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Red mulberry is a great native species from Minnesota all the way down to Florida. A medium sized deciduous tree, it is noted for its often lobed leaves, milky sap and edible fruits with a beautiful yellow canopy in the fall. Unisexual green flowers in little clusters appear in early spring with male and female flowers usually appearing on separate trees (dioecious). The fruit on the females are blackberry like in shape and appearance, and super sweet and juicy. They are also full or iron and vitamin C, as well as potassium and vitamins E and k, making them real nutritional powerhouses. It is a great tree to add to a food forest! Fruits are also used for jellies, jams and wines, and are full of antioxidants. The leaves of the tree can also be brewed into a medicinal tea with a long history of medicinal use in China and Europe.
The fruits can be messy on driveways and can stain if they are tracked into houses, but I would say the fruit is definitely worth it for both their health benefits and their taste. Birds of all kinds will flock to your garden for these tender morsels!
Common Names: Red Mulberry
Latin Name: Morus rubra
Mature Size: Height- 35 to 50 feet, Spread - 35 to 40 feet
Native Range: Eastern United States, extreme southeastern Canada
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Soil Type: Best grown in rich soils that are well drained and compost amended