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Maclura pomifera

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
muh-KLOO-ruh pom-EE-fer-uh
Description

Not recommended except as a novelty, and in poor, infertile sites. Commonly known for its large green fruits that are roughly the size of a baseball, they ripen in September through October. When found on good site Osage orange can reach heights of 70 ft., prefers areas in full sun with cool temperatures and 40 to 45 inches of rain and can tolerate a wide range of soil types: poor, wet or dry.  Wind and heat tolerant.  The tree has a short trunk with a low, rounded, irregular crown, and stiff, spiny branches.  The bark is somewhat orange in color and the fruits resemble oranges hence the common name.   It has naturalized in many areas of the eastern United States.  Because of its nasty spines, it makes an impressive security plant and was once used extensively as a hedgerow plant to define property lines until the introduction of barbed wire. Also, the plant produces large stout thorns that can be located on the stems/branches.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious problems.  Flowers and fruits of male plants can be messy and have unpleasant odors if not cleaned up immediately.  Female trees have spines.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'White Shield'
'White Shield'
Tags:
#deciduous#shade tree#drought tolerant#security plant#air pollution tolerant#showy fruits#hedges#messy#wind tolerant#spines#Braham Arboretum#wet soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'White Shield'
'White Shield'
Tags:
#deciduous#shade tree#drought tolerant#security plant#air pollution tolerant#showy fruits#hedges#messy#wind tolerant#spines#Braham Arboretum#wet soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Maclura
    Species:
    pomifera
    Family:
    Moraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Native Americans used the tree to make bows
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South East Oklahoma to Texas and Arkansas
    Distribution:
    Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma. More common in western areas such as Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Drought, clay soil, and air pollution.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 24 ft. 0 in. - 70 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 20 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
    Appendage:
    Spines
    Thorns
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    4-6 in inedible wrinkled fruit resembles a large, yellow-green orange or grapefruit. It is a syncarp of drupes covered with a rind .
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Insignificant
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Non-showy
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Smooth
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Shiny dark green ovate leaves that have a mikly sap
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Orange
    Bark Description:
    Orange-brown bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stems end in thorns
  • Landscape:
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Security
    Shade Tree
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Diseases
    Pollution
    Wind
    Problems:
    Malodorous
    Messy