Thursday, 22 October 2015

Maclura pomifera (Raf.) Schneid. - Μακλούρα η μηλοφόρος - Τοξόδεντρο - Cyprus

Δέντρο της Αμερικής, το ξύλο του χρησιμοποιούσαν οι Ινδιάνοι για τα βέλη του και ήρθε στην Ευρώπη μετά τις ανακαλύψεις. Στην Ελλάδα και Κυπρο απαντάται σπάνια.
Maclura pomifera, commonly called Osage orangehedge applehorse applemonkey ballbois d'arcbodark, or bodock is a small deciduous tree or large shrub, typically growing to 8–15 metres (26–49 ft) tall. It is dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants. The fruit, from a multiple fruit family, is roughly spherical, but bumpy, and 7.6–15.2 centimetres (3–6 in) in diameter. It is filled with a sticky white latex. In fall, its color turns a bright yellow-green. Despite the name "Osage orange," it is not closely related to the orange.
Maclura is closely related to the genus Cudrania, and hybrids between the two genera have been produced. In fact, some botanists recognize a more broadly defined Maclura that includes species previously included in Cudrania and other genera of Moraceae.
Osajin and pomiferin are flavonoid pigments present in the wood and fruit, comprising about 10% of the fruit's dry weight. The plant also contains the flavonol morin.
The trees range from 40 to 60 feet (12–18 m)(if it grows to maturity) high with short trunk and round-topped head. The juice is milky and acrid. The roots are thick, fleshy, covered with bright orange bark.
Osage orange occurred historically in the Red River drainage of Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas and in the Blackland Prairies, Post Oak Savannas, and Chisos Mountains of Texas. It has been widely naturalized in the United States and Ontario. Osage-orange has been planted in all the 48 conterminous States and in southeastern Canada.
The largest Osage orange tree is located at River Farm, in Alexandria, Virginia, and is believed to have been a gift from Thomas Jefferson. Another historic tree is located on the grounds of Fort Harrod, a Kentucky pioneer settlement in Harrodsburg, Kentucky
The Osage orange is commonly used as a tree row windbreak in prairie states, which gives it one of its colloquial names, "hedge apple". It was one of the primary trees used in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "Great Plains Shelterbelt" WPA project, which was launched in 1934 as an ambitious plan to modify weather and prevent soil erosion in the Great Plains states, and by 1942 resulted in the planting of 30,233 shelterbelts containing 220 million trees that stretched for 18,600 miles (29,900 km). The sharp-thorned trees were also planted as cattle-deterring hedges before the introduction of barbed wire and afterward became an important source of fence posts. In 2001, its wood was used in the construction in Chestertown, Maryland of the Schooner Sultana, a replica of the HMS Sultana (1768).
The heavy, close-grained yellow-orange wood is very dense and is prized for tool handles, treenails, fence posts, and other applications requiring a strong dimensionally stable wood that withstands rot. Straight-grained osage timber (most is knotty and twisted) makes very good bows. In Arkansas, in the early 19th century, a good Osage bow was worth a horse and a blanket. Additionally, a yellow-orange dye can be extracted from the wood, which can be used as a substitute for fustic and aniline dyes. At present, florists use the Maclura pomifera fruits for decorative purposes.
When dried, the wood has the highest BTU content of any commonly available North American wood, and burns long and hot. The wood should not be used in open fireplaces without a spark screen because the wood is very prone to popping and may send sparks and small embers several feet.
Unlike many woods, osage wood is very durable in contact with the ground. Smaller logs make good fence posts, being both strong and durable. They are generally set up green because the dried wood is too hard to reliably accept the staples used to attach the fencing to the posts. Palmer and Fowler's Fieldbook of Natural History 2nd edition, rates Osage orange wood has being 2.5 times as hard as white oak (Quercus alba) and having twice the tensile strength.
Although Osage oranges are commonly believed to repel insects, there is insufficient evidence to support this. Research has shown that compounds extracted from the fruit, when concentrated, may repel insects. However, the naturally occurring concentrations of these compounds in the fruit are far too low to make the fruit an effective insect repellent. In 2004, the EPA insisted that a website selling Maclura pomifera fruits online remove any mention of their supposed pesticidal properties as false advertisements..From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Photos Agios Antronikos 1/10/2014 by George Konstantinou

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