I was talking with my friends about my food allergy.

There is a comprehensive word 'rosaceae', which covers many different species such as strawberry, blackberry, peach, and cherry. There is also 'pinaceae', 'asteraceae' and 'cactaceae'.

Is there any single word or a phrase that is not as technical as suffix '-ceae'? I need, for example, something used as

... (of) rose


rose ...

which is (almost) the same meaning as rosaceae

I know "family" is a taxonomical term, but 'rose family (or family of rose)' sounds inappropriate or rather ambiguous to me. Moreover, there I think is no adjective form of that.(compared to 'rosaceous')

  • 1
    Wikipedia uses rose family.
    – Helmar
    Nov 24, 2016 at 14:47
  • 2
    Rosaceae is the genus if you're being taxonomic.
    – Chenmunka
    Nov 24, 2016 at 15:00
  • 2
    @Chenmunka According to Wikipedia, rosaceae, pinaceae, asteraceae, and cactaceae are all families. Nov 24, 2016 at 15:36
  • 1
    Would a rosiform by any other name smell as sweet?
    – deadrat
    Nov 24, 2016 at 19:50
  • 2
    Sample sentence? Nov 25, 2016 at 1:27

3 Answers 3


The suffix -oid is useful, not only in this context but in many others. According to the Oxford English Dictionary


Chiefly in Science. Forming adjectives with the sense ‘having the form or nature of, resembling, allied to’, and nouns with the sense ‘something having the form or appearance of, something related or allied in structure, but not identical’; spec. (a) (in Math.) forming the names of curves, figures, and solids, as ellipsoid n., hyperboloid n.; (b) (in Zool.) forming nouns and adjectives with the sense ‘(a member) of a specified family, superfamily, suborder, order, class, or similarly marked taxon with a name ending in -oidea, -oidei, or -oidae’, as meloid n. and adj.; cercopithecoid adj. at cercopithecus n. Derivatives, vespoid adj.; gobioid adj. and n., lemuroid adj. and n., scorpaenoid adj. and n. at Scorpaena n. Derivatives; ammonoid n., hyracoid adj.; blastoid adj. and n., echinoid adj. and n. also in non-technical contexts, forming adjectives and nouns with depreciative force, as bungaloid adj., factoid n. and adj. (Emphasis Added).

I quoted the definition in full, because you may not be able to access the OED through my link. I emphasized the part of the definition that applies to your question:

You are allergic to rose-oid fruits.

As for referring to the fruits you are allergic to with "depreciative force", why not? They are depreciating your energies, you can deprecate their worth.


The term clade (rhymes with played) would work for your purposes. From University of California (Berkeley) Museum of Paleontology's Understanding Evolution:

A clade is a grouping that includes a common ancestor and all the descendants (living and extinct) of that ancestor. Using a phylogeny, it is easy to tell if a group of lineages forms a clade. Imagine clipping a single branch off the phylogeny — all of the organisms on that pruned branch make up a clade.

There can be multiple smaller clades within a larger clade, so it is a more general term than the taxonomic ranks such as "family". In some cases a clade may contain multiple families, but conveniently the family rosaceae is considered a single (basal) clade in the rosales order (which is a "super-clade" containing two other sub-clades comprising eight other families, as well) (Wikipedia).

Technically, you would probably call this the rosaceaea clade, but I think biologists/horticulturalists would understand you if you called it the rose clade.

There is an adjectival version of the word clade, cladistic, but that has more to do with the system of classification rather than a particular clade (M-W). However, I don't believe you would need to change the form of the word; rather, you would use the compound noun rose clade as a modifier, just as rose itself can be a modifier in phrases like rose arbor or rose print or rose clade. So you could say both

I'm allergic to pretty much everything in the rose clade.


I'm allergic to all rose clade foods.


Yes, example sentence, please.

The "general term" for "a group of species whose members are similar to each other" is "genus" but that doesn't seem to be what you mean…

Mention of strawberry, blackberry, peach, and cherry seems to make any suffix like '-aceae' as inappropriate as "--(of) rose" or "rose--"

Even without an example sentence genus, species or variety "of rose" would surely describe the several different rose plants in my garden, and "family" would seem to prove the rule.

  • Oh, thanks and even if only as as point of principle, what's somebody's problem here, please? Dec 7, 2016 at 23:31
  • 1
    Not the downvoter, but taxonomy doesn't seem to be your strong suit. There are formal naming systems whereby you can look at the suffixes and tell to what hierarchy a name belongs. These vary a bit between plants, animals, bacteria, etc. because there are different international organizations promulgating the naming conventions for each type. See here, iapt-taxon.org/nomen/main.php?page=art18#18.1. And here en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosaceae
    – Phil Sweet
    Dec 8, 2016 at 0:19
  • Uh… thanks Phil and while I'm sure everyone here already knew what you wrote, if you think there was a taxonomic error in what I wrote, please detail it… Dec 9, 2016 at 0:18
  • The second paragraph doesn't make sense to me. They are all Rosaceae.
    – Phil Sweet
    Dec 9, 2016 at 0:29

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