Morus nigra
Status: Not Evaluated
Type: Evergreen
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales
Family: Moraceae
Names: Malubeni or marubeni
Appearance: The mulberry fruit is a multiple, about 2–3 cm (3⁄4–1+1⁄4 inches) long. Immature fruits are white, green, or pale yellow. The fruit turns from pink to red while ripening, then dark purple or black, and has a sweet flavor when fully ripe

General Information

Morus, a genus of flowering plants in the family Moraceae, consists of diverse species of deciduous trees commonly known as mulberries, growing wild and under cultivation in many temperate world regions. Generally, the genus has 64 identified species, three of which are well-known and are ostensibly named for the fruit color of the best-known cultivar: white, red, and black mulberry (Morus alba, M. rubra, and M. nigra, respectively), with numerous cultivars

Uses

The fruit and leaves are sold in various forms as dietary supplements. Is is also used to make paper from the stems. Tengujo is the thinnest paper in the world. It is produced in Japan and made with kozo (stems of mulberry trees). They have played a major role in Silk production throughout history. They can also be used in pigment production, Jam and used in various food dishes and salads.

Cultivation

Mulberries can be grown from seed, and this is often advised, as seedling-grown trees are generally of better shape and health. Mulberry trees grown from seed can take up to ten years to bear fruit. Mulberries are most often planted from large cuttings, which root readily. The mulberry plants allowed to grow tall have a crown height of 1.5 to 1.8 m (5 to 6 ft) from ground level and a stem girth of 10–13 cm (4–5 in). They are specially raised with the help of well-grown saplings 8–10 months old of any of the varieties recommended for rainfed areas like S-13 (for red loamy soil) or S-34 (black cotton soil), which are tolerant to drought or soil-moisture stress conditions. Usually, the plantation is raised and in block formation with a spacing of 1.8 by 1.8 m (6 by 6 ft), or 2.4 by 2.4 m (8 by 8 ft), as plant-to-plant and row-to-row distances. The plants are usually pruned once a year during the monsoon season to a height of 1.5–1.8 m (5–6 ft) and allowed to grow with a maximum of 8–10 shoots at the crown. The leaves are harvested three or four times a year by a leaf-picking method under rain-fed or semiarid conditions, depending on the monsoon. The tree branches pruned during the fall season (after the leaves have fallen) are cut and used to make durable baskets supporting agriculture and animal husbandry. Some North American cities have banned the planting of mulberries because of the large amounts of pollen they produce, posing a potential health hazard for some pollen allergy sufferers. Actually, only the male mulberry trees produce pollen; this lightweight pollen can be inhaled deeply into the lungs, sometimes triggering asthma. Conversely, female mulberry trees produce all-female flowers, which draw pollen and dust from the air. Because of this pollen-absorbing feature, all-female mulberry trees have an OPALS allergy scale rating of just 1 (lowest level of allergy potential), and some consider it "allergy-free".[11] Mulberry tree scion wood can easily be grafted onto other mulberry trees during the winter, when the tree is dormant. One common scenario is converting a problematic male mulberry tree to an allergy-free female tree, by grafting all-female mulberry tree scions to a male mulberry that has been pruned back to the trunk.[13] However, any new growth from below the graft(s) must be removed, as they would be from the original male mulberry tree.

Toxicity / Allergies

All parts of the plant besides the ripe fruit contain a toxic milky sap. Eating too many berries may have a laxative effect. Additionally, unripe green fruit may cause nausea, cramps, and a hallucinogenic effect.

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