98. Osage Orange

Related to figs and mulberries, and not oranges, Osage Orange was planted as thorny, impenetrable hedgerows in the central plains prior to the invention of barbed wire. Its wood was used by Native American Indians in fashioning bows, hence the French-derived name “Bois d’Arc” (Bow-wood). A yellow dye was derived from the roots, and the bark was used for tanning leather. Female trees produce the large green "oranges" which are not edible.