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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Thursday - February 23, 2012

From: Wellman, IA
Region: Midwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Trees
Title: Sap of mulberry similar to sap of maple for syrup from Wellman IA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can the the sap of the mulberry tree be used to make syrup similar to maple Syrup?

ANSWER:

The only reference to mulberry tree syrup we could find was this on Morus rubra (red mulberry), which had instructions for extracting and cooking with, as well as medicinal use for, juice from the berries.

This USDA Plant Profile page on Morus rubra (Red mulberry) shows that, while the tree grows natively in Iowa, it does not necessarily grow in Washington Co., in the southeast corner of the state. That doesn't mean it won't grow there, it just means they have no record of it growing there.

On our own webpage on Morus rubra (Red mulberry), we found the only other mention of the sap:

"Warning: Unripe fruit and milky sap from all parts have low toxicity if eaten. Symptoms include hallucinations and stomach upset. Toxic Principle: Unidentified."

So, we wouldn't suggest experimenting.

 

From the Image Gallery


Red mulberry
Morus rubra

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