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An individual instance of Maclura pomifera (osage orange)
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This tree grows in front of the Rand wall near the intersection of two sidewalks on the Rand/Sarratt side.

Osage orange is an example of a dioecious (i.e. individuals either only male or only female) species.  This particular tree is a female, but doesn't produce fruit every year.  In the fall, the strange, lumpy fruits may be found lying on the ground below female trees.

Horses are one of the few animals known to eat this fruit and potentially disperse its seeds.  Given that horses are not native to North America, it is likely that the species' original disperser (probably a large mammal) died out during the mass extinction that occurred soon after the arrival of humans in North America.  If it is true that this tree was dispersed by extinct mammals, it may have been saved from extinction by Native Americans who favored its wood for use in bows.  Later, European settlers spread it throughout the central U.S. when they planted it as thick hedges to keep in livestock - hence one of its common names: hedge apple.

Notice how the branches arch out and downward.  The inner bark has a distinctive orangish brown color.  Close examination of the twig will reveal small, sharp spines.

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This organism is a living specimen that is part of the  Vanderbilt University Arboretum  with the local identifier 2-250.

This particular organism is believed to have managed means of establishment.

This organismal entity has the scope: multicellular organism.


Maclura pomifera

(Raf.) C.K. Schneid.

sec. 1993

common name: osage orange
family: Moraceae
Identified 2013-12-11 by Steven J. Baskauf


Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, US
Click on these geocoordinates to load a map showing the location: 36.14643°, -86.80253°
Coordinate uncertainty about: 10 m.

Location of individual determined from GIS database.

Occurrences were recorded for this particular organism on the following dates:

The following images document this particular organism.
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whole tree (or vine) - general
whole tree (or vine) - general
whole tree (or vine) - winter 1993 =

Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds., 1993. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Flora of North America Association, New York, NY, US and Oxford, UK.

Metadata last modified: 2019-10-16T22:24:42.018-05:00
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