Planted in the late 1800s as live thorny fences, but long since replace by barbed wire, there are still quite a few hedgeapple rows around the countryside. In the fall, large softball size fruit drops from the trees. Squirrels dig into the fruit to get to the seeds, but the fruit itself is slightly poisonous, and animals avoid it.
It’s thought that the fruit was once eaten by now extinct giant ground sloths or mammoths.
When I was a kid, I thought the surface of it looked like brain tissue. Or a pile of intestines.
Yes, I know I’m weird.
~~~~~~~~~~~ W ~~~~~~~~~~~~
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I have lived in Texas all my life, and I’ve always heard them called horse apples! They grow on the bois d’arc tree…pronounced “bo-dark” around here. The wood is highly prized for its hardness and resistance to rot. It used to be used for foundation blocks under houses, as well as fence posts.
It’s still used for fence posts here. I’ve heard them called horse apples too.
I have never seen nor heard of these. What an interesting plant! When I saw it I thought: “It looks like a brain.” Great minds, huh?
Never knew that. I always think of brains too, and I love running over them.
The “fruit” or hedge apple was prized by housewives for years for it’s ability to keep mice and spiders out of closets, basements, and cellars. Don’t know if that is a old wife tale but I still use them. Guess I’m “hedging my bet”!
My mom sent us out searching all over Tupelo, Ms one day a few years back in search of this particular tree, we were up visiting escaping the possible(didnt happen) path of a hurricane that never hit. AShe swore that if you broke open the “brain” fruit and stored it under your sink, under the house if possible that it would get rid of rats and other common household pests. So we brought a few back home with us, tossed them under the house and under my kitchen sink. Not sure if it got rid of the rats, but the juice sure does stink to high heaven.
I’ve never used them as a pest deterrent, but I have noticed that the juice is pretty stinky.
LOL! I agree with the brain bit. Years ago I put an osage orange in a “specimen” jar filled with water and put a lid on it. Then I gave it to my BIL as a joke and asked if he had missed his brain.
aHA! NOW I know what those things are! There is a wooded area near our house, and every autumn those things are all over the ground. I’ve asked people in my neighbourhood what they are, but no one has ever been able to tell me. THANK YOU!
What the heck is that thing??? EWWWWW!!I actually have heard the word before but never thought anything about it. So it keeps away mice and spiders huh? Could you send me a case? I don’t have mice but we have alot of spiders. It would be a great non-chemical solution. Do any of you know if it really works? It’s pretty cool looking really all silliness aside. You have some strange things in Kansas!
Don’t know if it really repels insects, but a lot of people swear by them.
Not at all weird!! That was the first thing I thought when I saw them, looked like brain tissue! I just watched a documentary that highlighted the Giant Sloth and Mammoths (Prehistoric Predators by Natl Geog). Very cool to know something else about them, possible eaters of this fruit.
So that’s what these things are! I used to throw them at my younger brother! lol
I would imagine down thru the generations, they have been used as weapons many times. LOL