Herb: Paperbush


Latin name: Edgeworthia papyrifera


Family: Thymelaeaceae (Mezereum Family)



Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
2.5 m
(8 1/4 foot)

Flovering:
February
to April


Scent:
Scented
Shrub

Habitat of Paperbush:

Forests and streamsides, at elevations of 300 - 1600 metres in Ichang Province.

Other uses of the herb:

A high-class paper is made from the bark. The bark fibres are used. The stems are harvested in spring or early summer, the leaves are removed and the stems steamed until the fibres can be stripped. The outer bark is removed from the inner by peeling or scraping. The fibres are cooked for 2 hours with soda ash and then beaten with mallets or put through a blender. The paper is off white in colour. The stems are extremely supple and can be tied in knots.

Propagation of Paperbush:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Place the pot in a plastic bag to keep it moist. The seed might germinate in the spring, though it could take another 12 months. Stored seed usually requires 8 - 12 weeks warm stratification at 20C followed by 12 - 14 weeks at 3C. Germination can still take 12 months or more at 15C. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle, and grow on in a greenhouse for at least a year before planting out in late spring or early summer. Consider giving the plants some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings in spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame.

Cultivation of the herb:

Forests and streamsides, at elevations of 300 - 1600 metres in Ichang Province.

Medicinal use of Paperbush:

None known

Known hazards of Edgeworthia papyrifera:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.