Sunday, May 18, 2014

Wild Edibles #1 Wood Sorrel

Disclaimer: Some wild plants are not only edible but delicious. Other wild plants will kill you if you eat them. Be absolutely certain what a plant is before you eat it.

There is a short video at the bottom to help you identify wood sorrel.

Wood Sorrel also known as sourgrass has been eaten by Native Americans for hundreds if not thousands of years. Wood sorrel can be used for culinary as well as medicinal applications


Wood sorrel is characterized by heart shaped leaves, banana shaped seed pods. This plant has small yellow or white flowers. I have read they can also be pink. Wood sorrel grows to a maximum height of 15 inches. I have never seen it over 8 inches tall. 

One great thing about wood sorrel is there are no toxic look alikes. The plant most commonly mistakes for wood sorrel is clover and guess what not only is it nontoxic, it is edible also. Look for a post on it in the near future. Below are some photos to help you identify wood sorrel.

Heart shaped leaves, small yellow flower
Woody stem
Banana shaped seed pod


Wood sorrel is high in vitamin C and has a slight to medium sore flavor. The flavor is very citrus like and close to that of a lemon. Has been used to help quench thirst and can be used to make tea.

This plant can be eaten fresh either alone or in a salad and goes great with fish especially if cooking on a campfire. There is very little information about using wood sorrel in cooking.


Wood sorrel has been used to treat mouth sores, upset stomach, fever, scurvy, to slow and/or stop bleeding and has even been used as an aphrodisiac. Some of these thoughts have been tested by modern medicine with mixed results. Either way this is a great plant to know.


This plant contains oxalic acid. Oxalic acid in large amounts is slightly toxic and can interfere with the bodies ability to absorb certain minerals, primarily calcium. Some people could be allergic to wood sorrel. Anyone who suffers from kidney problems, rheumatic disorders, or gout should not eat wood sorrel.

I hope you find this series interesting and informative. May you always be working toward your own

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1 comment:

  1. I live in New Zealand where it's eaten by a lot of foragers, we call it oxalis. i have kidney stones so im happy about that mention of oxalic acid but there are lots of people that will get kidney stones if they don't eat high oxalic acid foods with a source of calcium. Eat my greens now with cheese, feta, cooken in yogurt or dry fish