Friday, April 16, 2010

Oxalis stricta (?)

From my own back yard, one of the over 1000 species of Oxalis, commonly known as wood sorrel. It has set up shop beneath our gargantuan rose bushes, along side the garage. I would've written it off as a weird looking clover and ripped it out had Colleen not clued me in to its deliciousness.

(As with the dogwood, I won't be able to tell exactly which species I have until it moves along a bit, producing something besides leaves.)

Oxalis gets the name wood sorrel from the fact that it tastes a bit like true sorrel - nice and sour/tangy. A bit much to nibble straight, but lovely in a salad I'd bet. Oxalis comes from the presence of oxalic acid, which provides the distinctive taste.

Oxalis species can be found everywhere in the world outside of the polar regions. There is even one that in endemic to the deserts of Namibia.

And I thought it was just a weed!


ehirunner said...

O, my. We are so Latinate. I will provide Sanskrit names for any that I can find--the orientalists were forever cataloging the latin names of the plants they found in al-Hind.

Maggie said...

There are oxalis varieties endemic to al-Hind. Maybe a paper about their Sanskritic names and origins of said names would land you a primo jobbie job somewhere?