Type your question here!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Why Not Mulberries in Las Vegas?

Toots or white fruits of the female
mulberry tree. They also come in dark
purple or black and red. Some fruits can be
up to four inches long.
Q. I have this thing about Persian black mulberries and was peeved that Lowe's and Star Nursery cannot sell them locally for that lame reason (per county ordinance) that the yummy fruits stain sidewalks. Sadly, the very pigment(anthocyanins) which stains sidewalks is that same pigment which make it and blueberries extremely rich in antioxidants. Blueberries won't thrive here, so they are not banning it, but mulberry, which could provide kids with healthful fruits they could pick fresh, on almost a daily basis, for at least a month straight from the bush (and not from the supermarket), seems to be that one desert fruit kids actually care for, and which require less water than most other fruiting plants. Figs thrive on little water just as well, but most kids, let alone adults, would not care to put them in their mouths.
If it so happens that you agree with me, I was wondering if I could petition you (knowing your clout and authority) to tell Clark County to reverse the ban, or at least revise it, allowing Las Vegans to raise them with the simple requirement that they plant it in their backyards, away from public walkways. I really feel no child should be deprived of the learning experience and the benefits of watching the berries evolve from flowers to delicious fruits which taste of gummy bears. Why something so good, or something which provides so much despite needing so little should be banned is just wrong.
Mulberry catkins or flowers of the male mulberry tree. These
flowers only produce pollen, no fruit.
I have been taking lots of cuttings from a feral mulberry bush by Tropicana Ave, but so far, no luck in getting any to root. Still hoping I could successfully clone it before the property owner or the 'plant authorities' remove it, hahaha.
As always, thanks so much for your time.

A. It is my understanding that only the male mulberry (thus fruitless) has an ordinance against it,  not the female (fruited). Mulberry trees can be either male or female; the male tree produces the pollen from its male flowers while the female tree produces fruit which can stain (the red and black ones and admittedly in my opinion the better tasting ones compared to the white one).

Mulberry is an example of plants we call dioecious. Humans are dioecious; we have separate people who are male and others that are female. Mulberry is similar to humans in this regard. I know the botanists in the crowd will have trouble with my definition.

Fruitless or male mulberry tree in bloom and releasing
allergenic pollen in Clark County, Nevada.
The staining can be pretty bad when the fruits from the female trees drop on your car, patio or sidewalk and the birds absolutely go nuts over the fruit. The fruit would be coming in about now in our climate. the county ordinance is concerning the pollen and associated allergies of the MALE tree, not the female.

By the way, in many central Asian (Afghanistan) and Indo European countries (Armenia) they share the same name for the fruits - toots.


  1. In Armenia the locals put plastic underneath all the trees when they are in their season. They make vodka with the fruit.

  2. I've had good success with a black, dwarf mulberry (Gerardi)--easier to cover with netting to keep the fruit from the birds. Not only are they tempted to eat the delicious fruit, but their droppings will stain your neighbors' stucco house, walls, etc. I got my tree by mail-order.

  3. If you don't mind a trip over the hump Star Nursery in Pahrump has Fruiting Mulberry Trees.

    1. I know it has been a few years since this post but do you think they still have the trees in Pahrump?

    2. I just purchased two 15 gallon Persian Mulberry trees in Pahrump last weekend.

  4. I definitely go along with the ban on male mulberries. Incredible shade canopy---maybe too incredible. But the darned females are so prodigious even the birds tire of eating them after a couple of weeks. I can't think of a better early fruit tree than the mulberry. And different people have different tastes. I can't imagine life without a white mulberry---it is like fruit punch heaven. Persian blacks too, like a black berry.

    There are numerous mulberry varieties available mail order. Some nonstaining.

  5. Mulberries do not have to be grown as a tree. They can be grown as a shrub and they are much easier to pick this way.

  6. Trees are trees and should not be banned.

  7. cypress trees are the way to go for fast growing shade and privacy. no fruit tho.

  8. Available at Star Nursery everywhere in Las Vegas Valley now Mar1 2017....Varieties: Persian Black, Red Heritage White Alba, Pakistani. Large tree 15 gal. 8ft tall x2-3" trunk. list $99 on sale $79 , even $49 at Blue Diamond Star Nursery. Bought 2, the Persian Black, and the Pakistani Red

  9. Here is a page on Clark County, NV website about Air Quality Regulation that validates & clarifies your statement that "It is my understanding that only the male mulberry (thus fruitless) has an ordinance against it, not the female (fruited)." and also includes additional information on "Cultivars of low pollinating Fruitless Mulberry" that may qualify for "Exemption"
    "SECTION 44 - PROHIBITIONS ON PLANTING, SELLING, OR OFFERING TO SELL FRUITLESS MULBERRY AND EUROPEAN OLIVE TREES" "No Person shall plant, sell, offer to sell, or authorize the planting of Fruitless Mulberry" http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/airquality/regulations/Documents/SECT44_07-01-04.pdf