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Categories: Vii Wild Food On The Trail

One of the sweetest and most delicately flavored of our native nuts is

the little, triangular _beechnut_. The tree is common and widely

distributed, but few people know anything about the nut. In Kentucky the

nuts used to be plentiful, but I have seen none in New York. It is said

that a beech-tree must be fully forty years old before it will bear

fruit, and that may be the reason the nuts are not oftener found.

The soft-shelled nut is very small, no larger than the tip of your

little finger. The color is pale brown, and it is three-sided with sharp

angles. It is contained in a small, prickly husk and grows both solitary

or in clusters of two or three. When touched by frost the burr opens and

allows the nut to fall out while the burr remains on the tree.

The bark of the beech-tree is ashy gray, and the leaf is oblong, pointed

at the tip, toothed on the edge, and strongly veined.