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Tree Description: Mulberries taste similar to blackberries, and just like blackberries, they will stain your hands and lips. They are excellent eaten right out of hand, but they are often used in preserves, jellies and jams. The leaves of the mulberry are cultivated in many parts of the world as food for silk worms. Avg. Height x Width: 15' x 15'. Varieties: Everbearing and Pakistani. Season: Spring to summer; Everbearing produces throughout the year. Damage Temp: 22F.

Scientific Name: Morus nigra

Common Name: Mulberry

Family: Moraceae

Relatives: Breadfruit, jackfruit, fig

Origin: Asia

Distribution: The black mulberry is native to western Asia and is the species most cultivated worldwide for its fruit. The red mulberry is a native deciduous tree is generally found in the moist soils of mesic hardwood forests, floodplains, and other moist sites from south Florida, west to Texas, north to Minnesota and the extreme southern portion of Ontario, Canada, and east to the Mid-Atlantic states. The white mulberry originated in China. It is considered an invasive exotic in some parts of the United States.

History: The first documentation of mulberry trees reports them as originating in China. The Chinese discovered that silkworms loved to eat the leaves of this fast-growing tree. The more the silkworms ate, the more silk they produced.

Importance: They're a good source of iron, vitamin C, and several plant compounds and have been linked to lower cholesterol, blood sugar, and cancer risk. These berries have also been used in Chinese herbal medicine for thousands of years to treat various illnesses, though evidence to support their effectiveness is weak.