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Is Osage Orange Edible? What You Need To Know

As Osage Orange beautifies the garden with attractive foliage and uniquely appealing fruits, most people are curious about whether the fruit is edible or not.

Generally, Osage Orange is not edible due to the hard texture, bitter taste and milky sap loaded with osajin, tannins, and alkaloids. However, the seeds are edible but consume them only after roasting.

Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera) bears lots of common names like Hedge Apple, Horse Apple, etc.

Go through this complete article to know every detail about Osage Orange, with the side effects and benefits of this fruit.

What Does Osage Orange Look Like?

Osage Orange is a unique fruit native to the Southern and Central United States. 

Native to temperate climates, this fruit is round, just like a ball, with lots of bumps on the surface. The bumps are green when young and turn yellow when the fruit ripens.

Due to the yellow bumps upon maturity, the Osage Orange fruit looks just like a brain.

Osage Orange Fruit cut into half.
The Milky sap of Osage Orange makes the fruit inedible.

The size of the fruit is about 4-6 inches in diameter. However, the fruit size depends upon nutrient availability, tree health and other growing conditions.

When you cut the fruit in half, the flesh can be cream-white, yellow or orange, depending on the fruit’s maturity. The unripe fruits release sticky sap.

Each Horse Apple fruit contains about 200-300 small seeds.

Is Osage Orange Edible?

Osage Orange Fruit is not edible as it is very hard with a bitter taste. Additionally, the milky sap can be sticky to the skin.

The fragrance is also unpleasant. Also, it is very difficult to consume the fruit due to the hard rind. Also, it’s difficult to consume the fruit due to its big size and heavy weight.

However, the seeds inside the fruit are edible. When the fruit ripens during fall, it becomes a valuable food source for several wildlife and birds.

Nevertheless, you shouldn’t consume the seeds without roasting them as they contain a high amount of tannins.

If you consume the roasted seeds of Hedge Apple, they will bless you with several medicinal benefits like cardiovascular properties, antioxidants, antifungal properties, etc.

Moreover, the seeds are also rich in proteins, fiber, and vitamins that help to enhance your immune system.

Side Effects Of Osage Orange

Osage Orange contains osajin, which is also present in bitter melons. Although this bitter compound is not toxic, it can still cause stomach upset.

Moreover, the sap can irritate your skin, causing skin problems like bumps, pimples, and rashes.

Additionally, the fruit is also loaded with compounds like alkaloids and tannins, which are harmful to your body.

Osage Orange fruit is also toxic to your pets, causing them to suffer from digestive problems, diarrhea, and vomiting. In case of accidental consumption, contact:

Also, if you are a pregnant and lactating woman, it’s better not to consume the fruit even in small amounts.

From Editorial Team

How To Eat Osage Orange Seeds?

Firstly, open the Osage Orange fruit and grind the flesh on the grinder. Strain the mixture with a thin mesh and remove the seeds.

After removing the seeds, wash them and pat them dry. Roast the dried seeds for 10-15 minutes on high heat until brown. Also, remove the outer cover before eating the seeds. 

As the research on this fruit is limited, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor before consuming these fruits.