Chelsea (King James I)
Description: Chelsea (King James I) is a traditional English variety, by far the most popular. Produces unusually large and succulent fruit cropping early in life. Dark red almost black fruits and an intensely rich flavour. Can be eaten fresh from the tree or add sugar, microwave, seive and pour over ice cream! Very hardy tree. Harvesting is best done each day.
History: There is a fascinating history to this black mulberry. It is derived from a tree that existed in the 17th century, in a garden in Swan Walk, which became the Chelsea Physic Garden, during the time of King James I. During the 1939/45 war the last remaining tree was about to be grubbed to make way for an air shelter when cuttings were taken and this variety has survived ever since in the trees of this name.
Mulberry Growing Tips: Tolerant to most soils as long as it's well drained. Plant in a sheltered but sunny position. If hand picked the fruit will be bruised causing staining to the fingers and clothes - children enjoy the experience of course! For a clean operation take a large sheet and lay it under the tree and shake the boughs vigorously. Any perfectly ripe fruit will fall and are subsequently gathered with ease.