Features and characters of the individual
This white mulberry tree calls back to a chapter in the Botanic Garden’s history: as part of a major production site for raw silk between 1830 and 1870. Silkworms used to be raised here and kilos of mulberry leaves were delivered every day to feed them, in the hope that they would produce more of the precious fibre. The leaves came from the magnanery in Uccle/Forest, which was a white mulberry growing farm, but also from all-over Brussels. During this period, the bourgeoisie planted white mulberry trees everywhere in the city – in parks, gardens, cemeteries – in order to feed silkworms. However, it is hard to grow mulberry trees in Belgium and the cost of production turned out to be far too high. In the end, they had to face the facts: producing raw silk in Brussels was a utopian pipe dream.