Leaves of White Mulberry Are Edible
White mulberry's botanical name is Morus alba. It originates from China, in which its leaves are eaten by silkworms to produce silk. Alba means white, however its ripe fruit is white or black. The name is probably to distinguish from red mulberry (Morus rubra) in America and black mulberry (Morus nigra) in Europe.

Its serrated leaves are either lobed or without lobe. The upper surface of the leaf is glossy. When the leaf is picked, white milky sap is produced at the tip of the leaf stalk. Its milky sap are mildly toxic when raw, likewise with its unripe fruit. Its fruit is actually a cluster of tiny fruits. At microscopic level, the speed of its pollen release is faster than the speed of sound, which is the fastest known movement in the kingdom of plant.

This perenniel plant can thrive in tropical and subtropical regions. It can be easily propagated by cuttings. To produce mulberry, the plant should be trimmed monthly by cutting off the tip of any branch that has grown long enough. After cutting off the tip of a branch, further trim the branch in the next month if any section contains axillary buds that do not produce side shoots. Also cut away any leaf that does not look good. The plant is capable to grow into a large tree but will comfortably stay low if trimmed.

Fresh leaves can be used in cooking such as in soup and fried egg. Young leaves can be stirred fried.

Tea leaf from white mulberry is sold commercially. The taste is a bit like green tea. To make tea, just dry the leaves under the sun. The leaves should be dry enough that it becomes crunchy. If it is not dry enough, the taste will be not as good. When crumpling the leaves, they should immediately shatter into small pieces that are easily stored in a container. If the leaf does not shatter when crumpled, it is not dry enough and should be sun-dried for another day or discarded.

Posted: 2017-04-19 by Ong Seng Aun.
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