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Toxic parts

None known

Edible uses


Fruit - raw, cooked or used in preserves[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]. A delicious slightly acid flavour, it makes an excellent dessert fruit and can be eaten in quantity[K]. The fruit is juicy and refreshing, though it must be used as soon as it is ripe (from mid-August to September) otherwise it will start to rot[8]. The fruit falls from the tree as soon as it is fully ripe. It is best, therefore, to grow the tree in short grass to cushion the fall of the fruit but to still make it possible to find and harvest[K]. The fruit can also be dried and ground into a powder[7]. The fruit is up to 25mm in diameter[8][9].


Material uses

A fibre used in weaving is obtained from the bark[5]. A red-violet to dark purple dye is obtained from the fruit[10]. A yellow-green dye is obtained from the leaves[10]. Wood - used in joinery[11].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The mulberry has a long history of medicinal use in Chinese medicine, almost all parts of the plant are used in one way or another[12]. The white mulberry (M. alba) is normally used, but this species has the same properties[12]. 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[12]. Analgesic, emollient, sedative[5][13]. The leaves are antibacterial, astringent, diaphoretic, hypoglycaemic, odontalgic and ophthalmic[14][12]. They are taken internally in the treatment of colds, influenza, eye infections and nosebleeds[12]. The leaves are collected after the first frosts of autumn and can be used fresh but are generally dried[12]. The stems are antirheumatic, diuretic, hypotensive and pectoral[14][12]. A tincture of the bark is used to relieve toothache[5]. The branches are harvested in late spring or early summer and are dried for later use[12]. The fruit has a tonic effect on kidney energy[14][12]. It is used in the treatment of urinary incontinence, tinnitus, premature greying of the hair and constipation in the elderly[12]. Its main use in herbal medicine is as a colouring and flavouring in other medicines[4]. The root bark is antitussive, diuretic, expectorant and hypotensive[12]. It is used internally in the treatment of asthma, coughs, bronchitis, oedema, hypertension and diabetes[12]. The roots are harvested in the winter and dried for later use[12]. The bark is anthelmintic and purgative, it is used to expel tape worms[4][15]. Extracts of the plant have antibacterial and fungicidal activity[14]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the leaves[6]. It is used in the treatment of diabetes[6].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Canopy or Secondary canopy

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


The seed germinates best if given 2 - 3 months cold stratification[16][17]. 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[18][19]. 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[18][19][8]. Bury the cuttings to threequarters of their depth. It is said that cuttings of older wood up to 2.5 metres long can be readily made to strike[4]. The cuttings are taken in February and planted 30cm deep in a shady sheltered position outdoors. The stem is wrapped in moss to prevent water loss by transpiration, with only the top few buds not being covered[4]. Layering in autumn[8].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Morus nigra. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Prefers a warm moist but well-drained loamy soil in a sheltered sunny position[1][20]. Prefers a light soil[21]. Plants are very tolerant of atmospheric pollution[4]. Trees are hardy as far north as southern Sweden[4]. A slow growing[8] but very ornamental tree[1], the mulberry is sometimes cultivated in gardens for its delicious edible fruit[7]. The tree is not grown on a commercial scale because the fruit is too soft and easily damaged to allow it to be transported to market, and is therefore best eaten straight from the tree. There are some named varieties[7]. The mulberry takes many years to settle down and produce good crops of fruit, about 15 years being the norm[4]. Trees fruit well in southern and south-western Britain[22][8] but they require the protection of a wall further north if the fruit is to ripen[8]. This is a good tree for growing grapes into[23]. It means that the grapes are difficult to pick, but they always seem to be healthier and free from fungal diseases[24]. Plants are late coming into leaf and also lose their leaves at the first autumn frosts though the tree in leaf casts quite a dense shade[8]. Mulberries have brittle roots and so need to be handled with care when planting them out[12]. Any pruning should only be carried out in the winter when the plant is fully dormant because mulberries bleed badly when cut[12]. Ideally prune only badly placed branches and dead wood[12]. Once considered to be a very long-lived tree, doubts are now being cast on this assumption, it is probably fairly short-lived[20]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[8].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Morus nigra. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Morus nigra.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Morus nigra
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type

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    "image:Morus-nigra.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Morus-nigra.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Morus-nigra.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    "image:Morus-nigra.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Morus-nigra.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Morus-nigra.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Morus-nigra.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Morus-nigra.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Morus-nigra.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Morus-nigra.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Morus-nigra.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    1. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-01-01)
    2. ? 2.02.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-01-01)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Simmons. A. E. Growing Unusual Fruit. David and Charles ISBN 0-7153-5531-7 (1972-01-01)
    4. ? Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-01-01)
    5. ? Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-01-01)
    6. ? Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-01-01)
    7. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-01-01)
    8. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-01-01)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Vines. R.A. Trees of North Texas University of Texas Press. ISBN 0292780206 (1982-01-01)
    10. ? Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants. MacMillan Publishing Co. New York. ISBN 0-02-544950-8 (1974-01-01)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide. Oxford University Press ISBN 0192176218 (1969-01-01)
    12. ? 12.0012.0112.0212.0312.0412.0512.0612.0712.0812.0912.1012.1112.1212.1312.1412.1512.16 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-01-01)
    13. ? 13.013.1 Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas. Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles (1985-01-01)
    14. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-01-01)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-01-01)
    16. ? McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (1985-01-01)
    17. ? Gordon. A. G. and Rowe. D. C. f. Seed Manual for Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. ()
    18. ? 18.018.1 Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-01-01)
    19. ? 19.019.1 Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-01-01)
    20. ? Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-01-01)
    21. ? Thompson. B. The Gardener's Assistant. Blackie and Son. (1878-01-01)
    22. ? Thurston. Trees and Shrubs in Cornwall. ()
    23. ? Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (1978-01-01)
    24. ? Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting. Cassell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-304-34324-2 (1993-01-01)
    25. ? [Flora of China] (1994-01-01)
    Facts about "Morus nigra"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Belongs to familyMoraceae +
    Belongs to genusMorus +
    Has binomial nameMorus nigra +
    Has common nameBlack Mulberry +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partFruit +
    Has edible useUnknown use +
    Has fertility typeSelf fertile +
    Has flowers of typeMonoecious +
    Has growth rateSlow +
    Has hardiness zone5 +
    Has imageMorus-nigra.JPG +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useDye +, Fibre + and Wood +
    Has mature height10 +
    Has mature width15 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAnthelmintic +, Astringent +, Homeopathy +, Hypoglycaemic +, Laxative +, Odontalgic + and Purgative +
    Has primary imageMorus-nigra.JPG +
    Has search namemorus nigra + and black mulberry +
    Has shade toleranceLight shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameMorus nigra +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Inhabits ecosystem nicheCanopy + and Secondary canopy +
    Is deciduous or evergreenDeciduous +
    Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedYes +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedYes +
    PFAF material use notes migratedYes +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedYes +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedYes +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Morus nigra +, Morus nigra +, Morus nigra +, Morus nigra +, Morus nigra +, Morus nigra +, Morus nigra +, Morus nigra +, Morus nigra +, Morus nigra + and Morus nigra +