What’s In a Family ?

The thing about families is that you think you know what to expect, but sometimes you get a surprise, or even a shock. When a new child comes along you might hear “Oh they’ve got Uncle Albert’s nose’, or ‘He has his Nan’s chin !’ . However this new creation may now unexpectedly be the only family member to have fair hair. Funny and unexpected things like that can happen in Families. Take the picture above as a example. It’s an Apple Tree, Generic name – Malus.  And it belongs to the same Family as the tree with the red flowers in the picture below.

This tree is a Thorn Tree, Generic name Crataegus. And yet it’s related to an Apple Tree


To confuse things further, the picture below is of a Cherry Tree, Generic name Prunus,  which is related to both the Apple Tree and the Thorn Tree …

… and this Mountain Ash Tree below, Generic name Sorbus is also related.

… and this Cotoneaster, Generic name Cotoneaster …

… and this Briar, Generic name Rosa ..

So how can these totally different trees and shrubs – and there are still more of them which belong to this same family – like Amelanchier, Pyracantha, Pyrus, Rubus, etc., etc.. – how can they ?


Their leaves look different, their overall shapes and sizes are different … how can they possibly belong to the same Family?

What’s in a Name ?

The answer to this question is all to do with how plants are classified, and this is by the characteristics of their flower.


In the case of all of these plants, their flowers main characteristics and their 5 petals put them firmly into the Botanical Family of





So the next time you’re out and about, see how many you can spot.


Don’t just take my word for it ….. they’re everywhere !!!!