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Morus (plant) – Wikipedia

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**Description and Distribution**:
– Morus plants are fast-growing, reaching heights of up to 24 meters.
– Leaves are alternately arranged, simple, often lobed, and serrated.
– Trees can be monoecious or dioecious.
– The fruit is typically 2-3 cm long, changing color from pink to red to dark purple or black.
– There are over 150 species names published, but less than 20 are widely accepted.
– Black, red, and white mulberries are found in Southern Europe, the Middle East, and other regions.
– Black mulberry was introduced to Britain in the 17th century for silkworm cultivation.
– Mulberries are common in Greece, particularly in the Peloponnese.
– Mulberries are known by different names in various regional dialects, with the tree called ‘mouria’ in Greek.

**Cultivation and Toxicity**:
– Mulberries can be grown from seed or large cuttings, with seedling-grown trees taking up to 10 years to bear fruit.
– Mulberry trees are pruned annually and harvested for leaves.
– Some cities have banned mulberry planting due to pollen allergies.
– Male mulberry trees produce pollen, while females absorb pollen and dust.
– All parts of the plant, except ripe fruit, contain a toxic milky sap.
– Eating too many berries can have a laxative effect, while unripe green fruit may cause nausea, cramps, and hallucinations.

**Nutritional and Culinary Uses**:
– Raw mulberries are low in calories and rich in Vitamin C, carbohydrates, fiber, and essential vitamins.
– Mulberries have moderate nutritional value per 100g serving and are a good source of Vitamin C and dietary fiber.
– Mulberries are used in pies, tarts, wines, cordials, and teas.
– Mulberries change in texture and color as they mature, resembling blackberries.
– Different colored mulberries have unique flavors, with white mulberries considered invasive in North America.

**Silk Industry and Pigment**:
– Mulberry leaves are crucial for silkworms, historically supporting the silk industry.
– Various species of Lepidoptera larvae feed on mulberry leaves.
– Mulberry fruit color comes from anthocyanins, which have potential health benefits.
– Anthocyanins can be extracted for fabric dye or food coloring.
– Different mulberry cultivars have varying anthocyanin content, valuable for breeding programs and biotechnology research.

**Supplements, Paper, and Wood Uses**:
– Mulberry fruit and leaves are sold as dietary supplements, with their specific benefits requiring additional research.
– Mulberry bark was historically used for paper-making in Southeast Asia.
– Mulberry wood is utilized for barrel aging traditional Romanian plum brandy, affecting the flavor profile.
– Mulberry wood is valued for its properties in barrel making and is preferred for aging certain alcoholic beverages.
– Mulberry paper-making has cultural significance and is still used in traditional crafts and art forms.

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