Acorn is the nut produced by any of the various kinds of oak trees. Acorns are sometimes used to feed hogs. Many wild birds and mammals, including quail, deer, and squirrels, eat acorns. Many kinds of acorns are bitter. American Indians crushed and soaked acorns to remove the bitterness. American pioneers ate acorns when food was scarce. See also OAK.

Contributor: Richard A. Jaynes, Ph.D., Horticulturalist and Consultant, Broken Arrow Nursery.

Note of interest:

The acorn woodpecker of the western United States drills holes for storing acorns, which it eats when other food is scarce.

Acorns were among the most important food among American Indians. Women gathered acorns, washed them, and pounded them into flour. The women then cooked the flour to make acorn mush or bread. Women also gathered pine nuts, mesquite beans, grass seed, cactus fruits, and berries. They collected clams and other shellfish along the seacoast. The men hunted such game animals as bighorn sheep, deer, elk, and pronghorns. Some coastal groups hunted seals and other sea mammals. Salmon was the main fish caught.

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