A rose is a rose is a rose… Or is it?
Sometimes, I make a stab at understanding botany. Sometimes my efforts result in ah-ha moments. More often, though, I end up with Huh? moments.
My latest kick is to try to learn some of the major plant families, taxonomically speaking. I like being able to group things by common characteristics. It’s satisfying to (metaphorically) toss items into the correct boxes. And learning the unifying characteristics can often help later in getting to a specific identification… “Hmm… I don’t know what species this is, but surely it must be in the Rose Family because of…” It makes you sound smart, too.
I worked on the Mustard family first. (Click here for mustard post.) That was pretty easy… 4 petals, 6 stamens – 4 tall, 2 short…
After taking pictures of a few flowers in the rose family, I decided to work on that one… How hard could it be? Oh dear… Well, it starts out looking simple: 5 sepals, 5 petals, numerous stamens (usually), oval serrated leaves (except sometimes). It’s the “usually” and the “except sometimes” that will get you! For example, nothing pictured here has more than 5 petals. But a domestic rose has lots more! According to one source, these extra petals were bred from stamens… (How do “they” do that, I wonder…)
Raspberries and Blackberries are roses.
Worldwide, there are 3,000 species that fall under the Rose Family. How many do you have in your backyard?