Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Mulberry Trees and More Mysteries

I’m still working on sorting out the mystery of the mulberries around the farm. We have at least two varieties – the black mulberry tree, and the red mulberry tree – but so far I’m having a little trouble telling them apart.

There may even be a paper mulberry mixed in, if not others! I also understand that they can cross-breed into new cultivars, further muddying the mulberry waters.

Based on what I’ve read, black mulberries eat up sunshine, while red mulberries are happy in shade. All mulberries have been fruiting around the farm for several weeks now, much to the birds’ enjoyment.

By my observations, the deer also love the tender, young leaves on mulberries, and happily munch along each morning before the sun gets too high. I’m not quite sure yet whether the deer eat the berries.

We’ll take a closer look at the mulberries in coming days, and see if we can get this all straightened out!


  1. The only thing I know about mulberries is that they're a favorite place for monkeys to chase weasels. ;) Looking forward to expanding my knowledge base a little.

  2. Apparently the best way to tell the difference between a red mulberry tree (Morus rubra) and a black mulberry tree (Morus nigra) is to taste the berries -- blacks are juicier and sweeter (which is maybe why silkworms are such fans).

    The red mulberry (an America native) is also bigger than its Asian cousin M. nigra, but that could be a more tricky trait to spot if the trees were planted at different times.

    Good luck with your investigations, and enjoy the berries.

  3. Haha! I'm with Lily. Looking forward to us going all around the Mulberry bush with you.

  4. LilyB, indeed - I've been trying to figure out if there is another mulberry bush plant, or if it's part of the mulberry trees. I certainly get that nursery rhyme in my head a lot...

    Flower Enthusiast, thank you for the suggestions! I'm sure I'll enjoy the berries (if I can get any before those birds eat them all!)

    Flood - thanks! I hope we can clarify the situation!


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