Monkey balls and horse apples

osage orange seed

What is this glow-worm green, brain-like thing that kindergarten teacher Mrs. M&M photographed?

Here’s a clue: It was found under a tree.

The Osage-orange treemay have the most unusual seedball in the area. The one in this picture, placed on a chair, is about the size of two adult fists pressed against each other. Mrs. Alexander also brought in one, and it’s about the size of a grapefruit. The Osage-orange seedpod even smells like citrus, but don’t eat it! You’ll throw up. Save it for the squirrels, who love to eat them.

And, as first grade teacher Mrs. Lauder noted, don’t park your car under an Osage-orange tree, either. Can you imagine what would happen if one of these fell on the roof or hood of your car?

The seedball of the Osage-orange — a member of the mulberry family (which also contains figs) — has some odd nicknames, like “monkey ball” and “horse apple.” Click hereto learn more fun facts, like why people would want to buy these ugly, inedible fruits (and they do!) and what happens when a cow tries to eat one.

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