Osage-Orange--Ghosts of Evolution

The tree we have in cultivation in California is labeled with that common name. Actually I thought it was native to Asia until I read this thread yesterday!

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I’m from the northeastern US and first encountered the species as a kid living briefly in Kentucky (in a state park, apparently one of the largest of its kind). I have really only ever heard it or seen it labeled as Osage Orange, though I’ve been aware of the other common names from reading books on trees.

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I learned Osage Orange when I found a row of such trees in New Mexico and had to look up what the heck species it was. That was many years ago. Bodark was the other name I learned, presumably a corruption of Bois d’Arc (bow wood).

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Me! here from my favorite local soil scientist, horticulturist and self-proclaimed farmdener:

I’m in NY (hudson valley)

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I first saw an Osage Orange when I was 9 or 10, wading down the stream behind my house. It was sitting on the bank and I’d never seen anything like it! Scared the hell out of me, I though it was an alien egg. Then completely forgot about it until maybe 2 years ago when it was referenced in an unrelated Youtube video, and that’s when I found out what it actually was. Much more interesting than an alien egg in my opinion.


This topic made me dig out an old pressed specimen I collected in 1990, filed with print photos of the tree and fruits, and add that record to iNat. I knew I’d kept those materials for some purpose.



link it here!

Cool–someone else thinks they look like brains. :)


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