Thursday, April 17, 2008

Redwood Sorrell


First described for science by English botanist Thomas Nuttall in the early 19th century, Oxalis oregana is native to the deep shade of mature coast redwood forests. If hit by direct sunlight, the leaves will fold downward to reduce their exposed surface, then rise again as shadow is regained. While edible, they are loaded with oxalic acid, so are very tart and should be avoided by people vulnerable to kidney stones.

I'm fortunate to have these in my front yard, sheltered by the north-facing porch. It looks like somebody has already had a nibble on them.
Oxalis Jigsaw PuzzleOxalis Jigsaw Puzzle

7 comments:

Abraham Lincoln said...

Kidney stones are something I have had and got one now that is too large to pass through. I hope it stays put. I like your flowers and they remind me of our wild flowers that look almost like clover.

crittoria said...

So pretty! I grow oxalis as a house plant since it can't survive our winters here in Maine.

USelaine said...

Abraham - I guess it's the combination of oxalic acid with calcium rich food that creates the problem of them binding together. I guess that means choosing one or the other, but not both.

crittoria - Even though we live here among the redwoods, my mother has a potted oxalis that belonged to her mother before her, so they must have long lives. I wonder if anyone has studied that.

Jana said...

Pretty flowers. That is amazing that your mom has them potted and they have lived so long!

Chuck Pefley said...

Lovely image. Personally I'd never consider eating them. Just wouldn't occur to me as a possibility. Give me yogurt instead -:)

Kym said...

Every local kid I know grew up chewing on the stems. We all felt very 'in the know' when we casually broke one off to nibble on.

USelaine said...

Chuck, I'm with you on the yogurt.

Kym, the thing I rarely see anymore is miner's lettuce - I've just spotted it in one place in Willits. For my money, it was a tastier nibble.