Monday, October 9, 2006

What in the world is this?

Yesterday a friend and I managed to make it to Saint James Art Fair for a few hours (which is no way nearly enough time).  We browsed the vendors on Saint James Court and Belgravia Court and that was it.  I was enthralled with so many of the artists' works as it was a feast for the eyes! 



To get to the Fair which borders on a small urban park called Central Park we walked through the park and Donna spotted these green things on the ground which neither of us had ever seen.  She kicked one and it was hard like a ball.  I asked someone who was passing through if he knew what these strange things where called and he identified it as some type of "orange" but not in the edible way.  He said he places them in his basement to keep crickets away.  He said they are filled with black seeds.  They grow on a few trees in the park.  I was just fit to be tied at these strange and new to me fruit.  I was telling a girlfriend about them today and she said they use to grow abundantly in her area in Pennsylvania and they played with them as kids and called them Monkey Balls and added they "green" stink when cut open.  But I was so fascinated with them that I brought one home.  My new neighbor downstairs wanted me to cut it open to see the inside but I'm not ready to do that yet.  Not until I know what they are called and what the tree is called.  Here it is: Dscn2131 



Its the size of a grapefruit.  What in the world is this mystery fruit called?   Even beyond the art works, this thing, whatever it is, was the true find for the day.



Addendum: Thank you Amy for identifying this fruit for me.  For those who are just as curious as I am- Osage Orange, i.e. Hedge Apple.



9 comments:

  1. It's an Osage Orange. Abundant in central Ohio, or at least they were when I was growing up.

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  2. Also called Bois d'arc in The South. Supposedly if you keep one under your bed, or wherever, you won't have any spiders.

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  3. Yeah, It's Osage Orange.. but as a kid we always called them monkey brains. It's said if you keep these along the foundation of your home (inside.. basement, etc.), it will keep spiders out of the house.

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  4. The reason it is called Bois d'arc is that the wood was used for making either bows or arrows by the American Indians (can't remember which). I love the way they look. We don't have them in Colorado, but I remember them as tree hedges along the roads in SE Kansas when I visited relatives as a child.

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  5. The wood of the Osage orange tree is used to make a natural dye--it yields orange and brown shades. I also love the look of the fruits!

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  6. Oh, darn! I was too late to tell you what it is and I think you can make a natural dye with them!

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  7. That's pretty cool. I love that it's a folk remedy for preventing spiders. Ew, I hate spiders.

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  8. We called them hedge balls when I was a kid. Isn't it amazing the folk knowledge that comes pouring out? I knew about the preventing spiders part, but not the dye or the bows.

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  9. We have them around here (Central Mississippi) and we've always called them horse apples. Bois d'arc is pronounced Bodock and is used for making furniture too.

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