Also called hedge apple, horse apple, monkey ball, bois d'arc, bodark, and bodock.  Part of fig/mulberry  family Moraceae in order Rosales.

In the autumn, produces large numbers of tough fruit.  Once widespread in the Americas, it probably evolved this tough fruit with and to be spread by 🐘︎ mastodon  genus Mammut, 🐘︎ mammoth  genus Mammuthus and giant ground-sloth  genus Megatherium. [1] [2]   After the Holocene extinction removed these large herbivorous megafauna, the fruit usually rotted-in-place, leading to poor seed-dispersal and a steep decline in range to one river valley in parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. [1] [2]

Uses by native peoples
(Ethnobotany database)
  American Indians valued (among other things) the tree's 💪︎ strong, flexible wood to make ♐︎ bows for arrows.

Later, Europeans named the locals Osage Indians, and named the tree after them. [1] [2]

Due to the tree's long thorns and the way the tree spreads, farmers soon planted the tree widely along fencelines.  The tree is now quite common across the 🇺🇸 USA and 🇨🇦 Ontario. [3]

Maclura hosts caterpillars of 8 species
of butterflies and moths, in some areas.

Planting info (SW Michigan) (.pdf).


[1]  "The Trees That Miss The Mammoths."  American Forests.  Winter 2010.   Accessed 2016-12-06.

[2]  "Anachronistic Fruits and the Ghosts Who Haunt Them" by Connie Barlow.  Arnoldia.  2001.  (.pdf)   Accessed 2016-12-06.

[3]  Personal communication, a while back by EP's great-aunt and -uncle to EP.  They had several on their property line.

Learn more about 🍊 Osage orange Maclura pomifera

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