Quercus aegilops Linn. Cupuliferae (Fagaceae). CAMATA OR
CAMATINA OAK. VALONIA OAK.
South Europe and Syria.
The cups, known as valonia, are used for
tanning and dyeing as are the unripe acorns called camata or
camatina. The ripe acorns are eaten raw or boiled.
Q. agrifolia Nee. CALIFORNIA FIELD OAK.
The acorns are eaten by the Indians.
Q. alba Linn. WHITE OAK.
The dried acorns are macerated in water for food by
the natives on the Roanoke. Acorns were dried and boiled for food by
the Narragansetts. Oak acorns were mixed with their pottage by the
Indians of Massachusetts. Baskets full of parched acorns, hid in the
ground, were discovered by the Pilgrims December 7, 1620. White oak
acorns were boiled for "oyl" by the natives of New England. The fruit of
some trees is quite pleasant to the taste, especially when roasted.
Q. cerris Linn. TURKISH OAK.
Europe and the Orient.
The trees are visited in August by immense
numbers of a small, white coccus insect, from the puncture of which a
saccharine fluid exudes and solidifies in little grains. The wandering
tribes of Kurdistan collect this saccharine secretion by dipping the
branches on which it forms into hot water and evaporating to a syrupy
consistence. In this state, the syrup is used for sweetening food or is
mixed with flour to form a sort of cake.
Q. coccifera Linn. KERMES OAK.
The acorns were used as food by the ancients.
Q. cornea Lour.
The acorns are used for food. Loudon says the acorns are
ground into a paste in China, which, mixed with the flour of corn, is
made into cakes.
Q. cuspidata Thunb.
This species is enumerated by Thunberg among the edible
plants of Japan.
Q. emoryi Torr.
Western North America.
This tree furnishes acorns, which are used by
the Indians of the West as a food.
Q. garryana Dougl. WESTERN OAK.
Western North America.
The acorns furnish the Indians with food and
are stored by them for future use.
Q. ilex Linn. BALLOTA, BELLOOT OR BELOTE OAK. HOLLY OAK.
Mediterranean region and the Orient.
From varieties of this tree, says
Mueller, are obtained the sweet and nourishing ballota and chestnut
acorns. Figuier says this species is common in the south of France, and
that the acorns are sweet and eatable. Brandis says the acorns form an
important article of food in Spain and Algeria. The acorns are eaten in
Barbary, Spain and Portugal under the name of belote. In Arabia, also,
they are eaten cooked, and an oil is extracted from them. In Palestine,
they are sold in all the bazaars.
Q. lobata Nee. CALIFORNIA WHITE OAK.
The acorns form a large proportion of the winter food of the
Indians of North California The acorns, from their abundance and
edible nature, form a very important part of the subsistence of the
Digger Indians and are collected and stored for winter use.
Q. michauxii Nutt. BASKET OAK. COW OAK.
The large, sweet, edible acorns are eagerly devoured by
cattle and other animals.
Q. oblongifolia Torr. EVERGREEN OAK. LIVE OAK.
California and New Mexico.
This species furnishes the Indians of the
West with acorns for food use.
Q. persica Jaub. et Spach. MANNA OAK.
The acorns are eaten in southern Europe and, in southern
Persia, afford material for bread. The leaves also furnish a manna. In
olden times, as we read in Homer and Hesiod, the acorn was the
common food of the Arcadians. There is, however, much reason to
suppose that chestnuts, which were named in the times of
Theophrastus and Dioscorides Jupiter acorns and Sardian acorns, are
often alluded to when we read of people having lived on acorns in
Europe; and, in Africa, dates are signified, because they were likewise
called by Herodotus and Dioscorides acorns and palm-acorns.
Bartholin says that in Norway acorns are used to furnish a bread.
During a famine in France, in 1709, acorns were resorted to for
sustenance. In China, the fruits of several species of oak are used as
food for man, and a kind of curd is sometimes made from the ground
meal. Oak bark is pounded by the Digger Indians of California and
used as food in times of famine.
Q. phellos Linn. WILLOW OAK.
Eastern States of North America. T
he acorns are edible.
Q. prinus Linn. CHESTNUT OAK.
The fruit is sweet and abundant.
Q. robur Linn. BLACK OAK. TRUFFLE OAK.
Europe and western Asia.
Varieties are mentioned by Tenore as bearing
edible acorns. This species yields a manna-like exudation in Kurdistan.
Hanbury says a saccharine substance called diarbekei manna, is found
upon the leaves of the dwarf oaks about Smyrna, from which it is
collected by the peasants, who use it instead of butter in cooking their
food. The taste is saccharine and agreeable.
Q. suber Linn. CORK OAK.
South Europe and northern Africa.
Bosc alleges that its acorns may be
eaten in cases of necessity, especially when roasted. This species was
distributed from the Patent Office in 1855.
Q. undulata (gambelii X turbinella) Ton. ROCKY MOUNTAIN
The acoms are sweet and edible.
Q. virginiana Mill. LIVE OAK.
Eastern North America.
Eastern Indians consumed large quantities of
the acorns and also obtained from them a sweet oil much used in