2017-2018 / BOTA0320-1

Botanical introduction to pharmacognosy


15h Th, 15h Pr

Number of credits

 Bachelor in pharmacy3 crédits 


Gabriel Castillo Cabello

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

2 h are dedicated to algae (evolutionary aspects, practical importance of their mucilage and toxic blooms).

90 minutes are dedicated to Bryophyta and Pteridophyta (origin and diversification of higher plants, toxic ferns).

90 minutes are dedicated to Gymnosperms and to the origin of wood and seeds.

The remainder of the course (10h) is dedicated to the Angiosperms with a short introduction to their morphology and anatomy (mainly during the practical exercises), followed by the presentation of the main families, with a focus on those whith plants presenting high concentrations of pharmacologically active compounds.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

This course prepares students for the 3rd year pharmacognosy course by introducing them to the principal characteristics of the vegetal world and by presenting the scientifically and economically essential groups. The focus is on the higher plants relevant for the pharmacist, because of their toxicity or therapeutic use. It should be noted that fungi will be presented in the part B of the course.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

1st year biology concepts.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The exercises allow the students to get acquainted with organography and anatomy in preparation of the 3rd year course. They also teach determination with a flora and recognition of the main toxic plants regarding which the pharmacist may be queried.

Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning)

Lectures (theory): 1. Introduction. Algae. 2. End of algae, beginning of Bryophytes. 3. Bryophytes and Pteridophytes, origin of Gymnosperms. 4. Gymnosperms, origin of Angiosperms. 5 to 10. Angiosperms.
Practical Exercises: 1. Stem anatomy. 2. Root and stem (end) anatomy. 3. Leaf anatomy. 4. Epiderms (hairs and stomates) and secretory system. 5. Fruits. 6. Determination with the flora 7. Determination with the flora 8. Determination with the flora 
Advice as to the acquisition of drawing materials and a hand lens will be provided during the course.

Recommended or required readings

Notes are available on e-campus. It is essential to own a copy of Nouvelle flore de la Belgique, du G.-D. de Luxembourg, du Nord de la France et des régions voisines, by J. Lambinon and others.,. Eléments d'organographie des Angiospermes, 1969, by J. Lambinon is useful. These books can be bought during lab sessions (approx. 40 euros for the first book, approx. 3 euros for the second one).

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam (50% of the final grade) and a two-part exam on the practical exercises: anatomy (20% of the final grade) and using flora (20% of the final grade). The grade average for exercises during the year represents 10% of the final grade. Nevertheless, to pass, the students will need to obtain at least 8/20 for oral exam. The oral exam includes among others the on sight recognition of toxic plants on slides and the recognition of the following families on living plants : Ranunculaceae, Polygonaceae, Malvaceae, Cruciferae, Rosaceae, Papilionaceae, Umbelliferae, Labiatae, Compositae.
In case a student needs to present the exam a second time, all parts for which he/she did not get at least 12/20 will have to be presented again. (Oral 50%; anatomy 25%; Flora 25%)

Work placement(s)

Organizational remarks

* One or two tutoring positions for last year students.


Institut de Zoologie (bat : I1), quai Van Beneden. 4020 Liège. G. Castillo, Lecturer, 04.366.50.05, e-mail: G.Castillo@ulg.ac.be