Common name: Paper Mulberry
Broussonetia papyrifera (L.) Vent. APNI*
Description: Trees 10–20 m tall, flowers always produced on leafy stems; dioecious. Bark dark gray. Branchlets densely pubescent. Stipules ovate, 1.5–2 × 0.8–1 cm, apex attenuate.
Leaves spirally arranged; petiole 2.3–8 cm; leaf blade broad-ovate to narrowl-elliptic ovate, simple or 3–5-lobed on young trees, 6–18cm long, 5–9 cmwide, abaxially densely pubescent but veins with coarser hairs, adaxially scabridulous and sparsely pubescent, base cordate and asymmetric, margin coarsely serrate, apex acuminate; secondary veins 6 or 7 on each side of midvein.
Male inflorescences long spicate, 3–8 cm long; bracts lanceolate, pubescent. Female inflorescences globose; bracts clavate, apically pubescent. Male flowers: calyx 4-lobed, lobes triangular-ovate and pubescent; anthers globose. Female flowers: calyx pipelike, lobes apically connate with style; ovary ovoid; stigma linear, pubescent.
Syncarp orange-red when mature, 1.5–3 cm in diam., mostly pubescent with scattered stout and ± barbed hairs, fleshy. Drupelets equal in length to peduncle, with 2 rows of small wart-like bumps; exocarp shell-like.
Distribution and occurrence:
Invasive in an area of about 1 hectare of pasture on the North Coast at Blue Knob, Nimbin.
NSW subdivisions: *NC
Native to East Asia and taken early to Polynesia, heavily naturalised in North America. Historically used extensively in areas where it is native, as a supply of paper for such things as umbrellas, screens and caligraphy paper.
Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Flora of China, Volume 5; Mabberley's Plant-Book, Ed. 3, 2008.
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