Maclura--the baseball connection

Doug Jensen doug_jensen at SMTPGTWY.BEREA.EDU
Wed Nov 27 09:53:31 EST 1996

>What would you say was the original means of dispersal for seeds/fruit of 
>Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera), also known as Bois d'Arc and Horse Apple?
>We are dealing with a large (ca. 1 kilo) fruit to about 10 cm in diameter.  
>They are green (not a bird-attractive color) and full of a sticky, milky 
[snip] a 
>friend swears she has seen a horse eat one, the vast majority of these 
>seem to drop right under the tree and decay. [snip]

    When I took woody plants at U of Michigan,  I was told they were dispersed 
by wild horses.  I recall that they were stuck to horses hooves and dispersed 
after they were trampled, not through ingestion.  I also recall the instructor 
mentioning a baseball player (you know--the Wild Horse of the Osage).  Taking 
the baseball allusion a step further, they do make great projectiles for batting 
practice.  A few good homeruns, and those babys are gonna be dispersed pretty 
    I didn't know whether to believe this story or not, until I heard the about 
how Podophyllum peltatum (mayapple) is pollinated by turtles.....
    Have a good Thanksgiving, and don't eat any mayapple pie!
Doug Jensen

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Subject: Re: Agent of distribution--Maclura
Date: 27 Nov 1996 00:29:23 GMT
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