Osage Orange

Scientific Name: Maclura pomifera

Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera)

  • This tree, also called Bodark, or Hedge-apple, is medium sized sometimes reaching 50 feet in height and up to two feet in diameter usually with a crooked trunk and many low limbs
  • Leaves are 3-6 inches long with a long-tapered point, often with a stout spine at the base of the leaf
  • Grayish-brown bark grows to be deeply furrowed between fibrous ridges

  • The fruit is truly distinct, a large (3-5 inch diameter), heavy, yellow-green ball that looks like a brain but actually is a cluster of fleshy “nutlets”

Credit: Paul Nelson, Missouri Department of Conservation

  • While of little commercial value, osage orange was planted as hedge rows due to its dense growth and thorns; the yellow wood was used by native American Indians for bows

Fun Fact: The large fruit is eaten by livestock which resulted in another common name, Horse-apple.

Big Tree Tour on Terry Trail TREE #4 = 15 inch diameter

Continue the Tree Tour!

This tour was created in partnership with:
Land Trust of North Alabama
Society of American Foresters – Mountain Lakes Chapter
U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station
Alabama A&M Forestry & Ecology Center