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Morus alba 'Issai'


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Family Moraceae

Trees , shrubs , vines , or rarely herbs, frequently with milky or watery latex, sometimes spiny . Stipules present, frequently caducous . Leaves alternate, rarely opposite; petiole often present and well-defined; leaf blade simple , sometimes with cystoliths , margin entire or palmately lobed , venation pinnate or palmate. Inflorescences axillary , frequently paired , racemose, spicate , capitate, or rarely cymose , sometimes a fig or syconium with flowers completely enclosed within a hollow receptacle. Flowers unisexual (plants monoecious or dioecious), small to very small. Calyx lobes (1 or) 2-4(-8), free or connate , imbricate or valvate . Corolla absent. Male flowers: stamens as many as and opposite to calyx lobes (except in Artocarpus), straight or inflexed in bud; anthers 1- or 2-loculed, crescent-shaped to top-shaped; pistillode (rudimentary sterile pistil) often present. Female flowers: calyx lobes usually 4; ovary superior, semi-inferior, or inferior, 1(or 2) -loculed; ovules 1 per locule, anatropous or campylotropous; style branches 1 or 2; stigmas usually filiform . Fruit usually a drupe, rarely an achene, enveloped by an enlarged calyx and/or immersed in a fleshy receptacle, often joined into a syncarp. Seed solitary; endosperm present or absent.

Between 37 and 43 genera and 1100–1400 species: widespread in tropical and subtropical areas, less common in temperate areas; nine genera and 144 species (26 endemic, five introduced ) in China.

Economically, the most important species are those of Morus and Maclura associated with the production of silk . Some species in Broussonetia, Maclura, and Morus are important for paper making; some species in Artocarpus, Ficus, and Morus have edible fruit; and some species of Artocarpus and Broussonetia are used for furniture or timber.[1]

Genus Morus

Trees or shrubs , deciduous, with latex; monoecious or dioecious. Winter buds with 3-6 bud scales; scales imbricate. Stipules free , sublateral, caducous . Leaves alternate; leaf blade simple to deeply palmately lobed , margin toothed ; primary veins 3-5 from base , secondary veins pinnate. Male inflorescences axillary , spicate , many-flowered, shortly pedunculate . Female inflorescences shortly spicate to capitate. Male flowers: calyx lobes 4, imbricate; stamens inflexed in bud; pistillode top-shaped. Female flowers: sessile; calyx lobes 4, imbricate, fleshy in fruit; ovary 1-loculed; style present or not; stigma 2-branched, abaxially pubescent or papillose . Fruit with enlarged, succulent calyx usually aggregated into juicy syncarp. Syncarp with achenes enclosed by enlarged and succulent calyx; endocarp shell-like; exocarp fleshy. Seed globose ; endosperm fleshy; embryo incurved ; cotyledon elliptic .

About 16 species: widespread in all temperate areas, also in the mountains of tropical Africa, Indonesia, and South America; 11 species (five endemic, one introduced ) in China.

Morus species are cultivated in many temperate and tropical countries. The leaves are used as food for silkworms and the fruit for human consumption . Male material is often very difficult to name .[2]


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A tentatively accepted name in the RHS Horticultural Database.

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Morus

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 43 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:

M. alba (Common Mulberry) · M. alba 'Beautiful Day' (White Mulberry Tree) · M. alba 'Bellaire' (White Mulberry Tree) · M. alba 'Chaparral' (Fruitless Weeping Mulberry) · M. alba 'Contorted' (Mulberry) · M. alba 'Nuclear Blast' (White Mulberry Tree) · M. alba 'Oscar's' (Mulberry) · M. alba 'Pakistan' (Mulberry) · M. alba 'Pendula' (Weeping White Mulberry) · M. alba 'Shangri La' (Mulberry) · M. alba 'Sweet Lavender' (Mulberry) · M. alba 'White Shahtoot' (Mulberry) · M. australis (Southern Mulberry Tree) · M. bombycis (Wild Korean Mulberry) · M. cathayana (Mulberry) · M. excelsa (African Teak) · M. latifolia (Large-Leaved Mulberry) · M. macroura (Long-Fruited Mulberry) · M. microphylla (Little-Leaf Mulberry) · M. mongolica (Mongolian Mulberry) · M. multicaulis (Multi-Trunked Mulberry) · M. nigra (Black Mulberry) · M. nigra 'Bachuus Noir' (Mulberry) · M. nigra 'Black Beauty' (Black Mulberry) · M. nigra 'Black Tartarian' (Mulberry) · M. nigra 'Buzza Black' (Mulberry) · M. nigra 'Chelsea' (Black Mulberry) · M. nigra 'Shah' (Mulberry) · M. nigra 'Silk Hope' (Mulberry) · M. nigra 'Superberry' (Mulberry) · M. nigra 'Wellington' (Black Mulberry) · M. rubra (Red Mulberry) · M. rubra var. tomentosa (Red Mulberry) · M. rubra 'Gelato' (Mulberry) · M. serrata (Himalayan Mulberry) · M. tiliaefolia (Wild Korean Mulberry) · M. tinctoria (Indian Mulberry) · M. 'Collier' (Mulberry) · M. 'Geraldi Dwarf' (Dwarf Mulberry) · M. 'Illinois Everbearing' (Mulberry Tree) · M. 'Paradise' (Mulberry) · M. 'Red Shahtoot' (Mulberry) · M. 'Unryu' (Contorted Mulberry Tree)

More Info

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Further Reading

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  1. Zhengyi Wu, Zhe-Kun Zhou & Michael G. Gilbert "Moraceae". in Flora of China Vol. 5 Page 21. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  2. Zhengyi Wu, Zhe-Kun Zhou & Michael G. Gilbert "Morus". in Flora of China Vol. 5 Page 22. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
Last Revised: 2015-02-06