A small, deciduous tree that has alternate, heart-shaped leaves. The leaves are glabrous above with toothed edges and are softly hairy underneath. Milk latex is present but not abundant. Trees tend to be small and multiple-stemmed with roughened bark. The wood has distinct annual rings and is ring-porous. Juvenile leaves may be deeply lobed. The flowers are minute spikes. Fruit is red, ripening to dark purple.
Wildlife – Kingbirds, great crested flycatchers, titmice, crows, and summer tanagers are attracted to this tree.
The red mulberry was considered a staple for the Indians. The Seminoles made bows from the branches and used the fruit, leaves, and stems for dye. A decoction of the roots was used to treat urinary problems. The sap was used to cure ringworm.