Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera)

Location and Notable Facts

  • Other names
    • Horse Apple
    • Bodark
    • Bow Wood
  • Scientific Family
    • Moraceae (Mulberry family)
  • Discovery
    •  N/A
  • Size (Width/Height/Growth/DBH)
    •  60 feet in height
  • Colors
    •  In the fall, it has bright yellow leaves.
  • Bloom Description/Seed Count
    • A dioecious plant so only female trees will have fruit.
    • Fruit is globose; 2 to 5 inches in diameter and greenish yellow resembling a large rough orange 
  • Leaf Arrangement 
    • Simple, alternate, smooth -edged, sharp or dull-pointed 3 to 5 inches long

osage_orangePhoto credit to Missouri Department of Conservation

  • Bark Arrangement 
    • Deeply and irregularly divided into ridges gray-brown

osage_orange_bark-300x225Photo credit to Iowa State University

  • Invasive/Non-invasive
    •  Non-invasive
  • Native/Non-native
    •  Native
  • Pests/Disease
    •  None
  • Comparisons to similar trees
    •  N/A
  • Usefulness
    • Native Americans used this tree for making long bows. The French name for it is “bois d’ arc” translated to “Wood of the Bow.”
    • Used for fence posts because this tree has rot-resistance that can last up to 100 years.
  • Local Location / History:  
    • Located on the Majestic Hotel site on Park Avenue