FoI
Indian Mulberry   
Foto info
Indian Mulberry
ative Photo: Navendu Pāgé
Common name: Indian Mulberry, Morinda tree • Hindi: आल Aal • Marathi: Aseti, धौला Dhaula • Tamil: Mannanunai, Mannanatti • Malayalam: Mannappavitta • Telugu: Maddi • Kannada: Haladipavette, Maddi • Oriya: Achu, Pindra • Urdu: Togar mughalai • Sanskrit: Paphanah
Botanical name: Morinda pubescens    Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee family)
Synonyms: Morinda tinctoria, Morinda tomentosa, Morinda tinctoria var. tomentosa

Indian Mulberry is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing to 5-10 m tall. Stem is short and crooked, with rough bark with deep longitudinal cuts. Oppositely arranged leaves are 15-25 cm long, oblong to lancelike. Flowers occur in spherical heads, 3-5 cm acros, on a stalk 2-3 cm long. Near the stalk of the flower-head, there is a one small linear leaf. The flowers are tubular, white, scented, about 2 cm long. Oblong petals are about 1 cm long, 3-7 in number. Stamens as many as petals. The fruit is a green syncarp, 2-2.5 cm diameter. The plant is extensively cultivated in India in order to make the morindone dye sold under the trade name "Suranji". Morindone is used for the dyeing of cotton, silk and wool in shades of red, chocolate or purple. The colouring matter is found principally in the root bark and is collected when the plants reach three to four years of age. Flowering: May.

Identification credit: Navendu Pāgé
Photographed in Maharashtra.
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