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Morus mesozygia - Stapf

Common Name African mulberry
Family Moraceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards Sawdust from the wood may cause dermatitis and irritation to the nose and throat[299 ].
Habitats Rain-forest, forests of drier regions; semi-deciduous forests, gallery, forests bordering savannahs; often along streams or lakes; also in secondary forests or as solitary trees after clearing; coastal evergreen forests; elevations up to 1,650 metres[328 ]
Range Tropical Africa - Senegal to Sudan and Ethiopia, south to Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Morus mesozygia African mulberry
Morus mesozygia African mulberry
Robert S Copeland


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Morus mesozygia or commonly known as African Mulberry is a usually 15 m high tropical tree that can be found in inland evergreen forests in South Africa. The crown is umbrella-shaped and spreads up to 25 m. The trunk is straight, light brown, white banded, and up to 70 cm in diameter. The leaves are dark green, oval, smooth, and thin. The flowers are small and yellow. The fruits are small, round, and edible. All plant parts have medicinal uses particularly as treatment for a wide rage of conditions such as lumbago, rheumatism, neuralgia, colic, stiffness, debility, diarrhea, dysentery, and syphilis. Propagation method of African mulberry is by cuttings. The tree is also planted as shade tree in plantations. The bark can be made into cloth and sandals. The latex from the bark is used as a rubber adulterant. The wood is used as fuel and for making charcoal. It is also used for high-class furniture, agricultural implements, toys, carvings, boxes, poles, etc.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Morus mesozygia is a deciduous Tree growing to 30 m (98ft) by 30 m (98ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The flowers are pollinated by Bees.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Celtis lactea Sim Morus lactea (Sim) Mildbr.


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses:

The infructescense is edible and tastes like white grapes[299 ]. The infructescence is up to 1cm in diameter[308 ].


Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

In African traditional medicine all plant parts are used in decoctions, baths, massages and enemas as treatments against conditions such as rheumatism, lumbago, intercostal pain, neuralgia, colic, stiffness, debility, diarrhoea and dysentery[299 ]. The root is used as an aphrodisiac[299 ]. Sap from young shoots is dropped into the nose for the treatment of syphilis[299 ]. The heartwood contains the flavonoids morin, dihydromorin and pinobanksin, the leaves a glycoside of morin. Resistance of the wood to the woodrot fungi Coriolus versicolor, Lentinus squarrosul us and Poria species is related to the presence of dihydromorin[299 ].


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Other Uses

Special Uses


Cultivation details

Requires a well-drained soil[299 ]. Growth is usually fast: a height increment of almost 2 metres in the first year has been recorded in unshaded nursery beds[299 ]. A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[299 ].


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Seed - best results come from sowing freshly harvested seed[299 ]. Pre-treatment is not necessary, but germination is accelerated by soaking the seeds in water for 12 hours. Sow in a sunny position in a nursery seedbed or in individual containers. Germination starts 5 - 12 days after sowing[299 ]. Cuttings.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

African mulberry, Liguncumence, Tongaland mulberry, Wonton, Ossel, Olape, Kesse, Difou, Ewe aiye, Bonde, Ochik, Mududula, Nula, Po-di-bitcho-branco, Nepone,

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Malawi; Mozambique; Zambia; Senegal; Guinea-Bissau; Guinea; Sierra Leone; Liberia; Côte d'Ivoire; Ghana; Benin; Togo; Nigeria; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Ethiopia; Uganda; Kenya; Tanzania, United Republic of; Angola; South Sudan, Africa, Angola, Cabinda, Cameroon, Central Africa, CAR, Central African Republic, Congo, Congo DR, Côte d'Ivoire, East Africa, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinée, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Southern Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, West Africa,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Morus albaWhite Mulberry, Common Mulberry,Tree18.0 4-9 MLMHSNM434
Morus alba multicaulisWhite MulberryTree18.0 4-8  LMHSNM43 
Morus australisKorean Mulberry, Aino MulberryTree7.5 6-9 FLMHSNM22 
Morus bombycisKuwaTree8.0 5-9  LMHSNM22 
Morus cathayanaHua SangTree15.0 5-9  LMHSNM20 
Morus macrouraHimalayan MulberryTree10.0 7-10  LMHSNM21 
Morus microphyllaTexas MulberryTree6.0 5-9  LMHSNM20 
Morus mongolicaMongolian MulberryTree7.5 4-8  LMHSNM21 
Morus nigraBlack MulberryTree10.0 5-9 SLMHSNM533
Morus rubraRed Mulberry, Common Mulberry, White MulberryTree15.0 4-9  LMHSNM322
Morus serrataHimalayan MulberryTree20.0 -  LMHSNM21 
Morus speciesMulberryTree10.0 0-0 MLMHSNM404
Rubus chamaemorusCloudberryPerennial0.3 2-4  LMHNMWe412

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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Subject : Morus mesozygia  
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