Different Types Of Sorrel – Exploring the Variety of Sorrel Plants

Sorrel, a perennial herb known for its vibrant woodland blossoms, has been captivating gardeners with its beauty for years. While flower enthusiasts appreciate its lavender or pink blooms, vegetable gardeners value specific varieties of sorrel for their culinary uses. Although sorrel is a popular ingredient in European cuisine, it remains less well-known in North America. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to broaden your culinary horizons, why not consider adding different sorrel plants to your vegetable garden?

Sorrel Plant Types

Including sorrel in your garden is a great choice. Not only are these plants easy to grow, but they are also cold-hardy perennials, meaning they die back in the fall and reappear in late winter the following year.

The two most commonly grown sorrel varieties for vegetable gardens are English (garden) sorrel (Rumex acetosa) and French sorrel (Rumex scutatus). These varieties boast a delightful citrusy taste that adds a unique flavor to various dishes.

Each sorrel variety has its own distinct characteristics, and they all have a dedicated fan base. Sorrel leaves are packed with essential nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.

Garden Sorrel Plant Types

English sorrel, the classic sorrel species used to make traditional sorrel soup in the spring, offers a range of delightful varieties. Some notable ones include Bellville sorrel, Blistered Leaf sorrel, Fervent’s New Large sorrel, Common garden sorrel, and Sarcelle Blond sorrel. The leaves of garden sorrel are typically arrow-shaped, although variations in leaf shape can be observed among the different varieties. The tender young leaves that emerge in the spring possess a refreshing lemon zest flavor, perfect for adding a tangy twist to your recipes.

French Types of Sorrel

French sorrel is another popular choice for home gardens. These plants grow up to 18 inches (46 cm) tall and produce rounded or heart-shaped leaves. Unlike garden sorrel, the leaves of French sorrel are less acidic, making them a common culinary herb in France. Within this category, you may also find two other types of sorrel, namely Rumex patientia (patience dock) and Rumex arcticus (arctic or sour dock), although these are not commonly cultivated in North America.

Sorrel Growing Tips

If you’re interested in growing sorrel, it is best suited for cooler regions and is adapted to USDA hardiness zones 4 through 9. Plant sorrel seeds in a bed with moist soil during springtime, ensuring they are tucked half an inch below the soil surface for optimal growth. Some sorrel varieties are dioecious, meaning male and female parts are found on separate plants.

As you embark on your sorrel-growing journey, remember to savor the unique flavors and culinary possibilities that these remarkable plants offer. Whether you choose English sorrel with its arrow-shaped leaves or the French sorrel with its rounded foliage, you’ll be delighted by the zestful addition they bring to your dishes. Happy gardening!