Brainy seeds indeed! There can be no other description for these large orange like fruits which contain the seeds of the Osage Orange tree, aka Maclura pomifera. While still in the Army I spotted these on a run route near our base at Fort Campbell. Being from the north and being a gardener I was both fascinated and curious as to what these big things were laying all over the ground (yes even while managing to fast walk-what I call a jog-on a physical fitness route). I picked some up and took them to my office. I asked everyone what they were and no one knew. That was until a good old country 'boy' from Kentucky said, "Oh, those are hedge apples."
"What the heck are hedge apples" I asked.
"I don't know but they grow in the woods around here and where I am from. We used to throw them at each other as kids. They hurt!"
Yup, I would imagine so as they are much harder than oranges, though about the same size. On a recent visit to Anonymous's place, I asked Boy #2 and Sidekick to pick up a few of these hedge apples for me. Both boys asked what they are and what do you do with them. What do you suppose I told them?
"Why you throw them at people" Of course!
No, just kidding. I told them they are brain seeds and make the squirrels smart when they eat them. Which really might be true since squirrels love the seeds inside of these 'brains'. Chipmunks appear to love them too, as I have found a few pieces of these brainy seeds scattered around the yard, and I know that pesky chipmunk is the culprit!
Boy, I sure hope Anonymous's kiddos don't start throwing these at people.
in the garden....
I have noticed the foliage of my grape hyacinths have begun popping up. If you see these small daffodil like foliage leaves popping up, do not worry as it is normal for established clumps of grape hyacinths to grow their foliage in the fall. This is a sure sign fall is fast approaching and we will soon be planting more bulbs for a nice spring show.