Mulatto is a term of Spanish origin describing people of mixed racial background. In Hispanic America, the term originally referred to the children of one European and one African parent, but today refers to all people with a significant amount of both European and African ancestry. One criticism of the term is that it ignores the huge amount of racial intermixing in North America in which few people have African ancestry with significant amounts of European ancestry. The feminine form is mulatta.
Mulattos officially make up the majority of the population in Dominican Republic and are significant in other Latin American countries, as Brazil, Colombia, Cuba and Venezuela. Many Americans of Hispanic and Latino origin identify themselves as mulatto as well, but the term is rarely used by African Americans. In the United States, people with both African and European ancestry tend to be considered to be black, whereas in Brazil, people with both African and European ancestry tend to be considered white. Such differences in attitude indicate the degree to which race is a social and not scientific classification.
Some people consider the term pejorative, as it derives from the Spanish word for mule (the infertile offspring of a donkey and a horse).
The popular song, "The Yellow Rose of Texas" is about a mulatto woman, and not about a flower.