The Bodark Tree, (or My Discovery of Monkey Brain Fruit in Welland, Ontario)

Wow! Just when I thought I knew, (more or less), about all the flora and fauna that surrounds me in my general vicinity, I made an astonishing discovery.

On our way for a nice walk on the boardwalk on Beverdams Pond; my husband insisted that we turn back because he saw quinces on the ground.

I told him that we don’t usually grow quince in Canada, as far as I know; maybe in the warm parts of British Columbia.

So, ( we never made our walk that day); we found the monkey brain fruit all over the ground. (It is otherwise known as Osage orange, or hedge apple.)

They looked like quinces, or large yellow apples, but had this weird brain cell-like covering.

So I found out, that they are commonly found in the southern United States, and you can’t eat the fruit.

The wood was prized by the Indigenous people and early settlers for bows and tools. It was also used as a natural fence, until barbed wire was invented.

Anyway; completely fascinating. The seeds must have been brought up to Canada by early American settlers because the trees, bordering the road, were very large.

P.S. Just to make it a little more weird; there is a theory that the only animals that really loved its fruit are now extinct; making it a very interesting anachronism, and history lesson prompt.

P.P.S. The fruit, apparently, also contains latex; so that was important for waterproofing.