Way off topic - Hedge apples are ripe

Don Journet donjournet@netspace.net.au
Fri, 17 Oct 2008 06:02:32 PDT
Dear Bulb Folk,
                        It is a little strange for me that someone 
should suddenly pick up on and mention the Osage Orange tree Maclura 
pomifera as we have three stands of this species here in Bacchus Marsh, 
Victoria, Australia. They have grown to quite a size on fertile river 
flats in the township and must have been planted many years ago. They 
certainly have masses of fruit in the autumn (fall) that falls to litter 
the ground a create a talking point amongst locals and visitors alike. I 
can never resist collecting unusual fruit and have grown a number of 
plants from seed collected.
     Just thought I would add a little more off topic info as the 
subject had cropped up.
Don Journet
James Waddick wrote:
> Dear Friends,
> 	Gardeners on both coasts may not be aware of our mid-western 
> 'Hedge Apples' (Maclura pomifera).
> 	Today's local paper, the Kansas City Star, had a lovely 
> picture of a lawn littered with green bowling ball size fruit. This 
> tree is native to a fairly small area in the center of the US, but 
> uncommon more widely. Also known as Osage Orange and Bois D'arc. This 
> is a large tree, normally pretty anonymous to most people. This time 
> of year the large chartreuse green soft-ball size fruits are highly 
> visible on the trees (to 50 ft and more tall) and the fallen fruits 
> litter the ground.
> 	They are very attractive; see:
> http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/…
> 	but essentially useless.  These fruit litter sidewalks and 
> road sides. They are very dense, solid and difficult to cut. They 
> ooze a sticky latex like sap and can literally cause damage to 
> vehicles parked under them.
> 	The wood is strong, dense and very useful particularly for 
> fence posts and at one time bows (thus the Bois d'arc name) . The 
> trees are densely branched and bear many evil sharp thorns, but are 
> impervious to most insects and disease. Thus modern cultivars have 
> been developed as street trees from thornless, fruitless strains.
> 	The fruits are abundant now and very beautiful from afar. You 
> just don't want to get too close or handle them much.
> 	More info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osage-orange/
> 		Just FYI.		Best Jim W.
> (We have a first un - forecast light frost last night. Enough 
> procrastinating !)

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