Last updated: 
June 11, 2022

The Ultimate Reading List for UPSC Botany for IAS & IFS Main

The definitive list of resources that will help you get top-range score in Botany optional in the UPSC IAS & IFS Examinations.

Post written by

Dr. Abhishek Kumar

A teacher and guide to the students preparing for the UPSC CSE and IFS examination for about two decades. He has helped close to 2000 students secure a rank in these examinations, with 9 of them getting All India Rank 1 and 100+ of them finding a place within the All India Top-10 list.

Botany is a popular optional subject among the UPSC aspirants. It has a reasonably sized syllabus which can be mastered with limited efforts. Besides, Botany has a reputation of being a scoring subject.

A large number of UPSC CSE and IFS toppers have taken this optional in the past. This makes it a popular choice among students looking to score in the upper range of their UPSC exam.

Evolution’s course for Botany optional is considered as the best in the country. Every year, nearly 90% of the Botany selections in IAS & IFS are from Evolution. Top Rankers like Sonia Katariya (Rank 115, IAS 2021), Vidushi (Rank 1, IFS 2016), Divya Jyoti Parida (Rank 26, IAS 2015), Abhilasha (Rank 2, IFS 2015), Aditya M. (Rank 5, IFS 2015), have all been trained by us for Botany optional.

Here, we are suggesting you the books that will be very useful for Botany optional. The books will help you build concepts and equip you with the latest information. They will provide a great base to prepare answers for any questions that you may encounter.

Books to build basic concepts

  1. Plant Biology and General Biology related chapters in NCERT Biology chapters for Std. XI and XII
  2. Wiley's Textbook of Botany for NEET and other Medical Entrance Examinations: This is an excellent text touching most of the areas of the syllabus but at a basic level and not up to the level expected by the UPSC Examinations.

Before you read any further

These books are not needed for those students who will join our course for Botany

Do not read any further if you are planning to join Evolution’s course for Botany optional. If you join this course, you would not need any of the advanced level books which we are enlisting below.

The class-notes and material associated with this course will contain well-edited relevant facts and concepts from these books and many more advanced sources not listed here.

But, if you are planning to prepare Botany by self-study, then these are the books you should go for. As mentioned earlier, they will help you with the right information and concepts to prepare Botany well.

There is no preparation without making notes

Making notes is critically important to your success as a student. They help you to concisely organize the large volume of information you are expected to learn in an easy to revise format. Additionally, by making notes you develop a better understanding of the subject matter. The topics for which you make notes, you tend to retain them much better. Therefore, taking notes is an integral and unescapable part of your preparation.

You do not need to read any of these books end-to-end

To prepare for the Civil Services Examination or IFS Botany, it is important to refer to the syllabus and then examine the previously asked questions. This will give you an idea of the scope of topics that are covered in the examination. Once you have a sense of the topics, you can prepare a detailed list of topics and subtopics. Then, you need to read selectively from the prescribed books to cover all topics and subtopics.

List of books

Books for Botany Paper 1

  1. Microbiology: Prescott's Microbiology
  2. Plant Pathology: Plant Pathology by George N Agrios
  3. Cryptogams: A Text Book of Botany by Singh, Pandey and Jain
  4. Gymnosperms: Gymnosperms by S. P. Bhatnagar, Alok Moitra
  5. Angiosperm Systematics and Families: Plant Systematics by Gurucharan Singh
  6. Plant Anatomy: Plant Anatomy by Dr. B. P. Pandey
  7. Plant Embryology: The Embryology of Angiosperms by Sant Saran Bhojwani and S. P. Bhatnagar
  8. Morphogenesis: Plant Tissue Culture: Theory and Practice by S.S. Bhojwani, M.K. Razdan
  9. Plant Resource Development: Economic Botany: A Comprehensive Study by SL Kochhar

Books for Botany Paper 2

  1. Cell Biology: Karp's Cell Biology by Karp Gerald
  2. Genetics: Concepts of Genetics by Klug and Cummings
  3. Plant Breeding: Plant Breeding: Princples and Methods by B D Singh
  4. Biotechnology: Biotechnology: Expanding Horizons by B D Singh
  5. Biostatistics: Fundamentals of Biostatistics by Veer Bala Rastogi
  6. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry: Plant Physiology and Development by Eduardo Zeiger, Lincoln Taiz
  7. Ecology and Plant Geography: Ecology and Environment by Dr. P D Sharma + Resources fom Newspapers, Magazines and Web resources

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