Morus spp. The Mulberry genus is sprawling and always inbreeding with its cousins, so the taxonomy is not straight-forward. But the value of the trees in the landscape is evident--they're fast, easy, and bear large crops of juicy berries for humans and other wildlife.
The Persian mulberry, Morus nigra, is favored by gardeners across Iran and the Caucasus. Most dried mulberries are this species. Morus alba, the Chinese white mulberry, produces leaves used by silkworms. This species offers little value to gardeners and is considered a pest in some areas. However, some of its hybrids are valuable garden stalwarts. Morus rubra is found across the Midwest and Eastern U.S. Anyone who grew up there has fond memories of mulberry picking followed by jumping in a nearby lake to wash off the juice. All are bird magnets.
The genus is fast growing to 20'-30' feet, with large heart-shaped leaves and bountiful fruit. Self-fertile, deciduous, adaptable. Full sun, average water. Not suitable for street trees. Gardeners in Southern states contend with a variety of pests and diseases that prey on this genus, so not ideal for that region. Zones 4-9.
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|Illinois Everbearing Mulberry 1 gal|
Morus rubra x 'Illinois Everbearing.' This easy-going Midwest native attracts birds and people during summer months with little care. Big black-purple fruit make great eating off the tree, or use for tarts/pies/jams. Water during dry spells and prune lightly in early spring. Fast growth to 20' x 15.' Plants as of February 2023 are about 3' tall, branching, dormant.
|Contorted Mulberry 1 gal|
Morus alba 'Unryu' is a fantastically twisted specimen that is especially appealing in the winter landscape. During summer months the small white fruit slowly turn violet. You can pop them in your mouth or leave on branches for exotic bouquets when stripped of leaves. Self-fertile. Leaves can be used to feed silkworms. To 8' x 6'. Plants as of February 2023 are about 3' tall, branching, dormant.
|Dwarf Everbearing Mulberry grower's pot|
Morus nigra. The dwarf everbearing mulberry produces fabulous berries throughout summer months on a small bush, suitable for containers through zones 6-9. Can be pruned to 4' in pots or 6' in the ground. Self-fertile. Grown in 4" x 9" grower pots, these shrubs are about 3' tall, branching, dormant as of February 2023.
|Weeping Mulberry 1 gal|
Morus alba 'Pendula'. All weeping specimens are show stoppers, and none more so than the weeping Mulberry when it's draped in dark and dappled berries. The flexible branches make a natural espalier when planted at the base of a wall. You can also train it as a shrub to the desired height up to about 10', then allow branches to tumble down. 12' x 8', self-fertile. Grown in 1 gal containers, plants are staked to about 3', dormant as of February 2023.