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a genus of plants of the family Moraceae. There is a single species, the Osage orange (M. pomifera or M. aurantiaca). Twelve species previously classified in other genera are sometimes included in this genus.
The Osage orange is a dioecious deciduous tree, up to 20 m tall. It has a dense crown and spiny branches. The leaves are alternate, entire, ovate to elongate-lanceolate, and pointed. The male flowers are borne in pendulous clusters; the female flowers, in dense heads. The aggregate fruit is globular, golden yellow, and wrinkled; it resembles an orange but is inedible; it consists of numerous dry, monospermous little fruits embedded together with the perianth in the enlarged fleshy axis of the inflorescence. The Osage orange grows in North America, in the southern USA. In the USSR it is cultivated as an ornamental and used as a hedge in the Caucasus, Middle Asia, and the Ukraine. The wood of Madura is yellow, dense, and heavy; it is used in manufacturing lathes; a yellow dye is obtained from the wood and the roots.
REFERENCEDerev’ia i kustarniki SSSR, vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1951.
V. N. GLADKOVA