The Mulberry trees (Morus nigra) along Houston’s Buffalo Bayou are producing their delicious fruit. The picture above is an immature berry–this particular tree produces a dark purple berry when ready to eat. Some sources on the internets, as well as Delena Tull’s excellent book Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest warn against consuming the unripe fruit, claiming that doing so produces an unpleasant, mildly psychedelic experience. Apparently you throw up, fall on the ground and become convinced you’re going to croak. We wonder if this is a myth, like the story about boy scouts roasting hot dogs on Oleander sticks (yes, Oleander is very poisonous, but apparently the boy scout story is an urban legend).

We found the Mulberries sweet and delicious. It’s a fruit that doesn’t ship well, hence its absence in our crummy supermarkets.

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  1. The field is usually pretty lush by the times the berries ripen, with the seasonal rains. So we usually bring some kind of big stick in case there’s a copperhead (hubby’s beaten off one). I had to use a cane for a while after knee surgery, and we found the cane handle is GREAT for pulling down mulberry branches, and could probably beat off a snake too. Now I’ll have to find that cane again 8^)

    If there’s enough between both trees, I might try jelly with the agar agar stick things I got from the Asian store. If not, then I’ll make muffins now that I have gluten-free baking mix.


  2. I discovered that the scrub tree in my side yard was a mullberry last summer when I went to fix my gutters and found ripe berries on for the first time
    I made mullberry jam with it. Tasty stuff!

  3. These are delicious. We lived in McKinney, TX (just north of Dallas)for 4 years and we loved eating big, ripe mulberries. The locals at the feed and seed thought we were crazy. We built our chicken run near the mulberry trees for lots of quick chook snacks. They love ’em, too.

  4. however roasting boy scouts on oleander sticks can be quite dangerous, especially when the boy scouts have short-fuses.

  5. I used to eat mulberries all the time as a kid and never once hallucinated, and I’m pretty sure I’ve eaten some unripe ones.

    I’d be willing to bet that if they really made you hallucinate, there’d be tons of old hippies growing mulberry trees

  6. I’ve never cared for mulberries. I’ve always thought that they were kind of bland and mealy but maybe mulberries are different in Michigan than other areas of the continent.

    I have a HUGE one that shades my chicken coop and I don’t care for that either. The chickens gorge themselves on mulberries then run around the yard crapping out “jelly.”

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