|Species:||Morus alba L.|
|Italian common noun:||Gelso comune, Gelso bianco|
Botanical characteristics: It is a very fast-growing deciduous tree that could be small or medium and reaches up to 10 mt in height. It has a short trunk and globular crown. Its leaves are cordate or ovate-lanceolate, sometimes lobed, dark green and shiny, which turn yellow in autumn. It is a monoecious plant with separated male and female flowers on the same plant in pendulous inconspicuous ears. In late summer it produces infructescenses composed of small soros drupes, which resemble blackberries, white or pink, sometimes dark purple-red and edible.
Agronomic and environmental characteristics: It prefers moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soils. It can adapt to poor, calcareous soils. It has an high resistance to drought and air pollution. It should be placed in full and warm sunlight, and protected from cold winds.
Use: In the past it was grown as a plant for the cultivation of silkworms. In the country it was arranged in rows or as a plant for shade in the courtyard of farmhouses. It can be used in parks and gardens, even small, as isolated specimen plant. It is interestingly used in public green spaces for its resistance to drought and pollution.
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