Mulberry vs Blackberry – What’s The Difference?

The mulberry and blackberry fruits look similar, from their appearance to their taste. If you are not familiar with them, you may have a hard time telling them apart. You can swap them for the other in various recipes where either of the fruit is an ingredient.

While the fruits are hard to differentiate, it is not the same case with the bearing plant. A keen eye will also notice that the shape of a mulberry varies from that of a blackberry.

We will look at these aspects and many more to get the contrasting points of the two fruits. A thing that may catch you by surprise is that the mulberry and blackberry are not true berries.

The Mulberry

The mulberry fruit grows on the mulberry tree, which is deciduous and native to Africa and Asia, with some species available in Europe. The mulberry tree is not native to North America, but farmers introduce it and establish a sizeable population.

According to research, the plant is of the genus Morus, which is close to the jack fruit and breadfruit tree. Despite the similarity to the blackberry, the bearing plants appear to have no relation.

The mulberry tree is very economical in China and other East Asian countries. The white mulberry, also common in North America and Europe, aids in the silk trade. The silkworm feeds on the white mulberry leaves. It then produces silk, a primary earner for China.

Back to the fruit, it comes in several shapes and colors, depending on the species. There are over 150 species, and each may have a unique appearance. The fruit is a multiple, looking like juicy vesicles sacs arranged on a small stalk. When unripe, they are green in color and have an acidic taste. Ripened fruits take a variety of colors, such as red, purple, white, or black. When ready, mulberry is juicy and sweet.

How Does the Mulberry Tree Look Like?

As earlier mentioned, the mulberry tree is deciduous, meaning it will shed its leaves in dry seasons to conserve water. The trees are large, growing up to 50-feet tall. Nevertheless, most farmers prefer to keep them short for easy harvesting of the fruit.

The mulberry plant matures fast, and in a few years, it will start producing fruit. In some South American countries, the mulberry is an invasive species, and its fast growth rate can be a contributing feature. Actually, some states ban the tree’s growth due to the high pollen production, which affects air quality.

There are the fruitless trees, which are the go-to trees for silkworm rearing.

Mulberry Taste Test

When ripe, mulberry is sweet, with a distant hint of tang. The big juicy ones are the tastiest. The taste varies from species to species, with some being more acidic than others.

A thing that will help you differentiate between mulberry and blackberry is staining. Ripe mulberry fruits have juice that will stain your hands or clothes. Blackberry juice does not stain.

Some people compare the taste of mulberries to that of grapefruit. White mulberry is also sweet when ripe, but its taste might be pretty bland if you are a fan of the red and black varieties.

There are several ways of consuming mulberry. You can eat the whole fruit raw or use it to make juices, jams, and jellies.

Benefits of Eating Mulberry

Mulberries are rich in vitamins A, B, C, and K, which help boost your immunity, making you less susceptible to diseases. It also provides you with fiber to help in digestion. Additionally, mulberries contain enough minerals, such as copper, manganese, calcium, and iron.

The fruit has a tiny amount of calories; as such, you can eat them without worrying about weight issues. Eating a cup of mulberries will give you an excellent serving of antioxidants that help prevent heart issues and conditions like cancer.

Mulberry Leaves

Besides the fruit, the mulberry leaves are also edible and were the primary reason behind the cultivation of the trees. The leaves do not taste as good as the berries; hence, they make teas and supplements.

Like the fruit, the leaves are an excellent source of vitamins and antioxidants. However, be careful when consuming the leaves as they have latex, an allergen. Also, children, pregnant women, and those suffering from chronic diseases should consume mulberry leaves in moderation.

Below are some of the benefits of mulberry leaves.

  • Reduces inflammations.
  • It boosts liver health.
  • It may enhance cardiovascular health.
  • Contributes to weight loss.
  • Extracts from the leaves are used to make tinctures which help achieve an even skin tone and deal with hyperpigmentation.

A point to note is that you should consult your physician before consuming mulberry leaves, especially if you have a chronic condition.

The Blackberry

We now look at the other fruit, the blackberry, which as its name hints, is dark in color. As earlier stated, the blackberry is not a true berry; instead, it is an aggregate fruit, which comes from many carpels. As a result, it looks like a shorter or smaller version of the mulberry, with sacs arranged around a stalk.

It belongs to the Rubus genus and is closely related to raspberries.

The Blackberry Plant

The blackberry grows on a bush native to temperate regions in North America, around the Pacific coast. It is also abundant in parts of Europe. The bush is thorny, with compound leaves and leaflets that can withstand winter conditions.

There are several species of the blackberry plant, with the number going into the thousands. Some species are invasive due to animal dispersion. Two species are vulnerable, but measures are being implemented to prevent their extinction.

The research yielded several hybrid species, and work is still in progress to get thorn-less blackberry bushes.

How Does The Blackberry Fruit Look Like?

Blackberries are smaller than mulberries, with a slight similarity to raspberries, their relatives. The difference between raspberries and blackberries is that the former has a hollow appearance, whereas the latter retain a pulpy white core.

When ripe, the blackberry has a shiny red, purple, or black appearance. They are juicy, and you can use them for juice or jelly.

Blackberry Taste Test

The ripe fruit is sweet and juicy, with some people saying it is like a cross between mulberry and raspberry. The entire fruit is edible, including the white core, which has some woody to earthy essence. The core also adds some bulk to the fruit, and it can easily give you a feeling of satiation.

Blackberry may be kind of chewy due to the core’s pulpy texture, which some people love, though others find it unpleasant.

Benefits of Eating Blackberry

Eating a cup of blackberry daily will give you a more than sufficient serving of vitamin C, which will strengthen your immune system. The fruits are also a great source of vitamins A, B, and K. Moreover, blackberry will provide your body with calcium, iron, and manganese, as well as dietary fiber.

Additionally, it has antioxidants that will keep conditions like cancer and heart diseases at bay.

The Differences between Mulberries and Blackberries

From the write-up, you can see that they are very different despite the fruits being similar in appearance. The following are some of the noticeable variations of the two fruits.

  1. The mulberry grows on a tall deciduous tree that can reach heights of 50-meters. On the other hand, blackberries grow in thorny bushes, adapted for winter conditions.
  2. The mulberry fruit is a bit longer and overall larger than the blackberry. The latter is small and has a white pulpy core.
  3. Mulberry juice can stain your hands and clothes. That is not the same situation with blackberry juice.
  4. Blackberries have a unique sweet, woody, and earthy taste, while mulberries are tangy and sweet.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are Mulberry Leaves Poisonous?
    Mulberry leaves are edible and safe to eat. They provide the body with several nutrients like mineral salts, vitamins, and antioxidants. You should, however, be cautious when consuming the leaves, especially if you are allergic to latex. The same applies to kids and those who are expectant.
  2. Are Blackberry And Mulberry the Same?
    Blackberry and mulberry are two different fruits coming from unrelated plant species. While their look and taste are almost similar, they come from different plant genus.
  3. How Should I Clean Blackberries?
    Like any fruit, you should clean blackberries before consumption. For freshly picked fruits, you can rinse them under cold running water. Follow up by discarding spoiled ones, and you are good to go.
    If you got your blackberries from the market, you need to be thorough in cleaning them. You may put them in a bowl of apple cider vinegar. Wash them gently, then rinse them under cold running water.

Final Remark

Mulberry vs. blackberry, are they the same? From this piece, we can confidently tell you that the two fruits are not the same. Despite their variance, blackberries and mulberries have an almost similar taste and appearance.

You can use them interchangeably for your next recipe. If you are adventurous enough, you can use a serving of each to come up with an excellent sweet snack.

 

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