Lindsay B. wrote today’s entry:
Oxalis acetosella is a cleistogamous perennial herb common throughout most of Europe and parts of Asia. Oxalis acetosella, commonly known as wood sorrel, grows in clonal stands typical of self-pollinating plants. The leaves of wood sorrel are clover-like, and for that reason it is sometimes referred to as a shamrock (though shamrocks also often refer to true clovers, Trifolium spp.) and given as a gift on St. Patrick’s Day.
Wood sorrel, like spinach and broccoli, contains oxalic acid, a common ingredient in cleaning products and rustproofing treatments. When ingested, oxalic acid interferes with food digestion and the absorption of some trace minerals–part of what makes it such an effective cleaning agent. The Latin “oxalis” is derived from the Greek “oxus”, or sour, which is indicative of its taste. However, research has indicated that the level of oxalic acid present in wood sorrel (as well as spinach and broccoli) is not harmful to humans in small amounts.