All About Growing Sorrel

Growing sorrel yields great benefits, in part because the cold-hardy plants return year after year. Both garden sorrel and French sorrel have a unique lemony flavor much prized in spring salads and sorrel soup. This guide includes descriptions of the types of sorrel with tips for growing sorrel in your garden.

| December 20, 2013

(For details on growing many other vegetables and fruits, visit our Crop at a Glance collection page.)

Cold-hardy and a perennial herb plant, sorrel is easy to grow in sun or partial shade. Young sorrel leaves are the plants’ edible parts, and new sorrel leaves emerge from the plants’ centers for several months, from late winter to late fall.

The zingy, lemony flavor of garden sorrel is at its best in early spring, the traditional season for making sorrel soup. The flavor of sorrel leaves is due in large part to oxalic acid, which is harmless consumed in small amounts but should be avoided by people with a history of kidney stones.

Adapted to Zones 4 to 9, sorrels deserve a place in every homestead garden.  

Types of Sorrel

Garden sorrel (Rumex acetosa) is also called English sorrel or common sorrel. A perennial valued for its early spring greens, garden sorrel is available as a seed-sterile variety called ‘Profusion.’ Cutting off flower spikes to prevent unwanted reseeding is the biggest challenge to growing garden sorrel.

French sorrel (R. scutatus) has distinctly arrow-shaped leaves, and strains have been selected for low oxalic acid content. Like garden sorrel, French sorrel can become invasive if reseeding is not controlled. 

8/5/2017 2:48:39 PM

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