The Mulberry tree (Morus nigra) has been cultivated in England
since the middle of the sixteenth century, being first planted at Sion
house in 1548. It is now grown commonly in the garden, orchard, or
paddock, where its well-known rich syrupy fruit ripens in
September. This fruit, abounding with a luscious juice of regal hue,
is used in some districts, particularly in Devonshire, for mixing with
cider during  ferm
ntation, giving to the beverage a pleasant
taste, and a deep red colour. The juice, made into syrup, is curative
of sore throats, especially of the putrid sort, if it be used in
gargles; also of thrush in the mouth, if applied thereto; and the
ripe fruit is gently laxative.
Horace recommends that Mulberries be gathered before sunset:--
AEstatis peraget qui nigris prandia moris
Finiet ante gravem quae legerit arbore solem.
The generic name, Morus, is derived from the Celtic mor,
black. In Germany (at Iserlohn), mothers, in order to deter their
children from eating Mulberries, tell them the devil requires the
juicy berries for the purpose of blacking his boots. This fruit was
fabled to have become changed from white to a deep red through
absorbing the blood of Pyramus and Thisbe, who were slain beneath
It is thought by some that morus has been derived from the Latin
word mora, delay, as shown in a tardy expansion of the buds.
Because cautious not to burst into leaf until the last frost of spring
is over, the Mulberry tree, as the wisest of its fellows, was dedicated
by the ancients to Minerva, and the story of Pyramus and Thisbe
owed its origin to the white and black fruited varieties:--
The Mulberry found its former whiteness fled,
And, ripening, saddened into dusky red.
Shakespeare's famous Mulberry tree, planted in 1609, was of the black
species. It was recklessly cut down at New Place, Stratford-on-Avon,
in 1759. Ten years afterwards, when the freedom of the city
was presented to Garrick, the document was enclosed in a
casket made from the wood of this tree. Likewise a cup was 
wrought therefrom, and at the Shakespeare Jubilee, Garrick, holding
the cup aloft, recited the following lines, composed by himself for
Behold this fair goblet: 'twas carved from the tree
Which, oh, my sweet Shakespeare, was planted by thee!
As a relic I kiss it, and bow at thy shrine,
What comes from thy hand must be ever divine.
All shall yield to the Mulberry tree;
Bend to the blest Mulberry:
Matchless was he who planted thee,
And thou, like him, immortal shall be.
A slip of it was grown by Garrick in his garden at Hampton Court.
The leaves of the Mulberry tree are known to furnish excellent food
for silk worms.
Botanically, each fruit is a collection of berries on a common pulpy
receptacle, being, like the Strawberry, especially wholesome for
those who are liable to heartburn, because it does not undergo
acetous fermentation in the stomach. In France Mulberries are
served at the beginning of a meal. Among the Romans the fruit was
famous for maladies of the throat and windpipe.
The tree does not bear until it is somewhat advanced in age. It
contains in every part a milky juice, which will coagulate into a sort
of Indian rubber, and this has been thought to give tenacity to the
filament spun by the silkworm.
The juice of Mulberries contains malic and citric acids, with
glucose, pectin, and gum. The bark of the root has been given to
expel tapeworm; and the fruit is remarkable for its large quantity of
sugar, being excelled in this respect only by the fig, the grape, and
We are told in Ivanhoe that the Saxons made a favourite drink,
Morat, from the juice of Mulberries  with honey. During the
thirteenth century these berries were sometimes called pynes.
In the memorable narrative of the Old Testament, 2 Samuel, v.,
24, When thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the
Mulberry trees, the word used (bekhaim) has been mistranslated,
really intending the Aspen (Populus tremula).