On Plants (Greek: Περὶ φυτῶν; Latin: De plantis) is a botanical treatise included in the Corpus Aristotelicum but usually regarded as spurious.[1] Most scholars believe the work to have been written by the historian and philosopher Nicolaus of Damascus in the first century BC. On Plants describes the nature and origins of plants.


The work is divided into two parts.

Part 1

The first part discusses the nature of plant life, sex in plants, the parts of plants, the structure of plants, the classification of plants, the composition and products of plants, the methods of propagation and fertilization of plants, and the changes and variations of plants.

Part 2

The second part describes the origins of plant life, the material of plants, the effects of external conditions and climate on plants, water plants, rock plants, effects of locality on plants, parasitism, the production of fruits and leaves, the colors and shapes of plants, and fruits and their flavors.


"Alfred the Englishman translated the Arabic version into Latin in the reign of Henry III. It was retranslated from this version into Greek at the Renaissance by a Greek resident in Italy."[2]

See also


  1. ^ Barnes, Jonathan (1984). The Complete Works of Aristotle. Vol. 2. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. pp. 1251–1271. ISBN 0-691-01651-8.
  2. ^ Burnet, John (1930). Early Greek Philosophy. 4, 5 & 6 Soho Square, London, W.1: A. & C. Black, Ltd. p. 242.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location (link)