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Cryptobotany is a pseudoscience involving the study of various exotic plants which are not believed to exist by the scientific community, but which exist in folklore, literature or unsubstantiated reports. Folk legend and ethnic usage of plants, often as interdisciplinary research, is presented and developed for an unknown species, in the hope of allowing those species to be collected or adequately identified. Any researcher or writer can identify himself or herself as a cryptobotanist with varying degrees of skepticism as a protoscience.
Many plants remain undiscovered or are yet to be classified, however cryptobotany usually focuses on fantastical plants believed to have harmful or therapeutic interactions with people. Sources of data may be secondary or scant; reports may be plausible or outlandish.
Examples of plants
- Terence McKenna, 1992 - Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge - A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution (Bantam) ISBN 0-553-37130-4