Author Topic: green tennis ball fruit tree SOLVED Maclura pomifera, Osage-orange, horse apple  (Read 10492 times)

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Offline lucy

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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.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 20:29 PM by lucy »

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Offline Mònica

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Re: green tennis ball fruit tree
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2009, 12:39 PM »
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, :)
Mònica

Offline lucy

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Re: green tennis ball fruit tree
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2009, 20:28 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.

Offline nick

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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
Nick
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Offline lucy

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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.

Offline Bob M

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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

Offline nick

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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
Nick
http://iberianature.com/barcelona/history-of-barcelona/spanish-civil-war-tour-in-barcelona/
Spanish Civil War Tours in Barcelona
http://www.iberianature.com/
A guide to the environment, climate, wildlife, & nature of Spain
The Amazon/Forum Bookshop - lend us a hand
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/shop/index.htm
And also now The Natural History of Britain
http://iberianature.com/brita