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Panama Rubber Tree (Castilla elastica)
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[[{{{domain}}}]] > [[{{{superregnum}}}]] > Plantae > [[{{{subregnum}}}]] > [[{{{superdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{superphylum}}}]] > [[{{{divisio}}}]] > Magnoliophyta > [[{{{subdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{subphylum}}}]] > [[{{{infraphylum}}}]] > [[{{{microphylum}}}]] > [[{{{nanophylum}}}]] > [[{{{superclassis}}}]] > Magnoliopsida > [[{{{subclassis}}}]] > [[{{{infraclassis}}}]] > [[{{{superordo}}}]] > Rosales > [[{{{subordo}}}]] > [[{{{infraordo}}}]] > [[{{{superfamilia}}}]] > Moraceae > [[{{{subfamilia}}}]] > [[{{{supertribus}}}]] > [[{{{tribus}}}]] > [[{{{subtribus}}}]] > [[{{{genus}}}]] {{{subgenus}}} {{{sectio}}} {{{series}}} {{{species}}} {{{subspecies}}} var. {{{cultivar}}}

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Moraceae (from the genus Morus, the classical name). Mulberry Family. Fig. 16. Herbs, shrubs, or trees, sometimes climbing: juice milky: leaves alternate: flowers dioecious or monoecious, regular, small, mostly in heads or spikes, or lining the hollow pyriform fleshy axis of the inflorescence (Ficus); perianth single, of 4, rarely 2-6, imbricated parts, more or less united and fleshy in the pistillate flower; stamens of the same number and opposite the sepals, usually indexed in the bud and elastic; ovary superior, sessile or stipitate, 1-celled, 1-ovuled; the ovule suspended, amphitropous, rarely basal; stigmas 1-2: fruit an achene or drupe enveloped by the fleshy perianth, or on a fleshy gynophore, or composed of achenes in a fleshy hollow common receptacle.

Moraceae contains 55 genera and about 950 species, mostly of tropical distribution, 6 species of which are native in the eastern United States. The largest genus is Ficus with 600 species. The family is frequently united with the Urticaceae and differs from that family only in the presence of milky juice, in the two stigmas, and in the usually suspended seed. From the Ulmaceae it differs in the inflexed elastic stamens.

The fruit of the black mulberry (Morus nigra) has been eaten since earliest times. Those of M. rubra (red mulberry), and M. alba are also used for food. The bread fruit (Artocarpus incisa) of the South Sea Islands is now cultivated for food everywhere in the tropics. The leaves of Morus indica are eaten in India: those of M. rubra in America. M. serrata is cultivated for fodder. The fig is the fleshy receptacle of the inflorescence of Ficus Carica. For the structure and pollination of this remarkable plant see Kerner and Oliver's "Natural History of Plants." The leaves of Morus are diuretic and anthelmintic. The juice of Antiaris toxicaría is used by the Javanese to poison arrows. Hops are used in medicine, also to flavor beer. Hashish, bhang or Cannabis indica is obtained from Cannabis sativa, and is much used in the East as a narcotic to chew and smoke like opium. The fibers of C. sativa are hemp. The bark of Broussonetia furnishes clothing to the South Sea Islanders. The wood of Maclura aurantiaca is flexible; the yellow juice of the fruit of this plant was used by the Indians to paint their faces. Cudrania javanensis yields a dye. The milky juice of Ficus elastica and other species yield commercial rubber. F. indica is a banyan tree of India. F. religiosa is the sacred fig. The leaves of various species of mulberry are used to feed silkworms. Shellac is obtained from a small hemipterous insect which lives on F. laccifera and F. religiosa in India.

Several genera are in cultivation in America, the majority in the far South. Among these are: Artocarpus (Bread Fruit, Jack Fruit), cultivated in the West Indies and in botanical gardens; Brosimum (Bread Nut), tropical; Broussonetia (Paper Mulberry), ornamental, semi-hardy; Cannabis (Hemp), grown for fiber or ornament; Cudrania, grown for hedges; Ficus (Fig, India Rubber Plant, Banyan Tree, Creeping Fig, Peepul Tree), grown in warm regions and in the greenhouses; Humulus (Hops), grown for the fruit; Maclura (Osage Orange), for hedges; Morus (Mulberry), for fruit, and leaves for silkworms.CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.



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