Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Osage Orange

We went to a park last week for a picnic, sketching and enjoying nature.
While I was sketching some ducks, my husband took a walk and brought back this 'Osage Orange' - "Maclure Pomifera".  
They grow on a large shrubby bush.  I also sketched the leaf.

After talking to the the park naturalist, I found out it was an "Osage Orange".  Apparently they grow in the Oklahoma Texas area but not Arizona.  She had no idea who planted it here but it seems to be happily growing.

I painted it as part of my journal page and cropped it to this view.

Fun to find and sketch something odd (to us in Arizona).


  1. I love that golden leaf with its deep rusty shadow.

  2. So nice to see a thing from my childhood. The Osage Orange has quite a history. Being that they are shrubby, they were used as natural fencing for cattle, chickens, etc. here in the Pennsylvania area and surrounding states. They were quite common when I was a child and I would bring them home to admire them. They had the smell of a grapefuit and were sticky to handle. Pioneers and up to modern day would put them in their homes and barns to deep away spiders. Around here in the fall, you will occasionally see them for sale at roadside stands but for the most part the trees gave way to housing developments. What a shame. KC Neely, Butler, PA

  3. Thanks so much for more information on the Osage orange. So interesting to hear this. My husband did cut one in half and said it smelled citrusy. Shame to see them fading away. We are lucky to have that one in our park.
    Thanks for visiting and sharing.

  4. If I'm not mistaken, Lewis and Clark first described Osage orange for science. It's named after the tribe that populated much of the Missouri Territory at the time. Also called bois d'arc, "wood of the arch" for the shape they assume, making them a favorite for bows. I actually have a bow a friend made for me of Osage orange wood! The hard wood makes wonderful tool handles, too...

  5. Thanks Kate. I knew if I posted this there would be a lot of information coming out of it. It was an unknown when I found it and now we all know more.
    I learn so much here.

  6. Well, with posting we can all learn something. Thanks Kate for your historical input on the subject. I am happy to add your comment to my accumulation of information of the Osage orange. KC Neely Butler, PA

  7. Great pages Teri. I just noticed some of these by the side of the road on my Thanksgiving trip home to western Virginia and wished they were in a place where I could stop and gather a few. I have memories of decorating with them at Christmas. Just a few in a bowl made the house smell great.


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