Sorrel Tree (Oxydendrum arboreum)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Sorrel Tree
Oxydendrum arboreum
Ericaceae

Wood – heavy, hard, attractive, very close grained. It weighs 46lb per cubic foot and is sometimes used for panelling, tool handles, bearings etc[82, 229, 235].

  • Medicinal Use

    The leaves are cardiac, diuretic, refrigerant and tonic[61, 82]. A tea made from the leaves has been used in the treatment of asthma, diarrhoea, indigestion and to check excessive menstrual bleeding[222, 257]. It is diuretic and is a folk remedy for treating fevers, kidney and bladder ailments[82, 222].

    The bark has been chewed in the treatment of mouth ulcers[222, 257].

  • Edible Use

    Leaves – raw[11, 105, 161]. A pleasant acid flavour[82]. They allay thirst[61].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Surface sow the seed[113] in a shady place in a greenhouse either as soon as it is ripe in the autumn[200] or in late winter[78]. Germination is variable[78]. Put outside in a shady position as soon as it germinates and overwinter in a frame[78]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seedlings are susceptible to damping off and so should be kept well-ventilated and should not be over-watered. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[200]. Layering.
Requires a moist well-drained lime-free soil[200]. Prefers a pH in the range of 4 to 6[200]. Succeeds in light dappled shade or in full sun[200], it appreciates the protection of other tall shrubs and trees[1, 200]. A very ornamental plant[1], it is rather slow growing, especially when growing at the limits of its hardiness[200]. Plants can flower in 4 – 5 years from seed. The flowers are sweetly scented[245]. Transplant with care, plants may take some time to re-establish themselves[200]. The flowers are very attractive to bees[49, 229].
South-eastern N. America – Pennsylvania to Florida, west to Louisiana and Ohio.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.