Osage Orange, Maclura pomifera, is September’s plant of the moment.
Native to Arkansas and eastern Texas, this unusual tree first came to Rancho Los Cerritos in the 1840s, when it was planted by John Temple. The Osage Orange was brought west by early pioneers, but what attracts visitors’ attention today is the peculiar-looking fruit that drops with a smack when it hits the ground. Popularly called “the green brain fruit,” they are not tasty, and are likely to be sticky from the latex sap they ooze. Located in our forecourt parking lot, they are a popular seasonal curiosity through October.
You can see all the color our gardens have to offer by taking a garden tour. The free, one-hour tours are available every Saturday and Sunday, and on weekdays by request.