Scientific Name: Morus alba (Moraceae).
English Name: White Mulberry (Mulberry family).
French Name: Mûrier blanc (='white mulberry tree').
5 Key Characters:
- small to medium sized tree.
- generally young trees have long deeply lobed leaves, older trees have smaller unlobed leaves, but individual trees are very variable and can have multiple forms on the one tree.
- leaves pale and thin.
- fruit can be white, pink or deep purple, sweet and bland, July - September.
Lookalikes: Black Mulberry M. nigra, which has darker, thicker leaves all of one shape.
Habitat: The banks of the Loire, close to the old silkworm production areas and troglodyte caves which were used in the industry.
Flowering Period: April-May.
Status: Widely cultivated in the past for the production of silkworms in the Loire Valley. Now an uncommon naturalised non-native in the wild.
Photographed by Loire Valley Nature: