Morus alba - White Mulberry
Family: Moraceae

Hear the scientific name

Morus alba is a weedy tree that has become naturalized in the Eastern U.S. Weeping forms of White Mulberry that are fruitless make acceptable architectural elements in the constructed landscape.

F   E   A   T   U   R   E   S
  form2 form Form

-the species is a large tree (up to 60' tall x 60' wide)

-male cultivars (fruitless) are smaller in size (35-40' tall x 35-40' wide)

-broad, rounded-top habit

-moderate to rapid growth rate

foliage2 foliage Foliage

-alternate arrangement

-leaves are simple, often lobed (both types common on 1 branch)

-margins are serrated

-shape of the leaf blade is ovate, but with a fairly sharp (acute) tip

-leaf base is rounded or cordate

-petiole distinct, ca. 1" long

-leaf surface smooth, dark green, and often shiny

-no distinct autumn color

Flowers
flowers

-plants may be monoecious (separate male and female flowers on the same plants) or dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants) [=polygamo-dioecious]

-small, greenish flowers

-stalked

-hanging catkins

-not showy

Fruit

-cultivars are generally fruitless

-in the species, the fruit is an edible berry-like structure (technically, a collective fruit, not a true berry)

Twig
twig

-thin, green to brownish-gray

-smooth and shiny

trunk Trunk

-the bark on young branches orangish and becomes darker brown with age

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Culture

-will grown in virtually any soil except wet areas

-urban tolerant, will withstand drought, air pollution, salt spray, compacted soils

-easily transplanted and adaptable

-selected cultivars (mainly the weeping forms) are moderately available

-numerous cosmetic and serious diseases (bacterial blight, cankers, mildew) and pests (scales and mites) affect this tree, especially in hot, humid environments

Hardiness

-zones 5-8

Origin

-native to Eastern and Central China

U   S   A   G   E
 

Assets

-urban tolerant (salt tolerant; may be used by seaside)

-strong architectural form for weeping cultivars

-generally trouble-free

Liabilities

-limited seasonal appeal

-messy fruit litter (for the fruiting species)

-numerous pest and diseases

-weak-wooded

Function

-weeping cultivars are interesting accent or specimen plants

-where a relatively fast-growing, weeping tree is wanted, Weeping Mulberry can make a unique accent plant

Texture

-coarse when bare

-medium in leaf

S   E   L   E   C   T   I   0   N   S
 

Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species

Alternates

-other weeping trees/shrubs (Caragana arborescens 'Pendula', Malus Royal Fountain® ('Huber'), 'Louisa', or 'Red Jade', Prunus Snow Fountains™ ('Snofozam'), Ulmus glabra 'Camperdownii', etc.)

-other tough, urban tolerant trees (Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis, Ulmus hybrids such as 'Pioneer' and 'Homestead', etc.)

 


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