[permaculture] The Effect of Cultivars on Native Species Gene Pools

Mathew Waehner waehner at gmail.com
Wed Dec 30 17:57:33 EST 2009

> Are there wild Morus sp.?

Yes.  There are.  The situation with mulberries is opposite of what
ArmedWithaMind is concerned about:  Asian M. alba is overtaking North
American M. rubra, which has better flavor.  I think it is wise to preserve
the native mulberry genes, but the "invasive" version is nearly identical
and fills the same ecological niche.

Birds have planted several mulberries in my yard, and eight are mature; one
looks like pure M. rubra, one is definetly M. alba (white fruit), the other
six appear to be hybrids.

I think the West coast has feral Morus nigra also.

I highly recommend planting some variety of mulberry.  They grow amazingly
fast, produce huge amounts of fruit, and tolerate coppicing.  In fact, they
recover from frequent coppicing with lawnmowers.

Oikos Tree crops used to sell native M. rubra; I didn't notice it in their
last catalog.

On Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 4:20 PM, Lawrence F. London, Jr. <lflj at bellsouth.net
> wrote:

> Not only food crops but ornamental, facer, foundation, windbreak and visual
> screening
> landscape plants. A solution is to design residential and commercial
> landscapes using permaculture methods
> which would ensure the use, often, of native species when there is
> negligable hybridization risk with non-natives.
> Another example would be homestead use of the ornamental cultivars of
> eleagnus, a highly desirable and useful shrub and
> the possibility that they could hybridize with the various native
> variieties, same for many other native plants that
> have been bred for ornamental use. Search PFAF for eleagnus and see how
> many native varieties there are, how they differ
> and their uses. Some of the nutritional and medicinal ones are quite
> valuable.
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