Sorrel

(Rumex acetosa)

Description

This low perennial vegetable produces many smooth, rounded leaves that are somewhat similar in shape to spinach. Leaves sprout from the ground from a central root. In the summer sorrel will bolt, producing a tall (~2’) stalk with many small flowers, similar to that of common broad leaf dock.

Cultivation Tips

Sorrel will tolerate most soil conditions. It grows best in full sun but will also tolerate partial shade. This is one of the first plants to come up in the spring and will grow very late into the season, however the most tender leaves are produced in the spring and fall. Leaves can get tough and woody in the heat of the summer, so cut them back to the ground or harvest very frequently during this period. Sorrel seems to be favored by the rabbits (and possibly the deer), so consider planting with highly fragrant herbs to deter such forage. Sorrel can be propagated by root fragments cut with sharp, clean shears, or via seed planted in early spring.

Uses

Sorrel is a delicious green with a tart, lemony taste. It makes a great addition to any salad and can be used as a braising green in any number of dishes.

Friends

Sorrel should be grown with highly fragrant and aromatic plants like anise hyssop, lavender, alliums, etc., to deter forage from rabbits and deer.