OSAGE-ORANGE - MACLURA POMIFERA

osage orange

Common Name: Osage-orange, hedge apple

Scientific Name: 
Family:
Moraceae 
Genus: Maclura
Species: pomifera

Hardiness Zone: 4-9
Height: 20-40 ft
Width: 20-40 ft

Description: Osage-orange is native to the southern United States. It has spread outside of its small native range because of its use as wind breaks and hedges. The leaves are 2 to 5 inches long, turning transluscent yellow in the autumn. There are thorns on the twigs below the leaves. Non-showy flowers bloom from May to June and are wind pollinated. The fruits are aggregated into a 4 to 6 inch diameter ball with a bumpy surface. 

M. pomifera is tolerant of many conditions including salt, drought, poor drainage, and flooding. The wood of Osage-orange used to be used for decay resistant products such as posts and support for mines. The main disease problem for the plant is root rot. It has an invasive tendency on idle and unmanaged lands.