artphoto by splunge
artphoto by TheophileEscargot
artphoto by Kronos_to_Earth
artphoto by ethylene





Mecha Wiki

Metachat Eye


IRC Channels



Comment Feed:


14 December 2010

What kind of fruit is this? Or is it a fruit, even? I found it on the towpath that runs along the canal by my house in New Jersey. It was about the size of an orange.
Crap. I used to know this........
posted by youngergirl44 14 December | 17:47
Horse apple
posted by youngergirl44 14 December | 17:48
Interesting. Thanks! I don't think I've ever seen one before. I will have to look for the tree that it fell from next time I'm there.
posted by amro 14 December | 17:56
Where I grew up, we also called them bois d'arc (i.e., "bow dark") trees. Strange that Texas went for the bowdlerized French name, rather than straight-up "horse apple."
posted by mudpuppie 14 December | 18:23
In Arkansas, in the early 19th century, a good Osage bow was worth a horse and a blanket (source).

Today, I am in love with Google Books, and the vast wealth of old information stored within.
posted by filthy light thief 14 December | 18:34
You're welcome! My mom spent summers on her grandparents' ranch in Texas, although I'm not sure what part.
posted by youngergirl44 14 December | 18:44
in southwestern Ohio local vernacular those were called "Osage Oranges". They used the plants (a tall, thorny shrub / small tree) as windbreaks and animal hedges in the olden days around the area I grew up in. When planted in windrows or along fence lines, they create a dense, very thorny thicket about 15 feet high.

The fruits make a damn fine projectile weapon for bored kids too, might I add...
posted by lonefrontranger 14 December | 18:48
I think I've heard Osage orange too! But I can never remember the Osage part (even though I am part Osage)...
posted by youngergirl44 14 December | 18:54
Yeah, we called them Osage Oranges as well.
posted by Stewriffic 14 December | 19:08
In NW Pennsylvania, we called the hedges 'bowdocks'.
posted by Ardiril 14 December | 20:11
In NJ, I knew them as Osage orange.
posted by Miko 14 December | 21:44
≡ Click to see image ≡
An osage orange tree in a postage-stamp park near where I live. (I think the tree dates back to the mid-nineteenth century.)
posted by Kronos_to_Earth 14 December | 22:10
Is 'Osage' pronounced "Oh-Sage," or is it accented differently somehow? (Like, "OH-sedge," maybe?)
posted by mudpuppie 14 December | 22:11
Wow, that's a great tree.
posted by octothorpe 14 December | 22:29
definitely osage orange. They were planted prodigiously as windbreaks in the 18th & 19th centuries. The squirrels love the fruit. The ones growing around St. Louis, Missouri, however, are trees of 40+ feet in height.
posted by tortillathehun 14 December | 22:39
Allegedly they repel spiders, though I have no idea whether that's true.
posted by tangerine 15 December | 00:42
Osage (AHH-sedge) orange for me, too. Grew up in Chicago and northern suburbs. We had a bunch of osage orange trees near our house for a while, and my mother used to gather the fruits to feed to the horses who lodged nearby. They very much liked them.
posted by occhiblu 15 December | 01:10
Osage (oh-sage) orange, yes.
posted by mygothlaundry 15 December | 12:14
The Top 50 Gawker Media Passwords || I whip my hare back and forth