moleculedump, but in my opinion, chlorophyll a and b's absorption spectrum is important because it explains why most plants are green. (A lot of people think plant leaves absorb green light making them green instead of reflecting/transmitting the green light back and absorbing the rest.)—Love, Kelvinsongtalk 21:03, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
Plantsurfer and 512bits, both of you should not feel bad at the recent "oppose" votes at FAC. Take the advice for what it's worth and continue improving the article (the FAC process, like any other review process, is meant to find flaws). If this first candidacy does not go through, follow the suggestions and try again in two or three weeks.--MarshalN20 | Talk 22:32, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
That plants are green because of specific molecular absorption spectra seems to be a sticking point, in fact all molecular information is a sticking point to one or two of the main editors of this article, so there appears to be no way to get off of molecules and onto botany. Plant biochemistry is a major part of botany, and plant biochemists study chlorophyll molecules because they absorb light energy. They can't use all of the sunlight that hits the leaves, only specific wavelengths; the light that they don't use is largely reflected back and this reflection makes the leaves green. We're not training biochemists; we're writing a general article about the field of botany. But, in this article, we have no room to discuss the field, because of the molecule dump. In addition, this molecular dump is problematic because some of it is wrong. --(AfadsBad (talk) 00:34, 9 September 2013 (UTC))
So I see that this article has been nominated already, and I saw a comment worth reposting here:
"Oppose Basic question: what is this article about, botany or plants? After the History section, the article goes on extensively about plants—their importance, their internal chemistry, their genetics, how they interact with the environment and how they are classified. But all this belongs to the plant article. The focus of this article should be the meta-aspects (for want of a better phrase) of botany. For eg: how is botany subdivided? (it is telling that branches of botany is relegated to the See also) what are the different approaches to studying it (for eg social sciences have a structuralist approach and a Marxist approach etc)? Are there any ongoing debates? What are the major prizes awarded for stellar work in botany? And so on.—indopug (talk) 14:05, 8 September 2013 (UTC)"
This is something I noticed for a while but had no clue how to fix, so I went along with it, duplicating the Plant article. Of course not working in the field, I know almost nothing about the meta aspects, but User:Indopug has a few good suggtions someone should write about. I suppose organizations like the ASPB and journals like Plant Physiology and The American Journal of Botany should be mentioned too.—Love, Kelvinsongtalk 21:17, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, considering I wrote most of this section I'm sad to see it go, but applying fresh scrutiny to it, I don't think it belongs here. I move to cut it and replace it with a shorter section on plant cultivation (Descended from the part on Saintpaulia and asexual propogation).—Love, Kelvinsongtalk 21:40, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
I oppose this most strongly. The solution is not to go around cutting stuff from the article, but to consider whether the presentation of the existing material can be improved to bring it into the required focus. If it cannot, then it must be removed of course, but we need to consider carefully every proposal to cut. The article contains excellent material, and I think it would be an act of vandalism to wreck it. I think you should consider the role of Plant Anatomy and Morphology in 19th and early 20th century botanical research. It was a dominant theme. Botany departments were built with the concept in mind that a botanist needed space for his(her) microscope. Labs were for teaching. That change could, should, be reflected in the section perhaps, but to remove the section is inappropriate. Please, let us reflect, discuss and move forward with consensus. Plantsurfer (talk) 08:22, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
The article does contain excellent material on a variety of topics, much of which might work well in other articles. However, it has missed its topic by a long way, and needs material removed that is more appropriate for other articles to make room for the botany article. Yes, anatomy and physiology were dominant topics in botany, but what we should be telling readers, when, how, and why different aspects of boany dominated the science, not teaching them botanical anatomy, physiology, and chemistry in this article. --(AfadsBad (talk) 23:00, 9 September 2013 (UTC))
Look at any plant biology or botany textbook and you will see that anatomy and morphology are important components. Just as a textbook would be very incomplete without anatomy and morphology, so a Wikipedia article on botany would be very incomplete without anatomy and morphology. - (Anandaaa (talk) 23:00, 25 January 2014 (UTC)) daaa (talk) 04:04, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
It clearly won't pass as people don't agree on what the article should be, so we should just close it and stop wasting our time. I did not spend months and over 1000 edits to see the article gutted. 512bits (talk) 20:20, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it is probably better not do an FAC if you have ownership issues with the article. --(AfadsBad (talk) 22:55, 9 September 2013 (UTC))
It's high time you stopped being so pompous and sanctimonious. 512bits (talk) 02:01, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
When you completely ignore someone's input, then stomp off because someone else wants to change your article, it is not gracious to accuse the person you are ignoring of being pompous. The FAC commentary was what you ignored me saying ages ago. Articles on Wikipedia become FAs as a result of consensus; the quality of the articles I see on the main page show that it works. There are huge problems in this article, even where it is topical, and no one is going to grant a no-consensus-needed pass on the issues. --(AfadsBad (talk) 02:16, 10 September 2013 (UTC))
It's counter-productive to start aiming for each other's throats at this point. Everyone, please avoid making hurtful accusations. All Wikipedia articles are works in progress, even those at the FA class. The only problem with this article is the structure. The positive action to take now is discuss how the article should be restructured, nothing more.--MarshalN20 | Talk 04:09, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, personal attacks are counter productive, both in article and user space. --(AfadsBad (talk) 05:14, 10 September 2013 (UTC))
@AfadsBad - looking back at your comments here on talk, I can now see that you had this criticism in mind back in June and July. I was focused on other stuff and didn't see what you were trying to say. The problem was not that we were ignoring you, but that you didn't make the argument clearly enough, or with sufficient force. Sometimes you need to shout! Only you can write what is in your mind, we cannot do that for you. To date you have made no actual contributions to the article. If you think you have solutions to current problem, I strongly suggest you get stuck in now, and start putting clear suggestions and draft edits on this page that show how the current problem can be resolved in a conservative way, that is to say, with the least damage to the information content that has already been built up. Plantsurfer (talk) 08:39, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't think the current problem can be resolved in a conservative way. Speaking personally, I had intended to add some material on the way that evolution underpins modern botanical research and thinking, but gave up when I just couldn't fit my drafts into the style of the article. I can see now, but didn't then, that the problem is a lack of clarity as to the purpose of the article.
If you look at Zoology, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, there are some differences between them, but all have a strong focus on the practice of the discipline, rather than its content. So perhaps what's needed is a split:
An article on botany/plant science which recognizes that many of the links to "botany" come via [[Botany|botanist]], so that readers expect an account of what botanists do. This would be an article which has a similar structure to Biology.
An article which is an "outline of botany", i.e. an article-length overview of the material in a standard textbook of botany like Mauseth. I'm not sure what the title of this article would be. It has been implied that Plant is this article, or could be made into this article, but I think this would be a mistake. Cell biology, biochemistry, systems biology, ecology, evolution, etc. extend beyond what would reasonably be in an article at "Plant".
A practical problem, I think, is that the active editors in WP:PLANTS mostly write "plant articles" (as I do). Such essentially descriptive accounts of whole organisms seem to form a rather small part of modern academic botany, and active researchers in this area seem to be concentrated in herbaria and museums rather than universities and research institutes. So I think many of us are not either well equipped or well motivated to write a Botany article of either kind which is going to satisfy FA reviewers. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:33, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
I suggest that most of the content of this article (basically everything except the first section) be moved over Outline of botany, which is currently just a collection of wikilinks, not an article (and so is contrary to several parts of WP:NOT). Under this title I think the present material could be worked up into an FA. What's left can then be added to in the style of Biology#Study and research so that it's about the discipline not the content. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:48, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Suggestions for making it about botany rather than plants
I agree with the above discussion of about a year ago that the article needs to be about its title term botany (the study of plants) rather than about plants themselves. I think I see how this could be done while retaining the majority of the current content. I've gone through it on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis, for each paragraph looking to see what it's about, and my observations are below. I suggest that the relevant paragraphs be retained and the plant-oriented paragraphs either be discarded or be moved to other articles.
The lead is entirely about botany.
The entire section History and all its subsections are entirely about botany.
The entire section Scope and importance and all of its subsections are entirely about botany.
Section Plant biochemistry:
The untitled lead is entirely about plants, not about the study of plants.
The subsection Medicine and materials is about the uses of plants, but maybe it could be tweaked to focus on what botanists do in this context.
Section Plant ecology:
The first paragraph of the untitled lead is about botany.
The next two paragraphs of the lead are about plants, not botany.
The subsection Plants, climate, and environmental change appears to be about what botanists do, but could be tweaked to make that more explicit.
The entire 5-paragraph untitled lead is about plants.
The subsection Molecular genetics is entirely about botany.
Except for its first sentence, the entire subsection Epigenetics is about plants.
The entire section Evolution is about plants, not botany.
The entire section Plant physiology, including the subsection Plant hormones, is about plants, not botany.
The entire section Plant anatomy and morphology is about plants and not botany.
The entire section Systematic botany is about botany.