Morus bombycis 

Kuwa or Yama-guwa (“Mountain mulberry” in Japanese) or Morus bombycis(scientific name). 

I love mulberries, I MUST have one of my own in the garden when I do have my own garden. The berries taste great. I eat them whenever I see them in the wild.

The use of mulberries have a long history in Japan traceable to Jomon times. They have been eaten since the earliest times or made into wine.

The plant is a moderate-sized deciduous tree with brownish gray, with irregular shallow longitudinal fissures, bark.

Leaves are alternate, orbicular-ovate, abruptly long acuminate at the apex, slightly cordate at the base, scabrous above, pubescent beneath.

Flowers in April to June with leaves.

False fruits are ripening red to black in June to July.

This mulberry is one of the commonest trees in Japan and planted for feeding silkworms.

The wood, hard and heavy, is used for furniture, cabinet work, inlaid works, sculptures.

Distribution ; Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, Korea, China, Kuriles, Saghalien

Last summer, we bred silkworms in school, and I spent hours hunting for mulberry leaves to feed the eating machines. They eat a huge sackful every hour or two. The silkworms sound like rainfalling as they crunch.

Silkworm feast

Reference

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