Herbs

Mulberry tree - 6 popular varieties presented

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Thanks to its compact growth and numerous fruits, the mulberry tree is an absolute favorite in the garden. But be careful - a tree is not a tree. There are different types of it.

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The mulberry tree, also called morus, was cultivated and used in great numbers hundreds of years ago. On the one hand, this is due to its raspberry and blackberry-like fruits, which can be harvested in large numbers in summer, and on the other hand, because of its impressive growth with a decorative canopy. The quite versatile mulberry tree is now available in many different varieties, which resulted from the breeding and crossing of the original varieties, the white and black mulberry. We will report in detail below which of the more than ten types of mulberry trees are worth considering when buying them and what special features the variants bring.

History of the mulberry tree

The mulberry tree, which belongs to the Moraceae, has a long history and makes itself very interesting not only for hobby gardeners due to its origin and way of life. The mulberry tree was originally found in Asia, but over time it was also cultivated in Europe. The Greeks and Romans in particular relied heavily on the mulberry tree, on the one hand because it was regarded as a wise man because of its gnarled trunk and the decorative tree crown, and on the other hand because its fruits were considered a delicacy, from which one was above all health promised.

Among other things, the mulberry tree, especially the white mulberry, was planted as a fodder plant for silkworms in order to meet the ever increasing demand for high-quality silk. Today, many gardeners see the mulberry tree as a decorative addition to their favorite retreat because it provides plenty of shade and is particularly versatile: because the mulberry tree can not only be shaped as desired, but can even be used as a hedge and in this case convinces with one dense foliage. The fruits of the plant perfectly round off the whole package for many people.

Overview of 3 types of mulberry trees

Since the mulberry tree has been adapted, crossed and bred to different climates over the centuries, a large number of varieties have become established during this time. There are now more than ten varieties of mulberry trees that differ greatly from one another. Choosing a variety that fits perfectly with your own garden and your own requirements in terms of taste and color of the fruit, as well as the shape of the tree, can be difficult - not least because of the sometimes little information that relates to the varieties of the Have the mulberry tree researched.

Here is a small overview of the three main varieties:

White mulberry - Morus alba

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The white mulberry greens like the other representatives of the mulberry trees in summer, but can reach a height of up to 16 meters. The tree is characterized by the high tree crown, which depending on the tree turns out rather narrow and has pointed leaves. Their fruits are white, the more ripe they are, the more yellow they can appear. It often happens that the Morus Alba bears slightly pink fruits.

The white mulberry is considered the most important representative of the morus plants when it comes to silkworm rearing - for this reason, the morus alba was and is very widely planted, especially in China.

The fruits of the white mulberry are considered to be very sweet and particularly juicy, but unfortunately they don't last very long. For this reason, white mulberries are rarely available as fruits on the market, rather they are offered as dry fruits. They are often used to make syrup or jam-like spreads. The fruits themselves ripen from June and quickly fall off the tree.

Black Mulberry - Morus Nigra

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The black mulberry has been known in Europe since 1500 and is otherwise native to Asia - the mulberry variety prefers particularly warm regions and therefore thrives better in the Mediterranean region of Europe. The deciduous tree can reach a height of up to 12 meters and is characterized, among other things, by a gnarled trunk with many thickenings. The crown of the mulberry tree is rather low and spreads wide, which is why the tree can take up a lot of space.

As for the fruits of the black mulberry, these initially show up as green balls. As of July, they turn reddish in color, and when ripe enough they turn black and fall off. These fruits are also very sweet and juicy, which is why they like to be eaten.

Red mulberry - Morus Rubra

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With the red mulberry you get a deciduous tree that can reach a height of up to 15 meters, but rarely can reach a height of 20 meters. This mulberry tree blooms from April and bears two to three centimeters long fruits from summer, which are initially green, but turn red and even purple when ripe. The red mulberry fruits are also very tasty, which is why the red mulberry is very popular as a plant. However, this mulberry tree prefers very moist soils, which is why it can often be found in river areas. It is particularly common in North America.

The red mulberries are used in many different ways today: for the preparation of juice, jams or dried fruit, as well as for the production of schnapps. Since the fruits are very tasty and have a longer shelf life than white mulberries, they can also be added to breakfast dishes.

Nice to know: The wood of the red mulberry is also traded as hardwood and is mainly used for the production of barrels for maturing alcohol. There is a golden color from the alcohol, which is very popular.

➔ Other varieties of the mulberry tree

In addition to these three main varieties of the mulberry tree, there are many other subspecies that have been drawn for special properties to make them a little more suitable for one or the other gardener. These include these types:

  • Morus Alba Geraldi Dwarf
  • Morus Illinois Everbearing
  • Morus Bombycis Shin-Tso

The table below makes it easy to see what special features the types of mulberry tree offer and whether they are even better suited for your own garden or harvesting project than the white, black or red mulberry.

Mulberry species and their properties

Morus Alba Geraldi DwarfMorus Illinois EverbearingMorus Bombycis Shin-Tso
  • Known for its short stature, it reaches a maximum height of two meters

  • bears a lot of fruit in summer

  • Fruits are up to 5cm long

  • black, very sweet fruits

  • even young plants from the age of two years bear fruit
  • this is a cross between the Morus Alba and the Morus Rubra

  • the fruits are considered to be the best in terms of taste

  • the fruits ripen all summer long so that profitable harvests are possible

  • the mulberry tree grows quickly and stably, but is also very unruly against frost
  • this species remains quite small

  • a protruding crown is developed

  • the fruits have an intense aroma, are sweet and sour at the same time

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