elliptic, lanceolate, ovate
green, white, yellow
April - June
12.0 - 20.0
Only tree on the coastal plain with a drip tip on the leaves and milky sap. Deeply furrowed bark: sometimes forming thickets; thorns on branches stout, to 2.5 cm long.
The seeds may be removed from the syncarpic fruit by crushing and macerating (Vines 1960).
Squirrels eat the seeds found in the fruit. Black tailed deer browse the leaves in Texas (Vines 1961).
The Cajun French name for this plant is "Bois d'arc," referring to its use for bow making (it is considered by many to be second only to English Yew for bow making). It was used by the Comanches of Texas to make bows (Newcomb 1961). It has many other common names such as "hedge apple," referring to the use of these trees as windbreak hedges, and "horse apple." The common name Osage orange, is thought to come from its extensive use by the Osage Indians. Besides bow making, the bark of the roots was used as a yellow dye and the tree bark was used to tan leather. Osage orange grows in fields, fence rows, ravines, and waste places in Louisiana and east Texas.
Alluvial pastures or fence rows, in and on edge of fields, waste places.
The wood is exceptionally strong, heavy, hard, and flexible. Currently it is used for fenceposts, ties, and woodenware.