1 April 2009

Wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella)

One of the most delicate spring flowers is the wood sorrel, an ancient woodland indicator species that usually occurs in small clumps on streamsides and in damp places.  Often it grows on fallen logs or old coppice stools where some soil has accumulated.

20090328 BHW 7a wood sorel 025

The plant contains oxalic acid giving the leaves and flowers a sharp, acidic taste and the species has been widely used in both cooking and medicine.

Among the many country names for the plant one of the least predictable is 'Alleluia' (also given this name in France and Italy), a term derived from the fact that it flowers around Eastertime.

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