White Mulberry tree - Morus alba

The White Mulberry tree (species name:Morus alba) is a interesting tree originally from China but cultivated in many countries. I found this one in the Spanish city of Malaga. This particular tree it seems is the property of one rather well mannered mouse (above) who was kind enough to let me take a few pictures. She (or maybe a he?) sat perfectly balanced on her perch while I trained my camera on the leaves, the fruits and the branches of the tree. After I left this kind mouse went back to collecting the ripe Mulberry fruits.

(Mulberries not yet ripe - above)

It is called the "White Mulberry" but I am not sure what the "white" part refers to. There is also a "Red Mulberry" and a "Black Mulberry" that are known to have more flavorful fruits but as far as I can tell the fruits on all three of these trees in black when fully ripe. If someone wants to enlighten me on this one please leave a comment.

One curious thing about the leaves of the White Mulberry is that some of them are are lobed on one side like the one in the picture below. These leaves are also the main source (or perhaps the only source) of food for Silk Worms.

One rather interesting thing about this tree is that when it releases its pollen from its catkins it does so with an explosive burst of built up elastic energy that propels the polen at a speed close to half the speed of sound making it the fastest movement in the plant kingdom (from wikipedia)

(the White Mulberry bark - below)

5 comments:

  1. Hi,
    there are mulberry trees out there with actual white fruit . The one on the picture is definitely NOT white but maybe red (or black)
    Read more here:
    www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/mulberry.html
    The leaf of the white mulberry (morus alba) is the ONLY food for silkworms.
    I am no tree expert but a fiber artist crazy about silk.

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  2. The Mulberry trees with white fruit are cultivars. Normally the fruits are deep purple but there are multiple cultivars with fruits ranging from white to pink. Maclura pomifera and other members of the Mulberry genus are also sources of food for Silkworms according to most sources that I have read.

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  3. What is the Largest and/or Oldest Mulberry (Morus) tree on record?

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    1. I too am interested in the answer as I might have the world record mulberry tree. It is more than 3 feet thick. I have never seen nor heard of one even half that big. Previous occupants have a picture of it circa 1925 when it was about half this size. In the 15 years we have lived here, the diameter has grown about 2 inches, in line with science that says they slow down with age. I suppose the tree is about 125-150 years old, young for a house that is 342 years old.

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  4. my neighbor says the tree is a mulberry. it had white blooms that looked like rose of sharon to me. is this possible?

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