White Mulberry

Morus alba

Morus alba, commonly known as White Mulberry, is a species of tree belonging to the Morus genus, a family of the Moraceae.

They are native trees from the temperate zones of Central and Eastern Asia (China, Manchuria and Korea) and are cultivated a lot in Asia, Europe and America.

Trees up to 15 m high, with young greyish branches. Leaves with petiole measuring 1.5-2 cm and blade 4-6 by 4-5 cm, more or less ovate, have a jagged edge, are thin and hairless except along the nerve, and are in a light green colour. Infrutescences (sorosis) of the length of their peduncles (2.5 by 1 cm), white or pinkish-white, which are blackberries; They are usually insipid. It blooms in April; Fruits in May.

The species is grown for its leaves, the only food of silkworms, whose buds are used to make silk.

The species is widely cultivated in the region of Murcia for the breeding of the silkworm – the leaves of the morus are the only food of the worm – a very flourishing industry in the past. Its leaves are edible and very nutritious, containing vitamin B and flavonoids, widely used as livestock feed. The wood is moderately hard, being easy to work with. It is used in the construction and in the manufacture of poles, beams, furniture, agricultural implements and turnery works. It is also appreciated for the manufacture of sports equipment such as hockey sticks, tennis racquets and cricket bats. The bark, leaves and fruits have some medicinal applications, and once the juice of their fruits is fermented, a liquor is made. Apart from their use as cultivation trees, they have an ornamental use in gardens, walkways and streets.

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