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Una leggenda inglese narra che Satana un 11 di ottobre è caduto da un gelso, macchiandolo del suo fuoco e del suo sangue. Furente ed umiliato maledì le sue spine. Perciò da allora, secondo questa leggenda, è sconsigliato raccogliere le more proprio in quel giorno. (Fonte: Dizionario dei simboli, dei miti e delle credenze di Corinne Morel ed. Giunti)
La sua coltivazione, come vedremo, in Cina risale al 4000 a.C. legata alla seta, dato che i bachi da seta sono ghiotti proprio di questa pianta.
Riporto solo qualche stralcio dai documenti di wikipedia perciò per approfondimenti si consiglia la visione anche alla fonte originale...buona lettura!FONTE:
Da Wikipedia, l'enciclopedia libera.
Il gelso (Morus L.) è un genere di piante originario dell'Asia, ma anche diffuso, allo stato naturale, in Africa e in Nordamerica. Comprende alberi o arbusti di taglia media. Le foglie sono caduche, alterne, di forma ovale o a base cordata con margine dentato.
FONTE IMMAGINE: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Morus-alba.jpg
Le specie più note sono:
Il gelso bianco (Morus alba L.), specie originaria dell'Asia centrale e orientale ed è stato importato in Europa con il baco da seta in quanto quest'ultimo è ghiotto delle sue foglie.
Il gelso nero (Morus nigra L.), originario dell'Asia Minore e Iran, introdotto in Europa probabilmente nel Cinquecento. Ha foglie più piccole del gelso bianco e produce frutti nero-violacei saporiti.
Le specie del genere Morus vengono coltivate per diversi scopi:
I frutti (more nere e more bianche sono eduli).
Le foglie sono utilizzate in bachicoltura come alimento base per l'allevamento dei bachi da seta.
Come piante ornamentali.
Per ricavarne legname da lavoro, buona legna da ardere e per ricavarne pertiche flessibili e vimini per la fabbricazione di cesti.FONTE:
FONTE IMMAGINE: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Un_gelso_bianco_nella_stagione_invernale_-_Fotografia_di_Tony_Frisina_-_Alessandria.JPG
Da Wikipedia, l'enciclopedia libera.
Il gelso bianco (Morus alba L.) è un albero della famiglia delle Moraceae originario della Cina e introdotto in Europa verso il XV secolo principalmente per la bachicoltura.
È una specie poco longeva, ad accrescimento rapido che può raggiungere una altezza di 15-20 m.
Le foglie sono intere, semplici, cordate alla base ed acuminate all'apice con margine dentato. Talvolta le foglie possono essere lobate (tre lobi). La pagina inferiore delle foglie è glabra, la fillotassi è alterna.
Il frutto è un sorosio di colore bianco rosato a maturità ed è edule, sebbene meno gustoso di quello del gelso nero.
Assieme al gelso nero è utilizzato per la coltura dei bachi da seta.
Una legislazione particolare tendeva alla tutela degli alberi di gelso, dapprima favorendone l'impianto , poi vietandone l'abbattimento. Nell'ottocento in molte regioni italiane era diventata una coltura fondamentale.
La successiva decadenza dell'allevamento del baco da seta, non solo in Italia, ma nell'intera Europa, ha portato anche alla quasi scomparsa di un interesse agricolo, almeno in tali parti del mondo.
Interessante il suo uso come ornamentale sia per il portamento sia per il colore dorato del fogliame in autunno.
A tale scopo ne sono state selezionate delle varietà come ad esempio Morus alba v. pendula con chioma espansa e rami ricadenti.
Il gelso era anche utilizzato per la costruzione di archi compositi, anche se l'uso a questo scopo fosse diffuso principalmente in Asia.
In fitoterapia l'estratto meristematico (dalle gemme) viene impiegato come ipoglicemizzante.FONTE.
FONTE IMMAGINE: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Illustration_Morus_nigra0.jpg
Da Wikipedia, l'enciclopedia libera.
« Come al nome di Tisbe aperse il ciglio
Piramo in su la morte, e riguardolla,
allor che 'l gelso diventò vermiglio; [...] »
(Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio XXVII, vv. 37-42)
Il gelso nero (Morus nigra L.) o moro nero è un albero caducifoglio appartenente alla Famiglia delle Moraceae, insieme ad altri gelsi Gelso bianco, Gelso della Cina e Gelso o Arancio degli Osagi.
Usi e curiosità
In Sicilia, il frutto di tale albero è utilizzato sia come frutta da tavola, che come componente di dolci e guarnizioni. Famosa è la granita di gelsi.
FONTE IMMAGINE: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Morus_nigra_001.JPGFONTE:
Da Wikipedia, l'enciclopedia libera.
In araldica il gelso è simbolo di prudenza a causa della sua caratteristica di crescere tardi.
Secondo il Ginanni il gelso verde in campo d'argento rappresenta pensieri prudenti e virtuosi nella ricerca della felicità.
Il gelso, comparso solo recentemente nelle armi, è talora utilizzato anche nell'araldica civica italiana.FONTE:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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.
The closely related genus Broussonetia is also commonly known as mulberry, notably the Paper Mulberry, Broussonetia papyrifera. 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.
Depending on the species, they can be monoecious or dioecious.
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 fruits of the white-fruited cultivar of the white mulberry are green when young and white when ripe; the fruit in this cultivar is also sweet but has a very mild flavor compared with the darker variety.
FONTE IMMAGINE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Morus_alba_FrJPG.jpg
The taxonomy of Morus is complex and disputed. Over 150 species names have been published, and although differing sources may cite different selections of accepted names, only 10–16 are generally cited as being accepted by the vast majority of botanical authorities. Morus classification is even further complicated by widespread hybridisation, wherein the hybrids are fertile.
The following species are generally accepted:
Morus alba L. – White Mulberry (E Asia)
Morus australis Poir. – Chinese Mulberry (SE Asia)
Morus celtidifolia Kunth (Mexico)
Morus insignis (S America)
Morus mesozygia Stapf – African Mulberry (S and C Africa)
Morus microphylla – Texas Mulberry (Mexico, Texas (USA))
Morus nigra L. – Black Mulberry (SW Asia)
Morus rubra L. – Red Mulberry (E N America)
The following, all from eastern and southern Asia, are additionally accepted by one or more taxonomic lists or studies; synonymy, as given by other lists or studies, is indicated in square brackets:
Morus bombycis [M. australis]
Morus indica [M. alba]
Morus japonica [M. alba]
Morus kagayamae [M. australis]
Morus laevigata [M. alba var. laevigata; M. macroura]
Morus latifolia [M. alba]
Morus macroura [M. alba var. laevigata]
Morus mongolica [M. alba var. mongolica]
Morus multicaulis [M. alba]
Morus serrata [M. alba var. serrata], Himalayan mulberry
Morus trilobata [M. australis var. trilobata]
Uses and cultivation
The ripe fruit is edible and is widely used in pies, tarts, wines, cordials and tea. The fruit of the black mulberry, native to southwest Asia, and the red mulberry, native to eastern North America, have the strongest flavor. The fruit of the white mulberry, an east Asian species which is extensively naturalized in urban regions of eastern North America, has a different flavor, sometimes characterized as insipid. The mature plant contains significant amounts of resveratrol, particularly in stem bark. The fruit and leaves are sold in various forms as nutritional supplements. Unripe fruit and green parts of the plant have a white sap that is intoxicating and mildly hallucinogenic.
Black, red, and white mulberry are widespread in Albania, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Northern India, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Georgia, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq,Turkey, Egypt, Libya and Afghanistan, where the tree and the fruit are known by the Persian-derived names toot (mulberry) or shahtoot (King's or "superior" mulberry). Jams and sherbets are often made from the fruit in this region. Black mulberry was imported to Britain in the 17th century in the hope that it would be useful in the cultivation of silkworms. It was much used in folk medicine, especially in the treatment of ringworm. In USA, black mulberry was imported from Pakistan(hence named Pakistan black mulberry in USA). Mulberries are also widespread in Greece, particularly in the Peloponnese, which in the Middle Ages was known as Morea (Greek: Μωριάς, Morias), deriving from the Greek word for the tree (Greek: Μουριά, Μouria).
Mulberry leaves, particularly those of the white mulberry, are ecologically important as the sole food source of the silkworm (Bombyx mori, named after the mulberry genus Morus), the pupa/cocoon of which is used to make silk. Other Lepidoptera larvae also sometimes feed on the plant including common emerald, lime hawk-moth, and the sycamore.
Mulberries can be grown from seed, and this is often advised as seedling-grown trees are generally of better shape and health. But they are most often planted from large cuttings which root readily. The mulberry plants which are allowed to grow tall with a crown height of 5 - 6 feet from the ground level having stem girth of 4 -5 inches or more is called tree mulberry. They are specially raised with the help of well grown saplings of 8 - 10 months old with any of the varieties recommended for rain fed areas like S-13 (for red loamy soil) or S-34 (black cotton soil) which are tolerant to draught or soil moisture stress conditions. Usually the plantation is raised as block plantation with a spacing of 6 feet x 6 feet or 8 feet x 8 feet as plant to plant and row to row distance. The plants are usually pruned once in a year during monsoon (July - August) at a height of 5 - 6 feet from the ground level and allowed to grow with maximum of 8 - 10 shoots at crown. The leaf is harvested 3-4 times in a year by leaf picking method under rain fed or semi-arid conditions depending upon the monsoon. The tree branches pruned during the fall season (after the leaves have fallen) are cut and used to make very durable baskets which are used in a lot of village jobs related to agriculture and animal husbandry.
Some North American cities have banned the planting of mulberries because of the large amounts of pollen they produce, posing a potential health hazard for some pollen allergy sufferers.
 Anthocyanins from mulberry fruits
Anthocyanins are pigments which hold potential use as dietary modulators of mechanisms for various diseases and as natural food colorants. Due to increasing demand for natural food colorants, their significance in the food industry is increasing. Anthocyanins are responsible for the attractive colors of fresh plant foods, producing colors such as orange, red, purple, black, and blue. They are water-soluble and easily extractable.
A cheap and industrially feasible method to purify anthocyanins from mulberry fruit which could be used as a fabric tanning agent or food colorant of high color value (of above 100) has been established. Scientists found that out of 31 Chinese mulberry cultivars tested, the total anthocyanin yield varied from 148 mg to 2725 mg per liter of fruit juice. Total sugars, total acids, and vitamins remained intact in the residual juice after removal of anthocyanins and that the residual juice could be fermented to produce products such as juice, wine, and sauce.
Anthocyanin content depends on climate, area of cultivation, and is particularly higher in sunny climates. This finding holds promise for tropical sericulture countries to profit from industrial anthocyanin production from mulberry through anthocyanin recovery.
This offers a challenging task to the mulberry germplasm resources for
exploration and collection of fruit yielding mulberry species;
their characterization, cataloging, and evaluation for anthocyanin content by using traditional as well as modern means and biotechnology tools;
developing an information system about these cultivars or varieties;
training and global coordination of genetic stocks;
evolving suitable breeding strategies to improve the anthocyanin content in potential breeds by collaboration with various research stations in the field of sericulture, plant genetics, and breeding, biotechnology and pharmacology.
In popular culture
The nursery rhyme Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush uses the tree in the refrain, as do some contemporary American versions of the nursery rhyme Pop Goes the Weasel. Vincent van Gogh featured the mulberry tree in some of his paintings, notably "The Mulberry Tree."[11
FONTE IMMAGINE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Black_Mulberry_Female_Flowers.jpgFONTE:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Morus alba, known as white mulberry, is a short-lived, fast-growing, small to medium sized mulberry tree, which grows to 10–20 m tall. The species is native to northern China, and is widely cultivated and naturalized elsewhere. It is known as शहतूत in Hindi,Tuta in Sanskrit and Tuti in Marathi.
The white mulberry is widely cultivated to feed the silkworms employed in the commercial production of silk. It is also notable for the rapid release of its pollen, which is launched at over half the speed of sound.
On young, vigorous shoots, the leaves may be up to 30 cm long, and deeply and intricately lobed, with the lobes rounded. On older trees, the leaves are generally 5–15 cm long, unlobed, cordate at the base and rounded to acuminate at the tip, and serrated on the margins. The leaves are usually deciduous in winter, but trees grown in tropical regions can be evergreen. The flowers are single-sex catkins, with catkins of both sexes being present on each tree; male catkins are 2–3.5 cm long, and female catkins 1–2 cm long. The fruit is 1–2.5 cm long; in the species in the wild it is deep purple, but in many cultivated plants it varies from white to pink; it is sweet but bland, unlike the more intense flavor of the red mulberry and black mulberry. The seeds are widely dispersed by birds, which eat the fruit and excrete the seeds.
The white mulberry is scientifically notable for the rapid plant movement involved in pollen release from its catkins. The stamens act as catapults, releasing stored elastic energy in just 25 µs. The resulting movement is approximately 350 miles per hour (560 km/h), over half the speed of sound, making it the fastest known movement in the plant kingdom.
White mulberry leaves are the preferred feedstock for silkworms, and are also cut for food for livestock (cattle, goats, etc.) in areas where dry seasons restrict the availability of ground vegetation. The fruit are also eaten, often dried or made into wine.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the fruit is used to treat prematurely grey hair, to "tonify" the blood, and treat constipation and diabetes. The bark is used to treat cough, wheezing, edema, and to promote urination. It is also used to treat fever, headache, red dry and sore eyes.
For landscaping, a fruitless mulberry was developed from a clone for use in the production of silk in the U.S. The industry never materialized, but the mulberry variety is now used as an ornamental tree where shade is desired without the fruit. A weeping cultivar of white mulberry, Morus alba 'Pendula', is a popular ornamental plant.
Dental caries: The root bark of Morus alba (Moraceae) has been used as a traditional medicine in Asian countries and exhibits antibacterial activity against food poisoning micro-organisms. Using activity against S. mutans in bioassay-guided fractionation of a methanol extract of dried root bark, and organic solvent fractions of this extract, the active antibacterial constituent was identified as kuwanon G. The compound displayed an MIC of 8 μg ml–1 against S. mutans, which was comparable to chlorhexidine and vancomycin (1 μg ml–1). Time-kill assays indicated that S. mutans was completely inactivated by 20 μg ml–1 kuwanon G within 1 min, while testing against other bacteria suggested that the compound displayed preferential antimicrobial activity against cariogenic bacteria. Electron microscopic examination of S. mutans cells treated with kuwanon G indicated that the mode of antibacterial action was inhibition or blocking of cell growth, as treated cells showed a disintegrated surface and an unclear cell margin.
Hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects from freeze-dried powder of mulberry (Morus alba L.) fruit
Neuroprotective effects in in vitro and in vivo (fruit) 
Treatment of hyperuricemia and gout
Albanol A(1),isolated from the root bark extract of Morus alba may be a promising lead compound for developing an effective drug for treatment of leukemia.
Moracin M, Steppogenin-4′-O-β-D-glucosiade, Mullberroside A were isolated from the root bark of Morus alba L. and all produced hypoglycemic effects.
A methanol extract of Morus alba roots showed adaptogenic activity, indicating its possible clinical utility as an antistress agent.
Morus alba leaf extract help restore the vascular reactivity of diabetic rats. Free radical-induced vascular dysfunction plays a key role in the pathogenesis of vascular disease found in chronic diabetic patients.
An ethanolic extract of mulberry leaf had antihyperglycemic, antioxidant and antiglycation effects in chronic diabetic rats, which may suggest its use as food supplement for diabetics.
An acidified methanolic extract of the fruit of morus alba can be used as an acid-base indicator in acid-base titrations. Titration shows sharp colour change at the equivalence point. This is a natural indicator that is useful, economical, simple and accurate for determining acids and bases.
Snakebite "Morus alba plant leaf extract has been studied against the Indian Vipera/Daboia russelii venom induced local and systemic effects. The extract completely abolished the in vitro proteolytic and hyaluronolytic activities of the venom. Edema, hemorrhage and myonecrotic activities were also neutralized efficiently. In addition, the extract partially inhibited the pro-coagulant activity and completely abolished the degradation of A α chain of human fibrinogen. Thus, the extract processes potent antisnake venom property, especially against the local and systemic effects of Daboia russelii venom."
An etiological Babylonian story that was later incorporated into Greek and Roman mythology attributes the reddish purple color of the white mulberry (Morus alba) fruits to the tragic deaths of the lovers Pyramus and Thisbe.
The "White Mulberry Tree" is title of a crucial chapter in Willa Cather's 1913 novel, O Pioneers!, in which two forbidden lovers are killed, a reference to the story of Pyramus and Thisbe.
FONTE IMMAGINE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Morus_alba_fruits.jpg
Pennsylvania state champion Morus alba at Longwood Gardens.
FONTE IMMAGINE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MorusAlbaChampion.jpg