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The Monday Garden
Oxalis: Wild Herbs

Issue No. 25 - September 15, 2002
by Sue Sweeney

“The Monday Garden” today is this one last friend from summer, a yellow oxalis or wood sorrel that has taken over a neglected store-front container planting in downtown Stamford.

Wood sorrel is an American native but invasive enough that it could be a noxious foreign weed. It’s hardy as in “hard to get rid of”. Pull it up all you want, don’t worry more will grow. Fortunately, it has cheerful flowers and tends to co-exist well with other plants. Also, oxalis leaves have a wonderful tangy lemon flavor that make them useful as a salad herb in small quantities. Use sparingly because the leaves are too acidic to be safely ingested in large amounts. Wood sorrel is the same family as the Irish Shamrock and the hybrid oxalis sold as house plants.

Speaking of wild herbs, did you know: never to eat plants that grow near a highway or a driveway? The car exhausts contain poisonous heavy metals that end up in the ground and are absorbed by plants. Be equally careful of plants living near old industrial sites and anywhere that illegal chemical dumping may have occurred.

From The Monday Garden. Copyright © by Sue Sweeney. Reproduced with permission. 

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