Yellow Wood Sorrel, Oxalis stricta, aka, Shamrocks, is one of my favorite plants (do I say that about a lot of plants!?!?). This tasty treat does not mind being potted, to keep near the kitchen, for convenience.  You can mow it, trample it, some folks even poison it; and this seemingly, delicate beauty will come back.  It’s so easy to find, identify and remember, once you know its delightful characteristics; in fact, it is one of the many, “OH, that stuff!”, plants. Yellow Wood Sorrel has a long harvesting season, from mid Spring to mid Fall; is everywhere, in sun, shade, sand, good soil or poor, and, grows. . . .well. . . like a weed!

The stricta, half of it’s scientific name, means “upright” and speaks to several of Yellow Wood Sorrel’s characteristics; as the stalks grow at a 90ish degree angle from the main stalk and the seed pods, also, stand up on their stalks.

Will you look how cute Yellow Wood Sorrel is?!?!?!?!?  It tastes as good as it looks!   A low growing, 4 – 8 in., dainty schrub, the Oxalis species are plentiful throughout this country. Go ahead, have a ‘nana!

Oh, lemony; the banana shaped seed pods are a great trail nibble!  Wait, don’t eat them all; bring some home.  All the aerial plants are edible.

Other Wood Sorrel varieties have violet, white, rose and purple flowers.  Today we’re looking at Yellow Wood Sorrel; with 5 petaled, thumb-nail sized flowers.  I like to freeze some of the flowers and buds in ice cubes; for a nice surprise in a glass of iced-tea.

Yellow Wood Sorrel has whorls of 3 heart-shaped, folded leaves, attached to the stem by their points.  In the evening, or when stressed, the leaves fold up, tight.

Fresh or dried, Wood Sorrel leaves, flowers and buds are wonderful anywhere you appreciate a little lemony brightness.  I use them fresh or dried, in soup and salad.  Yellow Wood Sorrel was made for seafood, potato salad and chicken soup!

This batch is drying; and will go into my flower tea blend, along with as many more batches as I can squeeze out, between April and August.  Thank goodness it’s season is so long, as storing an appreciable amount is slow, but sure.  Be patient, it’s well worth it when the winter winds howl!

  “Medicinally, in moderate dosages, wood sorrel is cooling (refrigerant, febrifuge), diuretic, stomachic (soothing to the stomach, relieves indigestion), astringent, and catalytic. It’s also attributed with blood cleansing properties and is sometimes taken by cancer patients.” (1)

All of the wood sorrels, contain high amounts of oxalic acid and potassium oxalate. Folks with arthritis, gout, kidney disease, kidney stones, and/or rheumatoid arthritis, should use any plant with oxalates, with caution and in moderate amounts.  Consuming milk, or milk products with oxalates helps reduce the effects, and is a good idea, for everyone.

“The entire plant is rich in vitamin C.  Any wood sorrel is safe in low dosages, but if eaten in large quantities over a length of time can inhibit calcium absorption by the body.” (2)

It is very sad to google, Yellow Wood Sorrel, as there are legions of control and extermination sites and few sites on our helpful, pleasant, green ally.  What are folks thinking?

Yellow wood Sorrel has, NO KNOWN DRUG INTERACTIONS (3)

Before you look for Yellow Wood Sorrel be sure you can, readily, identify Buttercups, Ranunculus acris ; as they are toxic; please see (4)  Although both Buttercup and Wood Sorrel have 5 petaled yellow flowers, that’s where the similarities end.  Therefore, once you know the remaining characteristics of both, you will never confuse them.  And, you will be happy for the knowledge; as Wood Sorrel is delightful!  Buttercups are acrid, taller, 2 – 3 ft., hardier, hairy stalked, with deeply cut, much larger leaves and larger, cupped flowers.  Always remember, WHEN IN DOUBT, SPIT IT OUT!

Thanx for stopping by.  See you soon!




 (3) Please don’t forget to check out Buttercups:

(4) A-Z guide to drug-herb-vitamin interactions, Schuyler W. Lininger, Jr. DC, editor in chief

      Prima Health, 1999


3 responses to “SORRELY DELICIOUS!

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  1. I want to thank you for all of the wonderful information! Interesting, accurate and fun…you’re a great resource for newbie foragers!

  2. Reblogged this on Forageporage's Blog and commented:

    Yellow Wood Sorrel, free for the pickin’!

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