Thursday, November 6, 2008

Osage Orange

One of the many interesting things about Walker is the combination of living in the city, and living in the woods. I've always thought the Osage Orange tree was an odd tree. Now with Cole I have a new perspective, because they are simply "balls".

When you have a toddler who wants to play with the Osage Orange, and try to put it in his mouth periodically, you get down to doing research. And with all its flaws, I like Wikipedia.

So a quick look get's a lot of information about the Osage Orange. It's worth a read, but let me highlight some of the facts:
  • Also known as the Horse Apple, or Hedge Apple. Scientific name is Maclura pomifera.
  • Native to North America, specifically to Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma.
  • Inedible, toxic, but not strongly poisonous (so we are hawks when Cole is playing with them).
  • Very few animals care for them, though squirrels will rip open to get the seeds.
  • Used as windbreaks and hedges (thanks to thorns).
  • Straight-grained wood (rare) makes excellent bows, many claim it is superior to Yew wood, which the Brits used for their feared Long Bows.
  • They like to dent cars (that is more of a Walker Street observation).
So there you have it. A nice educational entry.

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