Red Mulberry (Morus rubra)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Red Mulberry
Give a thumbs up Moral
Give a thumbs up Red Mulberry Tree
Give a thumbs up Shah Toot

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 10b
Plant Height: 20 - 60 feet
Plant Spread: 20 - 40 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Summer
Other: June-July
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Blooms on old wood
Flower Color: Other: yellow-green
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Street Tree
Espalier
Uses: Erosion control
Guardian plant
Shade Tree
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Fruit
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Birds
Butterflies
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Stratify seeds: 60 days at 41 degrees F
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Dioecious
Conservation status: Endangered (EN)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Endangered
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Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Nov 7, 2019 5:17 PM

Red Mulberry is native from western Massachusetts & southern Vermont into far southeast Ontario to southeast Minnesota through central Kansas & Oklahoma through eastern Texas to southern Florida, usually in rich, moist soils, though it can grow in dry to draining wet soils. It does not tolerate bad or horrible urban soils like the much more common White Mulberry from China. The Red Mulberry is normally found as widely scattered trees and in areas of low levels of disturbance or none. The Chinese White Mulberry seeds itself around much more and grows together more thickly. Red Mulberry's leaves are 3 to 8 inches long and almost as wide, usually simple without lobes, but vigorous branches can have two-lobed or three lobed leaves, and the three-lobed leaves can be very deeply lobed. The margins of the leaves are shallowly toothed and not as coarse as the White Mulberry. The leaves are not shiny and often are with a deep, rough texture. The stems are stout and brown, often with a little hairiness. Red Mulberry trees are more upright and open growing than the Chinese species. The female trees bear the dark red-purple cylindrical fruit clusters about 1 inch long, usually longer than the Chinese species, and I think a little better tasting, and loved by birds and mammals. I believe a bacterial blight from Asia lessened the numbers of the American species, which is one reason it is not common as it used to be, but a number of survivors are showing resistance. The species grows about 2 to 2.5 feet/year and lives about 75 to 100 years. Some native plant nurseries sell Red Mulberry, but one needs to check it out to see if it is really a full-blooded specimen rather than a hybrid. There are a number of hybrid trees out there that normally are more Asian than American, but the leaves are less shiny and are rougher.

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Posted by KentPfeiffer (Southeast Nebraska - Zone 5b) on Sep 10, 2012 9:34 PM

Red mulberry is the native species of mulberry in North America. It's relatively uncommon now, found most often as an understory tree in high quality native woodlands. It is slowly being hybridized out of existance by the non-native, but much more common, White Mulberry (Morus alba).

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Posted by KAMasud (Alpha Centauri - Zone 9a) on Dec 2, 2012 2:39 AM

The ripe fruit is edible and is widely used in pies, tarts, wines, cordials and tea. Should be kept pruned to a height of six feet.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
What tree is this? Zone 8 by Pennzies May 12, 2019 9:00 PM 4
Unknown Tree identification #1 by MzJuedz May 9, 2019 10:53 PM 18
Plant or weed? by Mattie3 Oct 10, 2018 1:38 PM 2
Will This Plant Kill My Dog? by julieb23 Jun 17, 2018 7:54 PM 20
Unknown tree in yard by enh_MadisonWI Jun 1, 2017 2:02 PM 7
Any idea what this might be? by AnneK May 1, 2017 12:42 PM 5
Leaf ID by Alexjoy Nov 21, 2016 7:57 AM 4
A Tree and a Shrub by danrenfroe2016 Nov 16, 2016 5:41 PM 10
What is this tree? by IJsbrandtGA Apr 23, 2016 3:15 PM 5
Morus by Catmint20906 Jul 18, 2015 7:53 AM 6

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