As many know, it’s not easy to find a true Morus nigra at the trade. A lot of places sell black-fruited mulberries as M. nigra, which they are not. Even before you have a chance to see and taste the fruit, take a look at the buds. Morus species are named according to the color of their buds, not fruit. Nigra means black buds, alba means white buds (not truly white as a white paper, of course, they are pale beige to pale brown).
The twig on the photo below is of the variety named Sicilian Black (because it has black fruit), but it is a M. alba and it has white buds:
Here is another alba, a seedling with black fruit and white buds:
And here are alba (on the left) and nigra (on the right) side to side. The difference in bud color (and size) is unmistakable:
This picture is worth a thousand words!!! Thank you
i bought 3 grafted ‘M.nigra’ from Lucille Whitman several years ago…only the one labeled ‘Sicilian Black’ survived the first winter…and you’re telling me it’s an alba?!
I’ll try to get photos today…leaves and buds sure looked different, to me, from the typical trashy M.alba seedlings I’ve encountered
Well with size, considering the size of the alba stick, it actually has bigger buds to diameter ratio than the nigra. They look almost the same to me.
Left to right: Seedling M.alba(actually was purchased from TyTy as Black Giant (it’s not giant!) back around 1995), ‘Sicilian Black’ from Whitman Farms, M.rubra “Harmony Grove”, “Illinois Everbearing”
My ‘Sicilian Black’ is also from Whitman Farms. It’s an alba.
Well, I got some nigra scions from a member here, gonna try grafting them onto seedling rootstock this spring.
I know M.nigra is not supposed to work here (in southern west-central KY), but my wife, who first turned me on to mulberries, was so taken by them on a trip to Spain that I’m determined to at least TRY growing them. If the humidity makes it a failed attempt… it won’t be my first failure.
Even death won’t be as disappointing as was everything I got from TyTy… back before I knew better than to order from them. lol
I finally got a chance to look at my plant. The buds look crispy, and they are not that big either. The seed was from a well known nigra tree in Bulgaria. the tree made the papers a few times. I could not get in the garage very well with plants all over, I could not focus correctly. Buds do appear dark but who knows?
Tsarigradska mulberry seedling from Vratsa Bulgaria zone 6 (morus nigra)
fruitnut had the best photos to see the buds well on nigra.
Here is Geraldi
That does look like a nigra to me.
My nigras and their buds
. Chelsea/king james
. Unknown german nigra
. British nigra/AGM
. Nigra aalst
. Small italian nigra, possibly Regina
. Another italian nigra
And a gerardi dwarf that has very similar buds as nigras, short interstems
And this week i shall be receiving a big tree form Italian Regina Nigra, i"ll post photos of the buds also
I must add not all nigras buds are massive, some are quite small on the same tree but definitively very black in colour, people might mistaken them for albas when they are so small, but take a look to the small trees from the photos above 2 years ago when they were still in pots. Definitivily nigras, no doubt, i ve seen hundreds of them and can distinguish them quite easily. And they grow painfully sloooooow
Photos from them in pots 2 years ago
Wow do you have the mulberries! Nice collection! I’m in a cold zone and most of the hardy mulberries probably have rubra or other mulberry species crossed in. Although the buds are lighter, not by much.
I have some questions. Are your nigras grafted or on their own roots?
I have not grown them long and wondered about watering, it appears to me they tend to like it rather dry. They seemed to slow their growth with too much water. It could be something else, I need a few years growing them to learn more.
My nigra has already stopped growing for 2020. I doubt I could get it growing again. Maybe with lots of water and fertilizer. I do think next winter I’ll prune to try to get the fruiting wood higher off the ground. As it is now I’ll be laying down to pick the fruit. I’ll probably lose most of the crop for one yr trying to get the fruiting zone off the ground.
I wish I had some extras to experiment on. Like maybe plant hormones? Not rooting hormone, something like Gibberellic Acid. Or one of the many other hormones out there like Brassinolide.
Hello everybody! Few of my countrymen in Finland say that “they have grown Morus nigra from seeds, and it has grown outdoors well without protection”. In Finland. In addition a book that collects all the biggest trees in Finland claims that there is 5 m high Morus nigra. In Finland, outside.
Naturally I try to dance between the comments and to tell that maybe they are not nigra, just maybe…?
Anyway, I’d appreciate some essential telltales to identify nigra from alba hybrids during the summer time. I’ve seen some pictures here, but I dare not to copy them or link them to the people, copyright issues you know. If I can use your pictures, please let me know.
Can any of you who have Morus nigra for certain take some good summer pictures of the buds, leaves etc. ?
For example, how often nigra does lobed leaves during it’s youth/maturnity? And if grafted to M. alba, does the growth differ from when it is seedling?
I just want a handbook of Morus nigra , preferably a heavy one, to bash the heads of liars and nay-sayers