Found this in the yard. Probably the neighbor’s. Anyone know what it is and what it’s used for?

Hedge apples, scientifically known as Maclura pomitera, are distinctive fruits native to parts of North America. These remarkable fruits, often referred to as Osage oranges, are roughly the size of softballs and sport bumpy, bright green exteriors.

The hedge apple, also known as the Osage orange or Maclura pomifera, is a large, green, bumpy fruit that is about the size of a softball. It is commonly found in the central United States and is often seen growing on the Osage orange tree, which is a thorny, spreading tree that can grow up to 50 feet tall.

The hedge apple has a thick, bumpy rind that is difficult to penetrate, and inside it contains a white, spongy pulp that is filled with seeds. The fruit is not typically eaten by humans, as it has a bitter and astringent taste, but it is sometimes used as animal feed. However, it is not toxic to humans and has been used in traditional medicine for a variety of purposes.

The wood of the Osage orange tree is prized for its strength and durability, and it has been used for making fence posts, bows, and other tools. The tree was historically used as a natural barrier to contain livestock, and its thorny branches and dense foliage make it an effective hedge plant.

In recent years, the hedge apple has gained attention for its alleged ability to repel insects, particularly spiders. Some people place hedge apples around their homes or in their basements to deter pests, although there is limited scientific evidence to support this claim.

Overall, the hedge apple is an intriguing and unique fruit that has a long history of use in the central United States. While it may not be a popular food item, its usefulness as a natural barrier and potential insect repellent make it a valuable asset in certain environments.

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