Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hedge Rows and Horse Apples

Bois D'Arc Tree with Fallen Fruit Below on the Right

On a recent visit to Dallas I learned about something new. My friend, Susan, introduced me to the Bois D' Arc or Osage-orange tree. Seems this tree is native to the Red River drainage areas of Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. It is also widely grown in many parts of the US. Originally these trees were planted to create a hedge row or wind break.

Yellow-green Fruit of the Bois D'Arc Tree

It's the fruit that made me take an interest. The Bois D'Arc tree produces the most interesting lime green spherical fruit in the fall. Susan calls them horse apples, though horses don't eat these. They are basically an inedible fruit. Once these balls of green ripen, they fall to the ground. If you look closely in the first photo you can see some lying just to the right under the tree.

Clusters of Fruit on a Bois D'Arc Tree

Susan and I gathered up a sack of the ripened fruit with the thought that it would make a colorful fall display in our homes. I was surprised at how heavy these balls of green were. Most of the balls I picked up were the size of a large grapefruit and weighed over 1.5 pounds each. You can imagine how heavy a bowl full is.

More Horse Apples Ready to Fall

The fruit of this tree is filled with a sticky sap, so they feel a bit sticky to the touch. Unlike a smooth grapefruit, the horse apples are bumpy. They are covered with clusters of rounded bumps which make them rather distinctive.

Wooden Container of Horse Apples and Ceramic Acorns

I first lined this wooden box with wax paper because of the stickiness of this fruit. Then I piled them in on one another and added some ceramic acorns that I found at Tuesday Morning for $1 a piece.

Close Up View of a Horse Apple

You can see the distinctive covering of this fruit in this close-up view. It almost looks like clusters of kernels of corn on a cob.

New Fall Decor For Our Sun Porch

I'm thrilled to have discovered this new organic decor. I think the punch of lime green is perfect with the rich earth tones of the fall season. Thank you, Susan, for introducing me to the funny fruit of the Bois D'Arc tree.

Click here to read more about the Bois D'Arc tree and horse apples.

Hope you enjoyed my contribution to Outdoor Wednesday this week. Please leave a comment to let me know you stopped by today. Then join Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer to see more photos of the great outdoors.