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In May you are spoilt for choice with wild flowers. I apologise for the late publication of this month’s wild flower of the month but I have been without internet access for the last two weeks.

Anyway, a drive or walk along any road or footpath in the region is a total delight at this time of year. There are so many flowers.  Probably the most obvious is the white cow parsley which is quite dominant in some areas.  The ox-eye Daisy is also quite impressive. In more shady regions the asphodels are showing well. All of these flowers are listed and photographed in my wild flower list of Poitou-Charentes.



 For this month I have chosen the plant known as common sorrel – Rumex acetosa. It is common and whilst it’s individual flowers are nothing special, they are quite impressive when grouped together and in places they give a distinctive pink/red hue to the hedge banks and meadows.May 201326

It is in the same family as dock – Rumex obtusifolius, but the flowers are normally pink to red whereas dock flowers are normally green. Here is a photo of dock which blends in with the general vegetation and is not as impressive as sorrel.May 201336

There can however be a bit of overlap  with sorrel flowers being occasionally fairly light and insipid and the dock flowers a bit more robust and becoming pinkish so the key identification is the leaves. Dock has a normal shape leaf whereas the leaf or sorrel has two  backward pointing bits which often curl around the leaf stem (petiole).May 201314

You can eat sorrel and I have done so but it’s not that great.  I’ts name says it all….. acetosa, and it is. When very young the leaves can be added to a salad for a bit of bite! or you can make a soup.. I think their most useful culinary asset is to mix a few leaves in with spinach to liven that up but not too many or it becomes too acidic.    May 201334