Mulberries have been grown in Britain for hundreds of years both black and white varieties. The black ones are the ones to choose for fruit, and although the white ones do bear fruit - they are rather insipid in taste, and the tree is instead mostly planted for silkworm culture! The black mulberry makes a rather gnarled sometimes crooked shaped tree up to 9m in height, and although it can be 8 to 10 years before reaching fruiting age, will reward with an abundance of small dark raspberry like fruit of an unusual taste (sweet but tart, and slight 'oaky' like a good wine), which are delicious eaten raw, or made into jams and jellies.

They are versatile trees that will grow successfully in most soils and conditions, preferably with reasonable sunshine. Beware however, that the ripe fruit can stain light clothing with its intense deep purple colouring.

The childrens' song 'Here we go round the mulberry bush' has similar version known all over Europe and was first noted in the early 19th century. One oddity about this rhyme is that the mulberry is neither indigenous to Britain, nor do the fruits grow on a bush. James Orchard Halliwell, who first recorded the rhyme in the mid 19th century commented that it was an English children's game, observing that there was a similar game which was accompanied by the lyrics, here we go round the bramble bush. And, the bramble, is both indigenous to the UK and also grows as a bush. So, the version involving the bramble may well be the original. Mulberry leaves, particularly those of the white mulberry, are the sole food source of silkworms, and in the 18th and 19th centuries Britain tried to emulate the successful Chinese silk trade by cultivating its own mulberry trees. However, this was not a success, due to periodic bouts of harsh winters, and the withered remains of a mulberry tree that had not survived a harsh frost may have prompted a rhyme satirising the ill-fated attempts to create a home-grown silk industry.

Mulberry (Black)

<p><span>Mulberries have been grown in Britain for hundreds of years both black and white varieties. The black ones are the ones to choose for fruit, and although the white ones do bear fruit - they are rather insipid in taste, and the tree is instead mostly planted for silkworm culture! The black mulberry makes a rather gnarled sometimes crooked shaped tree up to 9m in height, and although it can be 8 to 10 years before reaching fruiting age, will reward with an abundance of small dark raspberry like fruit of an unusual taste (sweet but tart, and slight 'oaky' like a good wine), which are delicious eaten raw, or made into jams and jellies.</span><br /><br /><span>They are versatile trees that will grow successfully in most soils and conditions, preferably with reasonable sunshine. Beware however, that the ripe fruit can stain light clothing with its intense deep purple colouring.</span><br /><br /><span>The childrens' song 'Here we go round the mulberry bush' has similar version known all over Europe and was first noted in the early 19th century. One oddity about this rhyme is that the mulberry is neither indigenous to Britain, nor do the fruits grow on a bush. James Orchard Halliwell, who first recorded the rhyme in the mid 19th century commented that it was an English children's game, observing that there was a similar game which was accompanied by the lyrics, here we go round the bramble bush. And, the bramble, is both indigenous to the UK and also grows as a bush. So, the version involving the bramble may well be the original. Mulberry leaves, particularly those of the white mulberry, are the sole food source of silkworms, and in the 18th and 19th centuries Britain tried to emulate the successful Chinese silk trade by cultivating its own mulberry trees. However, this was not a success, due to periodic bouts of harsh winters, and the withered remains of a mulberry tree that had not survived a harsh frost may have prompted a rhyme satirising the ill-fated attempts to create a home-grown silk industry.</span></p>