February 15, 2018

Suhosine Mulberry (Debregeasia edulis)

Debregeasia edulis (Suhosine, Janatsi-itsigo, Toon-itsigo) is called in China as “shui ma” which can be probably translated as “water hemp”. This name refers to use of the inner bark of this genus plants in manner similar as hemp fibers. This is native to east Asia (including Japan) and belongs to Nettle Family (Urticaceae).This is small (0,3-1,8m = 1-6ft tall) semi-evergreen shrub which creates its inflorescences on thick branches (caulifloric) and next edible orange fruits (which are similar to small round mulberries) with sweet taste and exotic aroma. 

The fruits are very ornamental and  edible (delicious with an exotic aroma)
It is moderately frost hardy (shoots to zone 8 and roots even to zone 7a if mulched) and blooms in spring. Fruits are ripening in summer and hangs on branches to autumn (if birds did not eat them). It is dioecious. I have a clone called “Elite” which is female and creates seedless fruits (without pollinating).

This is caulifloric shrub (creates fruits on thick woody branches)

The shrub in flowers in spring
The clone called "Elite" creates only female inflorescences. It can flower when is very small (even about 30cm = 1ft tall)
It creates fruits on even very thick branches
The coin on the photo is size about 1inch = 2,5cm
I tried also growing other species – Debregeasia longifolia (Wild Rhea), which is much larger and need more warmness and lightness in winter. It is native to also to east Asia (China, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, N Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Sikkim, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam). I tried to winter it in cool cellar (without frost) but plants died in mid-winter. It has never flowered in my experience. It is difficult to growing in pots in home also due to its large size.
It can be very large shrub

It has not flowered in my experience

If you have available any Debregeasia (or other rare Urticaceae family plant) species seeds please write to me.

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