Wood Sorrel, Oxalis acetosella


Common Wood Sorrel, also known as oxalis (the species of plant that it belongs to), false shamrock, or sourgrass, is an edible flowering plant found all over Europe and Asia, mostly in woodland. It has a sharp, acidic flavour, like sour green apples, and can be added to salads, or used to make soups, and sauces for meats. Alternatively, if you fancy, just have a munch on a few whilst out on a walk, like Arthur likes to do. Like all Sorrels, this plant contains Oxalic Acid, which is what gives it it's sharp flavour (and in this case, one of it's common names). Oxalic Acid can bind to some minerals and inhibit their absorbtion in the gut. For most people, this is not an issue, but for those with kidney stones or other kidney-related health problems, it is strongly advisable to avoid all Oxalate plants or only consume in very small quantities.

The folded leaves wood sorrel in the early evening light. The leaves are open during the day.

Wood Sorrel Checklist


🌳 Deciduous Woods
🌲 Coniferous Woods, often found in moss or running across old stumps.


πŸŒΈπŸŒžπŸ‚β„οΈ Jan - Dec


☘️ Three small, green, heart-shaped leaves joined at their points, resembling a clover. The leaves fold themselves overnight or in harsh conditions.


🌷 A very delicate, five-petaled white flower with pink or purple veins.


🌱 Stems are very thin and green-red in colour.

Aroma / Taste

πŸ‘ƒ Indistinct Aroma
πŸ‘… Sharp and sour, like green apple. skin and lemon. Similar in flavour to Common Sorrel.

ID Notes

🟩 This plant is easy to ID.
πŸ‘€ The clover-like appearance of the folding, trifolate leaves and the delicate white flower are key identifiers of this plant.

⛔️ Wood Sorrel, like all Oxalis species, contains Oxalic Acid, which is safe to eat, but can make you feel unwell if consumed in very large amounts. It's what gives wood sorrel is sharp tangy flavour.

βœ… Limit your intake of Wood Sorrel leaves. Harvest enough to add to a salad, or to make a sauce, and enjoy these no more than once per week to be safe.


πŸ₯— Salad - Leaves can be eaten raw and added to salads.
🌺 Garnish - Flowers can be used as a pretty garnish.
🌿 Herb - Can be used to add flavour as a pot-herb.
πŸ§‰ Condiment - Leaves can be used to make sauces.
πŸ“ Yummy - A tasty forage snack! Arthur calls these "Triceratops Food!"