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Botanical Name: Broussonetia papyrifera
Synonyms: Morus papyrifera L., Broussonetia papyrifera (L.) Vent.
Common Name: Paper Mulberry, Dak, Halibun, Kalivon, Kozo, and Tapacloth tree
Seeds collection period: Sep- Nov
Seeds longevity: 1 year
B. papyrifera is a small tree or shrub which grows naturally in Asian and pacific countries (Thailand, China, Myanmar, Laos, Japan, Korea). It grows to 21 m high and 70 cm dbh, with a round and spreading crown. The spreading, grey-brown branches, marked with stipular scars are brittle, making it susceptible to wind damage. The bark is light grey, smooth, with shallow fissures or ridges. Leaves alternate or sub-opposite, mulberry-like and papery. Some leaves are distinctly deep lobed, while others are un-lobed and several different shapes of leaves may appear on the same shoot. Petioles are 3-10 cm long while stipules are 1.6-2.0 cm long.
In India, leaves are shed between September and January and the new leaves appear in February or March. On average, B. papyrifera trees are leafless for 1-3 months. The flowers appear in March-April. The fruit ripens in the rainy season from July to September. Seed dispersed by birds.
Food: Paper mulberry can be used as a food for both human and animal consumption. The fruit comprises a ball about 1.5 cm in diameter with numerous small edible fruits protruding-there is not much edible flesh but it has been reported to have a lovely flavour.
Fodder: Animals browse seedlings and saplings of B. papyrifera. Leaves are lopped for fodder with 67.7% of dry matter was digestible, crude protein 84.8%, crude fibre 65.5%, crude fat 35.0% and ash 50.3%. The leaves are also used for feeding silkworms.
Fibre: It has been known for almost 1500 years as a plant whose bark can be used to make paper of various grades up to the highest quality. The inner bark (bast) fibres is used for tapa (cloth) in the South Sea Islands while in Japan, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia it is used for special paper making, such as paper napkins, lens paper, cosmetic tissue and luxurious hand-made paper. The male flower spikes of Artocarpus atilis are blended with fibre of paper mulberry to make elegant loin cloths.
Timber: The wood is light-coloured, soft, greyish-white, even and straight grained. It is light, with a basic density of 506 kg/m3. The timber from B. papyrifera, being soft and brittle, is used mainly in the manufacture of cheap furniture, match sticks, packing cases, boxes, plywood, building-boards, sports equipment and pencils.
Tannin or dyestuff: The tree produces a natural green to yellow-green dye.
Medicine: It is said to be astringent, diuretic, tonic, vulnerary. The leaf juice is diaphoretic and laxative. The leaves are employed for blood sputum, vomiting blood, uterine bleeding, excess menstrual bleeding, bleeding wounds in Chinese medicine and for a bleeding stomach in Hawaii.