Family: Moraceae

Scientific Name: Maclura pomifera

Common Name: Osage Orange, Hedge Apple, Bois d'arc


Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera) A tough, durable tree not common in the landscape. Produces a "brain-like" fruit.

Plant TypeTrees Deciduous
Hardiness Zone4-9
Moisturevery adaptable
Soil & Sitevery adaptable
Flowersdioecious (male and female flowers on separate trees
FruitThe female trees produce a grapefruit-like fruit. Fruit is a globose synocarp of drupes with a yellow-green rind.
Leavessimple, alternate, oblong to ovate, bright to dark green with a yellow to golden yellow fall foliage, acuminate shape
StemsTwigs are armed with stout, thorns at each leaf scar.
DimensionsForms a rounded irregular crown with drooping branches. Reaches 20-24 feet in height and spread.
Propagationsoftwood cuttings, seeds have a slight dormancy
Misc FactsThe wood is tough, durable and rot resistant. Commonly used for fence posts. The name Bois d'arc, a French name referring to the Indians using the wood for making bows. Named after William Maclure (1763-1840) an American Geologist.
Author's NotesIn November, traveling in Missouri with a group of students to a national Horticulture contest, one of the students asked "why are there grapefruits in the trees on the side of the road". We pulled the van over, ran out to the field and low and behold I was introduced to the Osage Orange. The leafless trees were loaded with the grapefruit-like, brain-like fruit.
Notes & Reference#01-Manual of Woody Landscape plants (Dirr)
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