Difference between white and red mulberry
White mulberry vs red mulberry:
Refreshingly succulent, fresh, tart and sweet at the same time, mulberries are known for their numerous medicinal benefits as well as their excellent taste. Mulberry is found in three basic types which can be listed as white, red and black mulberry which are found in various parts of the world. Because of the fact that all these three varieties are referred to as mulberry in common, many are not aware of the many differences which exist between them. However, it is not very surprising for these varieties to get mixed up with one another as these mulberry varieties share so much of similarities with regards to their appearance, their taste and also their nutritional values.
About white mulberry
The white mulberry which is also known as Morus alba, is native to eastern and central China. Despite its name, the fruits are generally red to dark purple although white or pink varieties do exist. The white mulberry only grows up to forty feet tall, with a rough, light, ochre-gray bark and spreading branches. White mulberry trees were first imported from Asia in the 1800’s as a means of starting the silk industry so that silk worms could be cultivated in these trees. However, growing silkworm caterpillars and unrolling the cocoons to make silk had proved to be too labor-intensive and thus the effort was abandoned. But as mulberry trees are so prolific, most of America is now graced with this abundant species as well as many hybrid breeds as well.
About red mulberry
Red mulberry, also known as Morus rubra, has coarsely toothed, oval to heart shaped leaves with a pronounced acuminate tip. These leaves are also characteristic of white hairs underneath the leaves as well. The flowers of the red mulberry are known to be cylindrical catkins of the species dioecious and male and female flowers are known to grow on different trees. Red mulberries are native to eastern United States and they can be consumed raw, included in berry salads as well as be made pie fillings, jams, cakes, cookies and syrups.
What is the difference between red mulberry and white mulberry?
Whether it be red or white, mulberries all do seem so much alike in appearance as well as in taste. However while certain white mulberries tend to have red berries, some varieties such as the whitey white bears green young berries which turn a creamy white when ripe and ready to pick. The red mulberry on the other hand is red when young and turns purple or black when they are ripe.
Although mulberries do tend to taste alike, white mulberries are known to be much sweeter and milder in taste. When it comes to the actual mulberry plant, differences ensue as well. The white mulberry plant tends to grow up to 40 feet and tends to have a spread about 40 feet as well whereas the red mulberry tends to grow up to 60 feet and tends to have a spread of about 50 feet. The leaves of the red mulberry are dark green in color and quite rough in nature whereas the white mulberry leaf is a bright green and has rather smooth leaves. Furthermore, red mulberry leaves have a sort of hair underneath the leaf whereas the presence of such hair has not been noticed on the white mulberry leaf. Another factor which contributes towards the differences between the two berries is that while the red mulberry leaves tend to have pointed lobes with even leaf bases, the white mulberry leaves tend to have rounded lobes with uneven leaf bases.
However, mulberries, regardless of their color are known to possess high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals called anthocyanins which are known to be very effective against cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes and bacterial infections. They are also known to be an excellent source of vitamin-C, vitamin A, vitamin E, B-complex group of vitamins, vitamin K, vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin and folic acid which function as co-factors and help the body in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Mulberries are also known to contain many other health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such aslutein, zeaxanthin, ß-carotene and α-carotene as well. They are also known as an excellent source of iron which is quite a rare nutritional trait that berries in general have on offer. Therefore, mulberries in general, regardless of their color have proved themselves to be not only a delicious food but also a nutritional one.