Mulberry King James I (Morus nigra). The black mulberry is native to western Asia but was introduced to Europe in Roman times. There is a fascinating history to the King James variety. 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 reign of King James I. During the 1939/45 war the last remaining tree was about to be grubbed to make way for an air raid shelter when cuttings were taken and from these the trees of this name have survived.

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.