red mulberry Moraceae Morus
Leaf: Alternate, simple, broadly ovate to roughly orbicular, 3 to 5 inches long, serrate margin, highly variable in that they may have no lobes or be highly dissected into lobes; green above with a rough scabrous texture, paler and fuzzy below.
Flower: Species is usually dioecious; small, pale green; male flowers are hanging catkins, 1 to 2 inches long; females are 1 inch long catkins, both appearing in late spring.
Fruit: Resembling blackberries, cylindrical, 1 to 1 1/4 inches long, fleshy multiples of drupes, each containing a small seed, maturing in summer.
Twig: Slender, zigzag, green changing to red-brown, sometimes pubescent; buds are covered with brown-margined overlapping scales; leaf scars shield-shaped and somewhat sunken; silvery-white filaments present when broken.
Bark: Gray-brown and quite irregular with long, scaly ridges. Younger trees are often orangish, especially when wet.
Form: A small tree to 60 feet in height, with a short trunk that typically branches low.
Looks like: white mulberry - paper mulberry - osage-orange - Texas mulberry
Additional Range Information: Morus rubra is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting red mulberry.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson