Deciduous trees belonging to the mulberry family (Moraceae, genus-Morus) are widely found in all temperate climates. These flowering trees produce a milky latex sap and an edible fruit. The white mulberry, Morus alba, is native to Asia and grown in Europe. Its leaves are used as a food supply for silk worms. The roots of the white mulberry and others, such as the Osage Orange mulberry, produce a yellow dye used for coloring prints. The red mulberry, Morus rubra, native to North America, has hard reddish brown wood with an uneven texture and silver graining. It is a rot resistant wood that is used for fence posts, window sills, window frames and shoe lasts. The fruit from the red mulberry has been used for a dark red to purple dye. The colorant is an acid base indicator that turns red in acids and blue in bases. See also Paper mulberry.
Synonyms and Related Terms
white mulberry (Morus alba); red mulberry (Morus rubra); paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera); mûrier (Fr.); gelso (It.); kuwa (Jap.)
Small tree growing to 15 m with low branches and spreading crown. Bark=gray with irregular ridges. Leaves = oval with serrated edges and irregular lobes (5-9 cm). Fruit=edible berry (2-3cm long, similar to blackberries) ripening in late summer.
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- Website address 1 Comment: Virginia Tech Dendrology website at www.fw.vt.edu/dendro/dendrology/main.htm (accessed Oct. 8, 2005)
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- Website address 2 Comment: Museum of Japanese Traditional Art Crafts at http://www.nihon-kogeikai.com/ (Jap. term)