Rosaceae

Genera : 100 -122

Species: 3,000 - 3,400

 

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Distribution: Worldwide, but most diverse in the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Economic Uses: The family is extremely important as the source of many fruits and flowers. Its long association with humans gives us the apple, strawberry, cherry, raspberry and blackberry, the rose, which has myriad cultivars and whose fruits area potent source of vitamin C and the common ornamentals - the cinqfoils or potentillas, spireas and hawthorns.

Defining Features of Interest: The family is commonly divided into 4-6 subfamilies. There is a great diversity in morphology that makes the family the source of debate among botanists. One distinctive feature is the presence of an hypanthium - or cup shaped structure composed of the fusion of calyx, corolla and stamens.

Fossil Evidence: Fossils in various period of the Tertiary.