Sorrel or steep grass: characteristics and cultivation

sorrel It is a plant that spreads like a wild plant in meadows, along paths and paths. It is a species that can be eaten and healthy, provided you do not overdo it: its leaves have an excellent content of iron and vitamin C, but also of oxalic acid .

The name evoking vinegar is due to its particularity sour taste which in some regions also gives it the name of “hard grass” . Other characteristic denominations are pan e vin, erba cucca and, somewhat incorrectly, romice (a term used for other species).

For those who want to pick it, it can be easily found throughout Italy, but it is important to always keep in mind that before picking any wild herb, it is good to make sure know her well . Additionally, wild sorrel species may be high in oxalic acid and therefore less suitable for consumption.

It’s better that we decide planting and growing sorrel in the garden , which we can do without great difficulty, choosing a selected variety we will obtain a better aromatic herb. So I will try to give you some suggestions on how to do it in the best way and of course organically.

Contents [Ocultar]

  • Rumex vinegar: characteristics of the plant

  • Sowing and planting sorrel

  • cultivation work

  • Use and properties


Vinegar of Ronex: characteristics of the plant

The name sorrel is mainly used to indicate the Rumex Acetosis , which is the species to which this article refers. In fact, there are also other species that are sometimes so named, including its relative, Rumex Scutatus , which is often cultivated in France and is very similar in its botanical characteristics and food uses. With the name Dock on the contrary, we indicate the plant Oxalis acetosella, which is completely different and belongs to another botanical family, although it has similar dietary uses.

Back to the rumex sorrel, It is a perennial herbaceous species of the family polygonaceae (therefore a relative of rhubarb), it belongs to the genus rumex, like the weeping roman often found in orchards.

This terrestrial plant forms a good sized rhizome which also acts as an energy reserve, allowing the plant to withstand freezing winters and dry conditions and therefore to be particularly hardy.

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The aerial part of the steep grass is composed of green, elongated, oval-shaped leaves from spring the plant also emits a hollow stem and vertical which can reach a height of more than one meter and culminates during the summer in flowering. the flower sorrel it is a reddish plume, where the small flowers are grouped in a panicle or floral spike.

The area of ​​origin of sorrel is between Europe and Asia, and since ancient times it has been known and used as a food and medicinal herb. In particular, it was considered an excellent remedy for fever and scurvy.

Today, wild sorrel can be found all over Italy, from sea level to 2000 meters above sea level. It is found spontaneously especially in uncultivated grasslands , with a preference for clayey and fertile soils. Care must be taken not to confuse it with the gigaro ( arum maculatum ) poisonous plant which has a similarity with acetosa rumex.

Sowing and planting sorrel

To start growing sorrel in the garden, we can get the seeds or seedlings. After starting the cultivation, it will be very easy to continue: it is a very manageable species, being perennial it will not need to be reseeded and it can be easily propagated by dividing the rhizome.

The right time for rumex acetosa seed This is when the temperature is mild, so the months of April, May and June are ideal. I recommend putting the seeds directly in the field without forcing the plant into pots, where the rhizome could suffer.

When choosing the place of cultivation one factor can be taken into account: the more sun the plant receives, the more acidic the flavor of its leaves .

However, before sowing the ground must be properly prepared . A good shovel is used to make the soil permeable and draining, in this phase you can take advantage of it to spread fertilizer or mature manure, enriching the soil. Then we will whip it into the surface layer.

After working and fertilizing, all that remains is to level the ground with a rake, and the seedbed is ready. Sorrel seeds are round and flat, we put them about 1 or 2 cm deep keep a distance 40 cm between one plant and another in rows spaced 50/60 cm apart . The seeds of this aromatic culture are not very easy to find in stores, one can consider buying them online.

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