Mulberry - King James

King James Mulberry

Morus nigra
A historic mulberry descended directly from trees planted in 17th century at the Chelsea Physic Garden by King James I

Pollination:  King James is self-fertile and a pollinator is not necessary for producing a crop.

A guide to choosing Mulberry Trees

King James Mulberry Trees for sale - order online

Mulberry King James 12L Container

History and description of King James

The black mulberry is native to western Asia. It was introduced to Europe in Roman times and has been grown since in gardens throughout Europe for its attractive tree and delicious fruit. The 'King James I' trees are directly derived from a famous old tree which was said to have been planted in the early 17th Century in Swan Walk in London (now the Chelsea Physic Garden) on order of King James I. This tree had to be grubbed during World War II to give way for construction of an air raid shelter, but cuttings were taken to continue the line.

Black mulberry trees are very attractive with quite large, heart shaped, lush green leaves. They are slow growing but long-lived and capable of growing into quite large trees of 40ft (12m) in height and 50ft (15m) spread. The trees are hardy and generally easy to grow but require a sunny, and ideally a well drained position with a deep loam soil. They will not thrive on shallow soils. They have a tendency to become bushy, particularly if untrained. They do not require regular pruning other than for shape and tidyness. Because of their tendency to bleed, pruning should only be carried out during the dormant season and heavy pruning should be avoided as far as possible.

Black mulberry trees are relatively slow to come into bearing usually not producing fruit before the trees are six years old or more. The fruit matures slowly during the summer months ripening over a long period during August. When fully ripe it is very dark red, almost black in colour. It is very juicy and has a very distinct, delicious, sweet sharp flavour. It can be eaten fresh or used in jams. Fruit falling from the tree can stain drives and other paved surfaces, so trees are best planted away from such areas.

Further useful information:
Mulberry Fruit Facts