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Common Name: Mountain Sorrel
Oxyria digyna is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.45 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
The leaves contain oxalic acid, which gives them their sharp flavour. Perfectly all right in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since oxalic acid can bind up the body's supply of calcium leading to nutritional deficiency. The quantity of oxalic acid will be reduced if the leaves are cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition[
Mountains of the northern temperate zone, including Britain.
Damp rocky places on mountains, especially by streams, avoiding acid soils[
]. Locally common on enriched soils below bird roosts[
Prefers a moist well-drained rocky soil in a sunny position or partial shade[
]. Requires a lime free soil[
]. There is some controversy here since the plant is said to avoid acid soils in the wild[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. A pleasing acid taste[
] and an excellent potherb[
]. A very nice addition to salads[
]. The leaves can be fermented into a sauerkraut for winter use[
]. Use in moderation, see notes at top of sheet,
The leaves are rich in vitamin C and are used to treat scurvy[
The roots, stems and leaves are cooked and eaten in the treatment of dysentery[
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. The seed germinates within 2 weeks. It can also be sown as soon as it is ripe, when it germinates within a few days. Prick the seedlings out into individual pots as soon as they are ripe and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer.
Division in the spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.