“Here we go round the mulberry bush… in search of an invasive treat.”
The fruits of white mulberry (Morus alba) resemble blackberries in appearance and taste- sweet and tart. White mulberries are available from late spring to summer. They are ripe when you can gently pull them from their branches. One particularly efficient method of harvest (and a method that will help avoid staining your hands purple!) is to spread a sheet on the ground and shake the tree.
The fruit can be eaten raw (especially good with fresh cream), put into pies or tarts or jams, or made into wine. Eat or prepare the fruit promptly- they will ferment or mold after just a few days in the fridge. They can, however, be frozen for longer storage.
The release of mulberry pollen grains is literally explosive! Grains are propelled from the catkins (male flowers) at a speed of 350 mph, among the fastest movements in plants.
The name “white mulberry” can be misleading. The berries are not necessarily white (although sometimes they are), and they are not even true berries. Rather, they are a fruit known as an aggregated drupe.
The wood of mulberry trees is used in hockey sticks.