White mulberry

White mulberry

Morus alba (Moraceae)

Common Name:

White mulberry

Scientific Name:

Morus alba (Moraceae)


Alternative common names:

Common mulberry (English), witmoerbei; gewonemoerbei (Afrikaans)

Description:

A deciduous tree growing up to 15m high with a round canopy and greyish branches and light green leaves with finely serrated margins which turn yellow in autumn. Small greenish flowers form in cylindrical spikes and appear in spring, followed by juicy bulbous reddish-black edible fruits. This tree invades savanna, grasslands, roadsides, river banks and urban open spaces

Additional Information


Where does this species come from?

Asia

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Existing legislation: CARA 2002 - Category 3 Proposed legislation: NEMBA 2020 - Category 2

Where does this species come from?

Asia

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Common throughout Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces

How does it spread?

The seeds are widely dispersed by birds

Why is it a problem?

May outcompete and displace other native plant plants in South Africa because of its high growth rate and great adaptability to adverse environments which allow it to establish and spread quickly

What does it look like?

General description: A deciduous tree growing up to 15m high with a round canopy and greyish branches.
Leaves: Light green leaves with finely serrated margins which turn yellow in autumn.
Flowers: Small greenish flowers forming in cylindrical spikes appearing in spring.
Fruit/Seeds: Juicy bulbous reddish-black edible fruits

Does the plant have any uses?

Produces edible fruit, and leaves used for feeding silkworms. Birds eat the fruits

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