A “sorrelful” post – it might leave a sour taste in your mouth

I just couldn’t help myself!  Wood sorrel is another wild edible found in many yards and wooded areas that makes itself known in spring.  It has beautiful, heart-shaped leaves arrange in threes.  Typically, the type that I find in most abundance has a yellow blossom, but white blossoms are common as well.  There are even types with a pink blossom, but I haven’t found those in my area.

This is a great plant for the beginning forager.  It is easily recognizable, and there isn’t a poisonous look-a-like.  It’s quite distinctive in appearance, so much so that I introduced my children to this at a very early age with no concerns.

It is very sour because it contains high levels of oxalic acid, and consuming huge amounts of it would be inadvisable – oxalic acid, in large amounts, would interfere with the body being able to absorb calcium.  That could be fatal. Small amounts, added into salads for an extra “zing” are perfectly safe and very tasty.  If you like teas with a “lemony” flavor, try pouring boiling water over some sorrel for a tasty, healthful tea.  Wood sorrel (or “sour grass” as it is commonly called) is full of Vitamin C as well.

The flowers make little seed pods once the blossoms have expired.  These are what the kids go after!  They’re a little package of sourness!  And they’re just fun to find and eat.

I’m attaching a photo of one of my very healthy plants that has taken up residence in one of the pots I usually plant vegetables into.  Since it’s been quite cool here yet, I haven’t planted them and have allowed the sorrel to remain. There’s enough growing wild that one wouldn’t have to cultivate it, although I kind of like the idea – the neighbors think I’m weird, anyway.

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6 thoughts on “A “sorrelful” post – it might leave a sour taste in your mouth

  1. My grandmother used to forage our yard every time she visit. The way I grew up, we never questioned the food on our plate – we simply ate it because 1. it was rude not to and 2. you didn’t have a choice. So, my friend… I looked up sorrel and they look like clovers. Are they the same with a different name? I would love to see a picture so I could do a comparison to what’s growing in my yard.

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  2. My grandmother would find plants growing outside and cook them, I remember. The most common plant or “weed” was poke sallet, or polk salad as we called it. And I guess the soil where wild things grow is no less safe than the soil our fresh produce in the grocery stores come from. We survived. Might actually be safer. No continuous use of pesticides. At any rate, it seems we’ve come full circle. Not a bad move. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Hi, Donna! My mom used to fix that for us, too. Strange as this may sound, it is actually one of the last things on my list of favorites! I’m not sure why – I guess because it makes my throat feel a little funny. I really enjoy foraging for it though – I’ve picked it for other people who love it.

      Thanks for stopping by – I love to hear of others’ experiences pertaining to foraging. And I love to hear from those who are just learning about it.
      You and I are both lucky to have grown up in a beautiful part of the country…

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  3. Hi Angie,
    Nice to have another place with some plants! Actually you can see the difference quite clearly. The sorrel is a dainty little plant. Its heart shaped leaves and little flowers are quite different to clover clover has sort of bunchy, round flowers. Bit so the sorrel. I love eating it too!
    Good luck with your blog! I’m pleased you decided to take the plunge!

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    • Hi, Vicki! I figured you’d know this one, too. Dainty is a good description for this one.
      I’m not sure how I’ll fare, but I certainly appreciate your encouragement. Maybe I CAN do this…

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