This section is from the "The New Student's Reference Work Volume 5: How And Why Stories" by Elinor Atkinson.
Yes, those plants are cousins of the rose. They have the same bright-barked, thorny, woody stems; the same spiny, compound leaves, and the many five-petaled rosette flowers, with forests of pollen-tipped hairs in them. In the briar berries the blossoms are white and the pollen dark. Down in the grass nature set the same white, rose-blossom on a creeping vine, and scattered the hard seeds on the outside of a sweet fruit, like stitches of yellow silk on a red satin cone—the strawberry!
Of course, no one knows which of all the rose family came first. Very likely it was the little yellow-flowered cinquefoil that looks so much like a wild strawberry. Beside making seeds it also grows by runners, that strike root at the joints. So does the strawberry. If raspberry and blackberry canes are bent over to the ground, they will often strike root, and start new plants. And branches of roses, and many of their cousins, can be grafted on other root stocks. So can the branches of orchard fruit trees be grafted.
How much the apple blossom looks like the wild rose. It has five pink petals set in a rosette. It has a little forest of pollen hairs, too. When the petals fall the seed case swells and closes at the top and leaves, at the flower end, five little dry, brown sepals. The leaves of the apple tree are furry on the under side, the bark of the tree is smooth and bright, and the wild apples—the hawthorns and crabapples have thorns. The apple tree is a very near cousin of the rose, nearer, very likely, than the strawberry. There are many varieties of wild apples in different countries—the Siberian crab-apple is a useful fruit in its wild state. Like the rose, the wild apple has been trained, fed, sheltered, transplanted, cross-pollinated and grafted, until there are now dozens of varieties of big juicy apples in our orchards. The pear and the quince are near cousins of the rose, too,
The wild plums and cherries are not so near. They have a single nut-like seed in a stony case. They grew, perhaps, in a roundabout way, from the almond, and so did the peach and the apricot. A peach stone is pitted like the paper shell of the almond, and the peach seed is often mistaken for the nut of the bitter almond.
It is the rose that gave the name to the family. Rosaceae is the name. Isn't it pretty? It ought to be, for every member of the family makes the earth fragrant and cheerful with their bouquets of blossoms. The rose is so sweet, so innocent and beautiful that we borrow its name for little girls, as we do of the blossoms of the violet and the lily. In Japan, where they grow orchard trees for the flowers, they often call little girls plum blossom and cherry blossom.
Every member of the rose family is like the bonny briar bush in disliking the smoky air of cities. They grow best in the open country, under the wide, blue, sunny sky, in clean earth free from weeds, where birds build their nests and there is a pleasant hum of bees. And here is a secret very few people know. You can find the wild rose blossom in winter. Find a beautiful rosy apple. Cut it across the middle. Then cut a thin slice from one half and hold it up to the light. You will find the five rose petals these, very plainly marked, in the heart of the apple. (See Rose, Strawberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Apple, Pear, Quince, Almond, Plum, Cherry Peach, Grafting. Plate, Volume II, page 686. Pollination.