Morus alba, commonly called white mulberry is native to China. It is a rounded, fast-growing, deciduous tree that typically grows to 30-50’ tall and as wide. It usually develops a wide-spreading crown with age. White mulberry is usually dioecious (separate male and female trees), but sometimes is monoecious. Small yellowish-green flowers in drooping catkins bloom in spring (March-April). Fertilized flowers on female trees are followed by sweet, edible blackberry-like fruits (cylindrical drupes to 1” long) that mature in June. Fruits ripen to white or pink, but sometimes to darker reds or purple-blacks. Fruits are loved by birds. Glossy, rounded, usually 2-3 lobed (but sometimes unlobed), dark green leaves (to 8” long) have serrate margins and uneven (sometimes cordate) bases. Glossy leaf surfaces distinguish this tree from red mulberry. Best grown in rich, moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun. Tolerates heat, drought and a somewhat wide range of soils, including alkaline ones. Shallow rooted.
The seeds have a period of dormancy. They can be planted in the fall for spring germination or they can be cold stratified to simulate winter conditions and to break their dormancy.
- Place the seeds in a plastic bag and seal it. Store the bag in a refrigerator for two months.
- Fill a pot with potting soil.
- Sow the seeds on the soil and cover them with a thin layer of soil.
- Water the container and leave it to drain.
- Put the pot in a warm, sunny area.
- Water the pot regularly so that the soil is moist but not wet.
- The seedlings can be transplanted when they are a few inches tall.