Plant DetailShow Menu

Similar but less problematic plants:
Cotinus coggygria Cotinus coggyria
Native alternative(s) for Broussonetia papyrifera:
Celtis occidentalis Celtis occidentalis
Cercis canadensis tree form with pink blooms
Crataegus crus-galli Crataegus crusgalli var. pyricanthifolia - flowers
Salix caroliniana Salix caroliniana
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Elaeagnus umbellata Eleagnus umbellata
Smilax bona-nox Smilax bona-nox
Toxicodendron radicans poison ivy
Broussonetia papyrifera has some other problems:
Wind Damage
Invasive Plants and Your Forests

Broussonetia papyrifera

Previously known as:

  • Morus papyrifera
Phonetic Spelling
broo-soh-NEH-she-uh pap-ih-RIFF-er-uh
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Paper mulberry is a medium to large, hardy, and fast growing deciduous tree in the Moraceae (mulberry) family.  Typically found in thickets, mountain ravines, and forests of its native China. The genus name honors Pierre Auguste Marie Broussonet (1761-1807), a French physician and naturalist. The specific epithet comes from the Egyptian word papyrus meaning paper and the Latin word ferre meaning to bear in reference to its use in making paper.

It has a round and spreading crown and in the wild matures to a height of 50 feet. However, in cultivation it is more typically a shrub. Paper Mulberry grows best in fertile, well-drained soil in a sheltered location with full sun. It also tolerates some shade, nutritionally poor soil, and is drought resistant once established. Because it has a shallow root system and has been known to topple over, must be protected from strong winds.  The plant propagates easily by seeds, cuttings, or root suckers.

The tree can be weedy and fast growing, spreading aggressively by means of root suckers, but it can be pruned when dormant (last fall or early winter) to control growth. Fruit-bearing female trees, in particular, can be invasive, competing with native species, and have been placed on lists of restricted trees in several states, including Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. The tree is sometimes planted as a street or yard tree, because it is not messy with dropping fruit but other tree selections should be considered. 

Insects, Diseases,  and Other Plant Problems:  Weedy and invasive tendencies. The pollen from male plants can cause allergic reactions.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#shade tree#invasive#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#weedy#high maintenance#street tree#showy fruits#food source wildlife#fast growing#aggressive#poor soils tolerant#bird friendly#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical feel#wind damage prone
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#shade tree#invasive#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#weedy#high maintenance#street tree#showy fruits#food source wildlife#fast growing#aggressive#poor soils tolerant#bird friendly#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical feel#wind damage prone
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Broussonetia
    Species:
    papyrifera
    Family:
    Moraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Fiber from the bark is used in making paper, cloth, and rope. Also used in paper-making.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    East Asia, Japan, and China.
    Distribution:
    Central and Southern United States, South America, Europe.
    Wildlife Value:
    Fruits attract birds
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10a, 10b, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Description:
    On female trees purple-red aggregate fruit clusters in the shape of a round ball.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Seperate male and female trees. Female rounded flower heads and male catkins 3 inches in length appear in April and May (male in pendulous catkins and female in rounded flower heads).
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Opposite
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Dull green simple, alternate (sometimes opposite or whorled) oval to lobed to mitten shaped leaves with serrate margins up to 8 inches in length, rough on top and hairy below. Yellow-green fall color can be interesting.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Bark Description:
    Gray bark matures over time to gray brown with furrows.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    New stems are hairy brownish-red.
  • Landscape:
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Poor Soil
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Weedy