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9 May 2011

Mulberries (Morus)



White mulberries are now in season here in Tunis.  They taste lovely and sweet.  We tend to buy them and juice them.

"Morus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Moraceae. The 10–16 species of deciduous trees it contains are commonly known as Mulberries. They are native to warm temperate and subtropical regions of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, with the majority of the species native to Asia.


The fruits of the white-fruited cultivar of the white mulberry are green when young and white when ripe; the fruit in this cultivar is also sweet but has a very mild flavor compared with the darker variety.

The ripe fruit is edible and is widely used in pies, tarts, wines, cordials and tea. The fruit of the black mulberry, native to southwest Asia, and the red mulberry, native to eastern North America, have the strongest flavor.



Mulberry leaves, particularly those of the white mulberry, are ecologically important as the sole food source of the silkworm (Bombyx mori, named after the mulberry genus Morus), the pupa/cocoon of which is used to make silk. Other Lepidoptera larvae also sometimes feed on the plant including common emerald, lime hawk-moth, and the sycamore."

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