seeds of Morus alba, White Mulberry
Morus alba, also called the White mulberry, is a tree species of the family Moraceae. The tree’s synonyms include Morus intermedia, Morus latifolia, and Morus atropurpurea. China is the native home of Morus alba where it grows in the wild to the present day. The plant is now well distributed all over the world due to the successful streak of naturalisation efforts. One can find the tree growing in Argentina, the United States, Australia, and Kyrgyzstan. The length of the leaves depends on how old the plant is. The leaves of young shoots are longer than those of older trees, i.e., 30 cm long compared to 15 cm long. The leaves of younger shoots are also lobed and lack any serration. The leaves of older plants, on the other hand, are unlobed, have toothed margins and a cordate base. The plant produces male and female catkins that can be found on separate plants or in the same plant. Fruits are pink or white in cultivated varieties and purple in wild ones. The tree’s leaves are a good source of food for livestock especially during the arid months when most of the vegetation dries up. The leaves are also the preferred food for silkworms whose farmers provide it in plenty. Another use for the leaves is in the making of tea as practised by Koreans. One can eat the fruits once they are ripe or use them to make wine. Morus alba is also an ornamental plant in the United States where it the tree of choice in most desert towns and cities. The plant’s fruits and bark serve a purpose in Chinese traditional healing practices where they serve as a source of remedies. Conditions that be treated using the remedies mentioned above include coughs, fever, sore eyes and headaches. The extracts can also be used to counter the early greying of hair.
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