Wednesday, August 26, 2015

O is for Osage-Orange

O is for


Fruit of the Osage-Orange

The Osage-Orange or Bois D' Arc tree

is native to the Red River drainage areas

of Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

Osage-Orange or Bois D'Arc Tree with Fallen Fruit Below on the Right

 It is also widely grown in many parts of the US. 

 These trees were often planted to create 

a hedge row or wind break. 

Yellow-green Fruit of the Osage-Orange or Bois D'Arc Tree

Historically significant, the Osage-Orange was the

primary tree used for the "Great Plains Shelterbelt" WPA Project

which President Franklin D Roosevelt launched in 1934.

Clusters of Fruit on a Bois D'Arc Tree

The Native Americans of the Osage Nation 

used the strong, but flexible wood of the 

Osage-Orange to craft bows for hunting.

More Horse Apples Ready to Fall

The Osage-Orange produces the most interesting 

lime green spherical fruit in the fall. 

They are often called horse apples, 

though horses don't eat these.  

They are basically an inedible fruit. 

Fruit From the Osage-Orange

Once the grapefruit size balls of green ripen,

they fall to the ground.

The fruit of this tree is filled with a sticky sap,

so they feel a bit sticky to the touch.

Close Up View of a Horse Apple

 Unlike a smooth grapefruit, the horse apples are bumpy. 

 They are covered with clusters of rounded bumps 

like clusters of kernels of corn on a cob.

Osage-Orange in Parc De Proce, Nantes

In 2011 while visiting 

Parc De Proce in Nantes, France,

I saw hedge apples scattered about the ground.

Much to my surprise I looked up to see the

park had Osage-Orange trees labeled

as coming from America.

A young child found them to

be the perfect ball to kick about.

Me, I find them to be the perfect organic touch

for fall in one of my dough bowls.

Click here to read more about the 

Osage-Orange tree and horse apples. 



The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. These are quite interesting and I think they look fantastic in arrangements such as yours. Do they have a scent? I imagine lime because of that vivid color. No matter---they are so cool! Thanks, Sarah!

    Jane x

    1. No scent, Jane, but they can get messy. '-)

  2. Sarah, what a unique looking fruit! I think they look awesome in the wooden bowl, love it! I'm going to look out for some!
    Thanks for sharing, so very interesting!
    Have a great day, Miss Sarah!

  3. I have seen this interesting looking fruit. Never knew what it was. Now I do! Great fun learning new things.

  4. We have some Osage-Orange trees near the pool in my subdivision, and now thanks to you, I know their name! One of my granddaughters took home a horse apple to show her family. I like how you use them for a decoration in your dough bowl, Sarah.

  5. Those are so interesting. i remember reading about these early on in my blogging.m seems to me that they don't preserve well either? I like their bumpy texture. They look great in your wooden bowl.

  6. We had those on our golf course in FL, Sarah, but I never knew the proper name for them. Everybody down there called them "horse apples" too.
    You've put them to good use in your fall decorating. It sure feels like FALL here this morning...only 40º when I woke up. Brrrrr!

  7. How interesting, Sarah. I'm not sure I've ever seen these in WV. I'll have to ask my bil who is an avid bow hunter (he has even carved his own bows). They do make a great addition to a fall centerpiece component. I like the history of the Native Americans' use of the tree.Thanks for sharing.

  8. What a weird fruit. I've never seen anything like it!

  9. Well this new to me, never saw them or heard of them. They are perfect in your wooden bowl! You have such a flair for display!

  10. Interesting! They do make a great display, but I definitely wouldn't want to bite into one!

  11. Great post, Sarah! I would love to copy your idea of piling them in a bread bowl, but I have no idea where to get them. Are yours "found" ones, or might our farmers' market have them?

  12. Neat post! I was looking out my back windows the other day towards the greenbelt and I can see horse apples out there. I'm going to get some to put in a bowl too. They are so pretty. :)

  13. Very interesting Sarah. I love the texture and color and your lovely dough bowl filled with "horse apples."

  14. I remember seeing these when I lived in the West, but I never knew what they were. They are really pretty to decorate with, like in your dough bowl.

  15. How awesome these are. I haven't heard of them before. They look great on your table in that dough bowl. So colorful and bright. Have a wonderful day,

  16. Hi Sarah!
    I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing summer. I'm back in DC and starting to think about fall decor for our home and shop. Now where can I find a few of those? Fabulous texture and color!

  17. Delightful and informative post for O and great photography!

    Happy Weekend to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  18. Hi Sarah! Oh, these are the strangest looking things. I've seen them before and wondered what they were. They are kinda pretty though! Hope you're doing well.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  19. That is the most interesting looking fruit I have ever seen. They look really pretty in your arrangements.

  20. I love the color and the texture! So pretty in your arrangements.

  21. Interesting fruit! Have never seen these. I see they're would be a great object to paint - an automatic reaction for a painter. Thanks for sharing these beatiful fruits!!

  22. These oranges are actually very appealing to the eye...very interesting! I can see why they look great in arrangements. TFS

  23. What an interesting post. I have seen these before, but I do not remember where. I love the texture and the color and they do look lovely in your wooden bowl.

  24. Hi Sarah, We have these horse apple in MS. I picked up a few last year but as you mentioned they are sticky. Any suggestions for what to do about that? I was going to mix them with some pumpkins but didn't and ended up throwing them out because of the stickiness. I would like to try again if you have any suggestions.
    Dawn. R.

  25. I love how you used them in your bowl! They add a real jolt of color.

  26. So pretty and love seeing them in your wooden bowl…the perfect complement!

  27. Dearest Sarah,
    Your Osage- Oranges do look stunning inside your dough bowl. Love their fresh green color and texture. They look like an Indonesian type edible orange, a huge one with similar rough skin.

  28. Hi Sarah,
    Quite a few years ago a friend and I saw these lying on the ground in a nearby town. We gathered them up and used them for Fall. I loved them. I may just need to go see if there are any there again this year. I had forgotten about them. I love them in your dough bowl! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  29. Sarah,
    Growing up there was a Bois D' Arc tree/horse apple tree, outside my bedroom window. I was awaken many nights when they fell on our roof. Sounded like a small bomb. I have a love hate for them, as I had to pick them up every year. I would be rich if I had a nickle for every one I picked up. Love of the tree was it was our neighbor tree to climb. I would think that it is well over 90 years old. They are fun to decorate with, they make great brains at Halloween. They are very common in the area in Texas where I live. Wish I could share with all the ones who do not have them in there area.

    Cathy <;)

  30. I remember finding some a few years ago in North Carolina - I need to back and see if the tree is still there - they do make a great display.
    Your dough bowl is the perfect place - and that lime green is so attractive.
    Hugs - Mary

  31. I have never seen such a fruit ! Very strange !

  32. What a unique looking fruit. I remember reading about Osage Oranges in some book years ago, but never knew what they were or what they looked like. They make a beautiful statement in your wooden bowl.

  33. I have never heard of such a fruit... Maybe because it's inedible. Such a strange looking thing!

  34. Perfect for fall, love the texture of the inedible fruits. At least they are nice for decorating....Christine

  35. Oh my goodness, one learns something everyday! I've never seen or heard about this pretty non-edible fruit and yes, it's great for décor and it looks from out of space, lol.. I love the dough bowl with them. Perfect for Fall!
    Loved your visit.
    Big hugs,

  36. Hi Sarah, thank you for visiting my blog. I'm from Texas and I've probably have seen this tree maybe two or three times in my life. It is such an interesting tree.

  37. How fascinating, Sarah, the back story and your photographs are wonderful. The horse apples look like bigger versions of the horse chestnuts which litter our garden every Autumn, horses don't eat those either! They look stunning in your dough bowl, fall is on it's way.

  38. They are so pretty in your dough bowl. I didn't think they looked edible but didn't know for sure. I enjoyed the info.

  39. They are used in my house to repel spiders....I usually have one in every room in an out-of-the way spot in a plastic bowl until they dry out...

  40. I haven't seen anything like that growing here in Alabama. What an interesting looking fruit, and it makes a nice arrangement. I like them filling your dough bowl, Sarah. What a pretty centerpiece!


  41. Oh wow, those bring back the memories! We always called them hedge apples, isn't that funny?
    Thanks for the fun history and have a great week,

  42. Sarah, I love the texture and color of the hedge apples! I've never seen any in person or a tree of them either. They look so handsome in your dough bowl :)

  43. Hi Sarah,

    Interesting post. I'm glad you found some blue in it. Thanks for playing today.

    Happy Blue Monday!

  44. I grew up in Kansas, where we called them "hedge apples."

    Blue House


  46. How interesting! This is the first time that I've heard or seen osage-oranges.

  47. Lovely. I learned something interesting :-)

  48. This was quite a delightful post! I learned a few new things today. Your photos are wonderful and I am very happy I was here. Have a wonderful week and take care. Always a joy to visit you here.

  49. What an interesting and new fruit to me. Too bad they aren't edible but at least make for interesting decor.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Sarah.

  50. I've never heard of such! But aren't they interesting! So glad you shared this with all of us!

  51. I have never heard of these, but aren't they stunning in an arrangement. Their color and texture are so amazing. Just gorgeous Sarah!

  52. I've never seen fruit like this, how very interesting. And don't they make a beautiful display.

  53. We have those in the local State Park but I had forgotten about them. Thanks for featuring them.

  54. So unusual I bet we don't have these in Northern Ireland. Love the way you used them as simple decor.

  55. How interesting. And to think I've never seen one of these before. I do love the texture and think they look so pretty in a bowl for Autumn décor. Also..thank you so much for your vote of confidence with the yoga Sarah. I had no idea you practiced too. But I always appreciate your encouraging comments, they always leave me feeling so grateful for your friendship.

  56. Hi Sarah, love this great post. I love Hedge Apples in decor. Just wanted to let you know that I'm featuring this post on Share Your Style this evening. Thanks so much for joining in!

  57. Sarah we call them "Monkey Ball's" in Pa / not sure why ...I'll have to google it :)

  58. Sarah we call them "Monkey Ball's" in Pa / not sure why ...I'll have to google it :)

  59. We have these trees here by our house. I always loved the color but they are sticky. Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!

  60. Wow, they are so amazing, Sarah! I've never seen them before so loved learning about them. Thanks for sharing this at the Sundays Down Under link up! I've pinned this post.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  61. How interesting.
    I don't believe these here in NC or at least I've never seen them.
    Please drop by each week for Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) to link up! Here's this week's linky:

  62. I first learned of this funny fruit from another blogger last's ironic that they are so pretty and so inedible! They look fabulous in your dough bowl Sarah~

  63. Those are amazing! I had seen them in photos before, but I never knew what they were. Thanks for the lesson; it was fascinating.

    Happy Pink Saturday, Sarah.


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