Mulberry Facts

Mulberry Facts
Mulberry is deciduous tree that belongs to the fig family. There are 10 to 16 species of mulberry that can be found in warm, subtropical and temperate parts of the world. The best known and most commonly cultivated species are red, white and black mulberry. Mulberry grows in the moist forests and near the streams, on a well-drained soil, exposed to direct sunlight. Mulberry provides excellent shade, but people rarely plant it in the urban areas because of the huge quantities of highly allergenic pollen.
Interesting Mulberry Facts:
Mulberry can reach 30 to 80 feet in height. White mulberry is the largest, black mulberry the smallest type of mulberry (it grows in the form of shrub).
Mulberry has oval leaves with irregularly lobed or toothed edges. Bright green color of the leaves changes into yellow during the autumn. Leaves are alternately arranged on the branches.
Mulberry can produce male and female flowers on the same plant (monoecious plant) or on the separate trees (dioecious plant). Flowers are greenish or creamy-colored, arranged in short catkins designed for the pollination by wind. Some types of mulberry are able to produce fruit without pollination.
Fruit of mulberry is an aggregate fruit composed of numerous small drupes (miniature fruit filled with one seed) located around centrally positioned stem. Unlike in raspberries, stem remains in the center of the fruit after the harvest.
Mulberry tree starts to produce fruit 10 years after planting. Color of the fruit depends on the variety. It can be black, purple, pink, red or white.
Fruit of mulberry is rich source of vitamins C, A, E and K and minerals such as potassium, iron and magnesium.
Fruit of mulberry can be consumed raw or in the form of jams, muffins and pies.
Fruitless varieties of mulberry are cultivated in ornamental purposes.
Leaves of white mulberry are important source of food for the silkworms (caterpillars of silk moth). Caterpillars encapsulate themselves into the casings made of silk threads that are used in the industry of silk. Cultivation of white mulberry for the manufacture of silk is few thousand years old tradition in China.
Mulberry is associated with evil spirits in Germany due to ancient belief that devil uses root of mulberry tree to polish his boots.
Ancient Romans used leaves of white mulberry in treatment of diseases of mouth, trachea and lungs.
Native Americans used mulberry as laxative and as a cure for dysentery.
Orange, red, purple, black, and blue pigments isolated from the fruit of mulberry are used as coloring agents in the industry of food and fabrics.
Lightweight wood of mulberry is used in the manufacture of fence posts and barrels. Branches of mulberry are used in the manufacture of baskets.
Red mulberry can survive up to 75 years, while black mulberry can live and produce fruit for hundreds of years.

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