PlantsMorus→White Mulberry (Morus alba)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up White Mulberry
Give a thumbs up White Mulberry Tree

Botanical names:
Morus alba Accepted
Morus alba f. tatarica Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4b -31.7 °C (-25 °F) to -28.9 °C (-20 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 30-50 feet
Plant Spread: 30-50 feet
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Deciduous
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Other: Fruit is a drupe with variable coloration when ripe. Some varieties stay white, some turn pink or black.
Fruiting Time: Late spring or early summer
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: Other: Greenish-yellow
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Underground structures: Taproot
Uses: Erosion control
Shade Tree
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Fruit
Eating Methods: Raw
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Birds
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Sow in situ
Can handle transplanting
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Other: tissue culture
Containers: Not suitable for containers

photo credit: B.navez

Comments:
Posted by Bonehead (Planet Earth - Zone 8b) on Feb 19, 2014 12:14 PM

The white fruiting mulberry will produce seedless berries without a male tree close by. The berries are edible in either the green or white stage, and they are non-staining. This tree can also be maintained as a shrub because fruits are produced on new growth.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jun 19, 2019 8:00 AM

This White or Common or Chinese Mulberry is a very common weed tree in the Midwestern and Eastern US. I actually have seen a few of this species, (only the female trees bear fruit), having white fruit, some can be pinkish, but most do have the dark red-purple fruit, which are tasty. The fruit clusters are 1/2 to 1 inch long, usually a little shorter than the Red species, and borne in June-July. The leaves are 2 to 7 inches long and up to 6 inches wide, and are shiny and smooth to just a little bit rough. The leaves range from being simple to two-lobed to three-lobed. It was originally brought over to the US to try to start a silk industry which did not work out. The original American Red Mulberry was susceptible to a leaf fungus that came with the Chinese species and is now rare and the American species was not so aggressive to multiply or to grow in poor or difficult soils. Actually, many trees are hybrids between the two species usually with more Asian in the mix than American. There are good number of cultivars of Common Mulberry and hybrids that are grown for their fruit. I think the best hybrid is one that is mostly American in its make-up that is called 'Illinois Everbearing.' I definitely don't recommend this Asian species for any landscapes.

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Posted by molanic (IL - Zone 5b) on Jun 22, 2020 11:28 AM

From what I've read you can differentiate Morus alba from Morus rubra by looking at the the top and bottom texture of the leaves. Morus alba leaves are glossy on top and not fuzzy on the underside. The fruit color and leaf shape are very variable though. Morus alba usually has white or light pink fruits when ripe, but some varieties like Morus alba tatarica (Russian Mulberry) turn black. The fruit of Morus alba are usually a lot shorter than those of Morus rubra also.

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Posted by scvirginia (Charleston, SC - Zone 8b) on May 14, 2021 11:39 AM

I grew a found seedling in a pot out in the yard for a year to see what it was. It grows very quickly.

I'd read about the leaf shape for Morus species being variable, and since that wasn't the case with my young plant, I started thinking it was something else. Luckily, a botanist looked at some photos I sent him, and set me straight. White Mulberry.

The leaves of young mulberries may not be variable at all, apparently, but a good way to ID one is that they have bright yellow roots. I think the leaves are very pretty, but I don't want to grow this invasive plant, and am glad I kept it in a pot. Buh-bye!

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Incorrect plant by Universal_G Jul 30, 2020 10:13 AM 8
Variability of mature fruit color by molanic Jul 30, 2020 4:48 PM 5
What is this!! by Northernroots88 Oct 23, 2020 2:52 AM 7
what is this tree? by zachww1014 Aug 19, 2020 6:51 PM 15
Not a rose of Sharon what is it by dtaylor14213 Aug 5, 2020 10:10 AM 6
Tree Identification by RenaldSantiago Jun 19, 2020 12:50 PM 7
What is this tree? by Angelotter May 30, 2020 7:28 PM 5
Plant Identification Help by LoveMyTrees May 27, 2020 3:32 PM 4
Id this tree in NY by Turbosaurus May 25, 2020 4:47 PM 9
What food tree is this by Suhana May 23, 2020 11:11 AM 1
Mulberry Trees in Central Texas by Ecscuba May 9, 2020 7:44 PM 6

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