The criminal justice system is served by many experts who provide special assistance to law enforcement professionals during criminal investigations. One of these specialized areas. forensic botany, has traditionally been an activity of the systematic botanist who identifies plant material associated with a suspect or crime scene. From this Information, suspects can be placed at crime scenes and information such as time of death or movement of victims can be determined. Few plant scientists are involved In this emerging field which has the potential to make contributions similar to those made today by forensic anthropology.
Plant scientists with training In systematic botany, plant anatomy, plant growth and development, and statistics and probability can make significant contributions to criminal investigations. The use of plant identification and plant growth analyses In recent criminal Investigations will be described. The role of horticulture in the future of forensic science and the development of new techniques In forensic plant science will also be discussed.