Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Yellow Wood Sorrel
Yellow wood sorrel is a native North American plant (also found in Eurasia) which may grow either as an annual or as a perennial. This delicate seeming plant forms colonies which arise from slender but tough underground stems (rhizomes). The smooth, palmately compound leaves are divided into three heart-shaped leaflets, each leaflet having a center crease, from which the leaflets fold upward in half. The leaves are most often green, but may also be purplish or brownish red. Wood sorrel folds its leaves up at night and opens them again in the morning. It also folds its leaves when under stress, such as when growing in direct sun, or during storms. The mature plant may reach 6-15" in height.
How to grow
Wood sorrel prefers moist soil, and partial shade, but is also commonly found growing through the cracks in sidewalks.
Wood sorrel also contains rather high amounts of potassium oxalate and oxalic acid and should therefore be used in moderation, and avoided by people with kidney disease, kidney stones, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout. Medicinally, in moderate dosages, wood sorrel is cooling (refrigerant, febrifuge), diuretic, stomachic (soothing to the stomach, relieves indigestion), astringent, and catalytic. It's also attributed with blood cleansing properties and is sometimes taken by cancer patie