- Broussonetia papyrifera is a fast-growing, deciduous tree that grows up to 50 ft. (15.2 m) in height. It invades disturbed areas throughout the eastern United States. The tree crown is broad and rounded with wide-spreading branches. Winter twigs have a "fuzzy" appearance.
- Broussonetia papyrifera leaves are highly variable in size (3-10 in. [7.6-25.4 cm]), shape, and arrangement. Shape ranges from heart-shaped and entire to multi-lobed and highly dissected. The leaves are usually alternate, but they can also be found whorled or opposite. Leaves are very fuzzy with coarsely serrated margins. The sap is milky-white and freely flows from cut surfaces.
- Flowering occurs in the spring, when female flowers form in globose heads and male flowers develop in catkins.
- Fruits are red to orange, globose and 1-1.6 in. (3-4 cm) in diameter.
- Ecological Threat
- Broussonetia papyrifera quickly invades disturbed areas and can be found along forest edges, old fields, and roads where it displaces native vegetation. Due to a shallow root system, the trees are often susceptible to being blown down in high winds. Broussonetia papyrifera is native to Asia where it was used to produce paper. It was introduced into North America in the early 1900s and has been widely planted as an ornamental.