Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Maclura pomifera

Higher Taxonomy
Family: MoraceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: [Perennial herb] shrub, [vine] tree, generally with milky juice; monoecious or dioecious. Leaf: alternate [opposite], petioled, generally simple, entire to lobed, evergreen or deciduous; stipules present. Inflorescence: raceme, spike, head, or flowers enclosed in thick receptacle, axillary. Flower: unisexual or bisexual, small, +- radial; sepals generally 4, free or fused at base; petals 0; stamens generally 4, opposite sepals; ovary generally superior, 1-chambered, style simple or 2-parted. Fruit: achenes many within fleshy calyces or surrounded by fleshy inflorescence receptacle.
Genera In Family: 37 genera, 1100 species: tropics, subtropics, some temperate; many cultivated (Ficus, fig; Artocarpus, breadfruit, jackfruit; Morus, mulberry). Note: Insect- or wind-pollinated.
eFlora Treatment Author: Alan T. Whittemore & Elizabeth McClintock
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: MacluraView Description 

Habit: Tree, thorny; dioecious. Stem: buds scaly; stipule scars obscure, not encircling stem. Leaf: alternate, or clustered with inflorescences, entire, deciduous; major veins pinnate. Inflorescence: +- erect, spheric; staminate an umbel or umbel-like raceme, > 1 per axil, peduncled; pistillate a head, 1 per axil, sessile. Pistillate Flower: style simple. Fruit: spheric, bumpy, of many achenes within fleshy calyces, yellow-green [red].
Etymology: (William McClure, American geologist, 1760--1840) Note: Wind-pollinated.
Maclura pomifera (Raf.) C.K. Schneid.
Habit: Plant to 20 m; thorns to 3 cm. Leaf: petiole 1--4 cm; blade 3--14 cm, ovate to lance-oblong, dark green, sparsely soft-hairy. Fruit: 9--15 cm diam, yellow-green, densely irregularly warty.
Ecology: Streambanks, disturbed areas; Elevation: < 440 m. Bioregional Distribution: GV, SCo, WTR; Distribution Outside California: native to south-central United States. Flowering Time: Apr--Jun Note: Widely planted; fruit inedible. Much less thorny with age.
Unabridged Note: Fruits fall unripe with the seeds still immature, the fruit then ripening on the ground and the seed maturing over the next several months.
Jepson eFlora Author: Alan T. Whittemore & Elizabeth McClintock
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: Alan T. Whittemore & Elizabeth McClintock 2012, Maclura pomifera, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 15, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 15, 2024.

Maclura pomifera
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©2016 Steve Matson
Maclura pomifera
click for enlargement
©2016 Steve Matson
Maclura pomifera
click for enlargement
©2016 Steve Matson
Maclura pomifera
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©2016 Steve Matson
Maclura pomifera
click for enlargement
©2017 Steve Matson

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Geographic subdivisions for Maclura pomifera:
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).