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Wood Sorrel

Scientific Name: ( Oxalis acetosella
Other nameS: Alleluia, Common Wood-sorrel, Creeping Wood Sorrel
Family: Oxalidaceae

A perennial, this woodland creeping plant which prefers shade, is not really a weed, but is included here to compare it with clover. The Geranium family are close relatives.
The bright green leaves have three leaflets which droop downwards in bright light. They differ from clover in that the leaflets are heart-shaped. They also contain oxalic acid which gives them a tang similar to Common and Sheep's Sorrel, this is what led to the name though they are not related. Due to the oxalic acid content, it should not be eaten in quantity, nor if suffering from gastric irritation or kidney stones.
The creeping stems root at the nodes.

It can be used medicinally for fevers and vomiting, and is also said to be good for a hangover.

In spring the flowers are borne singly. The common name Alleluia comes from the time of blooming between Easter and Pentecost, when the Psalms which end with Hallelujah were sung. They are bell-shaped and white, with a dash of blue. The ripe seed pods burst explosively to disperse the seed up to 3 metres away.

Nicholas Culpepper
(17th century astrologer-physician)
"Excellent in any contagious sickness or pestilential fever"

The foliage is similar to Least Yellow Sorrel and Creeping Wood Sorrel, but the flowers are different in shape and colour.

Follow these links for further details on Weeds, Weed Removal and Weed Prevention.

picture of WOOD SORREL