Named Hardy Mulberry Flavor

I’ve been reading some of the recent mulberry posts. I grew up with wild ones all over and picking them once in awhile on good years. The flavor was ok but not great. Some years better than others.

I know taste is subjective but are the hardy named varieties that much better than the wild that they’re worth growing?

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I grew up in RI with 2 mulberries in my back yard. (and a black Walnut nearby as well, so I’ve seen these trees tolerate Juglone)

The named varieties have a tartness the wild ones do not. Also the fruit size is more than 3 times the size of the ones I ate as a child.


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For fresh eating tartness does not appeal to me, but the cultivated ones are better for cooking.
So, I like the wild ones just fine, if can ever find enough to enjoy at once!

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I have lots of wild ones and cultivated ones. Cultivated is substantially better in my opinion. Not all wild are the same but, mine were dry and grassy. May try grafting on them after I learn a little.

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We had a huge tree at my old house. You could lay a sheet down and shake the branches. Some years they were great and other years they’d taste like grass. They would always pop up around all the buildings from where birds would sit.

Flavor wise what would be the best option for zone 4/5?


Depends on what you like. Mixes are mostly sweet tarts and whites are generally all sweet. The others will not grow there. Or here. Whites are the most cold hardy but, you should also do well with any of the mixes.

For them probably on the sweeter side. Any varieties suggesting looking at?

Kokuso is sweet. More importantly it should survive your zone. That will limit your choices more than anything.

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i grow several varieties of mulberries and i too prefer sweeter than sweet tart flavor. please check out my channel.

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Never encountered a bad M.rubra; rarely encounteres a ‘wild’ M.alba that I wanted to eat more of, or propagate.
Most rubraXalba hybrids I’ve sampled have been good, including unnamed chance seedlings.

Taste and performance can vary from place to place… good friend in Flint, MI said Ill. Everbearing didn’t perform well for him, and sent me scions of his fave…it was just…ok/avg here (KY, about 70 mi NW of Nashville TN) .
Wellington, which gets good reviews elsewhere is a dog here - small berries with not much flavor, and trashy growth habit. We don’t even bother to pick berries from it.
Kokuso here is just sweet with not much flavor, but I see others here raving on it.
Silk Hope is tops here; Stearns and Lawson Dawson probably tie for close second, Ill. Everbearing is good, but gets popcorn dz badly. Collier just didn’t grow well here for some reason…died out twice.
Pakistan froze to ground(graft union below ground)every year, and regrew vigorously but never fruited.
Have a couple of random seedlings that are pretty decent…probably daughters of IEb.


This is the only good review I have seen of silk hope. Here my favorite so far is Oscar in 5b/6a. Kokuso is reported as decent here but not by me. Mine is still small.

For productivity, fruit size, and flavor, Silk Hope is significantly better than any other mulberry I’ve grown, hands-down.
In his 1997 POMONA article Mulberries for the Southeast, Dr AJ Bullard named it as his favorite rubraXalba hybrid.


Let me put in my 2 cents on the varieties. I have several of each.

IL Ever- From what I have seen the best of the mixed. Sweet and good size.
Kokuso- Good taste and size.
Silk Hope- Similar to IL but slightly smaller and less tasty.
Collier- Still somewhat new but not looking good so far.
Pakistan- Deer target this thing hard and is still trying to grow. No fruit.
Dwarf Mulberry- Can’t keep deer and other animals off them, so. No fruit.
Wild Reds- Dry and grassy. Only good for grafting. Not all reds are this bad though.


Every wild mulberry I have ever tried has been small and bland. The two improved varieties I’m currently growing (Illinois everbearing & unknown) are delicious. They are large, sweet, and more complex tasting. Personally…I prefer them to blackberries, but that’s just me. In my opinion, the improved types are definitely worth growing!

OK that makes two in favor, I have five against. And Robert (above) gives 3rd place to Silk Hope @Robert Have you tried Oscar?

I do too, well regular blackberries. Some cultivars are special like Newberry and Marion or wyeberry and tayberry. Besides those I like mulberry better. Also out of the reds I know of 4 wild trees and one produces good fruit, really good. The others not so much.

@Drew51 Have heard good things about Oscar but, have not tried it. I am looking for a couple white ones. Tired of turning purple every time I get near them.
When people ask what they taste like, I always say blackberry without the seeds. I have to fight with the deer over the black berries and I’m thinking about taking them out because the tree version is better.

I took out a bunch of blackberries 2 years ago. Natchez, Navaho, Loch Ness, Triple Crown, and Chester I kept the specialized ones I feel are exceptional. Tayberry, wyeberry, Marion, and Newberry. I like mulberries, but blackberry syrup is good too, I need to have some.
I like having the variations in flavor. Tayberry is so sweet, and has a strawberry like flavor.
Wyeberry tastes like boysen and makes a killer jam. Marion and newberry are such complex delicious flavors. Nothing like regular blackberries. A new blackberry out of the Arkansas program, their 20th rates higher than the other 19. I will be adding that one once available. Probably next year.

I like growing unusual fruits, if they work here. Morus nigra is supposed to be the best, so I found the hardiest cultivar I could and I’m experimenting with it here. Some feel this is not only the best mulberry, but the best berry period. Well I grow some awesome tasting berries, like pineberries. Still it fits into what I grow so hoping my Tsarigradska mulberry is hardy enough to grow here. If not I will grow in a container and protect in a garage in the winter. It only goes down to about 25F in the garage when we are in single digits. It has been in there 2 years so far. I will graft a piece this spring unto Russian alba rootstock and see if it can survive here. The rootstock was planted last spring. Oscar is also going on it as a backup mulberry if the Tsarigradska mulberry (morus nigra) fails to thrive. The mother tree will remain in the garage. I can’t get another!


I have a nigra (black beauty) that I am trying. So far the deer have really loved it. Doubt it makes it. I stayed away from tayberry thinking it was too cold here, but you have it in an even colder environment. May try them. I have the arkansas everbearing blackberries. Big, but not very good in my opinion. Heard the oscar has bigger fruit than just about all the others. Is that true? Funny, I started in mulberries as a bird deterrent. After seeing their set it and forget it features I was hooked. Not much else like that.

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Any reason you couldn’t prune them like this to keep them smaller and more manageable?

I found this little video a few years

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