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Some gardeners get goosebumps, shudder or get angry when they hear the word sorrel. This plant has driven many a gardener to the brink of despair. It is known to be a difficult weed to kill.

Wood sorrel is considered a weed mainly because of its rampant growth

Why is wood sorrel considered a weed?

Wood sorrel, which comes from the sorrel family of plants, is extremely persistent, willing to survive and capable of reproduction. Once it has settled and taken a liking to its location, it is difficult to remove.

Horn sorrel in particular is known for its resistance and is hated by many gardeners. Although it is only an annual, it survives with the help of root suckers in the ground. In addition, it spreads with its seeds (a sophisticated centrifugal mechanism) that are easily germinated.

Another reason why sorrel is low on the popularity list is that it is poisonous and can be dangerous for grazing animals such as sheep and goats, among others. In addition, he unquestioningly crowds out the otherwise competitive weed.

How to recognize the weed

Wood sorrel is easy to distinguish from other plants and can be identified based on the following characteristics:

  • dark green, cloverleaf-like leaves
  • white, pink or yellow (horn sorrel) flowers
  • Flowering time from April to May, June to October (horn sorrel)
  • bulbous fruits
  • low growth (5 to 15 cm high)
  • sour taste of the leaves
  • likes to grow in shady locations

A weed that tastes good

Aside from being a nuisance, this weed is edible. It tastes sour and fruity and has a refreshing effect. So if you tear out the sorrel, you can then eat it with relish, for example involved in a salad dressing or in a soup.

A weed that helps to heal

But the sorrel is not only edible. The summit: It is even healthy and extremely healing! Among other things, it has antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, appetite-stimulating, slightly laxative, blood-purifying and diuretic effects. With this spectrum of activity, it can be used for:

  • rheumatism
  • liver disease
  • gallstones
  • loss of appetite
  • influenza infections
  • kidney problems
  • heartburn
  • worms


These weeds are not usually successfully eradicated by aggressive weeding or herbicides alone. The control procedures are usually necessary for several years until the herb is completely eradicated in its place.

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