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.