Tracking in the Mud

All things children and nature

Making Lemonade from a “Weed” May 5, 2010

Filed under: Seasons,Spring,Uncategorized — Sandy Beverly @ 2:07 pm
Tags: , , ,

Chances are good that yellow wood sorrel is growing somewhere near your home.  This little clover-like plant has delicate yellow flowers and is informally called “sour grass”.  When I was a kid, my friends and I would eat the sour leaves and flowers, and over-react to the tingling in our jaws.  Many consider this plant a weed.

Thirty years later (thank you, Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants), I’ve learned that you can make a refreshing cold beverage—a cross between lemonade and tea—from this plant.  Want to try it?

  • Gather a bunch of sorrel.  You can find it in almost any untreated yard (and do be sure your plants don’t have chemical herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers on them). My bunch was 4 or 5 inches in diameter.
  • Trim off the roots and rinse thoroughly.
  • Steep 10 minutes or longer in hot water.  I probably used about 20 ounces of water, and my drink turned out very mild.
  • Strain out the plant, chill, and sweeten to taste with your favorite sweetener.

It’s that easy.  And a fun way to teach children about the many ways that plants enrich our lives.

Note: A number of reputable sources describe yellow wood sorrel as a safe edible plant.  But it contains quite a bit of oxalic acid (which is in many foods).  It should be consumed in moderation, and avoided by people with kidney disease, kidney stones, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout.

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2 Responses to “Making Lemonade from a “Weed””

  1. Rachel Myslivy Says:

    Sounds great! Can’t wait to try it…

  2. Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.


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