April Wildflower Watch – Wood Sorrel, the Easter flower

Wood sorrel by the Gelvert Stream

Wood sorrel by the Gelvert Stream

Michelle Salter writes:

The flowers of Wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) traditionally appear between Easter and Whitsun. This has led to the plant becoming popularly known as Alleluia throughout Europe.

This Easter, the delicate white, veined flowers can be seen in clumps either side of the path that runs alongside the Gelvert Stream passed the bridge towards Sandy Bay. A shade-loving plant that often forms large groups, Wood sorrel loves damp, mildewy soil and can grow in locations that see only one percent daylight.

The distinctive leaves of Wood sorrel have led many botanists to suggest that it was actually the original Irish Shamrock, rather than clover. St. Patrick is thought to have used the trifoliate leaves of Wood sorrel as his visual aid when he preached the Holy Trinity.

The three drooping, heart-shaped leaves are connected to the leaf stalk by limbs that undergo different movements. In normal shade or diffused light they lie fully open, whereas at night or in direct sunshine they droop downwards and fold onto their stem in a ‘sleeping position’.

Wood sorrel along Gelvert Stream footpath by Sandy Bay

Wood sorrel along Gelvert Stream footpath by Sandy Bay

Picture credits: Michelle Salter

Related blog post: May 2013 Wildflower Watch – Wood sorrel

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One Response to April Wildflower Watch – Wood Sorrel, the Easter flower

  1. […] the pond, mainly covering volunteer events (of which there are many) and wildlife. Here is a good example: […]

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