Thursday, January 26, 2012

Creeping Wood Sorrel


Green is starting to appear in the undergrowth of the BackWoods Forest Preserve as perennial plants clamber out from under the leaf litter. One favorite of this season is Creeping Wood Sorrel (Oxalis corniculata).

Rich in vitamin C, the leaves and flowers of this plant are edible and have a slight tang of lemons.  The genus name Oxalis comes from the Greek oxus, which means "sour" in reference to the tangy flavor of the plant. This wood sorrel and many other related plants contain Oxalic Acid so a "steady diet of raw leaves," is not recommended. [1] If you have this tasty edible growing in your yard and want to experiment with eating it, lots of recipes are available online. A quick search for wood sorrel recipes found

As always, when considering eating of wild edibles, take care to make sure that the plant that you have is indeed edible. Many online and book references exist to help you identify your plants.

For more on this species

[1] Rombauer, Rombauer Becker, and Becker (1931/1997). Joy of Cooking, p.415. ISBN 0-684-81870-1.