Desert Flower Rosales   -   Order

Rosales is a large order containing about 260 genera and 7700 species, included in 9 families. Many of these species are of great culinary and nutritional importance, particularly for fruit. It is one of the most important orders of the Eudicot clade Rosids.   Photo of Rosa persica by Yuriy75 distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported

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Rose Family   -   [Rosaceae]
This family contains at least 2830 species in at least 95 genera and abounds in familiar (and some unfamiliar) edible species. It is so large it has been divided into several Subfamilies and those into Tribes and Subtribes. We arranged those that are of culinary interest in a simplified format to avoid excessive brain strain.

Pome Fruits   -   [Tribe Maleae of Subfamily Amygdaloideae]
Mixed Fruit

This tribe is very important for large fruits eaten raw or cooked - Apples, Pears, Loquats, Quinces and others. The characteristic of this tribe is fruit where a swollen flower base has wrapped its thick edible flesh completely around the actual fruit and its seeds. The Pome Fruits have their own page.

Stone Fruits   -   [Tribe Amygdaleae of Subfamily Amygdaloideae]
Basket of Fruit

Almost as important as the Pome Fruits, this tribe produces peaches, plums and cherries. Here the thick edible flesh is the middle layer of the actual fruit. The swollen flower base of the pome fruit is completely missing. The Stone Fruits have their own page.

Berries, Herbs, Roots & Flowers   -   [Subfamily Rosoideae]
Bowl of Berries

This subfamily contains two genera of "berries" of culinary note, including blackberries, raspberries and strawberries, plus the the actual Roses, and some herbs. In these berries, the swollen flower base is turned inside out, and is covered by a myriad of fruits similar in structure to stone fruits, but tiny with very tiny stones. The fruit of actual Roses is more like the pome fruits. The Berries, Herbs & Flowers have their own page.

Buckthron Family   -   [Rhamnaceae]

The Buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae) is a modest size family of mostly thorny flowering plants found in temperate and subtropical climates worldwide. The family provides only a few food items, but was once important for charcoal used to make gunpowder. This family has it's own Buckthorns Page.

Mulberry Family   -   [Moraceae]

The mulberry family is found worldwide in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions. American mulberries are but 3/4 inch long, but the mulberry family accounts also for the largest tree fruit in the world, exceeding 80 pounds and three feet long. This family has it's own Mulberries Page.

Oleaster Family   -   [Elaeagnaceae]
Russian Olives

Oleasters are a small family with only three genera. They mostly inhabit northern temperate climates, but some species extend through Southeast Asia to Australia. In Europe and Asia they have been used as minor food items and medicinals since prehistoric times. This family has it's own Oleaster Page.

Hemp Family   -   [Cannabaceae]
Hemp Leaves

The Hemp family (Cannabaceae) is a small family of herbs, vines, shrubs and small trees, consisting of only about 9 Genera in all. While hemp is a very useful industrial, culinary and medicinal plant, its use in the United States has been greatly hindered by the misguided and totally failed "war on drugs", which has succeeded only in transferring billions of dollars to criminals - and providing many thousands of lifelong but worthless careers for government employees. This family has it's own Hemp Page.

Nettle Family   -   [Urticaceae]
This family contains about 2600 species in 54 to 79 genera (depending on which expert you consult), but is not big on edibles. A number of species are locally important for fiber.

Nettles   -   [Shishnu (Nepal); Urtica dioica subsp. gracilis (American)   |   Urtica dioica subsp. dioica (European)]

The Stinging Nettle is the most common culinary member of the Urticaceae family, though others are also eaten locally. This highly nutritious plant was important to the Native population of North America, but it has fallen out of use here except as an ingredient in some herbal teas and hair treatment formulas.

Nettles are still eaten frequently in Ireland, where they were one of the major reasons the English were not able to starve all the Irish to death during the potato famine. They contain more usable protein than just about any other leafy green, in general by a wide margin. Nettles are also eaten in parts of Northern and Eastern Europe, as well as in Italy - and in Nepal and the neighboring Kumaon division of India. They also have medicinal uses, particularly in treatment of arthritis. Details and Cooking.

Yanagi-ichigo   -   [Yanagi-ichigo (Japan); shui ma (China); Debregeasia orientalis]
Branches with Fruit

This shrub, which can grow to 13 feet high, is native to Bhutan, northeastern India, China, Taiwan and Japan. The fruit is edible and can be eaten fresh or used to make jams or wine. The bark of the plant is used for fiber.   Photo by Loasa contributed to the Public Domain.

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