Congratulations to Steve and Kenton and Rebecca for their correct answers to last week's "What's That?" photo puzzle. Steve's guess of Osage Orange was right as was Kenton and Rebecca's guess of Hedge apple. By coincidence, Steve had blogged about osage oranges the same day I posted the photo. Read about osage oranges on his blog at Blue Jay Barrens.
The osage orange (Macula pomifera) is found naturally in areas of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas but has been grown in other parts of the U.S. This particular osage orange tree is growing on the property of Mass Audubon's Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield where there are several non-native species of trees which were brought onto the property in the early 1900s when it was owned by Thomas Proctor.
Osage orange fruit is not edible, but some animals especially squirrels and deer will eat the seeds. The trees were often grown in rows for use as fences in prairie regions.
There's some interesting folklore surrounding the osage orange. As Kenton and Rebecca pointed out, Hedge apples are sold to deter insects but there's no scientific proof that they do keep spiders, roaches, etc. away.
Thanks to all who answered. No puzzle this Wednesday - will be away for the holiday. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!