I Had Another Research Binge Session and Now You’re Going to Hear About Plants

Kai Barr, Writer


Alright, so anyone else with ADD/ADHD can probably relate to this, or anyone who’s a writer, but every so often I end up on a research binge somewhere or other. This time, the lovely spiral of the Internet has taken me to look at an order of flowering plants known as Rosales.


The order Rosales is made up of three clades—Rosacaeae, Rhamnaceae, and the four urticalean families. The four families are Ulmaceae, Cannabaceae, Moraceae and Urticaceae. In phylogenetic analyses of DNA sequences, these four flowers have been found to have strong support. The informal name for the last clade is the “urticalean rosids”. Of these, Moraceae and Urticaceae make up about ninety percent of the diversity in the clade, ironically.


What plants are in this order? Well, if you had a guess off of the name and the term “urticalean rosids”, you might have assumed that roses are in this order. You’d be right. Some of the other well-known members include strawberries, blackberries, rasperries, apples, pears, plums, peaches, apricots, and almonds. Rowan, hawthorn, elms, banyans, figs, mulberries, nettles, and hops are other known members. Interestingly enough, so is cannabis, but we’re not going to talk about this.


Like other orders of the same type, Rosales falls into the kingdom Plantae, which has—you guessed it—plants. In the subkingdom of Tracheobionta, the superdivsion Spermatophyta, Rosales is also in the division Magnoliophyta, the class Magnoliopsida, and the subclass Rosidae. These plants grow in various different parts of the world, and can be found in mountains, tropics, and even the artic. Despite this, though, it’s only specific families that grow in these specific locations. For much of the family, they pollinate through wind-pollination.


The family Rosaceae is within the order Rosales. Since so many of this family’s species are cultivated for their fruits, this makes Rosaceae one of the most economically important families in plant families. Apples, pears, cherries, almonds, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, and plums are all amongst these fruits. Mulberry eaves are fed to commercial silk production to feed the silkworms. Additionally, the rose (which is what the family and order were named for) and other species are also used ornamentally, as well as featured in literature and poetry. Heck, the rose itself has a multitude of meanings in the Victorian flower language. Black cherry and sweet cherry wood are both used to make high quality furniture. These plants are also used as medicine.


Yeah, that’s pretty much everything I found interesting. Hope you enjoyed, I guess.