Broussonetia papyrifera, also known as the paper mulberry, is a species of flowering tree native to East Asia, including China, Japan, and Korea. It is widely cultivated in other parts of the world, including North America and Europe, for its bark, which is used to make paper, clothing, and other textiles.
The paper mulberry is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 10 meters tall. Its leaves are large, lobed, and toothed, and the tree produces small, greenish-yellow flowers in the summer. The fruit of the tree is a small, edible, red or black berry.
The bark of the paper mulberry has been used for thousands of years to make paper in East Asia. The process involves boiling the bark, pounding it into a pulp, and then spreading the pulp out on a screen to dry. The resulting paper is strong and durable, and was used for books, calligraphy, and other important documents.
In addition to its use in papermaking, the bark of the paper mulberry has been used to make clothing and other textiles in East Asia. The fibers of the bark are stripped and woven into a fabric that is similar to linen. This fabric is used to make clothing, bags, and other household items.
The paper mulberry is also used in traditional medicine in East Asia. The bark and leaves of the tree are used to treat a variety of ailments, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and inflammation.
While the paper mulberry is an important cultural and economic resource in East Asia, it is considered an invasive species in other parts of the world, including the United States, where it has been introduced as an ornamental plant. Its rapid growth and ability to spread aggressively have led to concerns about its impact on native plant and animal species.