Two "species" of Morus nigra mulberry?


I still think you have too many. I have an extra Dwarf Everbearing mulberry. Talk about easy to root from cuttings, this thing grew from day one! I burned the leaves exposing to sun, but otherwise both are doing really well. I didn’t even want one of these, thrown in with some other mulberry cuttings. I’m glad Sam, a member her included them! What the heck, I’ll keep it in a pot. It used to be called a nigra, but I heard they now consider it another unknown species.


For now I’ll keep them all to see wich one will overwinter, wich gender is each of them, wich is more dwarf etc. When they become bigger we can swap cuttings. I’m looking for Dwarf Everbearing and for Illinois Everbearing too.


Sounds like a plan, I can get cuttings of Illinois, I’ll look into it. I have some rooting, and they look good. A friend has a huge tree. Yes, please keep me in mind.
I want to add Sweet Lavender, Oscar, and Silk Hope. All should do well here.


me too.


Aren’t nigras supposed to have black buds? At one point, I read that the bud color is actually where the color names come from.


At least darker than buds of Morus alba and it refers to dormant/mature buds. They never are really black but do have a darker brown stripe at every “bud scale” (don’t know the english term).

Those buds in his picture are darker than those of Morus Alba.


Check the right-hand side of the page.


no need to apologize, this forum is no grammar school.
moreover, it is obvious you’re able to read, speak, and write at least two languages, and that is awesome!

and i agree with @carot that your seedlings have strong nigra characteristics. That they came from seed, and not just one but several successful germinations, got to hand it to you that your findings are practically unheard of around here(usa).
keep us posted!
have to add as well that when i plant grafted nigras, i actually plant them with the scion wood partly below the soil level(if possible). Nigras are generally grafted to alba seedlings here in america, but this might be one instance when the super-old scion wood might actually still outlive the seedling rootstock it is grafted on to if grown as a cutting, since nigras have the longest lifespans of the mulbs. By hundreds of years. Planting them with the nigra budwood touching soil would hopefully encourage rooting from above the graft, so should the alba below start declining, the nigra would hopefully have rooted already. Have not heard of true nigras rooting from cuttings, but getting them submerged in soil for many years should stimulate them to root at some point. Besides, it won’t hurt to give them a chance.:grinning:


Lifespan is highly dependent on environmental factors, such as M. rubra at latitude 50N v.s. M. nigra at latitude 25N. I don’t believe there is any evidence to support your claim.


Wasn’t rooting “truncheons” the most common method for propagating black mulberry in the old days?


exactly. A nigra won’t last a couple of years outdoors in ontario(CAN), but a rubra may live to 75.
but have yet to hear of a 500 year old rubra anywhere, whereas nigras in milder-winter areas as the mediterranean region could attain that age, maybe even more.
thus said, i was pertaining to the most hospitable growing conditions for each species.
intriguingly, nigras could live for hundreds of years in england, which isn’t exactly mediterranean.

yes, but it is still a hit or miss endeavor, and involves thick calipers, which not many in usa could afford to do. Here in vegas, nigras grow excruciatingly slow, despite our relatively long growing seasons, and have never come across anyone being successful with cuttings(since presumably only using thin caliper stems). So when we plant grafted nigras deep with the scion wood partly underground, the intent is for the scion wood to assume truncheon status someday should the alba rootstoc start declining.


You have zero data for the lifespan of M. rubra in its most hospitable growing region.


Wiki says Morus rubra L can live up to 125 years. Is endangered in Canada.
The USDA Forest Service also reports 125 years, but 80 is more typical.


yeah, available data indicate rubra’s to have the shortest life expectancy among the common edible muberries. This could play a part behind its endangered status in canada.
important to note that projected lifespans do not equate with projected productive lifespans. A tree may still be alive at 75 but no longer fruiting. Nigras are known to produce berries at 500+ yrs of age.

the species won the eugenics lottery for being the longest-lived, disease/pest-free(in many regions, trans-atlantic) and excellence in flavor


The Forest Service mentions a decline in trees here too. it seems to be under assault.


that’s bad news for the species, and it sure does not help that most folks think that feral/volunteer mulbs are ‘weedy’ trees…

just saw this and evidently the ‘gene dilution’ by albas is what’s crowding out the pure-bred rubras.


Maybe a bit off topic–perhaps I should ask this elsewhere-- but I have some of these rubras in my woods and would love to propagate a tree to a domestic area. (It’s the ones I practiced grafting on that the grafts are doing really well considering they are buried in the woods.) I have not been able to locate any saplings small enough to transplant and really do not want to lose a tap root. What rootstock is used for mulberries? And I’m assuming it would be possible to graft to this to create a rubra in my orchard? These are ripening now and the fruits are really good.


albas, rubras, and nigras are generally compatible. Albas are the ones used as rootstoc due to rapid growth(short wait period to attain good-sized calipers) and easy availability. Rubras seem to have the shortest lifespans of the three so not recommended as rootstoc apart from being endangered, while nigras are rarely available as seedlings/extremely slow-growing/susceptible to humidity and extreme cold.

albas are the most cosmopolitan. Burntridge currently sells 2 yr old russian alba’s at 3.50$ each for rootstoc.
and if you buy a bunde of ten, they discount the price to 3$, so just 30$ for 10 specimens, which is a great bargain if you’re in a hurry.


forgot to add, rubra as rootstoc is probably advisable only if trying to grow a nigra outdoors in very cold regions. The grower really just needs to adorn one’s outdoor nigra with xmas lights, and no need to worry about ‘cold-feet’ since rubra roots seem to be most tolerant. Conversely, it is impossible to grow a nigra outdoors and on its own roots in ontario, even with xmas lights on.


Pileta, I confirm that your seedlings are Morus nigra from their appearance which is quite similar to my seedlings. Do everything you can to keep them alive. When mine leaf out some more, I will post pictures.