Two good buys

I scored two good buys at my local Sunday market today:

The pot contains French Sorrel (Rumex scutatus). I was introduced to sorrel when I did my permaculture design course and it was growing in the garden where I did the course.  I sent away for seed and what came back (as it appeared later) was ordinary Garden Sorrel (Rumex acetosa). I didn’t know at the time that there are two species, French and Garden, and that French is considered the best for flavour.

Most of the seed suppliers I looked at just call it Sorrel and give the botanical name as R. acetosa. I’ve been on the lookout for R. scutatus for a while so was pleased to see the herb lady at the market had the real thing. I know it’s the real thing because the specific name ‘scutatus’ means ‘shield-shaped’ and you can see that the little leaves are indeed that. It’s also smaller in habit than Garden Sorrel.

Here’s my plant of Garden Sorrel. The clump is 30 cm high, 50 cm wide and still spreading:

On to the second purchase. The three fruits are tamarillos—the yellow form. I’ve never seen this form for sale anywhere. I’ll eat one, to see if it’s different in flavour to the red form and I’ll keep the other two for seed. It’ll be nice to have the two colour forms growing side by side. I wonder if they’ll cross-pollinate and produce hybrids, or remain true to form? Better do some Googling.


2 Responses to “Two good buys”

  1. Jason Dingley Says:

    The two Sorrel look very different, unrelated in fact. I wish I had studied Latin it would make reading and remembering the specific names so much easier. And for the tamarillos, I though they were eggs.


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi Jason,

      I’ll be looking forward to tasting the French Sorrel.

      I did Latin aeons ago, but it didn’t help with plant names. I don’t remember any of it. What did help was working with plants over many years, reading descriptions and learning the various meanings of the descriptive names and using botanical rather than common names.

      The tamarillos do look like eggs, don’t they? I should have put the stem ends at the front of the photo. That would have tricked everyone! Eggs with stems. Good April Fool’s joke….eggs that grow on trees!


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