Introduction: Osage Orange Pomander or Room Freshener

I had never heard of an Osage orange tree until five years ago, when my brother and I were together, and a green object lying in the street caught my attention. I asked him to go around the block so I could see what it was. I got out of the car and noticed several of these strange green nubby looking fruit that had fallen from a tree. They smelled a little like orange peels. I scooped up about four of them and got back into the car. I asked him to remember where the tree was, because I would definitely be back for more. I knew they would be great in a potpourri bowl. I searched online to find out what they were with no success.

One day a family friend stopped by and she told me they came from a Bodock tree. She knew because they grow abundantly in Oklahoma where she was from. After knowing the name of the tree; I did a search online and discovered farmers used them to create a natural fence before barb wire was available.  The Osage Indians used the bent limbs to make bows. The fruit is poisonous to eat except for squirrels! They love them! 

The following year I asked my brother to take me to the Bodock tree. We looked and looked and could not find that tree! Every fall for the past five years I have looked for that tree. Still determined to find the tree, this fall I looked again with no success. I finally called a friend of mine who owns a feed and seed store. She asked an employee where a Bodock tree might be found and he gave me an approximate location. I finally found the tree bearing the beautiful lime green dimpled fruit! I made a pomander from the fruit. Follow through and I will show you how I did it. 

Step 1: Supplies

  • Osage fruit 
  • 1 Jar Whole Cloves 
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks 
  • Ribbon

Step 2: Tools

  • Skewer
  • Scissors
  • Straight pin not shown 

Step 3: Poke Holes

Using the skewer poke holes about 1/4" into the fruit. You can make a design or randomly poke holes where you like. 
The more cloves you add the more fragrant it will be.

Step 4: Insert Cloves

Push the cloves into the holes as shown.

Step 5: Add Bow

Tie a bow around the two cinnamon sticks.
Attach the bow to the Osage fruit using the straight pin.

Step 6: Different Versions

You can make the fragrant balls from lemons, oranges, limes, or hedge apples.
Dried Osage looks pretty also!

Step 7: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts

I will be making these every year as long as the tree remains. It is funny how such a little thing can bring a lot of joy into someone's world! My persistence served me well!  I love the color and the way it smells (with or without the cinnamon and cloves). I am expecting them to last several months. 

I wish to thank Instructables, our sponsors, and our wonderful readers for making this a great place to share!
Thanks for stopping by and have a great New Year!

Sunshiine 

Comments

author
valkgurl (author)2015-02-03

I know I am late to the party here but---The tree is called BOIS D' ARC--Wood of the Bow---in French.

I had seen a hedge planted years ago by a friends father who was a landscape architect---these were smaller and we used to bean each other as kids with them--but stay AWAY from the thorns! A few years ago I saw some odd greeny yellow fruits hanging from a tree off across a field and sent my daughter to go fetch and she came back with several much larger "Horse Apples". Didn't realize they were the same things.

I now may have one growing in a pot outside. If it survives our wicked harsh NY winter!

This tree too seems elusive--I had passed the field hundreds of times and never noticed it. And for the past two Falls have not seen any Hedge Apples! And even so they would be rare here. We have friends that have lived their whole lives in OK and had NEVER heard of them----

You can save the seeds or buy them on ebay.

And a dumbass teenager friend actually ATE one of these on a dare--he did not die tho!

author
dallen33 (author)2013-11-23

Very awesome. Had a friend give me a bunch of these last year. Said to throw under your house to get rid of spiders and bugs. Wish I would of seen this helpful imfo. Maybe get more next year and try this. Very cool indeed! Thanks!

author
sabu.dawdy (author)2013-02-28

i really like th e idea . i am ont sure if this tree is in pakistan or not. if it is i will for sure make these hangings , one or two for my room decor as well as air freshners =D

author
AmyBourque (author)2013-01-17

We used to have a tree like this in our back yard when I was little. My pa-pa called the fruit 'horse apples'. He did tell us it was poisonous, which in turn led to me and my younger brother trying to force feed it to our baby brother when we were younger. Thankfully we got caught and got our whippings and baby brother is now a grown man with his own little ones.
The tree is somewhat common here in central Texas. If you say Horse Apple tree the older folks know what you are talking about. They aren't common enough to be weed trees, but each neighborhood has one or two.

author
sunshiine (author)AmyBourque2013-01-17

Thanks so much for sharing! Have a perfect day!
sunshiine

author
Kitana Kellaway (author)2013-01-06

Love the Little Bow =D

author

Thanks Kitana! Have a splendorous day!

author

I will and that song u sent me was sad at the end

author

Yes, sometimes life can be that way!

author

Indead

author

Hardships build character but it is hard to go through. It is how we react that is important.

author

OMG!! that is so true! you really make me think sunshiine =D

author
bajablue (author)2013-01-06

What a strange, beautiful and fascinating fruit!

The inside reminds me of a kiwi. Is it soft? I'm wondering what the slices would look like after they've been dried.

lol...  you have some experimenting to do, missy! ;-)

author
sunshiine (author)bajablue2013-01-06

It is strange but beautiful and smells great! The fruit is softish but not like a kiwi. Here is a picture of the dried Osage sliced. It dries quite hard and the color fades some but not too bad. I can't upload the picture for some reason but I added it to step 6. Thanks for commenting and I hope your night sparkles!
sunshiine

author
rocklocker (author)2013-01-05

These are used also to keep spiders out of your house, especially in basements. Just place them in out of the way corners.

author
sunshiine (author)rocklocker2013-01-05

Thanks for sharing this information! Have a pleasant day!
sunshiine

author
pecospearl (author)2013-01-04

I love what you have done with this fruit. The colors are fantastic and I do think you've come up with an entirely new idea for the Osage orange!

author
sunshiine (author)pecospearl2013-01-04

It smells soooo good, and it is chemical free! Thanks for stopping by and I hope your day shines!
Sunshiine

author
pwkinney (author)2013-01-04

It is a Bois d'Arc tree. Common in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and I guess Oklahoma. Osage Orange trees are sometimes a nuisance (weed) tree in theses area. The wood is extremely hard. My brother-in-law has a farm in central Kansas, he dug up an old fence his great-great grandfather built out of Osage Orange posts. The posts were still so good that he used them in his new fence, even after being in the ground for more than 80 years.

author
sunshiine (author)pwkinney2013-01-04

Wow that is a tough wood! Thank you so much for sharing this! Have a great day!
Sunshiine

author
artfulann (author)2013-01-04

Orange you smart! (sorry I couldn't resist the pun) Love the history lesson too!

author
sunshiine (author)artfulann2013-01-04

Well good morning artfulann, Thanks for the pun and for stopping by! Have a gorgeous day! I am a happy girl! Love my oranges!

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Bio: I am married with two children. Spring, summer, and fall are my very favorite times of the year. I love the sunshine thus the reason ... More »
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