What Is a Hedge Apple?

What Is a Hedge Apple?

What Is a Hedge Apple?

A hedge apple is the fruit of the Osage-orange (Maclura pomifera) tree, a plant native to parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas that is grown as a hedge in the United States and southeastern Canada.

Hedge apples are green, thorny fruits that are 3 to 5 inches in diameter. In autumn, they ripen and drop to the ground. The fruit is not edible to most wildlife, although it provides a nesting source and protection for some animals. Folklore claims that the fruit contains insect repellent properties. Some people use the fruit in and around their homes to protect against insects such as box elder bugs, crickets and spiders, but there is little scientific evidence to prove the effectiveness of this practice.