Sorrel - Kitchen Garden Essential

"Oh! the soup!...We must gather some sorrel and pull up some leeks"
Émile François Zola, Germinal

Sorrel (Rumex acetosa)
Other Names
Garden Sorrel, Common Sorrel, Spinach Dock, Ambada Bhaji, Gongoora, Ggrande Oseille, Szczaw, Wiesensauerampfer, Acedera Común, Azeda-brava, French Sorrel, Shav, Shavel.
Origins
Temperate regions of Northern Hemisphere.
Type - Perennial (evergreen).
Hardiness (see References, below - Zones 4 - 8.
Bloom - Summer.
Fruit/Seeds - Late Summer, Fall.
Height - Approx. 1 ft. (30 cm).
Cultivation - Full Sun to semi-shaded locations. Most soils. To promote better growth, divide Sorrel every other year.
Propagation - By seeds, or by root division.
Other
Sorrel is not as popular these days, as it used to be, and that's a pity. It's easy to grow, and it's useful in our kitchens, and gardens. Nutrition wise, Sorrel has got calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and B9. Just like lemons do, Sorrel's sour flavor, boosts taste of many dishes. Traditional British, and Continental recipes include Sorrel in several varieties of Green Sauce, cold dressing to cooked meats, and fish. French, Poles, and neighbors down East, love it in soups. Contemporary chefs like garnishing hot seafood sauces with Sorrel chiffonade. Sorrel's very handy to have, to add character to a salad, and even salad dressing.
Caution - Sorrel, just like other leafy greens, such as spinach, contains oxalic acid, and can also act as laxative. In average amounts, it's harmless in our foods, and diet, but it will not be helpful if you suffer from rheumatic-type complaints, kidney or bladder stones, and diarrhoea.
Sorrel makes good garden plant, too. Through the root system, it propagates in border like fashion, and it's green for most of the year. During hot Summer months, leaves will slow their growth, to enable development of stalks full of rusty red seeds. Sorrel seeds make important, wildlife food source, particularly to birds, such as Yellow Finch.
If you haven't done it yet, consider adding Sorrel to your kitchen garden, and you won't regret it. Sorrel pictured above comes from my own kitchen garden. It was started from seeds, some 8 years ago. More Sorrel recipes
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References - Find more about: Hardiness Zones
Special Thanks
Special Thanks to Town & Country Gardens Contributors: blogger, dive-angel (Karin), flickr, Jasmine&Roses, Rita Crane Photography. Rita Crane, daughter of LIFE magazine photographer Ralph Crane. Her work can be seen on Flickr at Rita Crane Photography or on her website., TMR Davies, W.D. Williams

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