• Sutro Stewards

The Edible Wood Sorrel

During the shelter-in-place, Sutro Stewards with partnership from Handson Bay Area created Nature in you Neighborhood a virtual volunteering experience where we challenge volunteers to go out into their backyard and neighborhoods to see what plants they can find near them! Below is one submission from our project with the youth from Handson Tomorrow. We hope you enjoy their discoveries!


By: Alexandra Fiske

The beautiful yellow flowers creeping across the floor of my garden are Oxalis otherwise known as Wood Sorrels. This delicate flower is commonly confused with clover because of its heart-shaped leaves. The species of Wood Sorrel that grows in my garden is the “Common Yellow Wood Sorrel”. Leaflets fold up at night and unfold during the day to ensure maximum sun absorption. This native plant is edible, much like broccoli and spinach Wood Sorrels contain oxalic acid making them sour. A popular recipe is Wood Sorrel tart, similar in taste to the classic lemon tart. Although my species of Wood Sorrel is considered more of a weed than an ornamental flower Wood Sorrels are typically ornamental plants grown in a garden or a decorative pot. The Wood Sorrels tuberous roots and stems provide adequate fiber for small herbivores making them an essential producer for my gardens ecosystem.

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Sutro Stewards is a project of the San Francisco Parks Alliance, a 501(c)3 California nonprofit public benefit corporation.