OSAGE ORANGE, BOIS D’ARC

FAMILY: Moraceae | GENUS: MACLURA pomifera

TYPE
  • Deciduous
  • Trees
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
WATER
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Moderate Water
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9

Plant Details

An old Southern favorite, native from Arkansas to Oklahoma and Texas. Fast growth to 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide (though often smaller), with spreading, open habit. Orange-brown, fissured bark. Wood is very hard, orange in color, and highly resistant to rot. Glossy, medium green leaves are oval and pointed, to 5 inches long. Young branches are thorny, mature ones less so. If a male tree is present, female trees may bear inedible, 4 inches-wide fruit that resembles bumpy, yellow-green oranges and is prized for holiday decorations.

Withstands heat, cold, wind, and almost any kind of soilacid or alkaline, wet or dry, fertile or terrible. Easy to transplant; easy to propagate by seed or cuttings. Makes a good windbreak or informal screen and is often planted in hedgerows. If people will be walking or sitting beneath the tree, always plant a male selection: A heavy, hard fruit falling from a high branch can knock a person silly. Two thornless male selections are worth seeking out. 'White Shield' features beautiful, lustrous, dark green leaves and grows especially rapidly, up to 5 feet per year. 'Wichita' forms an upright, spreading tree with a dense canopy.

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