A family with about 100 genera and 2000 species is dispersed over the majority of the earth. In Pakistan, 29 genera and about 213 species are reported. About 50 genera are found in North America.
Diagnostic characters of Family ROSACEAE
The plants show great variation in habit. The plants may be yearly (Neurada spp.) or perennial prostrate herb, scandent or climbing or erect (Rosa spp.), shrubs, or trees. Cydonia species are bushes. Trees are common and much of them are our popular fruit trees e.g., Prunus amygdalus (H. Badam); Prunus persica (H. Aru); Pyrus communis (H. Nashpati); Pyrus mains (H. Seb), etc.
Plants are trees, shrubs, and herbs. The stem of the shrubby plants normally has spines. Leaves are alternate, rarely opposite, simple or compound, with paired stipules, which are often adnate to the petiole; spines may also occur on the rachis.
Basically, two types of roots are; fibrous taproot, fibrous adventitious roots.
Herbaceous or woody, hard; the stem is covered with thorns (prickles).
Alternate rarely opposite (Rhodotypos), simple or compound often pinnately compound, stipulate, stipule may be minute and caducous (Spiraea, Pyrus), adnate and persistent (Rosa, Rubus), leaf base conspicuous.
The inflorescence is variable, solitary, or might be a racemose or cymose cluster. Flowers are mostly bisexual, and actinomorphic, typically perigynous to some degree, usually showy and aromatic.
Actinomorphic actually rarely zygomorphic (Chrysobalanoideae), bisexual or rarely unisexual (Spiraea aruncus), pentamerous or tetramerous, hypogynous or epigynous (Pyrus), or perigynous (Rosa); stipules might be represented by epicalyx (Fragaria, Potentilla).
Sepals 5, gamosepalous, adnate to the receptacle; in some cases, epicalyx present; calyx tube remains free or adnate to the ovary, green, imbricate or valvate aestivation.
Petals 5, or multiples of 5, polypetalous, rosaceous, inserted on the receptacle cup otherwise colored; petals completely missing (Poterium, Alchemilla, Pygeumgardneria), or petals may be indefinite (Rosa spp.); sometimes stamens might be changed into petal-like structures; imbricate aestivation in the bud.
Various stamens, often only 5 or 10.
The gynoecium is of 1 to numerous separate carpels or variously unified, ovary usually superior often inferior;
Placentation basal, when the carpel is one or apocarpous, but axile when the carpels are many and syncarpous (merged).
Fruits: Achenes of hair follicles. pome or an etaerio of drupes or drupe.
Seed: The seed of the rose family is the non-endospermic seed.
The economic value of this family is great in offering satisfaction and welfare to mankind. The members of this family are important in temperate areas for fruit and ornamentals. Perhaps they rank third in commercial significance in the temperate zone among the families of flowering plants.
- Important fruits are Apple, Pear, Peach, Almond, Apricot, Strawberry, etc.
- A large number of plants are ornamental and are grown in gardens for their stunning and fragrant flowers.
- The most extensively cultivated genus for ornamental purposes is Rosa, Rose which has been grown in gardens since ancient times and whose called cultivars are now numbered in thousands.
- Numerous other genera are likewise grown for their stunning flowers in the parks and gardens.
- The branches of Crataegus supply outstanding walking sticks and wood. The wood of Pyrus pastia is utilized for making tobacco pipes.
In Asian countries, the petals of common rose normally called gulabs are utilized in making gulkand, and are also used in the extraction of important oil (rose oil) used as a perfume, when distilled with water the petals give Rose-water or Ark-Gulab, which is used for treating eye illness, and for many other functions.