Definition of Osage orange in US English:

Osage orange


  • A small spiny North American deciduous tree which bears inedible green orange-like fruit. Its durable yellowish-orange wood was formerly used by North American Indians for bows and other weapons.

    Maclura pomifera, family Moraceae

    Also called bowwood
    • ‘Another very interesting member of the mulberry family is the Osage orange (Maclura pomifera).’
    • ‘It was very prosaic-no trees except a few around the farmhouse and a row of Osage oranges that farmers planted as a fence line 100 years ago.’
    • ‘Connie Barlow writes that the Osage orange tree is rare.’
    • ‘These extinct American herbivores once dispersed the seeds of such big-fruited plants as honey locust, Kentucky coffee tree, and Osage orange, all of which produce fruits that no native animal today regards as food.’
    • ‘Probably one of the most common questions I hear is ‘Is it okay to make a bow from a wood other than yew or Osage orange?’’