Maclura pomifera: Osage orange
The Osage orange is commonly found in The Great Plains. Osage oranges trees are either female or male, but only the females will bear fruit. These fruit are also known as horse apples and hedge apples. The fruit is inedible because of the hard husk. The only part of the fruit that is edible by humans are the seeds. To eat the seeds you have to remove the husks and get them out of their slimy shell. The trees could go up to 40-60 feet tall.
uses of the Osage oranges.
The osage orange bush was used before barbed wire fence as a way to keep animals in and predators out. The bush used to be so tall that horses couldnt jump over, bulls couldnt push through it, and hogs couldnt find there way through it to eat farmers crops. Also it was once said that if you put an osage orange under the bed that it would repel insects and spiders. Also the wood of the trunk is great for tool handles and other things made for different reasons.
Edible or Inedible ?
For the most part the Osage oranges are inedible. Althought they are not dangerously poisonous, eating them may cause vomiting. Squirrels use the fruit as a source of food by tearing out the seeds.
So how did the Osage orange get around?
A new hypothesis states that scientists believe that ground sloths, an animal that existed before the firs people came to North America, aided with seed dispersal.