Mulberry: the king of tree fruits (for pigs)


This is way overblown, in part because the antioxidant properties of blueberries are overblown, and also because the term “antioxidant” is very misconstrued in marketing. The antioxidants of interest are anthocyanins (see for example, the discussion in Holly Phaneuf’s Book “Herbs Demystified”). If you want to start comparing health benefits of fruits (or foods in general), then it is more accurate to examine studies where the benefits are normalized by serving size and weight.



I’m referring to whatever mulberries grow wild in the Pennsylvania area (mostly alba, I assume). There was one in my neighborhood that I loved feasting from as a little boy. That kind of thing sticks with you.

I have actually never had a selected or improved mulberry variety. There are ~5 sizable female mulberry trees on my land now of varying flavor and characteristics*, all of them there because the previous owner was no longer able to maintain the landscaping. There are also some smaller ones sprouting pretty much everywhere. Since I’m new to orcharding in general, mulberries are so durable, and I have so many volunteers, I plan to use the smaller ones as graft practice. I’ll probably stick on some Illinois Everbearing, or Dwarf Girardi based on the above recommendations, but really I’ll take any scion I can get my hands on.

  • One, as mentioned before, turns purple rather than black, and is probably the juiciest. Another stays white. Another has a distinct aftertaste of chalk during dry weather (they can’t all be winners).


More likely Morus rubra, or naturalized hybrids of it with Morus species planted by settlers.


these guys report of “79% higher antioxidant levels” than blueberries, so one could assume it is on a pound-for-pound basis?

at the other end of the antioxidant spectrum, per nobel laureate Linus Pauling and many other experts, vitamin c is a powerful antioxidant, and jujubes, even though lacking in anthocyanins, is up there with the best in antioxidant activity due to its vitamin c level being 10x more than oranges, and 20 to 50x more than apples, weight for weight.

intensive scrutiny aside-- mulberries being 100% pesticide-free, and being a decent source(at the least) of antioxidants, should be more than enough reasons for any parent to give it to kids.


also grows very slowly, that i sometimes think it is NOT an alba.


An interesting statistic from Jujube growers, but it doesn’t fly on a per-serving basis. Also note that above one or two servings per day, Jujubes present a human toxicology risk from cyanide.


Every single person I’ve introduced to the flavor of Illinois Everbearing mulberries has found them to be at least quite palatable and most call them delicious. If I only grew seedling apple trees I don’t think I’d like them much. This broad dismissal of this useful fruit should at least be defined by the specific varieties being dismissed. Seedlings don’t really count, IMO.

I have tasted amazing mulberries growing in a yard in Malibu CA. The owner didn’t know what the variety was but the fruit was exceedingly large and sweet and undoubtedly a Persian type.


you only need to eat 2 or 3 jujubes to get your FULL day’s supply of vitamin c, and that was quoted from a *.edu website, and not from a *.com one.
as for cyanide in jujubes, there is no literature for that, and would appreciate to see your sources.

seeds of the peach/almond/apple axis definitely have higher amounts. The strong metallic smell of peaches and nectarines is also that same ‘fragrant’ smell of bitter almonds, or even edible almonds.

almonds make the news quite often, and still i eat almonds by the buckets. Apple seeds inadvertently admixed with the chopped-up apple treats given to hamsters and other small rodents often end in tragedy.
there are way more ‘scary’ fruits, and everyone is eating them


here’s a pic of my three year old gerardi. It is the runt of the alba’s. Most people fear for their roofs and water pipes when their alba’s reach hefty sizes by three years of age. Not with this one. If you like container gardening, i would recommend this, as it fruits practically at every node, and bears in succession for at least a month.


I’m wondering how Wellington compares to Illinois Everberring?


@jujubemulberry - Please don’t misunderstand. I grow and eat Li Jujube. I’m not advocating against jujubes.

But I was referring to anthocyanins in Vacinnium, Rubus, and Morus - not vitamin C.

Maybe no web pages but certainly journal articles.

Cigarettes are popular in some sectors too but they are a poor health choice in my opinion.


Certainly if we judged apples by seedlings, nobody would have anything to do with them.

As somebody whose primary interest is in growing fruits that I can’t get at the store, I often wonder what causes one fruit to catch on and others not to. With mulberries, I assume most of it comes down to their delicacy when shipping, but raspberries have the same problem and they manage. Maybe it’s just random.

You would think there’d be more appreciation for a zero-effort fruit (you don’t even need to plant it!)

I still have some hope for seedlings. With all that genetic churn, there’s got to be some special varieties out there waiting to be discovered.


Commercially raspberries are more cost effective to manage and harvest than mulberries.


I grew up in Easyt Tennessee and found all the mulberries I tried as a child incredibly bland. A few years ago I was interested in planting a mulberry just to serve as a sacrificial protector for my other fruits. Asking at this forum’s predecessor got me to Illinois Ever Bearing and now I am anxiously waiting for my single tree to produce more fruit as I find it very, very good. The few berries I have had last year and this year are tangy and as good as blackberries, which I love. I am in the middle of Missouri, BTW.


I had just a few Illinois Everbearing this year,before the birds came and they were close in flavor to Wellington.Silk Hope is also similar,maybe a little sweeter,but smaller fruit,so far. Brady

I want to add.I let a neighbor try a few varieties and he liked Dwarf Girardi the best,so I guess taste is subjective.Also,my DG really puts out for the size of the plant. Brady


I love mulberry fruit. The fruits are being improved as we speak by cultivators who love the plant as much as I do. We hear many negatives about mulberry trees though most of us know the purpose of growing them was silk and everything else including fruit was secondary. The plants were purchased by royalty and the wealthy hundreds of yrs ago


I have mulberry growing in my yard. I think they are wild. The berry when ripen is black and very sweet, not bland at all. But the stem attached to the fruit does not come off easily. Is this the case for all mulberry or just wild mulberry has this stubbon stem? I like the taste of mulberry, I will like it even more if I can get rid of the stem.


Yes,every Mulberry fruit that I’ve eaten has that kind of stem.I hold the stem and put the berry in my mouth,still holding on and then bite it off,using the front teeth. Brady


I need to amend my previous claim that mulberry season has ended. I just checked my neighbor’s trees, and they still have many on them in varying stages of ripeness (I did notice the black ones were harder to pull off than usual, though). I don’t know if this is because those trees just go later, or because they are much, much larger than mine.


would love to see it if you find it. Admittedly am skeptical, but also quite intrigued if what you say is factual, the juju advocate that i am