Osage Orange

Maclura porniera
(Horse Apple, Hedge Apple, Bow Wood, Bodark, Boss d' arc)


This thorny tree with orange bark is native to Kentucky. It was named for the Osage Indian tribe which used its strong, durable, hard wood for their bows. Before barbed wire, the trees were planted and trimmed for hedges to keep cattle and horses from wandering. This tree is in a line with several others. They were probably planted to serve as a hedge between the cemetery office and a garden. When left untrimmed, Osage orange trees achieve majestic heights. Today, children enjoy the tree most. The tree produces large, chartreuse balls with brain-textured skin, providing ammunition for hedge apple wars.