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Edible uses


Fruit - raw[1][2][3][4]. 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[4].

Leaves - cooked[2]. The dried leaf contains 1% calcium carbonate[4] (this report does not mention edibility).

Flowers[4]. No more details.




Material uses

A fibre from the bark is used in making paper, cloth, rope etc[5][6][7][8]. 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[8]. 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[9]. Wood - coarse grained, soft, easily worked, light, not very durable. Used for cups, bowls etc[10][11][12][13].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Astringent, diuretic, tonic, vulnerary[12].

The leaf juice is diaphoretic and laxative - it is also used in the treatment of dysentery[14]. It is also poulticed onto various skin disorders, bites etc[14]. The stem bark is haemostatic[14]. The fruit is diuretic, ophthalmic, stimulant, stomachic and tonic[14].

The root is cooked with other foods as a galactogogue[14].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Secondary canopy

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


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[15]. 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[16][17]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, November in a frame[18]. Root cuttings in winter[18].

Layering in spring[18].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Broussonetia papyrifera. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Easily cultivated in a warm sunny position in any soil of reasonable quality[16]. A drought resistant species once established[10], thriving on poor sandy or gravelly soils[18][13]. Another report says that it does not thrive on poor soils[19]. Tolerates atmospheric pollution[18]. A fast-growing tree according to one report[20], 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[18]. 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[16][18]. Trees are coppiced annually for this purpose[21], 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.


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Broussonetia papyrifera. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Broussonetia papyrifera.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Broussonetia papyrifera
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
9 x 9 meters
Flower Colour
Flower Type


  1. ? 1.01.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
  2. ? Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
  4. ? Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre (1977-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.1 Chakravarty. H. L. The Plant Wealth of Iraq. ()
  8. ? Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.1 Bell. L. A. Plant Fibres for Papermaking. Liliaceae Press (1988-00-00)
  10. ? Vines. R. A. Trees of Central Texas. University of Texas Press ISBN 0-292-78958-3 (1987-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.1 Gupta. B. L. Forest Flora of Chakrata, Dehra Dun and Saharanpur. Forest Research Institute Press (1945-00-00)
  12. ? Stuart. Rev. G. A. Chinese Materia Medica. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre ()
  13. ? Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (1980-00-00)
  14. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
  15. ? Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 3. Thompson and Morgan. (1989-00-00)
  16. ? Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  17. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
  18. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  19. ? Gamble. J. S. A Manual of Indian Timbers. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh (1972-00-00)
  20. ? Vines. R.A. Trees of North Texas University of Texas Press. ISBN 0292780206 (1982-00-00)
  21. ? Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
  22. ? Wilson. E. H. Plantae Wilsonae. ()

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Facts about "Broussonetia papyrifera"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyMoraceae +
Belongs to genusBroussonetia +
Has common namePaper Mulberry +
Has drought toleranceTolerant +
Has edible partFlowers +, Fruit + and Leaves +
Has edible useUnknown use +
Has environmental toleranceDrought +
Has fertility typeSelf sterile +
Has flowers of typeDioecious +
Has growth rateModerate +
Has hardiness zone8 +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useFibre +, Leather +, Paper + and Wood +
Has mature height9 +
Has mature width9 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useAstringent +, Diaphoretic +, Diuretic +, Galactogogue +, Haemostatic +, Laxative +, Ophthalmic +, Skin +, Stimulant +, Stomachic +, Tonic + and Vulnerary +
Has search namebroussonetia papyrifera + and x +
Has shade toleranceNo shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
Has soil teclayture preferenceClay +
Has soil teloamyture preferenceLoamy +
Has soil tesandyture preferenceSandy +
Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomy nameBroussonetia papyrifera +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Inhabits ecosystem nicheSecondary canopy +
Is deciduous or evergreenDeciduous +
Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +