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Author Topic: green tennis ball fruit tree SOLVED Maclura pomifera, Osage-orange, horse apple  (Read 9327 times)
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lucy
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« on: December 16, 2009, 21:15 PM »

They only look like tennis balls from a distance.  Close-up, they have a brain-like texture, and feel as solid as cricket balls.  A BCN park has several of these trees, which I've never noticed before.


* leaves and fruit.jpg (67.06 KB, 600x450 - viewed 938 times.)

* tree.jpg (63.9 KB, 375x500 - viewed 462 times.)
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 19:29 PM by lucy » Logged

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« on: December 16, 2009, 21:15 PM »

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Mònica
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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2009, 11:39 AM »

Hi Lucy,

I think it's a Maclura pomifera, Osage-orange, Horse-apple, Bois D'Arc or Bodark: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maclura_pomifera
http://w3.bcn.es/XMLServeis/XMLHomeLinkPl/0,4022,375670355_376846742_2_589706075_detall,00.html?accioPJ=detall

I hope this helps, Smiley
Mònica
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lucy
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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2009, 19:28 PM »

Thanks Mònica!
There's no mistaking it.  I've read that it's native to the USA, and though horses occasionally eat the fruit, it's generally left untouched.  So there's a theory the tree was originally propogated by extinct megafauna, such as the mammoth and giant ground sloths.

Another interesting thing is that a compound extracted from the fruit is a good mosquito-repellant.
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nick
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« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2009, 20:06 PM »

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...there's a theory the tree was originally propogated by extinct megafauna, such as the mammoth and giant ground sloths.

I love theories like that! There are some mad American zoologists in favour of introdung Indian elephants in the US to replace the loss of the mammoth, supposedly wiped out by humans and so "restore the ecological landscape"....

It certainly makes interesting reading
Rewilding Megafauna: Lions and Camels in North America?

http://www.actionbioscience.org/newfrontiers/barlow.html
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Nick
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lucy
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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2009, 21:55 PM »

There’s a logic to it – but it’s still very wacky – bringing in elephants as "mammoth proxies"!!

Sounds like there’s already considerable weirdness going on in those vast territories owned by the mega-rich:

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There are more lions on Texas ranches than there are in all the zoos in the United States.
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Bob M
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2009, 08:40 AM »

Actually, it's not entirely clear that humans were responsible for the disappearance of the US megafauna:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18175-was-there-a-stone-age-apocalypse-or-not.html
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nick
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2009, 14:13 PM »

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Actually, it's not entirely clear that humans were responsible for the disappearance of the US megafauna:

Yes, I'd read about that before ...would kinda scupper any justification.

Sorry, we're going a bit off-topic here...not to mention off continent
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Nick
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http://iberianature.com/brita
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