Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Morus alba

Higher Taxonomy
Family: MoraceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: [Perennial herb] shrub, [vine] tree, generally with milky juice; monoecious or dioecious. Leaf: alternate [opposite], petioled, generally simple, entire to lobed, evergreen or deciduous; stipules present. Inflorescence: raceme, spike, head, or flowers enclosed in thick receptacle, axillary. Flower: unisexual or bisexual, small, +- radial; sepals generally 4, free or fused at base; petals 0; stamens generally 4, opposite sepals; ovary generally superior, 1-chambered, style simple or 2-parted. Fruit: achenes many within fleshy calyces or surrounded by fleshy inflorescence receptacle.
Genera In Family: 37 genera, 1100 species: tropics, subtropics, some temperate; many cultivated (Ficus, fig; Artocarpus, breadfruit, jackfruit; Morus, mulberry). Note: Insect- or wind-pollinated.
eFlora Treatment Author: Alan T. Whittemore & Elizabeth McClintock
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: MorusView Description 

Common Name: MULBERRY
Habit: Tree, unarmed; monoecious or dioecious. Stem: buds scaly; stipule scars obscure, not encircling stem. Leaf: alternate, occasionally clustered with inflorescences, unlobed or 3--5-lobed, toothed, 3--5-veined from base, deciduous. Inflorescence: catkins, +- pendent, peduncled. Pistillate Flower: style deeply 2-parted. Fruit: of many achenes within fleshy calyces, resembling blackberries.
Etymology: (Latin: mulberry) Note: Wind-pollinated; Morus nigra, black mulberry, waif in urban areas.
Reference: Whittemore 2006 Sida 22:769--775
Morus alba L.
Habit: Plant 10--15 m. Leaf: petiole 5--35 mm; blade 5--12 cm, ovate, coarsely toothed, abaxially glabrous or hairy only in axils of and on major veins, largest lobes generally 0--3, occasionally on 1 side, shallow to deep. Fruit: 1--2.5 cm, fleshy, white to +- pink or red-black.
Ecology: Disturbed areas, moist soil, streambanks; Elevation: < 1300 m. Bioregional Distribution: SNF, GV, WTR; Distribution Outside California: native to China. Flowering Time: Mar--May Note: Widely cultivated; fruit edible; leaves food of silkworm larva.
Jepson eFlora Author: Alan T. Whittemore & Elizabeth McClintock
Reference: Whittemore 2006 Sida 22:769--775
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: Alan T. Whittemore & Elizabeth McClintock 2012, Morus alba, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 20, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 20, 2024.

No expert verified images found for Morus alba.

Geographic subdivisions for Morus alba:
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).