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Inedible Fruits

Non-edible fruits are very fleshy five-valved red capsules. The fruits and leaves are poisonous, containing andromedotoxin which helps lowers blood pressure and causes breathing problems, dizziness, cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. Bog Laurel occurs with and strongly resembles Labrador Tea at the Ozette Prairies.
Some non edible fruits are Osage Orange, Silverbell, Wahoo
Osage orange

Scientific name-Maclura Pomifera

The Osage-orange is a curious plant in mulberry family called Moraceae. It is also known as hedge-apple, horse-apple and the bow wood. The species is extremely dioeciously, with male and female flowers on the different plants. It is a small deciduous tree, usually growing to the 8-15 m tall.

How do they look like - It is a large green ball with wrinkles on it. It is around 6" in diameter that often retains on the tree after the leaves fall off. They have a unique, sticky, white juice within them.

Where are they found- The plant is native to an area in the central United States consisting of southwestern Arkansas, southeastern Oklahoma, but a narrow belt in eastern Texas, and in extreme northwest corner of Louisiana, but it's not found common anywhere else.
It was a curiosity when Meriwether Lewis sent some slips and cuttings to President Jefferson in March 1804. The samples, donated by "Mr. Peter Choteau, who resided number of the greater portion of his time for many years with the Osage Nation" according to Lewis' letter, didn't take, but later the actual thorny Osage-orange was widely naturalized throughout the U.S country. The sharp-thrones trees were planted as cattle-deterring hedges before the introduction of barbed wire, and the wood was also used to make fence posts that preserved well in the ground.

The trees got the name bois d’Arcy, or "bow-wood", because early the French settlers observed the wood being used for the bow-making by Native Americans. The people of the Osage Nation esteem the wood of this tree for good building of their bows, that they travel many hundred miles in search of it," Meriwether Lewis was told in 1804. The heavy and closely grained yellow-orange wood is also the prized for tool handles. The heavy, fleshy fruit are very torn apart by the squirrels to get at the seeds, but few other native animals make use of it food source.

Why are they not edible?
Cut one into half and you will find a hard core surrounded by upto 200 small seeds. Try to find what makes the squirrels to go mad for these seeds. The seeds are edible by people, but one must put the effort like those squirrels to bring out the seed out of the husk and matix before eating them. Its difficult to get the seed out which is the only edible part. Cattle are sometimes tempted to eat the fruit and may choke on them if not chewed properly.


 


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