The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section IV. Deciduous Ornamental Trees

Osage orange Urticaceae

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Nat. Ord. (Natural Order) Urticace�. Lin. Syst. (Linnean System) Di�cia, Tetrandria. This interesting tree is found growing wild on the Arkansas River, and other western tributaries of the Mississippi, south of St. Louis, where, according to Mr. Nuttall, it attains the height of 50 or 60 feet. The branches are rather light-colored, and armed with spines (produced at every joint) about an inch and a half long. The leaves are long, ovate, and acuminate, or pointed at the extremity; they are deep green, and more glossy and bright than those of the orange. The blossoms are greenish; and the fruit is about the shape and size of a large orange, but the surface much rougher than that fruit. In the south, we are told, it assumes a deep yellow color, and, at a short distance, strikingly resembles the common orange; the specimens of fruit which we have seen growing in Philadelphia, did not assume that fine color; but the appearance of the tree laden with it, is not unlike that of a large orange tree. It was first transplanted into our gardens from a village of the Osage tribe of Indians, whence the common name of Osage orange. The introduction of this tree was one of the favorable results of Lewis and Clarke's Expedition. It was named by them in honor of the late Wm. Maclure, Esq., President of the American Academy of Natural Sciences. [The Osage-orange (Maclura pomifera) is a plant in the mulberry family Moraceae. It is also known as Osage-apple, mock orange]