Home News Weird Green Fruit is Not From Ohio, but You Will Find It...

Weird Green Fruit is Not From Ohio, but You Will Find It Here


PICKAWAY – This time of year around fall you will see these odd-looking bright green fruit on the ground known as hedge apples, the question is what are they for?

The “oranges” which they are also referred as come from an Osage-orange tree that is not indigenous to Ohio but was introduced in Ohio in the 1800s. These trees were brought to Ohio by farming settlers for forming a natural fence along farmlands and wind sheers. The tree is actually native to Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. Recently a tree larger than 20 feet in circumference was found in Pickaway County, you can read about that here: http://www.sciotopost.com/conservation-organization-found-possibly-largest-osage-orange-tree-ohio-pickaway-county-2/

Anyways back to the fruit, they produce. The Oranges ripen around September to October and that’s when they fall to the ground. They range from 3 to 5 inches the lobes are compact and bright green colored usually.

The fruit is mostly a nuisance fruit with low value. Most birds and wildlife find the fruit inedible and ignore it. There is no real known use for the apples commercially, other than a claim that placing them near foundations repels insects from homes. A study by Iowa State University toxicologists a few years ago extracted compounds from hedge apples. When concentrated, these compounds were found to truly repel insects, but Scientists also found that natural concentrations of these compounds in the fruit were too low to be an effective repellent. So, don’t be fooled into spending much to use hedge apples as an insect repellent.

You can pick the fruit and use it as decoration in the fall months. Scientists suggest using gloves because the milky juice can irritate the skin.