white mulberry USDA PLANTS Symbol: MOAL
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Hardwood Trees Shrub or Subshrub
Morus alba L.

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Urticales: Moraceae
Synonym(s): mulberry
Native Range: China (REHD); Temp. Asia-China (GRIN);

White mulberry is a small, 30-50 ft. (9.1-15.2 m) tall, deciduous tree that invades disturbed areas throughout the United States. The alternate leaves are polymorphic (variably shaped), 2-8 in. (5.1-20.3 cm) long and shiny with blunt teeth and heart-shaped bases. Young bark, the bark along the roots, and the inner bark along the trunk are often bright orange in color. Older bark is gray with narrow, irregular fissures. Flowering occurs in April. Plants are normally dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants). Male flowers are small, green and occur in 1-2 in. (2.5-5.1 cm) long catkins. Female flowers are inconspicuous and crowded in short spikes. White mulberry is very similar to the native red mulberry (Morus rubra L.), but may be distinguished by the leaves. White mulberry leaves have glossy surfaces whereas the leaves of red mulberry do not. White mulberry is found throughout the United States, where it invades old fields, urban lots, roadsides, forest edges, and other disturbed areas. It poses an ecological threat by displacing native species, possibly hybridizing with and transmitting a root disease to the native red mulberry. White mulberry is native to Asia and was introduced in colonial times as a food source for silkworms.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Tree(s); habitat
Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage; Leaves smooth
Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage; Leaves and fruit
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s); in fruit
John Cardina, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Fruit(s);
Theodore Webster, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Fruit(s);
Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Seed(s);
Ohio State Weed Lab Archive, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Twig(s)/Shoot(s); stick; bud
Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Feature(s); branch
John Cardina, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Bark; Bark.
Vern Wilkins, Indiana University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

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U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
Colonial National Historical Park (Virginia)



Invasive Listing Sources:
City of Ann Arbor Michigan Parks and Recreation
Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection
Faith Campbell, 1998
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council
Hoffman, R. & K. Kearns, Eds. 1997. Wisconsin manual of control recommendations for ecologically invasive plants. Wisconsin Dept. Natural Resources, Bureau of Endangered Resources. Madison, Wisconsin. 102pp.
Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council
Maryland Cooperative Extension Service.  2003. Invasive Plant Control in Maryland. Home and Garden Information Center, Home and Garden Mimeo HG88. 4 pp.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 1994
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry, 2004
Pacific Northwest Exotic Pest Plant Council, 1998
Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, Pennsylvania.
South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2009