Scientific name: Morus microphylla and other Morus species
Abundance: plentiful
What: berries (red, pink or white), young leaves, inner bark
How: berries raw, dried, jelly, wine. Young leaves in salad. Inner bark can be boiled and eaten all year.
Where: Woods, borders between woods and fields, urban landscapes
When: spring
Nutritional Value: high in vitamins C&K, minerals and some carbohydrates

Medicinal Summary: 1g of mulberry leaves have the blood sugar control powers of a standard dose of Metformin. 

Leaf Arrangement: Simple, alternate leaves along the stems.

Leaf Shape: Varied leaf shapes among species, commonly lobed or heart-shaped, with lengths ranging from 2 to 8 inches. Palmate veins are sunken on topside of the leaf and raised on the underside.

Leaf Color: Green foliage, but shades may vary.

Leaf Margin: Leaf margins can be serrated or entire. Asymmetrical lobes may be prsent on mature leaves whereas sapling leaves will have five distinct, symmetrical lobes.

Flower Structure: Small, pale flowers arranged in catkins or clusters approximately 1" long

Flower Size: Individual flowers are very small, typically less than 0.2 inches.

Fruit (Mulberries): Multiple small, juicy berries clustered together similar to blackberries, ranging from 0.5 to 1 inch in length. Colors can range from light pink to very dark purple when ripe. Immature fruit will be white to pale green.

Seed Size: Seeds within the berries are small, less than 0.2 inches.

Bark: Bark color and texture vary among species, often brown to gray and smooth on young trees, becoming rougher with age.

Height: Mulberry trees can range from 15 to 30 feet or more, depending on the species.

Mulberry flowers in mid-March in Houston.

Ripe and unripe mulberries (picture taken in late April).



Leaves all from the same Mulberry tree. They can have 0-5 lobes.

Young mullberries (picture taken in November)

Mulberry seedlings are very odd looking with leaves very differently shaped than those of mature trees.

Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.

North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Usually preferring a bit of shade to full sun, mulberry trees are found just about anywhere trees grow in Texas though they usually like a fair amount of water. The leaves are highly variable, ranging from unlobed to five lobes and drop off in the fall, not reappearing until spring. The bark of mulberry trees is smooth and gray. The wood is strong and makes good tool handles.

Come spring, the young leaves can be collected and added to a salad. The inner bark (cambium layer) can be pounded into into fines then boiled into a rough porridge.

The immature berries are white and should not be eaten. Ripe berries can vary in color from white to dark purple. You can tell they are ripe when they come off the tree with just a slight tug. Mulberry fruit is usually ready just after blackberries ripen leading to a supply of lots of berries.

The easiest way to harvest the berries is lay a tarp or sheet under the tree and then shaking the branches. Ripe fruit will fall onto the tarp where they are easily collected.

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