Common Names: Mannanunai, Mannanatti, Morinda tree
Flowering Period: March – June
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, 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.
The fruit is rarely used medicinally because it has an unpleasant smell. However, it has been shown that the beverage produced by fermenting the fruits was able to inhibit enteropathogenic bacteria and had a high amount of potassium.
The ‘Morindone dye’ obtained from the root bark is sold under the trade name ‘Suranji’.
It is used for dyeing cotton, silk and wool in shades of red, chocolate or purple.
The trunk has been used to treat menstrual disorders, as a tonic for stomach and blood stasis.