Morus alba ‘Pendula’

17 Dec

Morus alba 'Pendula' leaf (03/12/2011, London)

Morus alba ‘Pendula’ leaf (03/12/2011, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering Period: Early summer

Soil: Well Drained, Moist

Eventual Height: 3-8m

Eventual Spread: 6m

Hardiness: 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a

Family: Moraceae

Morus alba ‘Pendula’ is a grafted deciduous weeping small tree. The eventual height of the tree depends on the height at which the graft is carried out. Its younger  leaves may be up to 30cm long and are deeply lobed, with the lobes rounded (as show in the photograph). The leaves on older trees are generally 10cm long, unlobed, cordate at the base and rounded to acuminate at the tip, and serrated on the margins. The branches of this plant are pendulous, i.e. hang down, and will touch the ground. The tree produces both male and female green catkins in early summer, the male being 3cm long and the female being 1-2cm long. These are followed by edible raspberry like fruit, these turn from white to pink and red in late summer.

Morus alba ‘Pendula’ is commonly known as Weeping White Mulberry. The species of this tree, Morus alba, is native to northern China. This plant has historically been cultivated as a food plant for the silkworm, this began over 4000 years ago. An interesting point of note is the pollen of this plant is released from the stamens at approximately 350 mph, making it the fastest known movement in the plant kingdom. Due to its ability to cross hybridise with the Red Mulberry, Morus rubra, this plant is considered to be an invasive species in parts of Northern America

Morus alba 'Pendula' (03/12/2011, London)

Morus alba ‘Pendula’ (03/12/2011, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Morus is from the classical Latin name for the Black Mulberry tree . Alba is derived from the Latin meaning white, we assume in reference to the white immature fruit. Pendula is also derived from the Latin meaning hanging, in reference to the habit of the branches.

The landscape architect may find Morus alba ‘Pendula’ useful as a relatively compact specimen tree with an unusual weeping habit. This plant prefers a sheltered position.

Ecologically Morus alba ‘Pendula’ produces fruit which are readily eaten by birds. butterfly’s also find this tree attractive.

Morus alba ‘Pendula’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It will tolerate most pH of soil. It will not tolerate wet soils.

Morus alba ‘Pendula’  requires little maintenance. If pruning is required carry out in late autumn to early winter to prevent bleeding.

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