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Eastern US, Hawaii
- Central Texas northward to E Kansas
- E Kansas northeastward to S Massachusetts
- S Massachusetts southward to S Florida
- Florida westward to central Texas
This small tree was introduced into the US from eastern Asia where the inner bark has been used as a source of paper. It develops a rounded crown to about 30-45 feet in height and breadth. As is true of other members of its family, it has milky sap. The hairy leaves may be up to 8 inches long with serrated edges, and they often have 1 or 2 lateral lobes. Blooming is in the spring, with the sexes on different trees. Male flowers are in clusters about up to 3 inches long. On female trees, the fruit cluster, comprised of individual red fruits, is a round ball about an inch in diameter that ripens in the autumn. Although paper mulberry may be planted as an ornamental, it often escapes and aggressively displaces native plants, spreading by seeds and root suckers in disturbed areas.