26 July 2009

A Mulberry Tree

Yesterday we took a day trip to the New Forest to visit the New Forest Otter, Owl and Wildlife Park (owned by the same family as the Chestnut Centre). Ian was particularly keen to take his new camcorder and video the otters.

There were three highlights for me - watching an asian short clawed otter climbing a fence, the recent addition of a tropical butterfly house and a beautiful black mulberry (Morus nigra) tree outside the first otter enclosure. I've walked past the tree a number of times in the Spring without paying it any attention, but being summer it was fruiting profusely.

The ground was stained with fallen fruits and there were still thousands on the tree itself. I didn't feel cheeky enough to pick some and taste them (and I couldn't remember if you could eat them raw), but we did collect lots of the fallen fruit with the hope of planting one of our own.

I have to say that it was one of the most beautiful and unusual trees I've ever seen. I have to have one!

Many people know only of the mulberry from the fact that the leaves provide the only source of food for the silkworm and from the nursery rhyme "here we go round the mulberry bush". No species of mulberry actually forms a bush and it may be that it was adapted from an earlier version "here we go round the bramble bush".


Scriptor Senex said...

I never knew there were no Mulberry bushes! You live and learn...

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