Hedge balls, horse apples, hedge apples, mock orange, and, my favorite, monkey brains: these are all the various names for the green 'hedgeapple' fruit from the Osage Orange, or Bodark, trees that are native to parts of Oklahoma and Texas.
What? I grew up in Illinois and they were everywhere on our farm this time of year. I hadn't seen them in Texas until I was in Warrenton and one vendor was using them as display. What a great idea! The vibrant shade of green adds a wonderful touch to a simple black or white scene. I asked the vendor where they were from, and they said near Warrenton. I asked them if the 'hedge balls' were from their place, and they weren't sure what I was talking about...I pointed to the bumpy green balls and they said, "Oh, you mean the horse apples?"
I asked my mom if she had any this year, and she didn't think so because there hasn't been a lot of rain in IL since late spring. However, after a bit of exploration on their property, my parents found several. Today, I received a large flat rate box filled with close to 20 hedge apples of differing sizes, and I couldn't have been happier to get some seemingly useless sticky fruit!
Turns out this 'useless' fruit has long served the purpose of a natural insect repellant - lucky for me and sad for the thousands of gigantic cockroaches that have invaded my house since the start of summer. Here's hoping that the old wives' tale is correct; I would be thrilled to cancel my pest control service and just use monkey brains.
I just love how the hedgeapples look in my 'new' rusty scale bin that I bought from House Wren's booth at the Austin Antique Mall. Thanks for the monkey brains, Mom! I think she should go into business selling them after she sends me another dozen boxes.