Wood sorrel: Plant profile
Wood sorrel, Fairy Bells, Wood Sour, Cuckoo’s Meat, Seamsóg
Oxalidaceae (Wood sorrel)
Europe. Widespread all over Ireland and the UK, except the Fens in eastern England.
Where to find wood sorrel
Woodland and shady hedgerows.
When to find wood sorrel
Leaves early spring to mid-autumn.
Wood sorrel forms low growing mats of lush green leaves in shady hedgerows and damp forests around the base of the trees at almost any time of year.
Rising from these carpets, little white flowers with pink or purple veining hang on relatively thin stems. These delicate flowers and soft green leaves fold up its leaves at night and when the conditions are tough.
Medicinal properties of wood sorrel
It has diuretic and astringent properties and is full of vitamin C. Hence, wood sorrel has been used in the past for treating scurvy.
Culinary uses and recipes of wood sorrel
All parts of the plant are edible, including leaves, flowers and stems.
Wood sorrel has a sharp taste somewhere in between apple skin, grape and lemon and can function as aromatic herb, salad leaf or green vegetable. The leaves make a tangy Polish soup and are ideal for fish sauces and zingy salads.
Just like spinach, it should not be eaten in large amounts due to high content in oxalic acid. Though this is not a problem when you follow a diverse diet, people with gout, rheumatism and kidney stones should avoid it.