GARDEN SORREL (Rumex acetosa) is a culinary green or aromatic herb claimed by the Italians and the French and cultivated for centuries. Sorrel has a unique lemony flavor due to the high oxalic acid content (so if you have kidney or bladder stones, this is not one for you). The bright green leaves are traditionally used to create a savory sauce used over fish and meats, or to make sorrel soup. Sorrel has laxative properties, so consume lightly. A perennial once established, sorrel will grow to 2'-3', but it is the newer, most tender leaves you want to pluck for your kitchen as their taste is more fruity (some liken it to kiwi) without the bitterness that builds in the mature leaves. Grows easily in zones 4-8. 100 Seeds.
MEDICAL BENEFITS: High Vitamin A content boosts eye health and helps to prevent macular degeneration and cataracts; general digestive tonic; High Vitamin C content boosts immune system; High Iron content boosts circulation and energy and helps to prevent anemia.
NOTE REGARDING OXALIC ACID: Consumed occasionally, no problem. But oxalic acid binds calcium and so regular consumption can lead to nutritional deficiency. The acid is reduced by cooking, so better to eat as a cooked green than salad green. And oxalic acid can aggravate rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity.
GROWING TIPS: Start sorrel indoors on a heat mat 8 weeks before setting out, or direct sow as soon as soil temps reach 70 degrees (I have always had better luck direct sowing) or direct seed in early spring. It is a light-dependent germinator, so cover just barely and keep growing medium moist but not damp. Germination in 7-10 days, but do not harvest until it is well-established or you will risk the plant. Likes a neutral to rich soil with pH of 6-8 and a semi-shady spot.