A Walk in Fern Bluff Park
November 3, 2001

Page 9- Large Leaf Wood Sorrel (Wood Sorrel Family)

Archives of previous walks in the park: 12 May 2007 05 May 2007; 28 April 2007, 21 April 2007, 14 April 2007,  1 April 2007 Easter Egg Hunt; 24 March 2007,  17 March 2007; Nov. 03, 2001; April 04, 2001; March 25, 15, 10-11, 04, 2001; February 2418, 10, 2001

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Only one or two flowers bloom on this plant at a time. Its blooms are most often found in the fall, while those of its relatives pop out in the spring and the fall. A close relative, the Violet Wood Sorrel (Oxalis violacea- not pictured), grows to 16 inches tall and produces 4-20 flowers on each stem.

The sorrels are often used as salad herbs, because adding a small amount to a salad adds an agreeable "zip". Be careful not to add too much, as the oxalic acid in these plants is not metabolized well by some persons and may accumulate in the tissues, producing an unwelcome, even fatal medical condition known as oxalate poisoning.

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When I was very young, dad bought 20 acres in the Missouri Ozarks, and our family spent many years there (two sisters still live in that area). During that time I spent numerous hours walking through the forests and getting familiar with their herbs, shrubs, and trees. At certain times of the year, the yellow-flowered Sheep Sorrel would bloom on exposed, rocky hillsides, and I enjoyed tasting their tangy, acidic leaves.

Here in Texas, the same yellow sorrel (Oxalis dillenii- not pictured) can also be found. Even more common- or at least more obvious- are the various wood sorrels, whose flowers are a bright, reddish-blue. I don't remember seeing any of these on our farm in Missouri. The specimen found in Fern Bluff Park today is known as the Large Leaf Wood Sorrel (Oxalis amplifolia), and is distinguished by leaves that measure almost 2-inches across.   

Archives of previous walks in the park: 12 May 2007 05 May 2007; 28 April 2007, 21 April 2007, 14 April 2007,  1 April 2007 Easter Egg Hunt; 24 March 2007,  17 March 2007; Nov. 03, 2001; April 04, 2001; March 25, 15, 10-11, 04, 2001; February 2418, 10, 2001