The Mighty Osage Orange
The tree with too many names to remember is unforgettable to anyone who has picked up the bumpy, greenish-yellow, citrus-smelling fruit in the fall. The Osage orange is a tree with a history. It is an unassuming tree that was instrumental in settling the wild frontier. Through the years and across the continent it was called Bodare Us, Bodark, Bodeck, Bodock, Bois d’arc, Bowwood, Geelhout, Hedge, Hedge Apple, Hedge-plant, Horse Apple, Maclura, Mock Orange, Naranjo Chino, Osage, Osage Apple-Tree, Rootwood, Wild Orange, or Yellow-Wood. Originally the First Nations People of the Omaha-Ponca called it Zho-nzi-zhu, which meant yellow flesh wood tree and the Pima called it S’hoitgam kawli meaning thorny fence. To all it is a remarkable tree that offers shelter, protection, strong wood, and interesting fruit.
Botanically, it is called Maclura pomifera, named after William Maclure (1763-1840), who was an American
Continue reading … Osage Orange – The Tree That Helped Settled the Wild Frontier