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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Notes on Southwestern Moraceae

Author
item Whittemore, Alan

Submitted to: Sida
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 6, 2005
Publication Date: December 6, 2005
Citation: Whittemore, A.T. 2005. Notes on southwestern moraceae. Sida: Contributions to Botany. 22:769-775.

Interpretive Summary: In the course of updating the family Moraceae for The Jepson Manual of the higher plants of California, a manual published by the University of California to provide up-to date information on the taxonomy, distribution, and ecological status of all plants that are wild or invasive in California, reports of two introduced species that had not been mentioned in the first edition were investigated. One of these reports, Ficus palmata, was shown to be erroneous. Reasons for excluding this species from the flora are documented. The other report, Morus nigra, is an accurate report of a species that escapes as a waif in the southwestern U. S. The distribution and ecological status of this species in North America is evaluated based on reexamination of the available herbarium specimens, and information for identification is supplied. This species is native to southern Asia, and is grown as a fruit tree and ornamental in California; this study indicates that it rarely seeds in the vicinity of planted trees, and is not a significant threat to the native flora at the site where it has escaped. This contribution updates our information on the biology of this family in the southwestern U. S., and provides aids for identification of these plants. It will be used by professional land managers, educators, conservationists, and sophisticated amateur botanists and horticulturalists, insuring that work on land management and conservation will be based on full, accurate and up-to-date information about the occurence of these organisms in the United States.

Technical Abstract: In the course of updating the family Moraceae for the second edition of The Jepson Manual of the higher plants of California, a manual published by the University of California to provide up-to date information on the taxonomy, distribution, and ecological status of all plants that are wild or invasive in California, reports of two exotic species, reported to escape in and around California but not mentioned in the first edition, were investigated. One of these reports, the wild fig Ficus palmata, was shown to be erroneous. Reasons for excluding this species from the flora are documented. The other report, black mulberry, Morus nigra, is an accurate report of a species that escapes occasionally in the southwestern U. S. The distribution and ecological status of this species in North America are evaluated based on reexamination of the available herbarium specimens, and information for identification is supplied. This species is native to southern Asia, and is grown as a fruit tree and ornamental in California; this study indicates that it rarely seeds in the vicinity of planted trees, and is not a significant threat to the native flora at the site where it has escaped. This contribution will support accurate identification and present and future monitoring of species that escape from cultivation.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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