Q. What is osage-orange?
Maclura pomifera or Osage orange is a member of the mulberry family, Moraceae. After pollination, the female flower matures into a little fruit, and aggregates of the flowers cluster to form the familiar large compound fruits called Osage oranges. These are roughly spherical, 3½ to 5 inches in diameter, and have coarse, pebbly surfaces. At first green, they become orange when ripe. The sap of the Osage orange is milky and can cause contact dermatitis in sensitive individuals. The tree grows to 30 to 60 ft. at maturity.
For a photo of this fruit, visit Osage-orange fruit.
Citrus species, example of similar looking fruit -
Citrus medica is in the rue family or Rutaceae. Citrus, common name orange, lemon, grapefruit, lime, citron. Medica is one species of Citrus. The fruits have thick, rough, often lumpy, fragrant skins, are oblong-ovoid to nearly spherical, and when fully ripe are lemon-yellow. They contain only small amounts of acid pulp, and are up to 10 inches long. The plant grows as a large shrub or small tree. For a photograph and more information on Citrus Medica, see Citron.
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- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service
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