Morus serrata


Common name: Himalayan Mulberry Family: Moraceae
Author: Roxb. Botanical references: 51, 266
Synonyms:  
Known Hazards: None known
Range: E. Asia – Himalayas from Pakistan to C. Nepal.
Habitat: Forests and shrubberies, 1200 – 2700 metres51.
Edibility Rating (1-5): 2 Medicinal Rating (1-5): 1
Epithets: From a Dictionary of Botanical Epithets
serra = toothed; serrata = saw toothed;
Systematics: From a UDSA Plants Database
Order: Urticales. Mulberry family

Physical Characteristics

A decidious tree growing to 20m. . The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). The plant not is self-fertile. We rate it 2/5 for edibility and 1/5 for medicinal use.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Habitats and Possible Locations

Woodland, Secondary, Sunny Edge.

Edible Uses

Fruit.

Fruit – raw

51, 105, 158, 272. Mucilaginous and sweet but not very fleshy2.

Medicinal Uses

Anthelmintic.

The juice of the root is used as an anthelmintic

272.

Other Uses

Wood.

Wood – moderately hard, fine grained. It is highly valued for furniture, agricultural implements etc

51, 146, 158.

Cultivation details

We do not have much information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in much of the country. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed and fruit is required. Cultivated for its edible fruit in Kunawar2. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a warm well-drained loamy soil in a sunny position1, 11. Mulberries have brittle roots and so need to be handled with care when planting them out238. Any pruning should only be carried out in the winter when the plant is fully dormant because mulberries bleed badly when cut238. Ideally prune only badly placed branches and dead wood238. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus200.

Propagation

The seed germinates best if given 2 – 3 months cold stratification80, 98. Sow the seed as soon as it is ripe if possible, otherwise in February in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in the first spring, though it sometimes takes another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 – 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Plant out in spring. A good percentage take, though they sometimes fail to thrive78, 113. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, 25 – 30cm with a heel of 2 year old wood, autumn or early spring in a cold frame or a shady bed outside78, 113,200. Bury the cuttings to threequarters of their depth. Layering in autumn200.