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When a fruit is said to have a woody pulp, it means that when you bite into it, is not as tender like a mango or orange. It’s a fruit that squirrels eat for the seeds, rather than the other way around, making it an anomaly among fruits. Hedge apple plant was told to be the “best fencing material available” according to Illinois College Biology instructor Professor Jonathan and Prairie Farmer editor John Wright back in the 80s. Home » Are Hedge Apples (Osage Orange) Edible? However, the question of it being edible still persists among people, even online. The bumpy skin of the hedge apple is similar to a dehydrated fruit: it has lumps all over and is generally unappealing to most humans. The centuries-old Osage-orange tree that reigns over Patrick Henry’s home in Red Hill has been dethroned. The Osage orange, Maclura pomifera, is actually not an orange at all, and is more commonly known as a hedge apple, horse apple, bowwood, yellow-wood or bodark. However, it is believed that this secretion is said to be the reason why pests are repelled. Maybe—If You Stick To The Bottom Of This. You also have to get through the hairs, thorns, and the warty skin, which simply doesn’t look very appetizing. And that was the direction Rydelek tried to take in a 2015 clip on salvaging something edible from the Osage orange. When you open a hedge apple in half, a white and sticky fluid will come out from its pulp. Clearly, this takes him a lot of strange directions, including in the direction of one of the most unusual-yet-common fruits you might find in the U.S., the Osage orange, which might also be called a hedge apple or horse apple. Its wood was On the Janka scale it's rated at Osage Orange … The Benefits of the Osage Orange. The Osage orange tree is an unusual tree. The Osage-orange is native to a small area in eastern Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, and southwestern Arkansas. Osage Orange wood is very hard and dense – great for tool handles, crafts, furniture, etc. Figure 1. Anything that can harm the outside of the human body can hurt the inside too. The worst case scenarios is you will have a lot of rotting hedge apples on your lawn which will emit a bad smell. the Osage orange, which might also be called a hedge apple or horse apple, had to actually report on the fruit from the tree, as they were a notable finding by Lewis & Clark, How Adobe InDesign Conquered the World of Graphic Design, Haitian Entrepreneur’s Tough Upbringing Is Driving The Investment Thesis Behind His New VC Fund, Seven Black-led Start-ups that are Shifting the Culture, Embracing the power of non-traditional hires, Where Black Female Founders Can Find Funding, Resources, and More, The Corporate Altruism That Made the Seat Belt Great. The wood of the Osage-orange is golden yellow or bright orange when first cut, but turns brown on exposure. May be, but in reality I never use to do so. Only a 2009 study by Robert Frazee, a retired University of Illinois instructor for the Department of Natural Resources, concluded two things: The latex secretion too is not just sticky like an industrial glue, it is also a skin irritant. horse apple is inedible not because of its ugly taste and appearance but because of … It may be a hedge apple. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician. Osage orange is a medium-sized tree with a short trunk, dense, round, or irregular crown, milky sap, and stout thorns. Hedge apple, horse-apple, hedge, bodark, Bois d’Arc yellow wood, mock-orange, and bow-wood. A fruit that is seen more on house fences than on local markets. (The plant in question was near a school.). They've been a problem because … Tsao et al. It was and still is esteemed for making bows. For the latter, just put them into hot oil and fry for 5-10 minutes until golden brown. "Hedge apple" trees (also called Osage orange, Maclura pomifera) are not related to apples or oranges and their fruit is inedible.The large, grapefruit-sized, brain-like green fruit are better-known that the trees and show up in the fall of the year in stores and farmers markets where they are sold for their purported ability to repel insects. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Wondering what is the bumpy green fruit growing out of your hedge? It is hard to get out some of the seeds inside the pulp when unsoaked. The Osage-orange is a member of the Mulberry Family and is commonly called a hedge tree. Edible parts of Osage Orange: One report suggests that the fruit is edible but this is surely a mistake - although very large, the fruit is harsh, hard, dry and astringent. But, you still have to slice through the cardboard-tough exterior, soak it for 24 hours, wash with water to remove the skin-irritating liquid, and fry it. It’s probably going to make you sick.”. Pupation occurs within a cocoon that is made of one continuous white or yellow strand of… She is especially passionate about sustainable ways to better run small-scale farms, homesteads, urban farming and indoor gardening. We suppose you could eat it if you want, but it has a very bitter taste, and it is very difficult to chew. Ask the vendors or gardeners you know if you can you eat hedge apples and you will get varied answers. The pale larva has a characteristic posterior (caudal) horn. The seeds can be eaten but requires at least 24 hours of soaking to make it soft. You can always use the wood and not the whole plant itself if you still prefer it as a hedge. Osage orange fruit, which has a fruity, citric fragrance, is inedible to humans, but squirrels seem to love it. 3. The fruit simply tastes bad. The fruit of Maclura pomifera, commonly called Osage orange tree, has the nickname hedge apple, and the tree is nicknamed bowwood, bois-d'arc and bodark, but "delicious" isn't on that list. For the seeds, yes, they can be eaten without health risks. And that was the direction Rydelek tried to take in a 2015 clip on salvaging something edible from the Osage orange. The tree that bears its fruit is most commonly associated with Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, though it’s become common around the continental U.S. It’s considered more prized for its dense wood than its fruit, which is, to put it simply, weird. These zone 5 hardy trees have some Maclura Pomifera Osage Orange, Hedge Apple, Bodark, Monkey Ball, Mock Orange, Horse Apple. Uses of the Osage-Orange: The wood is extremely hard, heavy, durable and shrinks or swells little compared to the wood of other trees. Fruit and leaf of Osage orange plant from the PLANTS Database website. Myth: "Hedge apples" (Osage orange fruit) or horse chestnuts can be used to repel spiders. (2003) studied the two predominant isoflavones, osajin and pomiferin, in Osage orange for their antioxidant activity. The wood is used for fence posts, insulator pins, treenails, furniture, and archery bows. Of the fruit itself, he said: “It’s edible in the same way as this pad of Post-It Notes is edible. [thrive_lead_lock id=’1262′]Hidden Content[/thrive_lead_lock], © 2020. This is called the latex which is comparable to the latex released by rubber trees. Osage orange has a long and interesting history of use by both Native Americans and early pioneers. Its pulp has a rough texture and secretes a latex liquid than can harm the skin. However, since you will be leaving the fruit alone, it will just fall down. Leaves are alternate, simple, 3–6 inches long, 2–3 inches wide, broadest below the middle; margins lacking teeth; upper surface dark green, shiny; lower … Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Shop my favorite things: https://www.amazon.com/shop/mikereedoutdoors Use my code MIKER67 at https://www.indestructibleshoes.com for 20% off your purchase. In fact, many archers consider the wood of the Osage-orange to be the world's finest wood for bows. A Step-By-Step Guide, 34 Amazing Yellow Perennials for a more beautiful garden, How To Grow wandering jew Plant outside As ground cover, 20 Perennials For Shade That Bloom All Summer (With Pictures), In the test, it worked against German cockroaches, mosquitoes, and houseflies in a closed space using large and concentrated amounts of the secretion. Maybe, if You are not only Stick to the Seeds. Straighter answer is, hedge apples, also known as osage oranges are inedible. Are Osage orange trees invasive? The hedge apple or maclura pomifera is a conversation-starter online due to its alleged insect-repelling capability. In fact, some bow makers think the Osage Orange’s wood for bows is superior to the Yew Tree, which is usually held up to be the classic standard. Hunter recorded lists of edible fruits, among which the Osage orange fruit appeared. UrbanOrganicYield.com, Are Hedge Apples (Osage Orange) Edible? According to Bob Frazee, retired University of Illinois Natural Resources Educator, hedge apples are produced by the Osage-orange tree (Maclura pomifera), which is commonly grown throughout Illinois. That was the hard part. This is a guide about what hedge apples are good for. The trees presumably dropped their fruit, but no mention of its toxicity in livestock appears in folklore. “Dare I say it? Very Hard. It attains a maximum length of 75 mm (about 3 inches) during a 45-day growing period. He then let those seeds air dry, then roasted them. And certainly, the plant itself, despite its issues, had its benefits — beyond its useful properties in wood forms, Smithsonian notes that it was popular for protective hedges in the days before barbed wire, due to the plant’s thorns. He had to soak the plant for a solid day to soften up the fruit around the seeds just enough so that he could painstakingly pull out the seeds one by one. These distinctly ugly, almost otherworldly-looking fruits are considered inedible because of the texture and taste, but they are very interesting and fun to grow. Run it through water to remove the slimy coating. Didn’t know about the seeds, but have seen cows gobble these up like crazy. The fruit does, however, contain an anti-oxidant which can be used as a food preservative, especially for oils. All rights reserved. Really, the main problem with the plant is that it creates a fruit that is large, unwieldy, and secretes a fluid that has a tendency to give you a rash. Due to its high survivability rate with poor soil and weather conditions, the plants require low maintenance making it a good natural fence. Help support my series by checking out: My Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/weirdexplorer ---- Or get a TSHIRT: www.weirdexplorer.com In all fairness, not all of the fruit is edible. The intake of antioxidant-rich diets has been associated with reduced incidence of chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Very good,” he said. October 22, 2006. Here is the traditional way of eating the seeds of hedge apples: The role of hedge apple in the planet is more of as a fencing and a barrier rather than a food item. These are good. So, is the Osage orange edible? The wood is used for fence posts, treenails, furniture, and archery bows. You will be left with the seeds that takes a lot of steps before it can be eaten. Osage orange is closely related to the Mulberries, which we do eat, and the Paper Mulberry which also has an edible fruit. It is a small green fruit that has a ridge-like exterior similar to a rolled-up crumpled paper. To be considered palatable, a fruit must taste good and also has a nice texture when eaten. Growing and raising just about anything gets her very excited. He described it as something in between a sunflower seed and popcorn. These antioxidants can be extracted from osage oranges for use in health supplements. While also being called an Osage orange, hedge apples only have a distant relationship to the orange fruit family but is actually a member of the mulberry family, Moraceae. This piece is adapted from a recent piece of Tedium: The Dull Side of the Internet. In fact, many archers consider the wood of the Osage-orange … The seeds of the osage orange are the only part edible by humans. The overall texture is unyielding which is also a main reason why this fruit is considered inedible by some. His channel, Weird Explorer, features him mostly talking about the weird fruits he’s eaten over the years, often while traveling. You’ve possibly run into one of my pieces on Motherboard, Atlas Obscura, Popular Mechanics, The Outline, or Neatorama. There is no scientific proof on this yet. It is generally not eaten by people or wildlife. The hardest wood grown in the USA. Hedge apples are mostly used as ornamental fruits. Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she attended University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture. Nailing is almost impossible. The flavor is generally unpleasant, unpalatable, and some may feel ill after ingesting the bitter fruit, causing many to deem it inedible. While the fruit is not poisonous, the seeds are edible part and this typically soft-ball sized, yellow-green fruit, is often collected and used in exotic floral arrangements. Edible Uses One report suggests that the fruit is edible but this is surely a mistake - although very large, the fruit is harsh, hard, dry and astringent. The Extraordinary Osage Orange Tree Osage (Maclura pomifera) is the sole surviving member of the genus Maclura — of its many relatives from past geologic eras, only fossils remain. Let us discuss what are hedge apples and Is the Hedge Apple also known as “Osage Orange” edible? She supplemented her education by working on various organic farms in both rural and urban settings. One of our offerings that does not have edible parts for us, Osage Orange still definitely earns a place in our landscape. As I was making my way around the farm early yesterday morning, I came upon one of my grounds crew, Chhewang Sherpa, who had just picked an Osage orange from a tree. Osage oranges have a green, bitter flavor with mild notes of cucumber and a fruity, citrus-like aroma. Is Osage orange poisonous? University of Illinois. While many people claim that they are a good natural pest repellent, it is only in concentrated amounts that it is effective. …eat the foliage of the Osage orange or lettuce. It was quite exciting as this was the first fruit to be harvested from one of the many Osage orange trees we have planted here. The bumpy, yellow-greenish fruits, known as hedge-apples, ripen in September through October. Read this article for information about Osage orange trees. Photo by Jeff McMillian. Here’s the original version. Growing an Osage orange tree is fast and easy. †Results may vary. You can eat it, but it’s not going to taste very good. horse apple is inedible not because of its ugly taste and appearance but because of the latex the fruit secrets that can irritate the human skin. Uses. The hedge apple or Osage orange may look like an orange but it is actually a member of the mulberry family. This week, for example, a local TV news station in Lynchburg, Virginia had to actually report on the fruit from the tree, which is green and scaly on the outside, after lots of viewers called with questions. She started Urban Organic Yield to discuss gardening tips and tactics. Aside from being a durable plant, its wood is sturdy and, opposite to the fruit, has a nice exterior. Its fruit are wrinkled green balls the size of grapefruit and its yellow wood is strong and flexible. The female Osage orange tree generally begins bearing fruit at about 10 years of age. (It’s a very specific niche.). According to chemist John R. Clopton, in an article published in the "Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society," they are "very tasty, especially after roasting and salting." Of the many strange niches one can find on YouTube, the most interesting might be that spearheaded by Jared Rydelek, a man who has gained some notice on YouTube for tracking down rare kinds of fruit to try out. Learn how your comment data is processed. This multi-day process produced just enough seeds for a single bowl of dried hedge apple seeds — which had a flavor somewhere between sunflower seeds and popcorn, per Rydelek. And that was the direction Rydelek tried to take in a 2015 clip on salvaging something edible from the Osage orange. He compared the fruit’s flavor to “watermelon rind” — and pointed out that the oil it secreted made his hands sticky. This ugly appearance and a semi-rigid exterior is the reason why most humans do not bother eating it. After all, who has the time to peel a hard skin and only to find out its taste is as undesirable as its exterior. The fruit does, however, contain an anti-oxidant which can be used as a food preservative, especially for oils. He soaked the fruit for 24 hours, took out the seeds, and fried them. Scoop out all the seeds and put into a container. The fruit resembles oranges with brain-like outer skin. Maclura pomifera, commonly known as the Osage orange, hedge, or hedge apple tree is a small deciduous tree or large shrub, typically growing to 8 to 15 metres (30–50 ft) tall.The distinctive fruit, from a multiple fruit family, is roughly spherical, bumpy, 8 to 15 centimetres (3–6 in) in diameter, and turns bright yellow-green in the fall. Maybe—If You Stick To The Bottom Of This, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maclura_pomifera, https://www.hunker.com/13420336/how-to-eat-hedge-apples, only work as in insect repellant in a closed space, Ornamental Grass That Grows In Shade: Popular Shady decorative grasses, 12 Best low maintenance Evergreen Shrubs For Front Of House, 17 Best Plants That Grow Well Under Pine Trees, When Is The Best Time To Plant Roses In Your Garden, How To Start A Flower Garden For Beginners! As with its name, the plant is commonly used as a hedge. But, 99.999999% of the Internet sites says it is not edible. Long live the Osage orange, America’s strangest fruit. Can hedge apples (the fruit) be used as firewood? … It just requires a lot of patience and a lot of effort for a relatively small return.”. To be clear, this plant is not uncommon — it actually has a place in American history, as they were a notable finding by Lewis & Clark. Hedge Apples and Livestock Before the invention of barbed wire, livestock on the American frontier were kept in pens surrounded by Osage orange hedges. Ernie Smith is the editor of Tedium, a twice-weekly newsletter that hunts for the end of the long tail. While the edibility of the Osage Orange has been maligned for decades, its usefulness as a tree has not. Despite its most common names, it’s closer to a mulberry plant than either an orange or an apple. Straighter answer is, hedge apples, also known as osage oranges are inedible. Despite its most common names, it’s closer to a mulberry plant than either an orange or an apple. Osage oranges, also known as hedge balls or monkey brains, fall from hedge shrubs that line many Iowa farms. Only the seeds are. In fact, the Osage Orange it is closely related to the Mulberries, which we do eat, and the Paper Mulberry which also has an edible fruit. It’s a fruit that squirrels eat for the seeds, rather than the other way around, making it an anomaly among fruits. The wood is extremely hard, heavy, tough, and durable. According to the US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Services fact sheet on the fruit. Dry the seeds again to get rid of the oil and season with salt if you want. Tap them dry using a piece of cloth or tissue paper. Its ability to tolerate unhealthy soil, extreme heat, and strong winds make it a good windbreaker and a hedge around the house. Osage Orange Fruit. One YouTuber called “Weird Explorer” uploaded a video of him eating the hedge apple’s seed but not the pulp. It needs to be pre-drilled before screwed. “It’s not worth the trouble, not at all. This process alone will take up a lot of time in exchange for just half a bowl of seeds. It also shrinks or swells very little compared to the wood of other trees. Osage orange weighs 48.22 pounds per cubic foot. Seasons/Availability Osage oranges are available in … Alternate Names. There are no descriptions online about its taste. But what of the seeds? Osage Orange--Maclura pomifera. Seeds. You can eat the seeds raw or fry them. The growth rate of Osage Orange, Hedge Apple will vary greatly depending on soil type, sunlight, temperature and other factors.