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Morus alba multicaulis - (Perr.)Loudon.

Common Name White Mulberry
Family Moraceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known in a truly wild situation.
Range E. Asia - central and northern China.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Morus alba multicaulis White Mulberry


Morus alba multicaulis White Mulberry

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Morus alba multicaulis is a deciduous Tree growing to 18 m (59ft 1in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant). The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy; Secondary;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Inner bark  Leaves
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw[2, 7, 158]. Sweet but usually insipid[3, 11]. It contains about 1.5% protein, 0.4% fat, 7.8% carbohydrate, 0.7% malic acid[179]. A richer flavour develops if the fruit is dried, it can then be used as a raisin substitute. The fruit is up to 25mm long[200]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Young leaves and shoots - cooked[105, 183]. A famine food, it is only used when all else fails[177]. A good vegetable, it is rich in carotene and calcium[179]. The leaf also contains 10% tannin[179]. Inner bark - roasted and ground into a meal then used as a thickener in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread. A famine food when all else fails[179]. The tree is said to be a source of an edible manna[183]. Young shoots can be used as a tea substitute[183].

Medicinal Uses

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Analgesic  Antiasthmatic  Antirheumatic  Antitussive  Astringent  Diaphoretic  Diuretic  Emollient  
Expectorant  Hypoglycaemic  Hypotensive  Odontalgic  Sedative

The white mulberry has a long history of medicinal use in Chinese medicine, almost all parts of the plant are used in one way or another[238]. Recent research has shown improvements in elephantiasis when treated with leaf extract injections and in tetanus following oral doses of the sap mixed with sugar[238]. Analgesic, emollient, sedative[7, 176]. The leaves are antibacterial, astringent, diaphoretic, hypoglycaemic, odontalgic and ophthalmic[218, 238]. They are taken internally in the treatment of colds, influenza, eye infections and nosebleeds[238]. The leaves are collected after the first frosts of autumn and can be used fresh but are generally dried[238]. The stems are antirheumatic, diuretic, hypotensive and pectoral[218, 238]. A tincture of the bark is used to relieve toothache[7]. The branches are harvested in late spring or early summer and are dried for later use[238]. The fruit has a tonic effect on kidney energy[218, 238]. It is used in the treatment of urinary incontinence, tinnitus, premature greying of the hair and constipation in the elderly[238]. The root bark is antitussive, diuretic, expectorant and hypotensive[238]. It is used internally in the treatment of asthma, coughs, bronchitis, oedema, hypertension and diabetes[238]. The roots are harvested in the winter and dried for later use[238]. Extracts of the plant have antibacterial and fungicidal activity[218].

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Other Uses

Dye  Fibre  Wood

A fibre is obtained from the bark of one-year old stems, it is used in weaving[7, 74]. A brown dye is obtained from the trunk[178]. The leaves contain 10% tannin[179]. Wood - hard, durable, fine and close-grained. Used for boat building, furniture etc[145, 149, 158].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a warm well-drained loamy soil in a sunny position[1, 11]. This variety of M. alba is said to have superior fruits[105]. According to many botanists it is no more than a clone of the species[200]. This is the form most commonly cultivated in India, where it is fast growing and adapted to field culture. It gives a high yield of large, tender, thick leaves[269]. Mulberries have brittle roots and so need to be handled with care when planting them out[238]. Any pruning should only be carried out in the winter when the plant is fully dormant because mulberries bleed badly when cut[238]. Ideally prune only badly placed branches and dead wood[238]. A good tree for growing grapes into[20]. The grapes are difficult to pick but always seem to be healthier and free from fungal diseases[201]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

The seed germinates best if given 2 - 3 months cold stratification[80, 98]. Sow the seed as soon as it is ripe if possible, otherwise in February in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in the first spring, though it sometimes takes another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Plant out in spring. A good percentage take, though they sometimes fail to thrive[78, 113]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, 25 - 30cm with a heel of 2 year old wood, autumn or early spring in a cold frame or a shady bed outside[78, 113, 200]. Bury the cuttings to threequarters of their depth. Layering in autumn[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

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

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 :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Morus albaWhite Mulberry, Common Mulberry,Tree18.0 4-9 MLMHSNM434
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 mesozygiaAfrican mulberryTree30.0 10-12 FLMHNM234
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 - MLMHSNM40 
Rubus chamaemorusCloudberryPerennial0.3 0-0  LMHNMWe412

 

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Expert comment

Author

(Perr.)Loudon.

Botanical References

200266

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Jeff Skarica   Thu Dec 28 2006

Hi. My name is Jeff. I have traveled many of the trails in/around my hometown of Dundas, Ontario (Canada). I am an interesting person in that I'm one of few in the area, I'm sure, who pick and eat Mulberries, one of very few who on occasion uses the shake-ground tarp method of collection, and maybe the only one in the area using Mulberries for wine production (with my Grandpa), and definately the only one to attempt to make a juice from these berries and attempt to sell such to the local tea houses (who, interesting enough-GLOBALIZATION-do not know of the local whereabouts of these trees (one business has a few practically "in its backyard" too)) but was unsuccessful in this attempt. I would be pleased to show the writer (or others you know of with interest in this genus) of my knowledge if u are ever in my area or are interested in visiting. I have little education in biology as I do not agree with the concept of classroom education nor the principle of cash-payment for such. I would like to learn more, though, of the traditional uses of this plant as well as modern scientific discoveries like the White's pollination shooting apparently being the fastest process of the plant world. I'm also interested in learning (/discovering) about Plant Energies and Plant Culture. I have written a very brief column under the discussion section of White Mulberry in Wikipedia. December 2006

Garry Burns   Mon Apr 23 2007

Jeff We met on the trails in Brantford a couple of years ago. We swam in the Grand River and I loaned you a backpack for your onward journey, which you returned, but I have not heard from you since. I'm fascinated by your interest in the Morus alba multicaulis, of which I also eat the berries when I am on the trails. I have been doing a lot of travelling and you have been exploring this growing interest in the White Mulberry. I had no idea of its health benefits. Thank you for the information. It would be really great to get together again and share our experiences and memories. Garry

C Y Hwang   Mon Nov 9 2009

Hi. I would like to grow a Morus Alba tree and shrubs in my acreage near Edmonton, Alberta. Please advise whether these plants will survive in Zone 3 of Cold Hardiness and where I can buy them in Canada.

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