When the fruits of the Osage orange tree fall to the ground in autumn, they demand notice. For one thing, they’re the size of softballs—the largest fruit of any tree native to North America. For another, they’re bright green.
On top of that they have a strange story that few people know.
Osage orange trees are not related to oranges; they’re more closely related to mulberries. Even more confusingly, the most common name for their fruit is hedge apple (though they’re also called horse apples, Irish snowballs, or monkey brains).
Not many animals or humans eat these neither-oranges-nor-apples. Though a