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With a distinctive lemon like flavour, sorrel adds interest to salads and the leaves can be cooked too (treat like spinach). There are two main types: French sorrel which is a smaller plant with a more delicate flavour and tender leaves; and common sorrel that has slightly thicker leaves and a sharper taste. Sorrel can be grown in large pots, but to prevent the leaves becoming chewy, they should be picked young and the plants well watered. Any flower heads should be removed as these can affect the quality of the leaves.

The seeds can be started early spring and planted out after the last frost. Mature sorrel plants are very hardy and can survive all weather outdoors. In addition to green leaves with white veins, there are also varieties with striking red veins.


Class: Perennial
Size: Regular
Hybrid: No
Planting: March-May
Harvesting: April-November

Planning what to grow? See the allotment planner and record keeper.