Product: Mulberry Leaves
Latin Name: Morus alba
Plant Family: Moraceae
Other Names: Silkworm Mulberry, White Mulberry, Indian Mulberry, Chinese White Mulberry, Sang Ye, Chi Sang, Chin Sang
Description: White Mulberry is a deciduous tree native to China and now naturalised in some parts of Europe and North America. It grows to a height of up to 20 metres but can also be found growing as a low shrub for ease of leaf harvest. The cordate leaves are glossy and light green in colour and 5-15cm in length with serrated edges, the leaves can sometimes present as lobed. The female flowers hang on short, pendulous catkins that are pale green in colour, once pollinated they turn into white aggregate fruits composed of drupels, sometimes tinged pink.
Brief History: The leaves have been the preferred food of Chinese silkworms for well over 5,000 years, wanting to raise silkworms King James I ordered a mulberry garden to be planted at Buckingham Palace in the early 17th century; unfortunately the trees planted were Black Mulberry (Morus nigra) which the silkworms refused to eat.
SUGGESTED USEThe dried fruits can be ground into a type of flour that can be used as a thickening agent; the leaves contain 10% tannin and can be used to make tea. The bark of the young stems can be used to make fibre for making cloth; fibres can also be obtained to make paper although it is more commonly the Paper Mulberry (Morus papyrifera syn. Broussonetia papyrifera) that is used for this purpose. The leaves can be used to obtain a yellow dye.
Shelf life of two years provided that goods are stored in an airtight container in ambient conditions.
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