What is "Anthecology?"


/ˈanTHə käləjē/

The study of the relationships between plants and pollinators, also referred to as pollination biology, or flower ecology.

I was asked by one reader:
"What are the origins of the word 'anthecology' itself? Does it lie in Latin?"
In fact, the word is broken down into three parts: anth-eco-logy. The prefix, anth, is in fact of Greek origin for flower. The stem word, eco, evolved from the Greek word oikos meaning house or habitation. The suffix, logy, means to speak or the study of depending on the source, and is also of Greek origin. So the word 'anthecology' is on fact not of Latin descent at all, but is perhaps a more-complicated-than-necessary way to say "flower ecology" and nearly entirely of Greek origin. The word was not assembled by the Greeks, however, but rather by German and American academics. The word ecology is an evolution of the word oecology coined by the German zoologist Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) as Ökologie. A non-verbatim quote from the publication below by Herbert Baker: "[The word Anthecology] was introduced by Charles Robertson (1904), an American biologist."

The following publication, written by the late Herbert George Baker (Professor of Integrative Biology, Emeritus, Berkeley, 1920-2001), proposed a good history of anthecology and a good description of how it is today. It is the most comprehensive topic on the history of the study itself.