Wood Sorrel, A Woodland Plant With Flavor

eattheplanet.org is an affiliate marketer. We may earn commission from links to products and services on this page.

our facebook page for additional articles and updates.

Follow us on Twitter @EatThePlanetOrg


Oxalis stricta, Common Yellow Wood Sorrel leaves, flowers and seedpod
Oxalis stricta, Common Yellow Wood Sorrel leaves, flowers and seedpod (Photo By: SB_Johnny / Wikimedia Commons)

Wood Sorrel( Genus: Oxalis) is a common edible perennial or annual plant that grows in many sun and soil conditions.  In the North East Common Yellow Wood Sorrel grows in shady woodland areas.  There are many species in this genus, some are native to North America, some are native to other parts of the world.  Some of the more common species in the US are: albicans, corniculata, dillenii, montana, stricta, and violaceae.  The heart shaped clover-like leaflets are an easy identification feature for most Oxalis species.  They have small flowers that range in color from yellow to pink depending on the species.

Edibility and Culinary Use

Wood Sorrel contains oxalic acid so it has a slightly sour or tangy flavor.  It can be eaten raw or cooked, the tangy taste is a great addition to salads, but it also tastes great eaten alone. Take a look at this Tangy Sorrel Salad Recipe.

Oxalis tuberosa, Oca tubers
Oxalis tuberosa, Oca tubers (Photo By: Laurenjm / Wikimedia Commons)

All parts of the plant can be eaten, in some species ( namely Oxalis tuberosa) the roots form starchy tubers that can be a substantial food source.  Most species though are small and stringy, Wood Sorrel is often eaten as a sour on-the-go foraging snack.  I eat a few leaves almost every time I see it because I love sour foods.  A lemony flavor drink can also be made from the leaves.

Health Benefits

Besides for Vitamin C it is not known what other health benefits wood sorrel may have. There are few studies on the nutrient content of most species.  Oxalis tuberosa is grown commercially around the world for its tuberous roots.  This species in known to contain Vitamin C in high concentrations as well as: Iron, Zinc, Flavanoids, B Vitamins, and Fiber.  We would expect that most of the other species have similar nutrient content.

Cautions

Oxalis violaceae, Violet Wood Sorrel leaves and flowers
Oxalis violaceae, Violet Wood Sorrel leaves and flowers (Photo By: Amos Oliver Doyle / Wikimedia Commons)

Wood Sorrel contains oxalic acid just like rhubarb, spinach and some other common vegetables. Oxalic acid aggravates conditions such as rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity.  So if your doctor has told you to avoid oxalic acid then avoid Wood Sorrel.   Side effects of overdosing on oxalic acid could include: headache, nausea, diarrhea, and tingling of the tongue.

Conclusion

Wood Sorrel is a great foraging plant that can be eaten raw, its abundance in the landscape makes it one of my favorite and most frequented wild edibles.  The heart shaped clover-like leaflets make it easy to identify.  So next time you spot Wood Sorrel try a leaf, and you will taste the flavor.



Featured Videos - eattheplanet.org


Many of our readers find that subscribing to Eat The Planet is the best way to make sure they don't miss any of our valuable information about wild edibles.

Subscribe to our mailing list

our facebook page for additional articles and updates.

Follow us on Twitter @EatThePlanetOrg



Black Raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)
Wild Blackberries and Raspberries, a Diverse Group of Delicious Edibles
Read more.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) Seeds
Dandelion, a Surprisingly Beneficial Wild Edible
Read more.
Dead Nettle (Lamium purpureum)
Dead Nettle, an Overlooked yet Valuable Wild Edible
Read more.
Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) Fruits
Black Chokeberry, a Native Super Food
Read more.
Dryad’s saddle (Polyporus squamosus)
Dryad’s Saddle, a Unique and Tasty Mushroom
Read more.
Ramps (Allium tricoccum) Field
Ramps, a Popular and Versatile Herb
Read more.
Maitake (Grifola frondosa)
Maitake, the Wonderful King of Mushrooms
Read more.
Black medic (Medicago lupulina) Flowers and Leaves
Black Medic, an Underrated and Useful Wild Edible
Read more.
Wild Leeks (Allium tricoccum)
Wild Leek – A Beloved Spring Wild Edible
Read more.
Wild Sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)
Wild Sarsaparilla, a Native Source of Energy and Health
Read more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>