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Published In: Tableau du Regne Vegetal 3: 547. 1799. (Tabl. Regn. Veg.) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/25/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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1. Broussonetia papyrifera (L.) L’Hér. ex Vent. (paper mulberry)

Pl. 457 i, j; Map 2078

Plants trees or shrubs to 15 m tall, unarmed, with milky sap. Bark smooth or somewhat grooved longitudinally, yellowish brown to grayish brown. Twigs relatively stout, often somewhat zigzag, grayish green with circular, orange lenticels, densely pubescent with spreading hairs, the winter buds bluntly ovoid, with several overlapping scales, densely hairy. Leaves alternate and/or opposite. Petioles 3–11 cm long, densely pubescent with long spreading hairs. Leaf blades 8–19 cm long, 5–16 cm wide, ovate, unlobed or shallowly to deeply 3-lobed and with 3 main veins from the base, abruptly short-tapered to a sharply pointed tip, the lateral lobes (when present) also abruptly short-tapered, broadly angled to rounded, truncate, or occasionally shallowly cordate at the base, the margins otherwise toothed, the upper surface dark grayish green, roughened, with the main veins more or less hairy, the undersurface pale green or off-white, usually densely hairy, felty to the touch. Inflorescences entirely staminate or pistillate. Staminate inflorescences solitary in the leaf axils, dense catkins 4–8 cm long, pendant, the calyces 1.5–2.5 mm long, deeply 4-lobed, hairy. Pistillate inflorescences solitary in the leaf axils, dense, globose clusters 1–2 cm in diameter, the calyces 1.5–2.5 mm long, deeply 4-lobed, the lobes oblanceolate, densely hairy at their tips, the stigma 1, unbranched, linear. Fruits fused into compound, fleshy spherical masses, these 1.5–3.0 cm in overall diameter at maturity, the individual drupes more or less club-shaped, long-exserted from the persistent calyces, orange to orangish red. 2n=26. April–May.

Introduced, scattered in the southeastern quarter of the state, uncommon or absent elsewhere (native of Asia, introduced in the eastern United States west to Nebraska and Texas). Bottomland forests, mesic upland forests, and edges of sand prairies; also ditches, railroads, roadsides, and disturbed areas.

Paper mulberry persists at disturbed sites, most commonly in the Mississippi Lowlands Division, often forming large, dense clonal colonies from root sprouts. Pistillate inflorescences can be relatively showy, with the calyces bright red, but nearly all of the fertile specimens collected in Missouri thus far have been staminate.

Fiber from the inner bark is made into cloth and paper in the Old World and the sap has been used in the formulation of a glue. Steyermark (1963) noted that the pollen can cause hay fever.



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