How could apples possibly be related to roses? One is a large tree that produces sweet and juicy fruit and the other is a bushy plant that produces pretty flowers in a range of colours and they have thorns. Well, they are related, and this is how.
In the world of flowering plants, relationships are based on flower types and the type of fruit that is produced. To be scientific for a moment, apples and roses belong to the same family of plants, and this is how:
Kingdom Plantea – plants and not animals
Subfamily Rosoideae Subfamily Maloideae
Genus Rosa Genus Malus-apples, crab apples
Species Rosa speciosa Species Malus domestica-apple varieties
Every plant is listed like this in scientific literature so we know exactly from where they have originated. It shows us what plant is related to another, and plants of the same family name all have similar characteristics. Roses and apples belong to the same family, and then they branch off into their own species.
Plants are placed in the same family according to flower structure and the flower of an apple and a single rose all have five outer sepals, five petals that slightly overlap, and stamens that occur in groups of five in the centre. Many other fruits are found in this family, including cherries, apricots, plums, peaches, pears, strawberries, blackberries, currants, and raspberries. Other flowering plants include the Rowan tree, Hawthorn, May bush, cotoneaster, and pyracantha varieties.
Also found in this family are watermelons, rockmelons and cucumbers. All that changes is the genus and species.
For example, a strawberry belongs to the species Fragaria speciosa and a blackberry is Rubus Eubatus.
Apples originated in the Middle Eastern part of the world, and historians think that the Romans brought the first domestic apple varieties to Great Britain. They then spread to Europe during the Norman Conquests of 1066. Apple varieties occur when you plant a seed from one apple but it doesn’t produce a plant with exactly the same apple as the parent tree. Originally, apples were used to make cider and were quite bitter, but the common domestic apples are a lot sweeter.
We can enjoy our favourite apples every year when a plant is grafted onto rootstock to produce the same apple as the parent tree. The rootstock is from a wild but strong apple variety and the graft could be from a Jonathon, Pink Lady, Fuji, Delicious, or Granny Smith apple, or one of the many other varieties.