15 May 2011

The Mulberry Tree

No silkworms on the Mulberry Tree but an interesting lime green spider instead, possibly the 'Cucumber spider'  happily basking in the sun whilst  the tree is in full flower. There are two Mulberry trees in the Holkham Walled Garden, the largest one swoops gracefully down over the ground at the far west end, the smaller one is nearby at the west end of the Produce Garden.  

Mulberry leaves, particularly those of the white mulberry, are ecologically important as the sole food source of the silkworm  (Bombyx mori, named after the mulberry genus Morus), the pupa/cocoon of which is used to make silk.The ripe fruit is edible and is widely used in pies, tarts, wines, cordials and tea. The Mulberry is also an important source of  Anthocyanins which are pigments used in medicine and especially as natural food colorants.

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