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Mulberry or Shahtoot Tree

The Mulberry (known as shahtoot in India) is a globally widespread fruiting tree which has a wide variation in its fruit, depending on the geography. The scientific name of Red Mulberry is Morus rubra . It can grow in cold and warm climates and in India, is found from the middle Himalaya to right across the plains of India. The fruit may be red or a deep black in colour, or even yellowish or green, depending on the variety, and it could be really sweet or very sour!Morus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Moraceae. The 10--16 species of deciduous trees it contains are commonly known as Mulberries. They are native to warm temperate and subtropical regions of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, with the majority of the species native to Asia. Mulberries are swift-growing when young, but soon become slow-growing and rarely exceed 10--15 m (33--49 ft) tall. The leaves are alternately arranged, simple, often lobed, more often lobed on juvenile shoots than on mature trees, and serrated on the margin.The fruit is a multiple fruit, 2--3 cm (0.79--1.2 in) long. The fruits when immature are white or green to pale yellow with pink edges. In most species the fruits are red when they are ripening, turning dark purple to black and have a sweet flavor. The ripe fruit is edible and is widely used in pies, tarts, wines, and cordials. Unripe fruit and green parts of the plant have a white sap that is intoxicating and mildly hallucinogenic. Jams and sherbets are often made from the fruit in this region..Mulberries provide a number of culinary, commercial, and ecological benefits. The edible fruit is eaten fresh or used in jams, jellies, pies, tarts, and wines. The wood of mulberries is used for such purposes as fence posts, barrels, and furniture. And ecologically, various animals, including the domesticated silkworm, Bombyx mori (Latin: "Silkworm of the mulberry tree"), use mulberry as a food source.

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