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Red Mulberry, any good, easy to grow?

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Hey, I was looking for native plants that were edible. I figure I can be nice to the wildlife, and fill my belly too. I was wondering if anyone has grown or tasted red mulberries.

Taste good?

Mouth feel?

Perishable?

Eat raw or cooked?

Messy?

Full sun/partial sun/shade?

Invasive or easy to control?

Soil conditions?

What wildlife will they attract?

Thanks, I found some info on some dark purple mulberries when searching.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9086...

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  1. Mulberry grows wild around the city here - I am not sure they are the native red or an imported variety but they are pretty prolific weeds and berries are forageable

    the plants get big and are very productive - certainly more robust than the raspberries and blackberries I try to grow they seem to be pretty much blight/pest resistant so a pretty foolproof plant

    the berries are sweet and tasty but not as intensely flavored as commercially grown berries - they are a bit soft and watery and therefor don't make good berries for market but they are tasty fresh and can be made into jams

    an alterative native berry plant that is a bit more polite and manageable is the serviceberry http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-di...
    they make nice little trees that are hardy enough and polite enough to be used as street trees

    4 Replies
    1. re: JTPhilly

      Serviceberry are nice large bushes/small trees. Birds like them. Too much of a hassle because of the seeds to eat other than survival food. (I ate tons of them when I worked as a Wilderness Guide during the 90's.)

      1. re: JMF

        there is one as a street tree on my block - I have grabbed a handful of berries from time to time - never noticed the seeds but maybe I just ate em. It's a nice little tree.

        1. re: JTPhilly

          Are you sure they were serviceberry/june berry?

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelanchier

          1. re: JMF

            If I remember correctly from the voulenteer tree plantings the cultivar is "Autumn Brilliance" http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.or... which appears to be a hybrid of two serviceberry trees. The fruit looks just like the fruit in the wiki link but the form is a small tree. They tend to put them on the sides of the street with overhead wires because they stay small.

    2. Mulberry trees can be very messy. All the fruit drops over the course of a few days. If it is over concrete it stains it permanently. The smell of rotting Mulberry is gross. But, animals and birds love the fruit. Personally I find it kind of insipid.

      1. When a lived in Indiana (quite a few years ago) there was a red mulberry tree in the front yard. They were ok (the birds loved them and I am told that raccoons do too), but I thought black mulberries might have a better taste.

        If you are planting one, DON'T put it near the house! Mulberrys are not neat in their branching habits and can be very messy. You don't wan't to track berry juice in on your rugs!