Herb: Silkworm Thorn


Latin name: Cudrania tricuspidata


Synonyms: Cudrania triloba, Maclura tricuspidata


Family: Moraceae (Mulberry Family)



Medicinal use of Silkworm Thorn:

An infusion of the wood is used to treat sore or weak eyes. The inner bark and the wood are used in the treatment of malaria, debility and menorrhagia. The root is galactogogue and is also used in the treatment of amenorrhoea. The plant is used to eliminate blood stasis and stimulate the circulation in cancer of the alimentary system, blood and lungs.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Tree

Height:
6 m
(20 feet)

Flovering:
July

Habitat of the herb:

Rocky slopes and roadsides in W. China. Sunny forest margins and mountain slopes at elevations of 500 - 2200 metres.

Edible parts of Silkworm Thorn:

Fruit - fresh or preserved. Somewhat like a mulberry. The firm fruit is relatively tasteless, when soft-ripe it is sub-acid to sweet and some forms can be quite delicious. It contains lots of large seeds. The fruit is about 25mm in diameter. Leaves - a famine food.

Other uses of the herb:

A yellow dye is obtained from the wood. The bark fibers are used for making paper. Wood - finely grained. Used for utensils.

Propagation of Silkworm Thorn:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in early spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood, November in a sandy soil in a frame.

Cultivation of the herb:

Rocky slopes and roadsides in W. China. Sunny forest margins and mountain slopes at elevations of 500 - 2200 metres.

Known hazards of Cudrania tricuspidata:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.