Ajuntament de Barcelona

Broussonetia papyrifera

Miramar Garden and Camí dels Cims

    Catalan name: 
    Morera de paper
    Spanish name: 
    Morera papelera
    English name: 
    Paper mulberry
    Botanical synonyms: 
    Morus papyrifera
    Species characteristics
    Family: 
    Moraceae
    Origin: 
    Japan and Taiwan
    Habitat: 
    Hills, valleys and mountains at a maximum height of 1,500 m
    Characteristics: 

    Deciduous tree 8-12 m tall, although it can reach 15 m, with dense rounded crown and slightly winding trunks, which is occasionally ramified from the base. The bark, smooth when young, crackes over the time.

    The leaves, 7-20 cm long, are simple and alternate. They are entire (oval or heart-shaped) or lobed, 3-7 lobes, with finely serrate margins. It is possible to find on the same tree, even on the same branch, entire and lobed leaves (the lobed ones are more common on young specimens). The upper side is rough and the the lower side is velvety and whitish.

    The flowers are divided into masculine stipes and feminine stipes. The masculine ones appear into dense hanging greenish yellow catkins 3-7 cm long. The feminine ones are orangish red globose florets, covered by very noticeable hairs.

    The fruits, 3-4 cm in diameter, are globose, fleshy and their colour varies from red to orange.

    Flowering time: 
    Late spring
    Fruiting time: 
    Early autumn
    Uses and properties: 

    While its wood is used in knurling, most well known use of mulberry is its bark, strong and fibered, for making paper and fabrics.

    Also used in medicine in Asia and as an edible fruit, although they are very fragile to be traded. The leaves are used to feed cattle and, in China, silkworns.

    Also used as a shadow tree.

    History and curiosities: 

    The scientific name, Broussonetia papyrifera, consists of the genus name Broussonetia, dedicated to the French botanist Pierre Marie Auguste Broussonet (1761-1807), who introduced this species in France in the 18th c., and the Latin term papyrifera, "one that mades paper", alluding the Eastern use of the bark to make paper.

    For further information: 

    LÓPEZ GONZÁLEZ, Ginés A. Los árboles y arbustos de la Península Ibérica e Islas Baleares. (2 vol.) Madrid: Mundi-Prensa, 2001