White mulberry was imported to the United States from Asia as a food source for silkworms; 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 to Flushing by the plantsman William Prince in 1774. 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.
LeavesAlternate arrangement that can be lobed or not; sharp, saw-like edges; rounded, heart-shaped base; pubescent leaf has rough texture; dark green
FruitNumerous small fleshy stone fruit; white, pink, red, and purple; edible
FlowerUp to 1 inch long, fleshy-white to red stone fruit, bloom June to July
BarkLight tannish-brown, stems yellowish brown, white substance when stem broken