Mulberries (Morus spp.) are very common in certain parks, yet it’s surprising to me how few people actually know about them and how often they are called “junk trees.” They will drop the fruit on cars, making a huge mess in the early summer, but the birds love them and they are an excellent wild edible. They are sweeter than blackberries, extremely abundant, and full of anti-oxidants.

They should not be eaten under-ripe and the leaves are toxic. As long as they are squishy to the touch and sweet, they are ripe enough.

There are many different mulberry species in the United States . . . about 17. The berries can be red, black, or white when ripe, depending on the species.

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