Cultivation sorrel


L’sorrel it’s a officinal plant rustic easy to grow in rock gardens and in pots, appreciated since ancient times for its beneficial refreshing and purifying properties.

Characteristics Oxalis Acetosella

L’ sorrel It is a plant of the Oxalidaceae family, native to North America, spread spontaneously in the mountainous, hilly areas, in the woods and also in Italian uncultivated lands.

It is a small perennial herbaceous plant about 15 cm high, provided with a root system of the rhizomatous type which, in spring, period of vegetative restart, originates a tuft of basal leaves and stems covered with a thin hair.

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The leaves light green in color, they are carried by a long reddish-brown petiole and are composed of three heart-shaped leaflets. Shamrock leaves are sensitive to atmospheric agents and solar radiation: they spread out or curl up if they are in the shade, if it rains or if they are too exposed to direct sunlight.


THE flowers hermaphrodites have a corolla composed of 5 spatulated petals of white or pink color furrowed by purplish veins that form a crown 10 stamens. Even the petals, like the leaves, close during the night and if the weather is rainy to reopen the next day.
Pollination is entomophilic and therefore occurs through insects such as bees.

THE fruits they are small capsules containing one or two seeds.

THE seeds once ripe they are projected even at a great distance thanks to the particular structures the capsules are equipped with.

Flowering Sorrel

It is a plant that blooms in the period from April to June.

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Cultivation of sorrel


It’s about a sciaphilous plant that is shade-loving and therefore it is to be cultivated in shady or at most partially shaded places. It does not fear low temperatures even if in winter the aerial part dries up completely and then reappears strong and lush in the following spring.


While adapting to any type of soil, it prefers light and non-calcareous soil. The optimal cultivation medium is a mixture of universal soil mixed with peat and a little sand.


The sorrel plants grown in the ground are satisfied with the rains while those grown in pots should be watered regularly, especially in summer.

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The sorrel should be fertilized once a year at the end of winter with humus or mature manure.


Multiplication of sorrel

The plant reproduces by seed in spring or in September but can be easily propagated also by division of the tufts in spring.

Multiplication by seed

  1. Sowing is carried out by placing 2-3 seeds in holes 1 cm deep, distant from each other and between the rows about 25-30 cm.
  2. After sowing, the soil is watered and kept moist until the first shoots appear.



The sorrel seedlings are planted in the ground or in pots in late spring.

Collection of shamrock

The collection is scalar and generally the leaves are collected in summer using well-sharpened and disinfected scissors.


It is repotted every 1-2 years as its rhizomatous roots tend to occupy all the available space and to impoverish the soil of the macro and microelements essential for the growth of the aerial part.


Parasites and diseases Sorrel

It is a hardy plant resistant to common animal parasites such as aphids and scale insects. Its tender shoots and leaves are instead appetite for snails and slugs which spoil them conspicuously.


It is an undemanding plant of care.

To keep slugs and snails away, it is advisable to sprinkle ash from the fireplace at the foot of the tufts and to remove dry leaves and withered flowers.


Use Shamrock

Is sorrel poisonous or edible?

It is an edible or edible plant.

The leaves tender of this plant, for their flavor that tastes of vinegar they are used raw in cooking to give taste and flavor to mixed salads, cooked to flavor soups and soups. The leaves must be used within 2 days at the latest as, as in all other types of plants, they lose their active ingredients and also because they tend to rot quickly.

The shamrock roots, on the other hand, they can be eaten like asparagus to prepare omelettes and risotto.

Infusion of sorrel

In summer, the sorrel leaves can also be used for preparation of a delicious thirst-quenching drink and refreshing similar to lemonade.

  1. To prepare the thirst-quenching drink, the leaves are poured into boiling water and left to boil for about 5 minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat and let the infusion cool.
  3. Then it is sweetened and sipped.

Properties and Medicinal Uses Sorrel

Shamrock leaves and roots are rich in vitamin C, oxalates (oxalic acid) and anthraquinones.

Since ancient times it has been used for his beneficial properties to treat dermatitis, eczema, abscesses, to combat water retention and to purify the body.

Decoction of sorrel

The purifying decoction is prepared by boiling 20 grams of sorrel leaves in a liter of water for 3 minutes.


Due to its high content of potassium acid oxalate, the consumption of sorrel is not recommended for those suffering from kidney, liver, gout or stone problems.

Curiosity and meaning

L’sorrel it is also commonly called:

  • Sorrel clover,
  • Agretta,
  • Abrupt grass,
  • Lambrusca,
  • Bread of angels,
  • Pancuculo.

The name of the genus Oxalis derives from the Greek oxys (acute or pungent) for the acid flavor of the plant and from hals (salt) for the high quantity of oxalic acid.

The common name of sorrel it comes from vinegar flavor of its leaves.

English name of the sorrel

In England the plant is called buttercup oxalis or bermuda african wood sorrel.


Language of flowers

In the language of flowers, this delicate and elegant little plant symbolizes maternal love.

Photo gallery Oxalis acetosella


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