Characteristics of White Mulberry Tree (Morus alba) in the Wild

Morus alba
White Mulberry or Mulberry (Morus alba) is a tree species that is currently widespread almost all over the world, including in tropical and subtropical climates. The original White Mulberry species come from Asia (China, Korea, Japan).

This tree grows very quickly when it is young but then grows slowly as it ages. White Mulberry is often grown only for garden shade trees or fences and bonsai objects.

White Mulberry is also famous for its leaves used as food for silkworms. In addition, Andalas (Morus macroura), one of the large species, is often used for wood flooring or furniture because it is strong and hard.

In each region, this tree has its local name, for example in Indonesia it is known as Bebesaran or Murbei, in France it is known as Mûrier, in Portugal it is known as Amoreiras, in Germany it is known as Moerbei, and in English-speaking countries known as Mulberry or White Mulberry.

IMPORTANT USES OF WHITE MULBERRY
Mulberries, especially white mulberries, are ecologically important and as the sole food source of the silkworm (Bombyx mori), their cocoons are used to make silk. In addition to cultivated silkworms, wild silkworms also eat mulberries in the wild.

STORY OF WHITE MULBERRY
Ancient Greeks and Romans cultivated white mulberries to house silkworms, at least as early as 220 AD Emperor Elagabalus wore silk robes. English clergy wore silk robes from about 1500 onwards.

During the Angkor period of the Khmer Empire in Southeast Asia, monks in Buddhist temples made paper from the bark of the mulberry tree. The paper was used to make books, known as Kraing.

Tengujo is the thinnest paper in the world. It is produced in Japan and made with Kozo (mulberry tree trunk).

 

Characteristics of White Mulberry Leaf

Morus alba Leaf
Source: flickr.com/The Tree Library

The leaves are alternately arranged, simple, and bright green. Often lobed and jagged at the margins. Lobes are more common on young trees than on mature trees.

 

Characteristics of White Mulberry Flower

Morus alba Flower
Source: flickr.com/Dokmai Dogma

The flowers are small white or cream.

 

Characteristics of White Mulberry Fruit

Morus alba Fruit
Source: flickr.com/Emilian Robert Vicol

The immature fruit is red, purple, or black and when ripe becomes pale white or cream. This is what makes it different from the Black Mulberry (Morus nigra).

Ripe white mulberries have a sweet taste.

 

Characteristics of White Mulberry Tree

Morus alba Tree
Source: flickr.com/mauro halpern

White mulberry trees can grow to 5-6 meters in height and have bright brown trunks. The tree sometimes loses its leaves at certain times.

In Indonesia, white mulberry trees are used as hedges and burial shade trees and are easy to find as bay trees along country roads.

 
HOW TO CULTIVATE WHITE MULBERRY

White, red, or black mulberry trees are very easy to propagate from stem cuttings and grafts. They grow quickly in soil that is rich in nutrients and not too wet or dry.

 

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