Morus rubra

Common Names: Red mulberry
Category: Trees
Sub-category: Mulberry

Native to eastern North America, from northernmost Ontario and Vermont south to southern Florida and west to southeast South Dakota and central Texas. Although common in the United States, it is listed as an endangered species in Canada. Red mulberry is a deciduous tree, growing to 10 to 15 m tall, rarely 20 m, with a trunk up to 50 cm in diameter. The leaves are alternate, 7 to 14 cm long and 6 to 12 cm broad, simple, broadly cordate, with a shallow notch at the base, typically unlobed on mature trees although often with 2 to 3 lobes, particularly on young trees, and with a finely serrated margin. The upper surface of the leaves is noticeably rough, similar in texture to fine sandpaper, and unlike the lustrous upper surface of the leaves of white mulberry (M. alba). The underside of the leaves is covered with soft hairs. The leaf petiole exudes milky sap when severed. The flowers are relatively inconspicuous: small, yellowish green or reddish green, and opening as leaves emerge. Male and female flowers are usually on separate trees although they may occur on the same tree. The fruit is a compound cluster of several small drupes, similar in appearance to a blackberry, 2 to 3 cm long, red ripening dark purple.

Often found as an ornamental plant in residential areas and grown for the berries.

Edible Notes: Mulberry berries are edible, flavorful, and often abundant, making them an excellent wild edible. When ripe, the flavor is sweet, not unlike blackberry.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.