The scientific name for a mulberry tree depends on the species: a red mulberry is Morus rubra, a white mulberry is Morus alba and a black mulberry is Morus nigra. There is also a variant on white mulberry, Russian mulberry, called Morus alba tatarica.
Mulberry trees in the United States are mostly all similar in appearance. The common names of these trees are indicative of their fruit color, or, in the case of the Russian Mulberry, the area of origin.
These trees produce abundant fruit that most humans do not find palatable. Wild animals, however, love the fruit and frequently consume it. All species of the Mulberry tree are short and do not live long compared to other trees. The fruit stains anything it lands on when it drops, so Mulberry trees are seldom used in landscaping.
Although Red Mulberry is native to the United States, the other types were exported to America to sustain a silk industry. Silkworms only eat Mulberry, especially White Mulberry. The silkworm moth’s scientific name is Bombyx mori, and the word mori is derived from Morus. Although that silk industry failed, the Mulberry tree thrives.
Mulberry trees grow throughout most of the United States, especially the eastern states and the Pacific region.