Broussonetia papyrifera is a tree to 20 m tall but usually smaller, crooked or leaning, mature bark yellowish-gray with smooth network of fine ridges, twigs rough textured, gray-hairy, sap milky.
Leaves alternate, to 20 cm long, 9 cm wide, rough above, densely velvety hairy below, usually lobed, (similar to Morus alba) very variable, margin toothed.
Flowers dioecious (males and females on different plants) males in cylinder-shaped gray catkins; female flowers in dense, round heads, each flower with long purplish style; blooms April-May.
Fruit red, fleshy, to 3 cm wide, orange achenes protruding from a tight ball of old calyces.
Wetland status: NL.
Frequency in New York City: Infrequent.
Origin: S. China, Japan.
Habitat: Escaped from cultivation into disturbed sites.
Notes: May become infected by Nectria cinnabarina (Ascomycotina), coral spot canker, that colonizes injured bark or other damaged tissues. Fruiting bodies are small, pinkish warty growths on dead bark or stems. Fusarium solani (Ascomycotina) causes a canker that kills twigs. Roots are sometimes attacked by root knot nematodes Meloidogyne sp. tiny, worm-like parasites that feed on root tissues and cause warty growths on roots (Dirr 1990; Sinclair et al. 1987; Agrios 1988).