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

Wood of Osage orange

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The wood is fine grained, yellow in color, and takes a brilliant polish. It is also very strong and elastic, and on this account the Indians of the wide district to which this tree is indigenous, employ it extensively for bows, greatly preferring it to any other timber. Hence its common name among the white inhabitants is Bodac, a corruption of the term bois d'arc (bow-wood), of the French settlers. A fine yellow dye is extracted from the wood, similar to that of the Fustic. As the Osage orange belongs to the monワcious class of plants, it does not perfect its fruit unless both the male and female trees are growing in the same neighborhood. Many have believed the fruit to be eatable, both from its fine appearance, and from its affinity with and resemblance to that of the bread-fruit; but all attempts to render it pleasant, either cooked or in a raw state, have hitherto failed: it is therefore probably inedible, though not injurious. Perhaps when fully ripened, some mode of preparing it by baking or otherwise, may render it palatable.