Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Morus rubra L.
- Family: Mulberry (Moraceae)
- Flowering: April-May
- Field Marks: Red mulberry differs from white mulberry by having the lower surface of the leaves
hairy between the veins.
- Habitat: Upland woods, lowland woods, bottomlands, old fields, roadsides, fencerows.
- Habit: Tree up to 66 feet tall; trunk diameter up to 4 1/2 feet; crown broadly rounded.
- Bark: Dark brown, divided into long, scaly plates.
- Twigs: Slender, smooth or sometimes hairy, reddish brown to dark brown, more or less zigzag.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, ovate, pointed at the tip, more or less heart-shaped at the base, up
to 8 inches long and sometimes nearly as wide, coarsely toothed, sometimes 2-lobed, sometimes
3- or 5-lobed, often unlobed, usually rough to the touch, hairy between the veins on the lower
surface; latex present.
- Flowers: Male and female flowers borne separately, either on the same or on different plants,
appearing as the leaves unfold; male flowers crowded into narrow green clusters up to 2 inches
long; female flowers crowded into short, thick spikes up to 1 inch long.
- Sepals: 4, green, united, small.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 4.
- Pistils: Ovary superior; stigmas 2
- Fruits: Fleshy, up to 1 1/2 inches long, sweet, juicy, at first red, becoming purple or nearly black,
- Notes: The fruits are edible. The wood is used for fence posts and barrels.
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