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White Mulberry


White Mulberry Tree
White mulberry was imported to the United States from Asia as a food source for silkworms, but ultimately it became a favored food of many birds, who help the tree spread quickly through seeds dispersed in their droppings. Many of New York City's white mulberries can be traced to a large shipment imported in 1774 by the plantsman William Prince to Flushing. He imported the trees in an effort to establish a silk industry in New York. The white mulberry has invasive tendencies and hybridizes easily with the native red mulberry, endangering the continued existence of the native species.

Common Name: White Mulberry

Scientific Name: Morus alba

Origin: China

Family: Moraceae

Size: 30 - 50' tall, equally spread

Form: Dense, rounded, fast growing

Culture: Transplants readily; tolerant of drought, urban, and seaside conditions; thrives in full sun; prune in winter; prefers moist, well-drained, fertile soil; pH adaptable

Leaves

Alternate arrangement that can be lobed or not; sharp, saw-like edges; rounded, heart-shaped base; pubescent leaf has rough texture; dark green

Flower

Up to 1" long, fleshy-white to red stone fruit, bloom June to July

Fruit

Numerous small fleshy stone fruit; white, pink, red, and purple; edible

Bark

Light tannish-brown, stems yellowish brown, white substance when stem broken