Morus rubra - L.
Common Name Red Mulberry, Common Mulberry, White Mulberry
Family Moraceae
USDA hardiness 4-9
Known Hazards Skin contact with the leaves or stems can cause dermatitis in some very sensitive people[226]. The milky sap in the leaves and unripe fruits can cause dermatitis, hallucinations and central nervous system disturbances[274].
Habitats Rich moist woods[43, 227]. Sunny places along the sides of roads[159]. Plants do not grow well on poor soils[227].
Range Eastern N. America - Quebec to Florida, west to Texas and South Dakota.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Translate this page:

You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.

Form: Rounded, Spreading or horizontal.

Morus rubra Red Mulberry, Common Mulberry, White Mulberry
Morus rubra Red Mulberry, Common Mulberry, White Mulberry
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Morus rubra is a deciduous Tree growing to 15 m (49ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.


Woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw, cooked or made into preserves[2, 3, 21, 62, 149, 183]. Large and sweet with a good flavour, the fruit can be up to 3cm long[200]. The fruit can also be dried and ground into a powder[183]. This is used to make a delicious confection with almonds and other nuts[183]. The fruit is soft and juicy, when fully ripe it falls from the tree and is easily squashed[227]. Unripe fruits can cause stomach disorders[226]. Young shoots and unfolding leaves - raw or cooked.
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anthelmintic;  Cathartic;  Febrifuge.

The root bark is anthelmintic and cathartic[21]. A tea made from the roots has been used in the treatment of weakness, difficult urination, dysentery, tapeworms and as a panacea[222, 257]. The sap is used in the treatment of ringworm[222, 257]. Another report says that the milky juice obtained from the axis of the leaf is used[21]. The fruits are used to reduce fevers[222].


Other Uses
Fibre;  Wood.

A cloth can be made from the fibrous bark[149]. Wood - coarse-grained, light, very durable, not strong, soft, rather tough. It weighs about 45lb per cubic foot and is used for boats, fencing and cooperage[46, 61, 82, 227, 229].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Pest tolerant, Aggressive surface roots possible, Pollard. Prefers a warm well-drained loamy soil in a sunny position[1, 11]. The red mulberry is sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties[183]. It is said to be of no value as a fruiting tree in Britain[1, 11]. Trees come into bearing when about 10 years old, fruiting best between the ages of 30 - 85 years and declining from the age of 125 years[227]. A good plant to grow grapes into. The grapes are difficult to pick but they always seem to be healthier and free from fungal diseases[201]. Mulberries have brittle roots and so need to be handled with care when planting them out[238]. Any pruning should only be carried out in the winter when the plant is fully dormant because mulberries bleed badly when cut[238]. Ideally prune only badly placed branches and dead wood[238]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Dioecious[229] Male and female plants must be grown if fruit is required. Special Features: Not North American native, Naturalizing, There are no flowers or blooms.
The seed germinates best if given 2 - 3 months cold stratification[80, 98]. Sow the seed as soon as it is ripe if possible, otherwise in February in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in the first spring, though it sometimes takes another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Plant out in spring. A good percentage take, though they sometimes fail to thrive[78, 113]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, 25 - 30cm with a heel of 2 year old wood, autumn or early spring in a cold frame or a shady bed outside[78, 113,200]. Bury the cuttings to threequarters of their depth. Layering in autumn[200].
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Morus albaWhite Mulberry, Common Mulberry,43
Morus alba multicaulisWhite Mulberry43
Morus australisKorean Mulberry, Aino Mulberry22
Morus bombycisKuwa22
Morus cathayanaHua Sang20
Morus macrouraHimalayan Mulberry21
Morus mesozygiaAfrican mulberry23
Morus microphyllaTexas Mulberry20
Morus mongolicaMongolian Mulberry21
Morus nigraBlack Mulberry53
Morus serrataHimalayan Mulberry21
Morus speciesMulberry40
Rubus chamaemorusCloudberry41


Print Friendly and PDF
Expert comment
Botanical References
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the website on their phone.
Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Morus rubra  

Plant Uses

Edible Uses
Medicinal Uses
Other Plant uses
Woodland Gardening
Why Perennial Plants?
Top Edible Plants
Top Medicinal Plants
Garden Design

Twiter      Facebook


Content Help
Support Us
Old Database Search
About Us
Sign In

Stay informed about PFAFs progress,
challenges and hopes by signing up for
our free email ePost. You will receive
a range of benefits including:
* Important announcements and news
* Exclusive content not on the website
* Updates on new information &
functionality of the website & database

We will not sell or share your email address.
You can unsubscribe at anytime.