The rose family, Rosaceae, is a diverse family containing approximately 3,000 species, with representatives being found particularly in temperate regions. It contains many species and varieties of economic and ornamental value.
Many widely grown fruit trees belong to the rose family. Among the temperate species grown commercially in Britain are pears (Pyrus communis), cherries (Prunus avium and P. cerasus) and plums, damsons and gages (Prunus domestica). Apples (Malus domestica) are one of the world's major fruit crops with more than 23 million tonnes being produced annually. In warmer climates apricots, peaches and almonds are also important crops.
Commonly grown fruits such as strawberries and raspberries, and less well-known fruit crops such as the medlar (Mespilus germanica) and the quince (Cydonia oblonga), are also members of the rose family.
Other ornamental plants
Whilst the best known and most widely grown members of this family are the garden roses, it also contains common garden plants such as Cotoneaster, Pyracantha, Spiraea, Potentilla and cherry laurel.
British native trees
Several British native trees are members of the Rosaceae. Among the most distinctive are the mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia), with its bright red berries providing splashes of autumn colour, and the whitebeam (Sorbus aria) with its silvery white leaves. Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), planted in field boundaries as an impenetrable barrier to stock, is an important hedge plant and home to a wide range of wildlife.