Morus bombycis Koidz. - Satin mulberry, fodder mulberry.

Taxonomic position.

Family Moraceae Link, genus Morus L.


Morus stylosa var. ovalifolia Ser. (pro parte), M. alba var. stylosa Bur., M. indica Miq. (non L.), M. japonica Bailey (non Sieb.).

Morphology and biology.

Latex-producing, dioecious plant. Deciduous tree or shrub, 7-12 m tall. Bark has reddish brown hue. Leaves are 6-15 x 4-8 cm, coarsely and unequally dentate; the upper surface is bare or covered with shaggy pubescence, often more or less wrinkled; the undersurface is covered with soft down, especially along the veins. Petioles are up to 4 cm long. Flowers are small, unattractive, clustered in catkin-like inflorescences. Male flowers are up to 2-2.5 mm long; female ones are 1.5 mm long. Fruits are achenes in a juicy perianth, 1-2.5 cm in length, ranging from pink and red to purple black in color. Wind-pollinated and entomophilous. Ornitochore. Propagated by seed, layers or grafting. Seeds should be stored for 2 months at +2-5╓C. Blossoms in May-June; bears fruit in June-August. Chromosome number: 2n=28.


Occurs in the extreme southwestern part of Sakhalin, Moneron Isle, the Kurile Islands (Shikotan and Kunashir), China and Japan.


Mesophyte. Shade-enduring. Grows in rich soils but tolerates poor soils as well. Occurs in thinned, mixed, and borad-leaved forests, on stony taluses, near rocks and in ravines.

Utilization and economic value.

Food, industrial, tanning, ornamental and medicinal plant. Fruits are edible. Leaves are used as feed for silkworms. Bast is used to produce mulberry fiber.


Brezhnev D.D., Korovina O.N. 1981. Wild relatives of cultivated plants in the flora of the USSR. Leningrad: Kolos, pp. 116. (in Russian).
Kharkevich S.S., ed. 1991. Vascular plants of the Soviet Far East. Vol. 5. Leningrad: Nauka, pp. 100-101. (in Russian).
Koropachinskiy I.Yu., Vstovskaya T.N. 2002. Woody plants of the Asian part of Russia. Novosibirsk: Publishing House of SB RAS, Branch Geo, pp. 217. (in Russian).
Sokolov S.I., Svjaseva O.A., Kubli V.A. 1977. Areas of distribution of trees and shrubs in the USSR. Vol. 1. Leningrad: Nauka, pp.136. (in Russian).
Vulf E.V., Maleyeva O.F. 1969. Worldwide resources of useful plants. Reference book. Leningrad: Nauka, 563 p. (in Russian).

© I.G. Chukhina


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