Graves, Arthur H. Formerly, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut.
Davis, Kenneth P. Formerly, School of Forestry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
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A genus, Morus, of trees characterized by milky sap and simple, often lobed, alternate leaves. White mulberry (M. alba) [see illustration] was introduced into the United States from China during the nineteenth century as a source of food for silkworms. The silkworm project was unsuccessful, but the trees remained. This species has smooth, shiny leaves that are usually lobed, along with a very irregular habit of branching. Its fruit is white and insipid (lacking flavor). The Janka hardness for white mulberry is 1820 lb-force (825 kg-force). Red mulberry (M. rubra) attains a height of 60 ft (18 m) and grows in the eastern half of the United States and in southern Ontario. Its leaves are rough above and soft and pubescent (hairy) beneath; sometimes, they have two or three lobes. The fruit is about 1 in. (2.5 cm) in length, dark purple or black, and sweet. It is used as food by both domestic and wild animals. The wood is used for fence posts, furniture, interior finish, agricultural implements, and barrels. See also: Forest and forestry; Tree
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