31 May 2011

Black mulberry (Morus nigra)

Black mulberries are now in season and available at the local greengrocers.

"Black mulberry (Morus nigra) is a species of mulberry. It is native to southwestern Asia, where it has been cultivated for so long that its precise natural range is unknown.

Cultivation and uses
Black mulberry has long been cultivated for its edible fruit and is planted and often naturalised west across much of Europe, including Ukraine, and east into China. Multiple fruits of the Persian or black mulberry become purplish-black at maturity. Black, red and white mulberry are widespread in Pakistan, Iran, North India and Afghanistan, where the tree and the fruit are known by the Persian-derived names toot (mulberry) or shahtoot (شاه توت) (king's or "superior" mulberry). Jams and sherbets are often made from the fruit in this region. The black mulberry was imported into Britain in the 17th century in the hope that it would be useful in the cultivation of silkworms."
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