The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section IV. Deciduous Ornamental Trees

Paper Mulberry

Previous - Next

Nat. Ord. (Natural Order) Urticace�. Lin. Syst. (Linnean System) Di�cia, Tetrandria. The Paper mulberry is an exotic tree of a low growth, rarely exceeding twenty-five or thirty feet, indigenous to Japan and the South Sea Islands, but very common in our gardens. It is remarkable for the great variety of forms exhibited in its foliage; as upon young trees it is almost impossible to find two exactly alike, though the prevailing outlines are either heart-shaped, or more or less deeply cut or lobed. These leaves are considered valueless for feeding the silkworm; but in the South Seas the bark is woven into dresses worn by the females; and in China and Japan extensive use is made of it in the manufacture of a paper of the softest and most beautiful texture. This is fabricated from the inner bark of the young shoots, which is first boiled to a soft pulp, and then submitted to processes greatly similar to those performed in our paper-mills. This tree blossoms in spring and ripens its fruit in the month of August. The latter is dark scarlet, and quite singular and ornamental, though of no value. The genus is di�cious; and the reason why so few fruit-bearing trees are seen in the United States, is because we generally cultivate only one of the sexes, the female. M. Parmentier, however, who introduced the male plant from Europe, disseminated it in several parts of the country; and the beauty of the tree has thereby been augmented by the interest which it possesses when laden with its long, hairy berries.