May. 25, 2018

red mulberry, Morus rubra

This is our very rare red mulberry tree. I know, you see red mulberries all over the place, often on the sidewalk. Despite appearances, those are white mulberries. The common mulberry, for inexplicable reasons called white, are Asian imports. They were introduced here to try to establish silk production. We've still got the moths too. The more aptly named red mulberry is native, and here in Michigan, at the edge of its range, quite rare. Ironically, Indians used the inner bark of our native trees to make a good, linen-like fabric. These flowers yesterday were the first I've ever seen. Red mulberry grows in AL, AR, CT(E), DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA(E), MD, MI(T), MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT(T), WI, WV, and ON. Ives Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 5/24/18.