Saturday, April 8, 2017

Americanized White Mulberry Gardens With Breadfruit, Figs and Rubber


Summary: Americanized white mulberry gardens exclude hybridizable red mulberry trees and include related breadfruit, fig and rubber trees.


white mulberry tree (Morus alba), located southwest of Washington Monument, National Mall, downtown Washington DC; per National Park Service ranger Mike Townsend, the white mulberry's age is indeterminate but historic photographs suggest its natural establishment near the obelisk around 1910: Ken Lund, CC BY SA 2.0, via Flickr

Americanized white mulberry gardens allocate no space to red mulberry trees, which are able to hybridize with white mulberry trees, and some space to non-hybridizing shrubs and trees in the Moraceae family.
White mulberry trees bear witness to eighteenth-century attempts to build a competitive, solid silkworm industry in North America by bringing in imported hosts and likely moths. They commemorate colonial introductions in the 1750s of likely hosts, just as gypsy moths memorialize continental importations of likely insects, for competing with Eurasia's silk industrialists. They dabble in genetic contamination of native red mulberry stands, dawdle in no-till cropland and direct toxic accumulations to all plant parts but white mulberry fruit.
Richard Dickinson, in Weeds of North America, University of Chicago Press publication from 2014, enumerates no sanctions against laurel fig and white mulberry, introduced Asian weeds.

White mulberries, scientifically named Morus alba (white mulberry), follow the seedling stage's oval to oblong embryonic leaves, called cotyledons, with the first leaf stage's oval-shaped foliage.
Maturity gives alternate-arranged, bright green, deeply to irregularly two- to five-lobed, 2.36- to 3.94-inch- (6- to 10-centimeter-) long, 1.18- to 2.36-inch- (3- to 6-centimeter-) wide leaves. White mulberry trees, also called Chinese white mulberry, Russian mulberry and silkworm mulberry, have smaller, thinner foliage than red mulberry and hint of no down-haired undersides. They include base-paired, oval to lance-shaped, 0.19- to 0.35-inch- (5- to 9-millimeter-) long membranes, called stipules, and short-haired, 0.98- to 1.97-inch- (25- to 50-millimeter-) long stalks.
White mulberry, described by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus (May 23, 1707-Jan. 10, 1778), juggles pale undersides, shiny upper-sides and toothed margins in Americanized white mulberry gardens.

white mulberry's catkins; Makawao, northeastern Maui, Feb. 1, 2013: Forest and Kim Starr, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr

Flower-clustered, spikelike, unbranched inflorescences called catkins keep 0.19- to 0.32-inch (5- to 8-millimeter) lengths if female and 0.98- to 1.58-inch (25- to 40-millimeter) lengths if male.
The flowers look green if female, with one pistil and four sepals in two sizes, and red-tipped green if male, with four sepals and four stamens. Cylinder-like catkins and oval foliage mix with white mulberry maturing gray, shallow-furrowed bark to yellow-brown, branches orange-brown to dark green and ventilating pores called lenticels red-brown. Floral and foliar palettes on mature, 13.12- to 49.21-foot- (4- to 15-meter-) tall white mulberry trees nudge the paler palettes of the bark's milky white sap.
Enlarged, fleshy, raspberry-like, red-black sepals called calyxes operate in pinkened, reddened, whitened clusters when their fruits, called achenes, offer mature seeds in Americanized white mulberry gardens.

The entirely non-poisonous red mulberry presents fruiting, red-black, 0.79- to 1.18-inch- (2- to 3-centimeter-) long clusters that, like the otherwise all-poisonous white mulberry, provide non-poisonous tastes.
Germination of the dry, fruiting, one-seeded achene's light brown, oval, 0.08- to 0.12-inch- (2- to 3-millimeter-) long seeds quickens after a 30- to 90-day cold period. White mulberry trees replace the sunlight intolerances of germinated seeds, whose in-soil viability remains unknown, with shade intolerances for all life cycle stages past seedling stages. Seeding stands as the most stressful stage since hybridized mulberry trees subdue red mulberry traits for white mulberry tendencies toward drought-, pollution-, salt-, soil-intolerant, seedy weediness.
Americanized white mulberry gardens, particularly during February through April blooms, team with ornamental relatives, such as edible breadfruit and fig trees, and useful Indian rubber trees.

white mulberry's fruits turn from green to white to red to black as they ripen; Morus alba's whitened fruits, Parque Ana Tutor, northern Madrid, central Spain: Luis Fernández García, CC BY SA 2.1, via Wikimedia Commons

Acknowledgment
My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.

Image credits:
white mulberry tree (Morus alba), located southwest of Washington Monument, National Mall, downtown Washington DC; per National Park Service ranger Mike Townsend, the white mulberry's age is indeterminate but historic photographs suggest its natural establishment around 1910: Ken Lund, CC BY SA 2.0, via Flickr @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/kenlund/14299146568/
white mulberry's catkins; Makawao, northeastern Maui, Feb. 1, 2013: Forest and Kim Starr, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/starr-environmental/25111993661/
white mulberry's fruits turn from green to white to red to black as they ripen; Parque Ana Tutor, northern Madrid, central Spain: Luis Fernández García, CC BY SA 2.1, via Wikimedia Commons @ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Morus-alba.jpg

For further information:
Dickinson, Richard; and Royer, France. 2014. Weeds of North America. Chicago IL; London, England: The University of Chicago Press.
Linnaeus, Carl. 1753. "1. Morus alba." Species Plantarum, vol. II: 986. Holmiae [Stockholm, Sweden]: Laurentii Salvii [Laurentius Salvius].
Available via Biodiversity Heritage Library @ http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/359007
Modzelevich, Martha. "Morus alba, White Mulberry, Hebrew: תות-עץ; Arabic:  التُّوتُ." Flowers in Israel.
Available @ http://www.flowersinisrael.com/morusalba_page.htm
"Morus alba L." Tropicos® > Name Search.
Available @ http://www.tropicos.org/Name/21300010
Townsend, Mike. 24 July 2012. "Silent Sentinels of Storied Landscapes." National Park Service > National Mall and Memorial Parks > Blogs.
Available @ https://www.nps.gov/nama/blogs/Silent-Sentinels-of-Storied-Landscapes.htm
Weakley, Alan S.; Ludwig, J. Christopher; and Townsend, John F. 2012. Flora of Virginia. Edited by Bland Crowder. Fort Worth TX: BRIT (Botanical Research Institute of Texas) Press.


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