Inflorescence is variable, solitary or may be racemose or cymose cluster. Flowers are mostly bisexual, and actinomorphic, often perigynous to some degree, usually showy and scented. Calyx: 5 sepals rarely 4, united at the base. Corolla: petals 5, or numerous in multiple of 5, which are free rosaceous, large and showy. Androecium: numerous stamens, sometimes only 5 or 10. Gynoecium is of 1 to numerous separate carpels or variously united, ovary generally superior sometimes inferior; Placentation basal, when the carpel is one or apocarpous, but axile when the carpels are many and syncarpous (fused).
Economic importance: economic importance of this family is great in providing the pleasure and welfare to manking. The members of this family are important in temperate regions for fruit and ornamentals. Perhaps they rank third in commercial importance in the temperate zone among the families of flowering plants.
Important fruits are apple, pear, peach, almond, apricot, strawberry, etc.
A large number of plants are ornamental and are grown in gardens for their beautiful and scented flowers. The most widely cultivated genus for decorative purpose is Rosa, Rose which has been grown in gardens since ancient times and whose named cultivars are now numbered in thousands. Many other genera are also grown for their beautiful flowers in the parks and gardens.
The branches of crataeugs provide excellent walking sticks and wood. The wood of pyrus pastia is used for making tobacco pipes.
In Asian countries the petals of common rose usually called gulabs are used in making gulkand, and are also used in extraction of an essential oil (rose oil) used as perfume, when distilled with water the petals give Rose-water or Ark-Gulab, which is used for curing eye disease, and for many other purposes.
Solanaceae: Night Shade or Potato Family
It is family of about 90 genera and 2000 species of tropical and temperate distribution. In Pakistan 14 genera and about 52 species are reported, Nasir (1985).
Familiar Plants: solanum tuberosum (potato), nicotiana tabacum (Tbacco), lycopersicum esculentum( Tomato), Capsicum frutescens (Red pepper).
Vegetative Characters: plants including in this family are herbs, shrubs, sometimes trees or vines. Stem is hairy or prickly. Leaves are alternate or rarely becoming opposite in the floral region, simple, petiolate, rarely sessile.
Fig. 9.26 Solanaceae: Solanum nigrum, A – twig, B-Flower C-fruit, D-seed