Species Information

Wood Sorrel (Oxalis acetosella)

Don’t ask me why but I have a real soft spot for Wood Sorrel (Oxalis acetosella). I first heard about Wood Sorrel as a teenager when watching Ray Mears back on the Tracks show (anyone remember that one?!). As a woodsman, Mears sung the praises of this simple little plant that he used as a herb when wild cooking, which apparently tastes like apple peel with a pleasant bite to it – perfect for stuffing fish before baking.

One of my favourite habitats of all is deciduous woodland – where Wood Sorrel typically grows – and it always makes me smile to see it. Fortunately whilst certainly not a showy plant, it is very easy to identify.

In essence, Wood Sorrel looks rather like a large clover, though the leaves rather than being a dark green, often with some white mottling, are actually more the colour of a Golden Delicious apple. Yes, they taste of apple and they even look apple-coloured!

Favoring shaded, woody areas they are a common-enough plant and I was lucky enough earlier this year to find some Wood Sorrel just coming into leaf. I hope the photograph below illustrates how attractive and “sculptural” the leaves look as they are opening up.

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