The Rice-paper Plant
This plant (Tetrapanax papyrifer) is used to make a type of fine ‘rice-paper’.
The paper is made from pith inside the stems. It is used in China for making toys and flowers, paintings and even surgical dressings.
Although they couldn’t look more different, Tetrapanax belongs to the same family as ivy (Araliaceae). This large evergreen shrub can grow to between 5 and 10 metres high.
Native to Taiwan and South China, it now grows in many tropical and sub-tropical regions.
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