Search plant names:
Links for Teachers
Site Map

Home > Resources > North Carolina Trees > Red Mulberry

Red Mulberry

(Morus rubra L.)

  Red mulberry grows throughout North Carolina. It grows best on the rich, red soils of the lower and middle sections of the state but is not abundant in any region. It commonly is called mulberry, because there are no other native mulberry species.

Red mulberry leaves are alternate, thin, rounded or somewhat heart-shaped, toothed, pointed, 3 to 5 inches long, rough-hairy above and soft-hairy beneath. Leaves from juvenile tissue (early branches) are mitten-shaped or variously lobed (two to three lobes), while leaves from mature tissue (older, or upper-crown branches) are not lobed.

The fruit resembles that of blackberry. Fruits are red when immature, turning deep purple when ripe, usually during late June or July. Berries are1 to 11/2 inches long, sweet, juicy and edible.

The red mulberry is a small tree, usually 20 to 30 feet tall, with trunk diameters rarely larger than 2 feet. It usually has a short trunk and a dense, spreading crown.

The bark is dark brown with a reddish tinge. It is scaly, with the tips of the scales curling and peeling off. The dark brown wood is light and soft and, although it is not strong, it is quite durable.

Red mullbury is used for fencing and barrels. Red mulberry is a small, rather scarce tree, and therefore is not considered as an important commercial tree. The berry is a favorite food for gray squirrels, wild turkeys and many songbirds.
Plant Information Center
About PIC  |  Project Staff   |  Advisory Panel Research Activities |  
Partners  Permissions 
  Funding provided in part by
Institute of Museum and Library Services

Plant Information Center is produced
in conjunction with Botnet