Hedge Apple

For years I have read that Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera) is also known as hedge apple and that it was often used as natural fencing, a living hedge as well as the source of very long lasting fence posts. I’ve never quite understood how this would work since the specimens I see are usually stately trees.
Until now.
This is a very shrubby plant, and clearly takes to sprouting back with a vengeance when cut. And it’s armored! William Least Half Moon on the thorns: “just the right length and strength to turn away fleshy creatures without lacerating them.”
This thicket is right across the path from a venerable double-trunked specimen that rains down softball sized fruits every year. Mowing and the paths have contained the spread of this over the years. But on the other side of the fence here, there are several saplings along the stream. The orange color of the bark is another good tell.


Notes from the class war: a golf course for the 1% next to Liberty State Park in New Jersey, kinda sorta visible from here, wants to expand into rare habitat.

1 Response to “Hedge Apple”

  1. 1 Paul Lamb January 13, 2020 at 5:04 am

    Also sometimes called the bodark, from bois d’arc, and legend has it, the preferred wood for the bows crafted by the First People on the continent.

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