Pome fruit plants

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Pome fruit plants
Cultivated apple (Malus domestica)

Cultivated apple ( Malus domestica )

Eurosiden I
Order : Rose-like (rosales)
Family : Rose family (Rosaceae)
Subfamily : Spiraeoideae
Tribe : Pyreae
Sub tribus : Pome fruit plants
Scientific name

The pome fruit plants (Pyrinae) are a family of plants in the rose family (Rosaceae). It includes many types of fruit such as apples and pears with the characteristic apple fruits . For a long time they were run as a separate subfamily Maloideae.


The representatives of the Pyrinae are deciduous, winter or evergreen shrubs or small to medium-sized trees. They are unarmed or have spines . The leaves are alternate, usually simple, less often lobed or pinnate. The stipules are free and mostly obsolete (falling off early).

The flowers are five-fold, mostly hermaphroditic and have a jug-shaped flower cup . The discus is dry or nectar forming . The five sepals remain on the fruit or fall off. The five petals are white, pink or red. The stamens are numerous (20 to 30, rarely 10 to 60). There are usually five carpels , more rarely they are reduced to four or two or even one. When ripe, the carpels are parchment-like to stone-like and fused to different heights with the fleshy, thickened flower axis, thus forming an apple fruit . Each carpel contains one to many seeds .

Most genera produce cyanogenic glycosides , especially amygdalin (in the seeds) and prunasin (in other parts of the plant). Sorbitol is an important storage and transport carbohydrate.

The Pyrinae are characterized by the basic chromosome number x = 17.


In the Pyrinae there is often intergeneric hybridization. This is documented for 16 genera. Hybridization may also have played an essential role in the evolution of the Pyrinae.


Loquat ( Eriobotrya japonica )
Cross section through an apple. You can see the core (the five follicles, each with a seed or core) and the transformed flower base .
Flowering ornamental quince ( Chaenomeles japonica )

The pome fruit plants have long been listed as one of the four subfamilies of the rose plants. Molecular genetic studies showed that they form a group within the Spiraeoideae . Potter et al. have therefore defined the group as the Subtribe Pyrinae. Together with the genera Kageneckia , Vauquelinia and Lindleya , they form the tribe Pyreae.

The hawthorn-leaved appleMalosorbus florentina ) is a genus bastard from the wood apple ( Malus sylvestris ) and the service tree ( Sorbus torminalis ).


The taxa of the Pyrinae may have originated from a rapid, long-ago radiation . Fossil are the first representatives, Amelanchier, Crataegus and Photinia from the early Middle Eocene , around 48 to 50 million years before today. This rapid radiation is attributed to the formation of the fleshy apple fruits and the associated spread by animals. Hybridization has also played a role in evolution.

supporting documents

  • Siegmund Seybold (Ed.): Schmeil-Fitschen interactive (CD-Rom), Quelle & Meyer, Wiebelsheim 2001/2002, ISBN 3-494-01327-6

Individual evidence

  1. a b c C.S. Campbell et al .: Phylogeny of subtribe Pyrinae (formerly the Maloideae, Rosaceae): Limited resolution of a complex evolutionary history . Plant Systematics and Evolution, Ban 266, 2007, pp. 119-145. doi : 10.1007 / s00606-007-0545-y
  2. D. Potter, T. Eriksson, RC Evans, S. Oh, JEE Smedmark, DR Morgan, M. Kerr, KR Robertson, M. Arsenault, TA Dickinson, CS Campbell: Phylogeny and classification of Rosaceae . Plant Systematics and Evolution, Volume 266, 2007, pp. 5-43. doi : 10.1007 / s00606-007-0539-9

Web links

Commons : Pome Fruits  - Collection of images, videos and audio files