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Encyclopedia > Acorn
Acorns of Sessile Oak
Acorns of Sessile Oak

The acorn is the fruit of the oak tree (genera Quercus, Lithocarpus and Cyclobalanopsis, in the family Fagaceae). It is a nut, containing a single seed (rarely two seeds), enclosed in a tough, leathery shell, and borne in a cup-shaped cupule. Acorns vary from 1 Р6 cm long and 0.8 Р4 cm broad. Acorns take between about 6 or 24 months (depending on the species) to mature; see List of Quercus species for details of oak classification, in which acorn morphology and phenology are important factors. Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Look up Acorn and acorn in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Scottish acorns File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Scottish acorns File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Binomial name Quercus petraea (Mattuschka) Liebl. ... For other uses, see Fruit (disambiguation). ... Species See List of Quercus species The term oak can be used as part of the common name of any of several hundred species of trees and shrubs in the genus Quercus (from Latin oak tree), and some related genera, notably Cyclobalanopsis and Lithocarpus. ... This article is about oaks (Quercus desert-oak is unrelated, and instead belongs to the genus Allocasuarina. ... Species Lithocarpus cleistocarpus Lithocarpus densiflorus - Tanoak Lithocarpus edulis - Japanese Stone Oak Lithocarpus glaber Lithocarpus henryi - Henrys Stone Oak Lithocarpus pachyphyllus and many more Lithocarpus is a genus in the beech family Fagaceae. ... Species See text Cyclobalanopsis is a genus of about 150 species of flowering plants in the family Fagaceae, native to eastern and southeastern Asia. ... Genera Castanea - Chestnuts Castanopsis Chrysolepis - Golden chinkapin Colombobalanus Cyclobalanopsis Fagus - Beeches Formanodendron Lithocarpus - Stone oaks Quercus - Oaks Trigonobalanus The family Fagaceae, or beech family, is characterized by alternate leaves with pinnate venation, flowers in the form of catkins, and fruit in the form of nuts, one to seven in a... For other uses, see Nut (disambiguation). ... A ripe red jalape̱o cut open to show the seeds For other uses, see Seed (disambiguation). ... A Sweet Chestnut Castanea sativa cupule, split open to reveal the nuts. ... // Genus Quercus Section Quercus The white oaks (synonym sect. ... The term morphology in biology refers to the outward appearance (shape, structure, colour, pattern) of an organism or taxon and its component parts. ... Phenology is the study of the times of recurring natural phenomena. ...



Acorns are one of the most important wildlife foods in areas where oaks occur. Creatures that make acorns an important part of their diet include birds, such as jays, pigeons, some ducks and several species of woodpeckers. Small mammals that feed on acorns include mice, squirrels and several other rodents. Such large mammals as pigs, bears, and deer also consume large amounts of acorns: they may constitute up to 25% of the diet of deer in the autumn. In some of the large oak forests in southwest Europe, traditionally called "dehesas", pigs are still turned loose in oak groves in the autumn, to fill and fatten themselves on acorns. However, acorns are toxic to some other animals, such as horses. For other uses, see Bird (disambiguation). ... Genera Garrulus Podoces Ptilostomus Perisoreus Aphelocoma Gymnorhinus Cyanocitta Calocitta Cyanocorax Cyanolyca The jays are several species of medium-sized, usually colorful and noisy passerine birds in the crow family Corvidae. ... Pigeon redirects here. ... Subfamilies Dendrocygninae Oxyurinae Anatinae Aythyinae Merginae Duck is the common name for a number of species in the Anatidae family of birds. ... Genera Melanerpes Sphyrapicus Xiphidiopicus Dendropicos Dendrocopos Picoides Veniliornis Campethera Geocolaptes Dinopium Meiglyptes Hemicircus Micropternus Picus Mulleripicus Dryocopus Celeus Piculus Colaptes Campephilus Chrysocolaptes Reinwardtipicus Blythipicus Gecinulus Sapheopipo For other uses, see Woodpecker (disambiguation). ... Subclasses & Infraclasses Subclass †Allotheria* Subclass Prototheria Subclass Theria Infraclass †Trituberculata Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria Mammals (class Mammalia) are warm-blooded, vertebrate animals characterized by the production of milk in female mammary glands and by the presence of: hair, three middle ear bones used in hearing, and a neocortex region in... Feral mouse A mouse (plural mice) is a rodent that belongs to one of numerous species of small mammals. ... This article is about the animal. ... Suborders Sciuromorpha Castorimorpha Myomorpha Anomaluromorpha Hystricomorpha Rodentia is an order of mammals also known as rodents. ... For other uses, see Pig (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the ruminant animal. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Oak Grove is a common name for several places in the United States of America. ... Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The horse (Equus caballus, sometimes seen as a subspecies of the Wild Horse, Equus ferus caballus) is a large odd-toed ungulate mammal, one of ten modern species of the genus Equus. ...

In some human cultures, acorns once constituted a dietary staple, though they are now generally only a very minor food. This article is about modern humans. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

The larvae of some moths and weevils also live in young acorns, consuming the kernels as they develop. A larval insect A larva (Latin; plural larvae) is a juvenile form of animal with indirect development, undergoing metamorphosis (for example, insects or amphibians). ... A moth is an insect closely related to the butterfly. ... Families Anthribidae - fungus weevils Attelabidae - leaf rolling weevils Belidae - primitive weevils Brentidae - straight snout weevils Caridae Curculionidae - true weevils Nemonychidae - pine flower weevils Wikispecies has information related to: Curculionoidea A weevil is any beetle from the Curculionoidea superfamily. ...

Acorns are attractive to animals because they are large and thus efficiently consumed or cached. Acorns are also rich in nutrients. Percentages vary from species to species, but all acorns contain large amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats, as well as the minerals calcium, phosphorus and potassium, and the vitamin niacin. Total food energy in an acorn also varies by species, but all compare well with other wild foods and with other nuts. A representation of the 3D structure of myoglobin, showing coloured alpha helices. ... Lactose is a disaccharide found in milk. ... General Name, Symbol, Number calcium, Ca, 20 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, Period, Block 2, 4, s Appearance silvery white Standard atomic weight 40. ... General Name, Symbol, Number phosphorus, P, 15 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 15, 3, p Appearance waxy white/ red/ black/ colorless Standard atomic weight 30. ... General Name, symbol, number potassium, K, 19 Chemical series alkali metals Group, period, block 1, 4, s Appearance silvery white Standard atomic weight 39. ... Retinol (Vitamin A) For the record label, see Vitamin Records A vitamin is an organic compound required in tiny amounts for essential metabolic reactions in a living organism. ... Niacin, also known as nicotinic acid or vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin whose derivatives such as NADH, NAD, NAD+, and NADP play essential roles in energy metabolism in the living cell and DNA repair. ... Food energy is the amount of energy in food that is available through digestion. ...

Acorns also contain bitter tannins, the amount varying with the species. Since tannins, which are plant polyphenols, interfere with an animal's ability to metabolize protein, creatures must adapt in different ways to utilize the nutritional value that acorns contain. Animals may preferentially select acorns that contain fewer tannins. Creatures that cache acorns, such as jays and squirrels, may wait to consume some of these acorns until sufficient groundwater has percolated through them to leach the tannins out. Other animals buffer their acorn diet with other foods. Many insects, birds, and mammals metabolize tannins with fewer ill-effects than humans. Several indigenous human cultures have devised traditional acorn-leaching methods that involved tools and that were traditionally passed on to their children by word of mouth. A bottle of tannic acid. ... Polyphenols are a group of chemical substances found in plants, characterized by the presence of more than one phenol group per molecule. ... Santorio Santorio (1561-1636) in his steelyard balance, from Ars de statica medecina, first published 1614 Metabolism (from μεταβολισμος(metavallo), the Greek word for change), in the most general sense, is the ingestion and breakdown of complex compounds, coupled... Leaching is the process of extracting a substance from a solid by dissolving it in a liquid. ...

Acorns of Quercus kerrii
Acorns of Quercus kerrii
A shelled acorn
A shelled acorn
Shelled acorns
Shelled acorns

Species of acorn that contain large amounts of tannins are very bitter, astringent, and potentially irritating if eaten raw. This is particularly true of the acorns of red oaks. The acorns of white oaks, being much lower in tannins, are nutty in flavor, which is enhanced if the acorns are given a light roast before grinding. Tannins can be removed by soaking chopped acorns in several changes of water, until water no longer turns brown. (Boiling unleached acorns may actually cause the tannins to be unleachable.) Being rich in fat, acorn flour can spoil or get moldy easily and must be carefully stored. Acorns are also sometimes prepared as a massage oil. Download high resolution version (802x800, 35 KB)This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons, a repository of free content hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. ... Download high resolution version (802x800, 35 KB)This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons, a repository of free content hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Acornshell1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Acornshell1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Acornshell2. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Acornshell2. ... For other uses, see FAT. Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and largely insoluble in water. ... It has been suggested that Toxic mold be merged into this article or section. ...

Acorn dispersal agents

Acorns, being too heavy to blow in wind, do not fall far from the tree at maturity. Because of this, oaks depend on seed dispersal agents to move the acorns beyond the canopy of the mother tree and into an environment in which they can germinate and find access to adequate water, sunlight and soil nutrients, ideally a minimum of 20-30 m from the parent tree. Many acorn predators eat unripe acorns on the tree or ripe acorns from the ground, with no reproductive benefit to the oak. However, some acorn predators also serve as seed dispersal agents. Jays and squirrels that scatter-hoard acorns in caches for future use, effectively plant acorns in a variety of locations in which it is possible for them to germinate and thrive. Although jays and squirrels retain remarkably large mental maps of cache locations and return to consume them, the odd acorn may be lost, or a jay or squirrel may die before consuming all of its stores. A small number of acorns manage to germinate and survive, producing the next generation of oaks. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

Scatter-hoarding behavior depends on jays and squirrels associating with plants that provide good packets of food that are nutritionally valuable, but not too big for the dispersal agent to handle. The beak sizes of jays determine how large acorns may get before jays ignore them.

Acorns germinate on different schedules, depending on their place in the oak family. Once acorns sprout, they are less nutritious, as the seed tissue converts to the indigestible lignins that form the root. Lignin (sometimes lignen) is a chemical compound (complex, highly cross-linked aromatic polymer) that is most commonly derived from wood and is an integral part of the cell walls of plants, especially in tracheids, xylem fibres and sclereids. ...

Cultural aspects

Acorns appear only on adult trees, and thus are often a symbol of patience and the fruition of long, hard labor. For example, an English proverb states that Great oaks from little acorns grow, urging the listener to wait for maturation of a project or idea. A German folktale has a farmer try to outwit Satan, to whom he has promised his soul, by asking for a reprieve until his first crop is harvested; he plants acorns and has many years to enjoy first. In Britain, one old tradition has it that if a woman carries an acorn on her person it will delay the aging process and keep her forever young. Patience, engraving by Hans Sebald Beham, 1540 Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Patience Patience is the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties. ... Look up proverb in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the concept of Satan. ... The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is the self-aware essence unique to a particular living being. ...

The Norse legend that Thor sheltered from a thunderstorm under an oak tree has led to the belief that having an acorn on a windowsill will prevent a house from being struck by lightning, hence the popularity of window blind pulls decorated as acorns. In ancient Japan, (Jōmon period), acorn was an important food. They harvested, peeled and soaked acorns in natural or artificial ponds for several days to remove tannins, then processed it to make acorn cakes. In Korea, an edible jelly named dotorimuk is made from acorns. Norse, Viking or Scandinavian mythology comprises the indigenous pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian peoples, including those who settled on Iceland, where most of the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ... Thors battle against the giants, by MÃ¥rten Eskil Winge, 1872 Thor (Old Norse: Þórr) is the red-haired and bearded god of thunder and war in Norse Mythology and more generally Germanic mythology (Old English: Þunor, Old Dutch and Old High German: Donar, from Proto-Germanic *Þunraz). ... For information on lightning precautions, see Lightning safety. ... Front and side view of Venetian or horizontal blinds. ... Characters for Jōmon (Cord marks). The Jomon period ) is the time in Japanese pre-history from about 10,000 BC to 300 BC. Most scholars agree that by around 40,000 BC glaciation had connected the Japanese islands with the Asian mainland. ... This article is about the Korean peninsula and civilization. ... Dotorimuk (also spelled totorimuk) or acorn jelly is a Korean food which is a jelly made from acorn starch. ...

A motif in Roman architecture and popular in Celtic and Scandinavian art, the symbol is used as an ornament on cutlery, jewelry, furniture, and appears on finials at Westminster Abbey. The Gothic name akran, German Eicher, etc, had the sense of "fruit of the unenclosed land". The word was applied to the most important forest produce, that of the oak. Chaucer spoke of "achornes of okes" in the 1300s. By degrees, popular etymology connected the word both with "corn" and "oak-horn", and the spelling changed accordingly. In art, a motif is a repeated idea, pattern, image, or theme. ... ‹ The template below (Expand) is being considered for deletion. ... In architecture, ornament is decorative detail on buildings. ... Used cutlery: a plate, a fork and knife, and a drinking glass. ... Finial at Aachen town hall Illustration by Viollet-le-Duc, 1856 The finial is an architectural device, typically carved in stone and employed to decoratively emphasise the apex of a gable, or any of various distinctive ornaments at the top, end, or corner of a building or structure. ... The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster, which is almost always referred to by its original name of Westminster Abbey, is a mainly Gothic church, on the scale of a cathedral (and indeed often mistaken for one), in Westminster, London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. ... Gothic is an extinct Germanic language that was spoken by the Goths. ... Forest Produce is defined under the section 2(4) of the Indian Forest Act, 1927. ... Geoffrey Chaucer (c. ... 1308 - Avignon Papacy established, which splits and weakens the Roman Catholic Church Turku, the oldest city in Finland experiences rapid growth around the recently consecrated Cathedral of Turku Category: ... Not to be confused with Entomology, the scientific study of insects. ...

In the 1600s, a juice extracted from acorns was administered to habitual drunkards to cure them of their condition or else to give them the strength to resist another bout of drinking. Young lovers may place two acorns, representing themselves and the object of their affection, in a bowl of water in order to predict whether they have a future together; if the acorns drift towards each other they are certain to marry (they will, if placed closer to each other than to the edge of the bowl). Many inventions and institutions are created, including Hans Lippershey with the telescope (1608, used by Galileo the next year), the newspaper Avisa Relation oder Zeitung in Augsburg, and Cornelius Drebbel with the thermostat (1609). ...

By analogy with the shape, in nautical language, the word acorn also refers to a piece of wood keeping the vane on the mast-head.

Native American management of acorn resources

Acorns were a traditional food of many indigenous peoples of North America, but served an especially important role in California, where the ranges of several species of oaks overlap, increasing the reliability of the resource. Native Americans redirects here. ...

Acorns, unlike many other plant foods, do not need to be eaten or processed right away, but may be stored for long time periods, such as what squirrels do. In years that oaks produced many acorns, Native Americans sometimes collected enough acorns to store for two years as insurance against poor acorn production years. After drying them in the sun to discourage mold and germination, Native American women took acorns back to their villages and cached them in hollow trees or structures on poles, to keep acorns safe from mice and squirrels. These acorns could be used as needed. Storage of acorns permitted Native American women to process acorns when convenient, particularly during winter months when other resources were scarce. Women's caloric contributions to the village increased when they stored acorns for later processing and focused on gathering or processing other resources available in the autumn. Native Americans redirects here. ...

Women shelled and pulverized those acorns that germinate in the fall before those that germinate in spring. Because of their high fat content, stored acorns can become rancid. Molds may also grow on them.

Native North Americans took an active and sophisticated role in management of acorn resources through the use of fire, which increased the production of acorns and made them easier to collect. The deliberate setting of light ground fires killed the larvae of acorn moths and acorn weevils that have the potential to infest and consume more than 95% of an oak's acorns, by burning them during their dormancy period in the soil. Fires released the nutrients bound in dead leaves and other plant debris into the soil, thus fertilizing oak trees while clearing the ground to make acorn collection faster and easier. Most North American oaks tolerate light fires, especially when consistent burning has eliminated woody fuel accumulation around their trunks. Consistent burning encouraged oak growth at the expense of other trees that are less tolerant of fire, thus keeping landscapes in a state in which oaks dominated. Since oaks produce more acorns when they are not in close competition with other oaks for sunlight, water and soil nutrients, eliminating young oaks more vulnerable to fire than old oaks created open oak savannahs with trees ideally spaced to maximize acorn production. Finally, frequent fires prevented accumulation of flammable debris, which reduced the risk of destructive canopy fires that destroyed oak trees. After a century during which North American landscapes have not been managed by indigenous peoples, disastrous fires have ravaged crowded, fuel-laden forests. Land managers have realized that they can learn much from indigenous resource management techniques, such as controlled burning, widely practiced by Native Americans to enhance such resources as acorns. The term indigenous people has no universal, standard or fixed definition, but can be used about any ethnic group who inhabit the geographic region with which they have the earliest historical connection. ... This article is confusing for some readers, and needs to be edited for clarity. ... Firing the woods in a South Carolina forest with a custom made igniter mounted on an all terrain vehicle. ...

References and external links

  • Baumhoff, Martin A. (1963) Ecological Determinants of Aboriginal California Populations. University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Etnology 49(2)155-235.
  • Brown, Leland R. (1979) Insects Feeding on California Oak Treesin Proceedings of the Symposium on Multiple-Use Management of California's Hardwood Resources, Timothy Plum and Norman Pillsbury (eds.). Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-44, USDA, Forest Service, Pac. S.W. Forest and Range Experiment Station, Berkeley, California, pp. 184-194.
  • Janzen, Daniel H. (1971) Seed Predation by Animals in Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. Richard F. Johnson, Peter W. Frank and Charles Michner (eds.).
  • Nupa Acorn Soup (Miwokan recipe)
  • Cooking With Acorns: A Major North American Indian Food
  • Nutrition Facts for Acorn Flour
  • How to whistle an acorn

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain. United States Forest Service New Zealand Forest Service Canadian Forest Service This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Berkeley is a city on the east shore of San Francisco Bay in northern California, in the United States. ... Encyclopædia Britannica, the eleventh edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

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