Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

Botany: Learning the Most Common Plants by Family, part 7: The Rose Family

Rose from Mrs. Gorsuch's Garden



We have been studying the Rose Family, which contains more than 3,000 species of plants. The blossoms of true roses have five sepals and five petals plus a number of stamens and pistils. Flowers with lots stamens, like some from the Rose family, can be bred so that they have fewer stamens, but more petals. The extra petals are bred from the stamens! That is why most of the Roses we are used to seeing have much more than 5 petals and fewer stamens. Members of the Rose family, however that grow in the wild will have 5 petals and a number of stamens. Most of the fruits we eat belong to subfamilies of the Rose Family. Rose hips, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are all fruits of the Rose Family. We began our study of this family by looking at our roses and then locating a rosehip and tasting a piece of one. Rosehips are full of vitamin C. We had picked strawberries earlier this year, and we are currently getting raspberries off our bush.
Plums are also a subfamily of the Rose family and their branch (pardon the pun) includes plums, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apricots. All of the fruits in the Plum branch have a seam down the side and a hard pit within. We have a peach tree in the backyard and James and Alex are doing their Year-Around Tree Study on this tree. They will look closely at this tree each season and notice the changes it makes throughout the seasons. To begin this study they made a rubbing of the leaf of this tree and they had their picture taken in front of it for their summer work. We will take pictures of them in front of it for each season as well as write down what things they notice about the tree each season.

Apples also are a subfamily of the Rose Family and includes apples, pears and many berries. We also have an apple tree in the backyard and Sam and Quentin have chosen this tree for their Seasonal Tree Study. They also made rubbings and we took their picture in front of it and recorded their observations. The fruit from these plants form beneath the flowers. The five pointed star at the base of these fruits is formed by the sepals that used to be around the blossom.


We have decided to make seasonal observations of three of the trees in the backyard. The third tree is the Maple, which is not in the Rose family. James measured the circumference of its trunk and it was 59 inches. It was amazing to us that the tree was nearly 5 feet around!


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