“It’s a tree that goes by many common names,” Stavish said. “I don’t think anyone knows why the name Monkey Ball came about.” Perhaps the name refers to monkey genitals, he said, which are sometimes colorful, but the hypothesis cannot be proven .
Monkey Balls are a special fruit and the trees they fall from are known as Hedge Apples, Bowwood, Bois d’Arc (French for “wood of the bow”), Bodark, Geelhout, Mock Orange, Horse apple, naranjo chino, wild orange and yellow-wood. The official name of the tree is Osage Orange.
Monkey Balls, for those who haven’t had the pleasure, are softball-sized “fruits” that have a surface texture resembling an alien brain from the Mars Attacks movie. Some people obviously call them Hedge apples, although they don’t look like apples at all and grow on trees, not in hedges.
These fruits are better known in Pennsylvania as “Monkey Balls”. Long ago (about 10,000 to 13,000 years ago) woolly mammoths, ground sloths, and several other now-extinct mammals ate the orange fruit of the Osage. The seeds of the fruit passed through the mammalian system undigested and were excreted.
Myth: “Hedge apples” (Osage orange fruit) or horse chestnuts can be used to repel spiders. Fact: The story that the fruit of the Osage orange tree (also called hedge apple, monkey ball, or spider ball) can repel or repel spiders is proving extremely common in the Midwestern states, where the trees are widespread.
And how do primates actually get their blue garbage? At the molecular level, the color comes from the Tyndall effect, the scattering of light by the skin itself, says Bercovitch. According to a 2004 study, the skin of blue-tinted monkeys also has unusually neat and ordered collagen fibers.
Monkey Balls are also called Osage Oranges or Hedge Apples. They are the fruit of the Maclura pomifera tree. The odd, bumpy fruit looks a bit like a lime-green brain and contains a substance that repels spiders and many insects.
A female can therefore contain sperm from multiple partners at any one time, putting the sperm itself – and not just the animals that produce it – in direct competition. For this reason, chimpanzees have evolved giant testicles to produce massive amounts of sperm several times a day.
The effect of such “sperm competition” is evident in chimpanzees, where a female will normally mate with all the males in her group. To keep up, male chimpanzees have evolved the largest testicles of any great apes. In comparison, male gorillas have exclusive access to a harem of females and have very small testicles.
Larry Gilbert, (Professor, Department of Integrative Biology) One of the few native forest trees on UT’s main campus is a giant Maclura pomifera, also known as “Osage orange” or “horse apple.” A male tree of this species grows in front of Welch Hall. Other family members are the fig and the mulberry.
The tree they come from is officially called maclura pomifera. Other nicknames include Osage Orange, Hedge Apple, Horse Apple, Bow Wood, Yellow Wood, or Monkey Brain Tree. The fruit or monkey balls usually weigh between 1 and 5 pounds and are usually the size of a baseball.
Despite many misinterpretations that the fruit is inedible, the fruit is edible but not commonly consumed due to its inedible qualities such as the bitter taste and unpleasant latex-like liquid that can irritate the skin. In addition to the pulp, the seeds are edible and can be roasted.
Gum trees bloom in spring with inconspicuous, yellowish-green flowers that turn into seed pods, often referred to as gumballs, in fall. The tree is not poisonous to dogs and cats, but the seed pods pose a different type of health hazard if your pet steps on them.
If you’ve come across round, spiky balls under a tree or perhaps still on the plant and are wondering what it could be, it’s probably one of several possibilities: Borse Chestnut/Horse Chestnut (Aesculus), Chestnut ( castanea) or sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua).