Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Oxalis obtusa--Sorrel

Oxalis obtusa is related to sour grass, but it has lovely pink to apricot flowers, not brassy yellow flowers like the weed we see all over Berkeley.

The name "sorrel" is a bit of a mystery to me. It is named after Rumex, which has sour leaves, just like Oxalis. They both have oxalic acid in them. But "sorrel" mean reddish-brown, not sour. So apparently the Rumex was named after its reddish-brown seed head clusters, and Oxalis was named after Rumex. Does that make sense?

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