Monday, 23 March 2015

The Maclura Pomifera

A friend dropped some Maclura Pomifera off to me the other day! It is commonly called the Osage Orange. It doesn't look or taste like an orange and you won't find it at your local farmers market - or any other fruit and vegetable market!
A bowl of Monkey Balls!
It's often called the Hedge Apple or the Horse Apple or the Monkey Ball - with ne're a mention of an orange! When I was 'googling' it I discovered that Martha Stewart was very excited that her sherpa  gardener (!) had just picked her first orange. In her blog (here) she states that 'The Osage orange is native to a small area in eastern Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, and southwestern Arkansas. This region was home to the Native American Osage Indian tribe, hence the name of the fruit'. 
I can't think what it reminds me of!
The mention of Osage takes me back to the extraordinary Pullitza prize-winning play August: Osage County I saw a few years ago starring our very own Robyn Nevin - you can read Alison Croggon's review here. Many of you will have seen the film starring Meryl Streep (see link here). Talk about a disfunctional family - they took it to great heights - but with actors like Robyn and Meryl - well....

Weird 'apple green' oranges!
Anyway enough of that diversion - the Osage Orange is a strange beast. It apparantly makes a terrific hedge. So if you are looking for something quirky to hedge your plot then why not try the Maclura Pomifera!

I'm just happy to have it decorate my kitchen table!

Had you heard of it? Have you seen it? Would you plant it?

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