17
Mar
2010
Morus nigra - mulberry tree
Trees and shrubs | Magnoliopsida

Scientific Name – Morus nigra L.

The specific name ‘nigra’ is derived from tha Latin niger, blak, referring to the colour of the fruit.

Synonim

Common name(s) – mulberry tree, mora, more nere, moral negro, murier noir, Schwarzer Maulbeerbaum.

Distribution and Habitat – native of Iran, and is cultivated over Europe.

Description – monoeicious, sometimes dioecious, grow 6-9 m hight. Leaves alternate, simple, entire or lobed. Blade with palmate venation at the base. Inflorescences, flowers arranged on an axis thickened; flower small, tetra or pentamerous, actinomorphic, unisexual. Sepals free or slightly united. Stamines opposites to sepals. Ovary superior or inferior, unilocular; two styles. Berries aggregated. Wind pollinated.

Growth rate – fast-growth.

Tolerances –  tolerant of atmospheric pollution.

Requirements – warm, well-drained soil, preferably a deep loam; need full sun, 4-5 m between each tree.

Management – standard trees require no pruning except for removing dead wood and thinning branches. Prune in late autumn or early winter.

Propagation – by seeds, germinates best if given 2-3 months cold stratification; or sow seed as soon as it is ripe if possible. Seed hermetic storage at (-20) ̊C. By cuttings of half-wide wood, 7-10 cm with a heel, July-August in a frame. Plant out in spring.

Pest and Diseases – Cercospora moricola, C. souriensis, the leaves of mulberry are spotted by these fungi in very rain seasons.

Ciboria carunculoides, diseased fruits were significantly heavier, longer, and wider than normal fruits; microscopic examination of diseased fruits show that the ovaries are filled with fungal mycelium, replaceing the normal plant tissue.

Cytospora sp., Dothiorella sp., Gibberella baccata var. moricola, may cause cankers on twigs and branches. Prune and destroy dead branches.

Phyllactinia corylea and Uncinula geniculata spread a white powdery coating on the lower leaf surface.

Metcalfa pruinosa, Dorcaschema wildii, Tetranychus urticae.

Garden Partners

Cultivars

Properties and Uses – Morus nigra is a very ornamental tree, the mulberry is sometimes cultivated in gardens for its delicious edible fruit.

The fruit contain 9% sugar, organic acids, pectin, tannin, vitamins A and C, minerals and other substances. Berries can be eaten raw or dried, in puddings, jams, or sauce.

By fruit is produced an alcoholic drink mixed with cider during fermentation, giving a pleasant taste and deep red colour.

The bark of the tree is laxative. The leaves lower the blood sugar level. The roots have an acrid, bitter taste, and are considered as an excellent vermifuge, when taken, in a powder.

Curiosity

Bibliography

Gintzburger G. Rangelands of the Arid and Semi-Arid Zones in Uzbekistan – Cirad, 2004

Pascal P. Pirone –Diseases and Pests of Ornamental Plants- WileyBlackwell, 5th edition, 1978

Rodolphe-Edouard Spichiger, Vincet V. Savolainen; Murielle Figeat; Daniel Jeanmonod – Systematic Botany of Flowering Plants – Science Publishers, 2004 

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