What Are Those Weird Green Brain Fruit Anyway?

This time a year, if you wonder around Montrose Park you’re bound to find on the ground weird softball-sized green fruit like the one above. People are often so struck by the sight of the fruit, they pick up one or two of them and bring them home. But what are they, you ask?

Despite their green color, they’re oranges. Osage oranges, to be specific. They are grown by Osage trees, which line the Parrot rope walk. These trees are prevalent in the Great Plains states, where they are often planted along hedgerows. Traditionally, the pliable but strong nature of this tree’s wood made it valuable for fence posts and archery bows.

Technically speaking, the fruit is edible. But you can only eat the seeds, and they’re not easy to extract.

GM heard once that people should not feel guilty about taking the fruit home since no animals eat them. GM finds that they rot after a month or so. But if you don’t want to keep them around, it looks like at least one person is selling them 4 for $10 (besides being an interesting knick-knack, the fruit is believed to  repel insects and spiders).






Filed under Around Town

18 responses to “What Are Those Weird Green Brain Fruit Anyway?

  1. Jerry

    Why am I reminded of Pier One by this photo?

  2. Robert S

    I remember those, we used to throw them at each other! They made a wonderful SPALT on contact!!

  3. Robert S

    oops, SPLAT!!

  4. There are a ton of those trees surrounding the Capitol. Make of that what you will.

  5. Maggie

    They ward off bugs, spiders and the like. Place them in your window sills and corners.

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  8. CL

    it’s a hedgeapple! 🙂

  9. Elsa

    My DOG loved it!!!!!!!!! He wanted more 🙂

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  11. Debra

    How come I’ve never heard of them before. There awesome. One should be proud of them.

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  13. Thank you! One of my students (here in Italy) brought one in to school, to find out what it is. Now we know!

  14. Good to know. I’ve been puzzled by those green brains for years.

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  17. Squirrels eat osage oranges all the time.

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