How bout them hedge apples

flickr hedge apple Sultry

Call it a hedge apple, hedge ball or osage orange.  They also go by bois d’arc, bodark (in Texas), and bow wood.  Some even call them horse apples, which has a different connotation where I came from.   Its scientific name is Maclura pomifera.

The topic of this inedible (except maybe by livestock) fruit came up at a recent family picnic.

Some of the attendees had an aversion to spiders.  It was mentioned that the hedge apple is a natural way to repel the hairy critters.  Sounds better than fumigation.

In the spirit of exploration and science, we purchased some of the weird-looking orbs. According to lore, you don’t cut them, just place them on a piece of foil or something and leave them in your window sills.  Spiders and other creepy-crawlers do not like the odor they emit. (I couldn’t smell a thing when I inhale near one.)

We bought our hedge apples at Hays Market but other stores’ produce area may also have them.

I am not sure if they have had any impact on the arachnid population in our neighborhood.

The whole topic reminds me of an old Hudson and Landry comedy routine.

A news reporter is interviewing a rural farmer.

News: “So what do you grow here?”

Farmer: “Buckwheat and radishes.”

N: “Oh, you make a lot on that?”

F: “Sure, make lots on the buckwheat.”

N: “How about the radishes?”

F: “Nope, no they’re a loser big time.”

N: “Then why do you plant them?”

F: “Well you gotta keep those wolverines off the land.”

N: “So you have a problem with wolverines?”

F: “No, you idiot! That’s what the radishes are for.”

N: “Ever seen a wolverine?”

F: “No sir! Them radishes sure do work good!”


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