Home » Plants » Morus alba

White Mulberry (Morus alba)

Page contents
White Mulberry

Summary

A tree native to northern China; introduced in North America, where it is widely considered invasive and hybridizes with the native red mulberry.

USDA Plants Profile for Morus alba

Illinois Wildflowers Page for Morus alba

Similar Plants

thumbnail of Red Mulberry
Red Mulberry (Morus rubra)
View - Compare
thumbnail of Hairy Crabweed
Hairy Crabweed (Fatoua villosa)
View - Compare

Uses

Historically, this species was introduced in an attempt to establish a silk industry, as its leaves are the preferred host of the silk worm. See Connecticut’s Mulberry Craze for a history of the attempt in Connecticut. The attempt was largely unsuccessful, as the silk produced was more expensive and lower quality than silk from Asia, and did not compete favorably on the global market.

The fruit is edible, but usually only eaten casually, as it is sweet but often bland.

The plant is also used in medicine.

This species can be used for wood, and has many desirable properties, but it is not commercially harvested for lumber because of the tree's small size. See more on mulberry in the wood database.

Closely related to, and hybridizes readily with the native red mulberry, Morus rubra.

Photo gallery