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Common Name:

Osage Orange (Horse Apple)

Scientific Name:

Maclura pomifera

Family Name:



Osage Orange is a large shrub to medium size deciduous tree with a rounded spreading canopy of dark glossy green leaves. It is native to Texas and Oklahoma and is useful as a shade tree for very difficult sites. Spiny forms are used as living fences and the wood was once a favorite manufacture of bows by native Americans.

Plant Habit or Use:

Large shrub, small tree, medium tree


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Green, small, not ornamental

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Grapefruit-sized globose syncarp of drupes on female trees, not edible and a maintenance liability


25 ft to 30 ft (50 ft)


25 ft to 40 ft (50 ft)

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

A tough adaptable plant that has few pest/disease problems, but limited ornamental appeal. Use of mature thornless male selections is encouraged if it is intended as a shade tree.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.