Harry Whitehorse Art
Bayview Community Foundation Sculpture

Click here to view an archive of pictures of the
Bayview Community Foundation Sculpture-In-Progress

The Osage Orange

(maclura pomifera)

Cousin to the mulberry tree, it is native to the Red River Valley, an area that encompasses eastern Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, and southwestern Arkansas. The Osage Indian Nation, a Siouan people who call themselves the Wazhazhe (People Between the Middle Waters) lived in the region where the tree grew in abundance.

The wood of the Osage Orange tree is dimensionally stable, tough, and durable. Those qualities made the Osage Orange tree the wood of choice for Native American bows and clubs. The tree is sometimes called a Bodark, a corruption of the French word bois d’arc meaning “bow wood”.

The yellow-green fruit of the tree (only females trees produce the fruit and Bayview’s tree is female) has long been used for insect control. Osage Orange wood is rot resistant and only surpassed by coal in burning qualities. Native Americans also relied on the tree for dyes and medicinal uses.

Throughout the plains, European settlers took advantage of this tough thorny tree and planted tight rows of Osage Oranges for stock-proof hedges.

The Osage Orange tree proves the lesson that Harry's mother so often taught, that “Everything we need is here.”

Learn more about the Osage Orange tree by visiting the following websites:

Hedgeapple.com
A site dedicated exclusively to the fruit of the Osage Orange tree, the Hedgeapple.

Osage Orange.com
Learn to make an Osage bow

Osage Orange
A one-page site with photos information and about the Osage Orange tree