Morus nigra (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Morus nigra L.

Protologue: Sp. pl. 2: 986 (1753).
Family: Moraceae


  • Morus laciniata Miller (1768),
  • Morus scabra Moretti (1841).

Vernacular names

  • Black mulberry, common mulberry, sycamine (En)
  • Mûrier noir (Fr)
  • Moral negro, morera negra (Sp)
  • Indonesia: murbei (Bahassa Indonesia), besaran (Javanese), kitan (Lampung)
  • Cambodia: moon
  • Vietnam: dâu tam, dâu gủa den


Originating from western Asia, but much cultivated in that region and the Mediterranean since ancient times. Nowadays cultivated and occasionally naturalized in most tropical and temperate regions, though in the tropics only at higher elevations. Only occasionally planted in Malesia.


M. nigra is most commonly cultivated for its tasty fruits, eaten raw or prepared into juice, wine, jam, etc. The fruits are also applied medicinally. Occasionally it is an ingredient in cough syrup. In India also used as dye. The leaves are fed to silkworms, but generally considered inferior to those of the white mulberry.


  • A small to fairly large, slow-growing dioecious tree up to 35 m tall, with spreading crown, picturesque when old.
  • Leaves broadly ovate, 5-16 cm √ó 5-16 cm, deeply cordate at base, shortly and bluntly acuminate at apex, rough above, pubescent below, with a striate, 2-3.5 cm long petiole.
  • Male spikes 1.5-2.5 cm long, female spikes ovoid, 1-2 cm long; syncarp ovoid, 1.5-2.5 cm long, dark purple to black.

M. nigra is cultivated in humid regions, up to 2000 m altitude.

Selected sources

  • Bailey, L.H., 1947. The standard cyclopedia of horticulture in three volumes. The Macmillan Company, New York. 3639 pp.
  • Mansfeld, R. & Schultze Motel, J., 1986. Verzeichnis landwirtschaftlicher und gärtnerischer Kuturpflanzen. 2nd ed. 4 Volumes. Springer Verlag, Berlin. 1998 pp.

131, 478, 580, 900, 1178, 1252, 1275, 1276, 1470, 1521. medicinals


  • P.C.M. Jansen, J. Jukema, L.P.A. Oyen, T.G. van Lingen
  • D.S. Alonzo