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Broussonetia papyrifera - (L.) L'Hér. ex Vent.

Common Name Paper Mulberry
Family Moraceae
USDA hardiness 6-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Thickets, mountain ravines and forests[109].
Range E. Asia - China. Occasionally naturalized in S.E. Europe[50].
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Broussonetia papyrifera Paper Mulberry
Broussonetia papyrifera Paper Mulberry


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A medium to large deciduous tree with a round and spreading crown. It is a hardy, fast-growing tree that can be invasive. Some good edible, medicinal and other uses. Bloom Color: Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Broussonetia papyrifera is a deciduous Tree growing to 9 m (29ft) by 9 m (29ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is frost tender. It is in flower from August to September, and the seeds ripen from September to November. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). . The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map



Woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Fruit  Leaves
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw[2, 105, 177, 179]. The fruit comprises a ball about 1.5cm in diameter with numerous small edible fruits protruding - there is not much edible flesh but it has a lovely flavour[K]. Prolonged ingestion is said to weaken the bones[179]. Leaves - cooked[105]. The dried leaf contains 1% calcium carbonate[179] (this report does not mention edibility). Flowers[179]. No more details.


Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Astringent  Diaphoretic  Diuretic  Galactogogue  Haemostatic  Laxative  Ophthalmic  Skin  
Stimulant  Stomachic  Tonic  Vulnerary

Astringent, diuretic, tonic, vulnerary[178]. The leaf juice is diaphoretic and laxative - it is also used in the treatment of dysentery[218]. It is also poulticed onto various skin disorders, bites etc[218]. The stem bark is haemostatic[218]. The fruit is diuretic, ophthalmic, stimulant, stomachic and tonic[218]. The root is cooked with other foods as a galactogogue[218].


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Other Uses

Fibre  Leather  Paper  Wood

A fibre from the bark is used in making paper, cloth, rope etc[46, 61, 114, 171]. The fibre can be produced by beating strips of bark on a flat surface with a wooden mallet. A very fine cloth can be made in this way, the more the bark is beaten the finer the cloth becomes. Larger sizes can be made by overlapping 2 pieces of bark and beating them together. A leather substitute can also be made from the bark[171]. When used for making paper branches are harvested after the leaves have fallen in the autumn, they are steamed and the fibres stripped off. In humid areas this can be done without steaming the branches. The inner and outer bark are then separated by scraping (or simply peeling in humid areas) and the fibres are cooked for 2 hours with lye before being hand pounded with mallets. The paper varies in colour if the outer and inner barks are used together or separately[189]. Wood - coarse grained, soft, easily worked, light, not very durable. Used for cups, bowls, furniture etc[149, 158, 178, 229, 266]. Its timber does not have high commercial value. Animal feed, fodder, forage: Fodder/animal feed, Invertebrate food for silkworms. Environmental Uses: Agroforestry. Erosion control or dune stabilization. Revegetation. Shade and shelter. Soil improvement. Windbreak. [1d].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming


Cultivation details

Management: Coppice  Regional Crop

Easily cultivated in a warm sunny position in any soil of reasonable quality[11]. A drought resistant species once established[149], thriving on poor sandy or gravelly soils[200, 229]. Another report says that it does not thrive on poor soils[146]. Tolerates atmospheric pollution[200]. A fast-growing tree according to one report[227], but whilst it might be fast in relation to other members of the genus, it is only of moderate growth compared to some species[K]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to about -10°c[200]. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun[K]. There is a superb specimen of this tree at Cambridge Botanical gardens, in the late summer of 1996 it was about 12 metres tall and 16 metres wide and was bearing a huge crop of immature fruit[K]. The leaves on the same tree can vary widely in shape and size[K]. The paper mulberry is widely cultivated in E. Asia for the fibre in its bark, there are many named varieties[11, 200]. Trees are coppiced annually for this purpose[4], though the coppice interval in countries such as Britain would probably be 2 - 3 years. This is a very adaptable tree, it is found growing in tropical climates but its range also extends well into the temperate zone. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Special Features:Not North American native, Invasive, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Carbon Farming

  • Management: Coppice  Cut to the ground repeatedly - resprouting vigorously. Non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.


Temperature Converter

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Seed - no pre-treatment is required. Sown in the autumn or spring in a greenhouse, germination usually takes place within 1 - 3 months at 15°c[138]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 8 - 12cm long with a heel, July/August in a frame. High percentage[11, 78]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, November in a frame[200]. Root cuttings in winter[200]. Layering in spring[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Papermulberry tree; tapa cloth tree. Spanish: moral de la China; morera de papel; morera del papel; papelero. French: murier a papier; mûrier à papier. Portuguese: amoreira do papel. Germany: Papiermaulbeerbaum. Hawaii: po'a'aha; wauke. India: kachnar. Indonesia: saeh Italy: gelso papirifero del Giappone; moro della China. Japan: aka; aka kowso; kename kowso; kodzu; pokasa. Myanmar: malaing. Pakistan: gul toot. Taiwan: lu-a-shu. Thailand: por-gra-saa; por-saa; ton-saa. Tonga: hiapo.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, Asia, Australia, Cambodia, China*, Fiji, Hawaii, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Madagascar, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, North America, Northeastern India, Pacific, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, PNG, Philippines, Russia, Samoa, SE Asia, Sikkim, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, Tonga, USA, Vietnam, Wallis & Futuna, Yap.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

A highly invasive species, becoming weedy and difficult to remove after its introduction.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Broussonetia kazinokiKozoTree4.5 6-9  LMHNDM31 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Expert comment


(L.) L'Hér. ex Vent.

Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Michel H. Porcher   Wed Jun 16 01:06:12 2004

Latin and Worldwide Common Names From Porcher Michel H. et al. 1995 - 2020, Sorting Broussonetia Names. Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database - A Work in Progress. Institute for Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia. (2004).

Link: Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database

   Aug 23 2011 12:00AM

In Hngary this plant seems to be absolutely hardy (at least to -20 C). The ration of male and female trees is, however, quite unfavourable (~ 20:1) in the few existing spontaineous populations. Maybe it's only the female trees that are not hardy enough? Bálint Czúcz

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