Osage Orange

Other Common Names/Trade Names: None
Scientific Name: Maclura pomifera
Best Single Characteristics for Identification:
Dark color in latewood. Water soluable dye which turns water yellow. Very fine rays. Very dense and heavy wood. Confluent parenchyma.
Uses: Limited. Local lumber, fence posts, applications where strength and rot resistance is important.
General Natural Range: Eastern Texas, southern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. Planted extensively throughout the U.S. and parts of Canada.
Identical or Nearly Identical Species: None
Other Species Easily Confused With: Black locust, Red mulberry
Means of Distinguishing Similar Species : Osage-orange has long bands of confluent parenchyma whereas black locust and red mulberry do not except for sometimes near the latewood. When soaked in water, shavings from osage-orange will turn water yellow. Neither black locust or red mulberry have this characteristic. Osage orange has very fine rays that are difficult to see without a hand lens whereas red mulberry has wide rays which are clearly visible.