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Plant Profile: Mulberry

Excerpt from Wikipedia: Morus, a genus of flowering plants in the family Moraceae, consists of diverse species of deciduous trees commonly known as mulberries, growing wild and under cultivation in many temperate world regions. Generally, the genus has three well-known species ostensibly named for the fruit color of the best-known cultivar: white, red, and black. Mulberries are native to South Asia, but is widely distributed across Europe, Southern Africa, South America, and North America.Mulberries are also the species most preferred by the silkworm, and are regarded as an invasive species in Brazil and the United States.

Size: Up to 80 feet tall.

Uses: Pies, wine, cordials, herbal tea, dietary supplement, food colorant, fabric dye, silk (from the silkworm).

Companions: Apples, chives, gooseberries, marigolds, mint, oregano, tarragon, cherries, currant, grapes, marjoram, nasturtiums, spinach.

Habitat: Shady, cool, moist areas - provides habitat for silkworm, whose cocoons are processed into silk fabric, as well as a food source for foxes, raccoons, opossums, skunks, squirrels, and more than 60 types of birds.

Harvest: Mid-June through August, when berries are large, sweet, and black. You can hand pick, or lay a sheet underneath the tree and shake fruits off of the branches.

Fun Fact: Red mulberry can survive up to 75 years, while black mulberry can live and produce fruit for hundreds of years.

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