Since last year I have been having the hardest time eradicating a weed from the garden. No matter how many times I pull it up it always returns. It has this underground root system that appears to be runners and once I think I have pulled it all up I return a few weeks later to find it popping up everywhere again.

Common sheep sorrel

Being that I am always on the look out for plant characteristics this particular weed was really intriguing me because it looked familiar for some reason. And since I am originally from Southern California and not the Pacific Northwest I keep running into all sorts of weeds and other plants that I do not know all that well. (We relocated up here 2 ½ years ago after my husband left the service.)

A few days ago I was pulling this weed up for the umpteenth time when it hit me. The flowers on this plant look awfully like the French sorrel I grew in my California garden. Could it be some wild form of sorrel I asked myself? I filed that thought away to be pondered some more another day.

flowering common sheep sorrel

 Yesterday my 14 year old son was having the most awful allergy attack. He decided to do an online search for what the pollen counts might be in our area. He came upon this one site that noted several types of wild sorrel as being a predominant pollen right now. When he said sorrel I immediately thought of my little weed that I have been battling for garden space.

I spent a good portion of the day yesterday “weeding” through internet searches discovering that yes indeed my determined weed is a type of wild sorrel, Common sheep sorrel (rumex acetosella) to be precise. (And can probably be found in California as well even though I never encountered it there.) I then searched around for some more information on it because rarely a weed is just a weed.

Sheep sorrel coming up in my creeping caraway thyme

I discovered that there it is quite a bit to know about this common sheep sorrel. For one it is indeed edible just like French sorrel and two it has been used for quite a long time. It is high in vitamin C and was once used to prevent scurvy. It is also high in vitamins A, B complex, D, K, and E as well as being high in calcium. Some even believe it helps to fight certain types of cancer and take it in a tea. One drawback to it is that just like French sorrel, it is high in oxalic acid so it should not be consumed in large quantities as it may cause digestive problems.

Many sites I read suggested using it as a salad green which sounds tasty to me considering the sour lemony flavor sorrels have. I also found a site that had a recipe for sheep sorrel soup that also contains purslane, another sour weed that is incredibly good for you.

Yet another suggestion I read said to add some sheep sorrel to your omelets. All sound equally good to me and just make me think of that saying that goes “One man’s trash….” Well, how about “one man’s weed is another man’s dinner!” :-)

To sum things up, I do believe I will still be weeding it out of the garden as its root system really spreads and wants to take over. But if I happen to find it in other areas of the yard I may stop and nibble on its leaves if I feel hungry.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: