The mulberry family is most important as the basis of the silkworm industry; silkworms feed on the leaves of the mulberries (genus Morus) and sometimes of the Osage orange (Maclura pomifera). The white mulberry (M. alba) has been cultivated in China since very early times. In the Middle Ages it began to replace the black mulberry (M. nigra), which had been grown by the Greeks and Romans and, from the 9th cent., by the people of N Europe for silkworm culture. In Greek legend the berries of the white mulberry turned red when its roots were bathed by the blood of the lovers Pyramis and Thisbe, who killed themselves. Both the white and the red mulberry (M. rubra, native to North America) have been cultivated in America since colonial times, but the lack of cheap hand labor prevented the establishment of a silkworm industry. Mulberry fruits are tender and juicy and resemble blackberries. In the South the fruit of M. rubra is made into wine and is considered a valuable agricultural and wildlife feed.
The Osage orange, also called bowwood because it was used by the Osage tribe to make bows, is a hardy tree native to the S central United States. Its fruit is used as a natural insect repellent. Cultivated widely, often as a hedge plant because of its spiny, impenetrable branches, it is a source of a flexible and durable wood and of a yellow-orange dye, from the root bark, that is similar to the more widely used fustic (Maclura tinctoria). The heartwood of fustic yields a yellowish or olive dye, also called fustic, that has been used chiefly for dyeing woolens; it has largely been replaced by synthetic aniline dyes. In its native habitat of Central and South America the fustic is also a timber tree.
Fiber plants of the mulberry family include the paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera) and the upas tree (Antiaris toxicara) of the East Asian tropics, where the bast fiber is utilized for rough fabrics and for paper, often after a crude retting process. The latex of the upas [Malay,=poison tree] contains a cardiac glycoside used for arrow poison; the similarly employed strychnine tree of the logania family is sometimes also called upas.
The breadfruit (Artocarpus ultilis) is cultivated as a staple food plant in the Pacific tropics and in the West Indies, where it was introduced from Polynesia in the late 18th cent.; the Bounty was carrying breadfruit plants to Jamaica when the famous mutiny occurred. Its wood, fiber, and latex are also variously utilized locally. The important fig genus includes fruit trees, ornamentals (e.g., the rubber plant), and several species renowned in the religion and legends of India (e.g., the banyan and the bo tree).
The mulberry family is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Urticales.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.7 square miles (20.0 km²), of which, 7.6 square miles (19.6 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (2.45%) is water.
There were 669 households out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.4% were non-families. 26.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.83.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 26.9% from 25 to 44, 24.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 96.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,197, and the median income for a family was $32,321. Males had a median income of $28,281 versus $17,734 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,204. About 14.9% of families and 19.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.7% of those under age 18 and 19.9% of those age 65 or over.