Morus rubra Linnaeus. Phen: Mar-May; May-Jun. Hab: Bottomland forests, mesic slopes, disturbed areas, suburban woodlands. Dist: MA, VT, NY, MI, WI, and se. SD south to s. FL and w. TX.
Origin/Endemic status: Native
Taxonomy Comments: M. murrayana D.E Saar & S.J. Galla (or alternatively treated as a variety of M. rubra) has recently been described as distinct from M. rubra and occurring widely in eastern North America (KY, TN, MO, IL, IN, MS, LA, VA, NC, and AL) (Galla et al. 2009; Saar et al. 2012). It is alleged to differ from M. rubra by its leaves to 38 cm long (vs. to 15 cm long), the outer three leaves on branchlets almost always > 15 cm long (vs. < 15 cm long), leaves with caudate apex (vs. acute to acuminate apex); mature fruit to 4 cm long and 1.5 cm wide but often thinner, with much size variation on a single individual (vs. mature fruit to 3 cm long). All the alleged characters appear to be highly variable and correlated with vigor.
Other Comments: The fruits are very variable in quality from tree to tree.
Synonymy: = Ar, C, F, FNA3, G, GrPl, GW2, K3, K4, Mi, NcTx, NE, NY, Pa, RAB, S, Tn, Va, W, WH3, WV; > Morus murrayana Saar & Galla – Il, Galla et al (2009); > Morus rubra L. – Il, Galla et al (2009); > Morus rubra L. var. murrayana (Saar & Galla) Saar – Gardner et al (2021), Saar et al (2012); > Morus rubra L. var. rubra – K1, Tx, Gardner et al (2021), Saar et al (2012); > Morus rubra L. var. tomentosa (Raf.) Bureau – Tx