Wilderness Knowledge: Yellow Wood Sorrel

My husband and I have decided to teach our children (as well as ourselves) about edible weeds.  You never know when this knowledge might come in handy. The yellow wood sorrels three heart shaped leaflets look like clover leaflets, their flowers are bight yellow. You can’t mis-identify them. They have a refreshing sour taste to them. The stems, leaves, flowers, roots, and seed pods are all edible. They are packed with vitamin C. Like everything in life moderation is key. You don’t want to over eat anything. Yellow wood sorrel are said to help treat fevers and hemorrhages as well as help an upset stomach. Wood sorrel can help stop vomiting. If you suffer from gout or kidney disorders it is advised not to eat wood sorrel.  They contain potassium oxalate and oxalic acid so you don’t want to eat too much or you might get the runs, luckily none of us had this problem. 🙂





We made a salad by adding oranges, figs, wood sorrel leaves, wood sorrel flowers, and used freshly squeezed orange juice for the dressing. You could add whatever you would like to your salad.


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We enjoyed the wood sorrel tea very much. Simply add wood sorrel leaves and flowers to a pot and bring to a boil. Let the leaves and flowers steep for 15 minutes.


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Add 2 cups of water,1 cup of wood sorrel leaves, and flowers to a pot. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and leave it to steep for 15 minutes. Now drain the water so that all you have is the water. Discard the wood sorrel leaves and flowers. Place the sorrel water back on the stove and add 1 cup of sugar to it. Bring it to a simmer and keep mixing. Once it has thickened you can turn it off and let it cool.


wood sorrel syrup

Butter Mixture:

You can make a butter mixture which can be added to soups or meat. Simply add butter, salt, wood sorrel leaves, and flowers. Once the butter has melted and the leaves have darkened you are done. Let the butter mixture cool and pour the mixture inside a plastic container and place inside the freezer for later use.


18 Responses

  1. I love plants and all the wonderful properties they provide. I also teach my kiddos about all sorts of plant medicine and the various ways you can prepare and use them. It’s great seeing how others do it too. 😀

  2. OK I’m so going to try this. I’ve never used this before but I’ve seen it around.

  3. Wow! all the food looks so beautiful. This is something I strive to teach my children too, its such a important skill especially how nature deficient some of us are (cough! me) ;). Thank you for sharing, I’ll be on the look out for this plant this summer on some of our nature walks.

  4. Adore gleaning edible weeds from the wilds, very cool post. I’m going to have to do this with the kids. I always enjoy your posts!!!

  5. The salad turned out beautifully! I didn’t even notice it was made from weeds. What an interesting lesson!

  6. Wow! So cool! I love that you’re teaching your kids about edible plants. I’m not sure if we have that plant around here or if it is only in warmer climates? I’ll have to look it up. I love all the different ways you made it.

  7. This is a great skill for anyone to learn! We should all learn what we can eat from the wild instead of buying it at grocery stores! I love all your photos and how you prepared the ‘weeds’! 🙂

  8. Very Cool! My daughter loves to make salads too with wild edibles 🙂 And yes you have got to do your research about the potential side effect and on who should and sholudn’t be eating them LOL 🙂

  9. This is amazing! The sorrel look so delish. I think it is great to learn how to live off of the land and to know what plants are okay to eat. It’s also great how you are teaching your child that as well!

  10. I didn’t know sorrel is considered a weed. I grew up eating sorrel soup on a regular basis and I loved it. A few years ago I was looking for a new sorrel soup recipe and when I entered “sorrel soup” in a search engine, it immediately provided “russian” for me. I thought it was funny. You are definitely putting me in the mood for sorrel soup!!! I will look for it today during grocery shopping.

    What did you use the syrup for? Pancakes?

  11. Homegrown Adventures

    Eva… the sorrel you are taking about is not a weed but a herb or leaf vegetable. The weed (yellow wood sorrel) I shared looks likes a clover. It has the same sour taste. We love sorrel and my mother always makes the famous Russian soup with it. Yes we used the syrup for our pancakes. Loved the sour/sweet taste. 🙂

  12. What a fantastic and important lesson! I’ve never thought to do this before and I think it’s so great!

  13. Wow this is so interesting. I would have never thought to use them – so good to not waster anything

  14. WOW! I’ve never heard of wood sorrel before reading this, but I am intrigued, such a beautiful looking edible weed, I’m going to have to look into growing this ourselves, once again you amaze me! =)

  15. This is absolutely fascinating! I have had it on my mind to teach my children and myself about edible plants and weeds, and this post is very inspiring! And you are right, you never know when this information could be useful!!

  16. Andrea Keenan

    I’m just learning about foraging weeds and herbs, and the different uses. This is great! Do you have a guide book that you use?

  17. This is amazing! I want to spend more time researching and learning about the resources in my back yard. My friend’s grandmother, who immigrated from Russia long ago, made a Sorrel Borscht soup that was amazing. ( I love the Beet Borscht soup,too) I have tried to grow sorrel in my garden with very little luck and she told me spinach is a good substitute. I have to say her soup was so much better. I think the idea that she just went into her back yard and picked it and made such goodness added to the deliciousness! 🙂

    I love these posts you share here with your kids. I miss when mine were this little and learning was so easy and fun. I am inspired to go weed picking as soon as the weather warms a bit. We are freezing here in the midwest today! 🙂

  18. Homegrown Adventures

    As a guide I’m using National Geographic Desk Reference to Nature’s medicine.

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