mulberries

  • Mulberry trees range in size from a small rapidly growing bush to a huge ancient 50 foot tree. They are of the genus "morus"
  • Mulberries are black, red or white. Commonly cultivated varieties are black mulberry (Morus nigra), red mulberry (Morus rubra), and white mulberry (Morus alba). There are about 10 or so varieties.
  • Mulberry trees do grow in the UK. They take a long time to grow, so plant one now for your grandchildren! Some years they don't give much fruit, but every three or so years you get an exceptional crop. The fruits look like an elongated blackberry. When you pick them, they almost melt in your hands and you get covered in red juice. They wouldn't travel well, which is probably why you never find them in the shops, except for the dried white Persian mulberries from places like Turkey. They are so delicious fresh.
  • The mulberry is steeped in history and culture.
  • In the 17th century, the white mulberry bushes were used to feed silk worms. The caterpillars of the silk worm moths fed on the leaves and then spun themselves cocoons. Silk was obtained by unwinding these cocoons.
  • The origins of the nursery rhyme "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" are lost in history. It's ironic that children are more likely to remember the rhyme than the taste of the fruit!
  • The mulberry is immortalised in Vincent van Gogh's famous painting of a white mulberry tree in the autumn " The Mulberry Tree". I love both the painting and the fruit!

Links

  • Founded in 1968, the California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG) is the largest amateur fruit-growing organization in the world. The link below gives the botanical information for mulberry.
  • http://www.crfg.org
  • The mulberry’s levels of antioxidants are 79% higher than blueberries and 24% more than those found in cranberries.
  • http://naturalactives.com
  • Tim Tylers mulberry tree site with locations of mulberry trees in the UK
  • http://mulberrytrees.co.uk