Rosaceae: Characteristics and Examples - Summary

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Rosaceae plants are some of the best known and valued in the world. Within this great family you will find such well-known species as the peach or blackberry, not to mention the queen of ornamental flowers: the rose. We invite you to continue reading a little more to learn more about the popularly known as Rosaceae, from what are the characteristics of the Rosaceae family which type of Rosaceae fruit is the one that characterizes them the most. In addition, at the end of the article you will find an extensive list of examples of plants of the Rosaceae family. Surely you already know more than one, what's more, you may even have them in your garden, terrace or in the nearest park. Dare to discover a little more every day about the natural environment that surrounds you thanks to Green Ecologist.

What is the Rosaceae family

The Rosaceae family is characterized as a family of dicotyledonous plants belonging to the rosales order. It stands out for being one of the most important families within the plant kingdom with more than 3,000 species different The genera of the Rosaceae family reach up to 100, where they are still being discovered within the Rosaceae subfamilies.

What's more, the rosaceae They are highly valued both for their economic impact and for their ornamental value. And it is that within this family we find fruit plants for mass consumption, such as strawberries, plums, almonds or apples, among many others that are imported and exported daily. In the same way, they also have some of the most demanded flowers for gardening and the perfume industry, such as roses.

The most numerous genera within the family are: Potentilla with around 300 species, Prunus with 200 species, Rosa with more than 100 and Spiraea with another 100 species under its belt. Likewise, it is also important to know the most important subfamilies within this family.

Subfamily Rosoideae

This family is characterized by having as fruit drupes, also called achenes. This type of fruit is dry, monosperm and has a pericarp independent of the seed. Some examples of genus within this subfamily:

  • Gender Rosa L
  • Genus Hulthemia Dum
  • Genus Argentina Lam

Subfamily Spiraeoideae

They stand out for having capsule or follicle type fruits. Some examples of genus within this subfamily:

  • Genus Physocarpus
  • Genus Spiraea
  • Genus Geum
  • Genus Potentilla
  • Genus Fragaria

Subfamily Pyroideae

Like the Rosoideae subfamily, it has indehiscent fruit. In addition, in the gynoecium there are between 2 and 5 united carpels, while the ovary is inferior. Some examples of genus within this subfamily:

  • Genus Heteromeles
  • Genus Sorbus
  • Genus Chamaemespilus
  • Genus Eriolobus
  • Genus Cotoneaster Ehrh.
  • Genus Laurocerasus
  • Genus Prunus
  • Genus Armeniaca

Other subfamilies

  • Subfamily Kerrioideae
  • Subfamily Ruboideae
  • Subfamily Lyonothamnoideae
  • Subfamily Dichotomanthoideae
  • Subfamily Quillajoideae
  • Subfamily Filipenduloideae
  • Subfamily Coleogynoideae Golubkova

Characteristics of the Rosaceae family

It is a very large and varied family, so it is difficult to define characteristics shared by all of them. These are the most general:

  • Regarding its taxonomy, the Rosaceae family belongs to the Order of the Rosales, in the Magnoliophyta division and the Magnoliopsida class.
  • The Rosaceae tend to be perennials, with sizes ranging from herbaceous to arboreal, passing, of course, through the shrubs. Perennial species tend to be rhizomes, although there are also some with annual life cycles, in these cases both evergreen and deciduous.
  • They almost always have alternate, compound or simple leaves and have stipules on the petiole.
  • Its flowers are usually quite showy, being hermaphrodite, actimorphic and pentameric, with inflorescences shown in spikes or racemes. The calyx usually has five sepals and the corolla has five petals or a multiple of this number.
  • The fruits are very varied, including drupes, achenes, polyaquenes and some other types, with small seeds and lacking endosperm.

Examples of the Rosaceae family

These are some of the most representative and widespread members of the Rosaceae family:

Apple tree

With the scientific name Malus domestica, apple trees are one of the best known and most cultivated plants in the world for their rich and healthy fruits. Apple trees are trees of great strength, with grayish trunks that reach heights of up to 12 meters. They can live up to 100 years, although they are usually grown by grafting, which reduces their life expectancy to 20 years. They resist areas of high salinity.


Rose bushes are a genus of thorny shrubs with more than 30,000 cultivars, which have become exceptionally popular for their spectacular and sometimes fragrant flowers, a symbol of love in many cultures. Some of the most popular species are the Rosa moschata, the Rosa gallica or the Rosa californica, among others. Its size varies between a few centimeters in height and a few meters, even including climbing and crawling species.


Cherry trees are deciduous fruit trees that can reach heights of up to 30 meters depending on the species. From the Prunus avium and Prunus cerasus species, the cherries that we usually consume are extracted, although their other most well-known characteristic is probably their particular flowering. The cherry tree loses its leaves in the cold months, and its flowers appear before the leaves sprout again, so in spring it is possible to see these trees fully dressed in a very characteristic and appreciated pink or white mantle.

More examples of the Rosaceae family

  • Pyrus communis or pear
  • Cydonia oblonga or quince
  • Prunus persica or peach tree
  • Prunus domestica or plum
  • Fragaria vesca or strawberry
  • Rubus ulmifolius or blackberry
  • Cotoneaster integerrimus or wild medlar
  • Spiraea cantoniensis or bridal crown
  • Pyracantha angustifolia or sea buckthorn
  • Sanguisorba minor or knife grass

If you want to read more articles similar to Rosaceae: characteristics and examples, we recommend that you enter our Biology category.

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