Paper Mulberry, Tapa Cloth Tree, Gou Shu, Wauke

Broussonetia papyrifera

Family: Moraceae (mor-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Broussonetia (broo-soh-NEE-she-uh) (Info)
Species: papyrifera (pap-ih-RIFF-er-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Morus papyrifera
Synonym:Papyrius papyrifera
Synonym:Smithiodendron artocarpioideum



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring




Good Fall Color

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)

Huntsville, Alabama

Monrovia, California

Altamonte Springs, Florida

Bartow, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Savannah, Georgia

Benton, Kentucky

Georgetown, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Nicholasville, Kentucky

Bowie, Maryland

Valley Lee, Maryland

Roswell, New Mexico

Staten Island, New York

Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina

Springfield, Tennessee

Brownwood, Texas

Dallas, Texas

De Leon, Texas

Menard, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 23, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The pollen is highly allergenic.

The shallow root system makes this tree highly prone to windfall.

Four states have placed this species on restricted tree lists due to its invasiveness. Spreads aggressively both by root suckers and by seed (the latter spread by animals). Invasive both in disturbed areas and in natural habitat, where it forms large thickets.

The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council has listed this as a Category ll invasive weed. Acording to BONAP, it has naturalized in Hawaii, California, and 29 other states from TX north to IA and east ... read more


On Feb 13, 2012, boddah from Accord, NY wrote:

I hope everyone who posts about this tree understands that its is natures nature to weed. Just as earth peoples where there were people not before, there are weeds that come forth where there were no weeds before. If there were no weeds at all, nothing would hold the soil in place and man would soon perish. Weeds are simply put the only reason earth has peopled. Without weeds we never would have come to be so intelligent as to domesticate weeds. Show some respect.


On Mar 8, 2011, DeanM from Spirit Lake, IA wrote:

Anybody who doesn't like this tree, consider selling the inner layer of bark? It will kill the tree and also make great paper........


On Jun 26, 2009, scirpidiella from Pińczw,
Poland (Zone 6b) wrote:

Trees grow well on dry sandy soil. Slightly damage by frost are only the peaks of shoots. Fast growing. Plants are four years old and have 5-7 foot high and wide.


On Jul 25, 2008, NCtreeman from Roanoke Rapids, NC wrote:

Although apparently a major nuisance in Florida and the middle east because of its invasive nature and pollen production, I think this plant is attractive. I found one growing under a hedge and transplanted it to the middle of my yard where it has flourished but never spread. It is fast growing and makes great shade and won't get big enough to threaten the house. From researching it on the Web I have found that at one time people planted it intentionally because it was considered attractive. Messy, maybe, hardy, yes, but ugly? Naw!


On Jan 11, 2008, tbweber from Huntsville, AL wrote:

Remains small and shrubby in Alabama, but still manages to overrun an entire yard. Very hard to eliminate, impossible to love.


On Jun 28, 2007, Windermere from Bowie, MD wrote:

I had three of these unatrractive trees growing on my repossessed property when I bought it. They are highly invasive and spread vegetatively; there were offshoots along the base of the house, in the garage [!] and many on an unoccupied property next door. They were also very messy, dropping catkin like flowers[?] that became a soggy mess after rain. Hundreds of offshoots would pop up between mowings [I counted one day] so I had these trees removed. They are hard to kill, and offshoots continued to pop up for three years. Invasive plant status is well deserved.


On Dec 19, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Paper Mulberry Broussonetia papyrifera is naturalized in Texas and other States and is considered an invasive plant in Texas.


On Jan 30, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

This awful, alien tree has established itself on my property. I really can find no positive adjective to describe it. Recommandation: Kill it.


On Jan 3, 2005, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This tree is listed as a Category II Exotic Pest Plant in Florida. In my area of central Florida, it is very invasive, taking up residence in almost every disturbed area. Unless cared for in someones yard, this trashy tree has yellow-green leaves. In my opinion, it is quite unattractive. It should be discouraged in Florida.


On Jan 2, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

A medium sized Asian tree with sandpaper textured leaves and twigs. Leaves are toothed and can be unlobed to very deeply lobed , all on the same tree.

The leaves are sandpapery above and very velvety below. The bark is a yellow-brown network of small ridges. Flowers in April-May ,fruits are reddish and barely edible, but birds and wildlife relish them.

Common along fencerows, as birds have deposited the seeds when they perch.

No other tree north of Florida has such rough leaves and velvety undersides.

Inner bark was once used for paper and in some parts of the world, it is beaten into something called Tapa Cloth.