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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 5 | Moraceae

2. Morus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 986. 1753.

桑属 sang shu

Trees or shrubs, deciduous, with latex; monoecious or dioecious. Winter buds with 3-6 bud scales; scales imbricate. Stipules free, sublateral, caducous. Leaves alternate; leaf blade simple to deeply palmately lobed, margin toothed; primary veins 3-5 from base, secondary veins pinnate. Male inflorescences axillary, spicate, many-flowered, shortly pedunculate. Female inflorescences shortly spicate to capitate. Male flowers: calyx lobes 4, imbricate; stamens inflexed in bud; pistillode top-shaped. Female flowers: sessile; calyx lobes 4, imbricate, fleshy in fruit; ovary 1-loculed; style present or not; stigma 2-branched, abaxially pubescent or papillose. Fruit with enlarged, succulent calyx usually aggregated into juicy syncarp. Syncarp with achenes enclosed by enlarged and succulent calyx; endocarp shell-like; exocarp fleshy. Seed ± globose; endosperm fleshy; embryo incurved; cotyledon elliptic.

About 16 species: widespread in all temperate areas, also in the mountains of tropical Africa, Indonesia, and South America; 11 species (five endemic, one introduced) in China.

Morus species are cultivated in many temperate and tropical countries. The leaves are used as food for silkworms and the fruit for human consumption. Male material is often very difficult to name.

Morus calva H. Léveillé is Coriaria sinica Maximowicz (Coriariaceae) and M. mairei H. Léveillé is Acalypha mairei (H. Léveillé) Schneider (Euphorbiaceae).

1 Female flowers with style long and conspicuous.   (2)
+ Female flowers with style very short or absent.   (5)
2 (1) Leaf blade marginal teeth each with subulate apiculum or seta; stigmas with a nipple-like protuberance.   10 M. mongolica
+ Leaf blade marginal teeth without subulate apiculum or seta; stigmas without a nipple-like protuberance.   (3)
3 (2) Syncarp less than 2.5 cm.   11 M. australis
+ Syncarp 3-6 cm.   (4)
4 (3) Leaf blade not lobed, veins abaxially prominent; stigmas glabrous.   8 M. notabilis
+ Leaf blade deeply 3-5-lobed, veins abaxially not prominent; stigmas abaxially pubescent.   9 M. trilobata
5 (1) Infructescences longer than 2.5 cm.   (6)
+ Infructescences usually shorter than 2.5 cm.   (8)
6 (5) Infructescences with fruit joined into a syncarp, 2.5-3.7 cm; leaf blades elliptic to narrowly elliptic.   5 M. liboensis
+ Infructescences with fruit ± free, 6-16 cm; leaf blade ovate, broadly ovate, oblong, or broadly elliptic.   (7)
7 (6) Leaf blade oblong to broadly elliptic, margin subentire or toothed toward apex only; infructescences 10-16 cm, apparently not fleshy.   6 M. wittiorum
+ Leaf blade ovate to broadly ovate, margin minutely and densely serrate; infructescences 6-12 cm, fleshy.   7 M. macroura
8 (5) Leaf blade sparsely pubescent along midvein or in tufts in axil of midvein and primary lateral veins; stigmas with mastoidlike protuberance.   1 M. alba
+ Leaf blade pubescence not as above; stigmas without mastoidlike protuberance.   (9)
9 (8) Leaves irregularly toothed.   2 M. serrata
+ Leaves regularly toothed.   (10)
10 (9) Syncarp 1.5-2.5 cm in diam.; stigma long pubescent.   3 M. nigra
+ Syncarp less than 1 cm in diam.; stigma shortly pubescent.   4 M. cathayana

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