A surprising look at the plants around us and how they've influenced our world.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Food for silk
Morus alba (Mulberry)
The mulberry tree produces a tasty berry, but not because of this did the mulberry tree change history. Leaves of the mulberry tree are the sole food of the silkworm. 1400 silkworms eat 50 pounds of mulberry leaves to make just one pound of silk. The Chinese closely guarded the secret of silk production and so had a monopoly in supplying the great demand for silk by the Egyptians, Romans, Persians and other cultures. Trade of silk, and other wares, along the Silk Road from China through the Middle East and to Europe helped lay the foundations for the modern world.