Wednesday, June 9, 2010

100 Species Challenge #69 Mulberry

"Here we go 'round the mulberry bush...."

Specimen #69 Red Mulberry
Morus rubra

Found in low elevation areas with moist ground and full sun. The photo above was taken near the Clive Greenbelt, home to many geocaches. I took this photo to show the way the leaves appear -- there are leaves with varying amounts of lobes. They are very shiny, too. I read in one of our reference books that the twigs and leaf stems exude a milky sap, and we're going to look this afternoon for the milk.

Here on the right is a leaf with no lobes. The berry near my thumb is not ripe. Even though the tree is called 'red' mulberry, the berries are ripe when they are black. My fingers are stained from picking the ripe ones. And my thumbnail has purple nail polish in an attempt to hide the stains. LOL All around the leaf I'm holding are leaves with lobes.

So the lobes -- some leaves have a mitten shape (not sure if that's considered lobed), while others have lobes. Mitten (this is one pretty lopsided mitten if you ask me!):

Here is a leaf with lobes. The number of lobes varies:

About the nursery song I opened with: My oldest and I were talking about mulberry bushes. We've only seen mulberry trees. Any small trees we ever saw were not really bush-like. So we're not sure if the song is about the trees we're seeing or if 'bush' meant 'short tree.' There are Asian mulberries and native (American) mulberries. The Asian ones were transplanted to/naturalized in Europe and North America.

1 comment:

~Maria said...

Lilly discovered the tastiness of mulberries this week so we are stained from picking as well! :)