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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Foragers Diary; easy mistake to make 4

This time we are going to address two species which are both edible but which have subtle differences.  One is a common native species while the other is an introduced species with a fairly limited distribution. 

The species in question are wood sorrels 

This is procumbent yellow-sorrel or creeping woodsorrel (Oxalis corniculata) ; an introduction to the UK and fairly uncommon. 
It's leaves are normally green but they can occasionally be found in this red/brown variety. 

Our native wood (Oxalis acetosella) sorrel with white flowers and bright green foliage. 

In terms of their culinary applications both plants are very similar, both have a lemony flavour, also comparable to apple peel and are very pleasant. 

We call them sorrel but that is miss-leading because they aren't actually related to true sorrel species, True Sorrel's are of the Rumex genus whereas these wood sorrels are Oxalis. Oxalis is actually another commonly used name for these plants in some parts of the world, they are also know as sourgrass and false shamrock. There is also a variety of oxalis, Oxalis tuberosawhich yields an edible tuber;

"Roseoca" by Adam Peterson - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

These tubers are also known as uqa, oca, and New Zealand Yam.  

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