One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genus of the family Moraceae, consisting of dioecious trees and shrubs having the male flowers in loose racemes or spikes, the female flowers in dense heads, and the fruit a fleshy syncarp; (also maclura) a plant of this genus, specifically (more fully "Maclura thorn") the Osage orange, Maclura pomifera, a thorny tree native to Arkansas and Texas, in the 19th cent. much used for hedging in the United States.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Thomas Nuttall (1786–1859), botanist. From scientific Latin Maclura from the name of William Maclure, U.S. geologist + -a.
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