English Name: Mulberry
Botanical Name: Morus nigra
DESCRIPTION: A purple colour tinted with red or white fruit resembling a black berry.
ORIGIN: The white mulberry is native to eastern and central China. The mulberry tree was first linked to the silk road Shaki, a city in northwestern Azerbaijan, where the silk production is very paramount. By the Middle Ages, there were already many different types of mulberries in the region varieties that include; Aghtut, Khartut, Chardagli, Shahtut, Bidana, Kharji (Seedless), Shirvani, Garatut and Tehrani. The three main species of mulberries are white, red and black all of them are widely cultivated throughout Azerbaijan.
The white variety grows in the forest stretched along the Kur, Araz and Samu rivers. General Oglethorpe, in 1733, imported 500 white mulberry trees to Fort Frederica in Georgia to encourage silk production at the English colony of Georgia there’s a square in the Old City (Ichari Shabar) that takes its name after the fruit tree. A song also was written about the mulberry tree the black mulberries line the street of Baku and the parks to provide shade and decoration.
It was later discovered that some female mulberry trees were planted as well. So when the fruit becomes ripe each June, it tends to drop that’s how you know it’s mulberry season in Azerbaijan.
Mulberries are used as a medicine to protect against diseases of the liver, gall bladder and heart also used to treat sore throats.
Mulberries are used in ice cream, jams, jellies, juice, beverages and pies.
Mulberry roots are used to make black dye, the wood as furniture and musical instruments.
The leaves of mulberry are used to feed silkworms in order to make product that gave the Silk Road its name.