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White mulberry (Morus alba)

White mulberry Synonyms: Morus alba var. constantinopolitana, Morus alba var. multicaulis, Morus tatarica, Morus indica, Morus multicaulis

Common Names: Chinese white mulberry, common mulberry, Russian mulberry, silkworm mulberry, chi sang, chin sang, moral blanco

Description: First introduced to the United States during colonial times for the purpose of establishing a silkworm industry.

Habit: Deciduous tree or shrub reaching 30-50 feet tall.

Leaves: Alternate, glossy green in color and vary greatly in shape from simple to lobed on the same tree. Often younger trees found in full sun have greater lobed leaves. Shaded trees tend to have more simple leaves. Leaves have 3 strong veins originating from the base. Leaves turn yellow in the fall.

Stems: Bark of young trees are brownish-orange with lenticels. As the plant ages, bark turns gray and develops irregular cracks or ridges.

Flowers: Perfect, small, greenish to yellow in color and occur in spikes.

Fruit and seeds: Fruits form from female flowers. Multiple seeded berries that range in color from black to pink to white when ripe. They contain abundant seed and can produce up to 20 million seeds.

Habitat: Native to China. Found in open forests, woodland edges, prairies, fields and disturbed areas.

Reproduction: By seed.

Similar species: Red mulberry (Morus rubra) which has large leaves that are dull and rough; basswood (tilia spp.) with unlobed leaves and flowers and fruits on leaf-like bracts; sassafras (Sassafras albidum) with smooth-margined lobed to unlobed leaves; and paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera) with leaves densely gray-pubescent.

Monitoring and rapid response: Hand pull seedlings. Tree can be cut and grind the stump or paint the cut surface with a systemic herbicide like glyphosate or girdle the tree.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

White mulberry

Scientific Name:

Morus alba







USDA Symbol: