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Wood Sorrel

Wood Sorrel (genus Oxalis), or sourgrass, is a medium sized weed that occurs throughout most of North America. Within the genus Oxalis, there are several species. Wood sorrel typically grows a maximum of 15 inches tall. Its small heart-shaped, "folded" leaves grow in groups of 3. Its tiny flowers are typically white or yellow though they can be pink or violet depending on species.

Is wood sorrel edible? Yes! Oxalis literally means "sour" and it gets that name from its oxalic acid content. Lots of domesticated vegetables, including spinach, broccoli, and, um, sorrel, also contain oxalic acid. But be aware that it's toxic when consumed in large quantities because it inhibits the absorption of calcium.

Oxalic acid is not considered a problem when consumed moderately and with a varied diet, however people with gout, rheumatism and kidney stones should avoid it. Wood sorrel is also rich in Vitamin C. Historically, it was used to treat scurvy, fevers, urinary infections, mouth sores, nausea and sore throats. It's qualities and flavor are similar to sheep sorrel.

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