Thursday, December 4, 2008

Osage Oranges

Maclura pomifera, commonly called Osage Oranges or Hedge-Apples, is a native American plant, found mostly from Missouri through Oklahoma and in the other Great Plain States. It grows well in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia also. As a native plant, it was used by the Indians as bow wood. The thorny thickets were planted as enclosure hedges for cattle during colonial days. They make great pomanders, as a substitute for rare oranges and they are also a source of orange and green natural dye. Many places list the Osage oranges as plants that repel insects, especially cockroaches. We like to use them in our holiday decorating. It is easy to poke a dowel rod in the hedge orange and poke them into a planter. They are beautiful sprayed gold as well and are always a conversation piece. Visit here for additional information.


Linda said...

We have these in KY, but I never know what they were! You gals are so informative and fun! Thanks for sharing.

Steph said...

Cool! I agree with Linda - they're all over the Midwest, but I never know what to do with them!

Marilyn Miller said...

Years ago when we lived in Kansas people would slice them and dry them, then make flowers for dry arrangements with them. I thought that was a clever use for Osage Oranges.

La Tea Dah said...

I love these! We have them where we live too! They are not common, but I recall two separate places where we have gathered them in abundance. They dry so nicely and work so beautifully in floral arrangements and such.

Great post!


Alice said...

In high school, I had to take driver's training with 90-year-old Mrs. Anstine. We drove all over the country roads. One day she shouted for me to stop the car. I thought I'd done something very wrong because usually she just kind of slept. Turns out she saw these hedge apples along the road and wanted to gather them.

That evening at dinner, I mentioned that we'd stopped to pick up road apples. I believe my father almost choked on his food. He then explained that hedge apples and road apples were two very different things. :)