Medium-sized tree with short trunk, broad rounded crown, and milky sap.
Height: 60’ / Diameter: 2’
Leaves: in 2 rows; 4-7” long. Ovate; abruptly long-pointed; coarsely saw-toothed. Dull dark green and rough above, with soft hairs beneath; turning yellow in autumn.
Bark: brown, fissured into scaly plates.
Flowers: tiny; crowded in narrow clusters; male and female on same or separate trees. Bloom in spring with leaves appear.
Fruit: a cylindrical mulberry; red to dark purple; composed of many tiny beadlike fruits. Sweet and juicy, edible, in late spring.
Habitat: moist soil in hardwood forests. Range: Southeastern US.
The wood is used locally for fenceposts, furniture, interior finish, and agricultural implements. People, domestic animals, and wildlife eat the berries.