Inspecting a Lemon: Yellow Wood Sorrel

Posted by on Jun 6, 2017 in edible, flowers, spring, Unmowed Blog | 1 comment

It’s that time of year again–time to get the car inspected. While I was awaiting the verdict of the inspectors, I prowled around Jiffy-Lube’s surprisingly well-tended yard. yellow wood sorrel 004The landscape was mowed and manicured within an inch of its life, and at first I couldn’t find a single interesting weed.

But there’s always one, if you look closely enough. Yellow wood-sorrel.

In my childhood, I would taste anything—it’s a wonder I’m still alive, really—I sampled clover and mushrooms and pine needles. Most of the stuff tasted pretty awful, but once in a while I discovered a real treat, like this little plant.

Yellow wood sorrel is also known as lemongrass, pickle plant, and sour clover, which gives you an idea as to what it tastes like. Really more like lemon meringue than pickles, I think—there’s just a hint of sweetness. Loaded with vitamin C, of course. The plant usually grows sparsely, though, and while you could make tea or salad, it’s hard to find enough to really make a dish of it. There’s just enough for a kid to nibble on and get a little lemon-drop flavor.

Unlike most parking lot weeds, it’s a native American plant. Oxalis stricta. In spite of the three leaflets, it isn’t related to clovers at all, but is one of many types of wood sorrel.

In the velvet lawn, the wood sorrel was about the only non-grass plant that dared to raise its head. I got out my camera and snapped away until the mechanic came out to see why this crazy person was taking pictures of the ground. But it turned out he’s a flower-lover, and responsible for that tidy garden. Together we admired the beauty of the tiny yellow blossom in the grass. Fortunately both the flower and the car passed inspection.yellow wood sorrel 009


One Comment

  1. Now I know what to do with this plant, which I have a lot of in my garden. I will enjoy munching on it. Thanks for the info.

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