osage-orange Moraceae Maclura
pomifera (Raf.) C.K. Schneid. symbol: MAPO
Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, 2 to 5 inches long, oblong to ovate with an acuminate tip, margins entire, upper surface shiny.
Flower: Species is dioecious; females are borne in dense, round, clusters; males borne in subglobose racemes; neither showy, appearing late spring to early summer.
Fruit: A large, round multiple of drupes 4 to 5 inches in diameter, with a very distinctive citrus smell; the outer surface looks like "brains"; when crushed, a white, milky juice is exuded, maturing in early fall.
Twig: Moderately slender, zigzag, green changing to buff or orange-brown. Twigs are armed with stout, unbranched thorns at each leaf scar. A milky sap is exuded when cut.
Bark: Orange-brown, developing scaly ridges with irregular furrows.
Form: A medium sized tree with a short trunk. The crown is irregular, with stiff, spiny branches.
Looks like: red mulberry - white mulberry - gum bumelia
Additional Range Information: Maclura pomifera is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting osage-orange.
More Information: Fall Color - Wood
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson