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Morus rubra

Common Name(s):

This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Morus rubra, commonly known as red mulberry, is a medium-sized, upright spreading to rounded, deciduous tree that typically grows to 35-50’ (less frequently to 80’) tall. It is native to rich woods, bottomlands and wood margins from Massachusetts, southern Ontario and Minnesota south to Florida and Texas. It is noted for its often lobed leaves, milky sap, reddish-brown bark, and edible fruits. Trees are monoecious or dioecious.  The bark is gray-brown with long scaly ridges.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Borers may be a problem with this plant, particularly in the South. Whiteflies mass on some trees. Bacterial blight may kill foliage/branches. Coral spot cankers may cause twig dieback. Bacterial leaf scorch, powdery mildew, root rot, and witches broom may also occur. Watch for scale, mites, and mealybugs. Weedy self-seeding and messy fruit are concerns.

The fruits are relished by birds but dropped fruit can cause maintenance issues such as staining concrete walkways, patios, and cars, so be aware of where their canopy will extend when choosing the location to plant one of these trees.  These trees can become weedy.  Herbicides are not effective, the best management is to hand pull seedlings when young.

Cultivars:
Tags:
#birds#edible fruit#weed#wildlife plant#showy#weedy#naturalize#low flammability#fire resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#birds#edible fruit#weed#wildlife plant#showy#weedy#naturalize#low flammability#fire resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Morus
    Species:
    rubra
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Native Americans used the the plant medicinally as a worming agent, remedy for dysentery, laxative and emetic.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    USA and Canada
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV Canada: ON
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    The Red mulberry is moderately resistant to damage from deer. It is sometimes considered to be a host plant for Red Admiral butterfly. Its fruits are eaten by many birds, especially gray catbirds and northern mockingbirds, foxes, opossums, squirrels, and raccoons.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    fire in the landscape.
    Edibility:
    Ripe fruits are eaten raw or made into pies, jellies, or jams. Also used in breads, muffins, and cakes.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 35 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 35 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Tree
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Sweet blackberry-like edible fruits that are reddish to dark purple in color
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Unisexual greenish flowers in small catkin-like spikes appear in early spring with male and female flowers usually appearing on separate trees (dioecious)
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The Red mulberry has ovate to oblong-ovate, toothed, usually dark green leaves (to 5” long) that have heart-shaped bases. The leaves can be quite variable, however, ranging from unlobed to deeply lobed and from rough-textured to glabrous on the upper surfaces. Lobed leaves are more frequently found on new shoots and unlobed leaves are more frequently found in tree crowns. The leaves turn yellow in fall. Underside of leaf has fine hairs and is soft to the touch.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
    Bark Description:
    Bark is grey-brown with long scaly ridges.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Pollution
    Problems:
    Weedy
  • Poison:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Hallucinations and stomach upset from unripe fruit and sap.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    unknown
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Fruits
    Sap/Juice