Mountain Sorrel
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Mountain Sorrel
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Mountain Sorrel, Wood sorrel, Alpine sorrel, Alpine mountainsorrel • Ladakhi: ལམནཅུ Lamanchu,་ཆུ་ལྕུམ་Chu-lchum
Botanical name: Oxyria digyna    Family: Polygonaceae (Knotweed family)
Synonyms: Rumex digynus, Rheum digynum, Oxyria reniformis

Mountain Sorrel is a plant which grows in high mountains in many parts of the world. It grows in dense tufts, with stems 10-20 cm tall. Both flowering stems and leaf stalks are somewhat reddish. Leaves are kidney- shaped, somewhat fleshy, on long stalks from the lower part of the stem. Flowers are small, green and later reddish, and are grouped in an open upright spike-like cluster. The fruit is a small nut, encircled by a broad wing which finally turns red. Mountain Sorrel grows in wet places protected by snow in winter. The genus name Oxyria (Greek) means sour. It probably comes from the fact that he leaves have a fresh acidic taste and are rich in vitamin C. They can be used in salad, and were once used in some parts to prevent scurvy. Mountain Sorrel is commonly found on open slopes and grazing grounds of the Himalayas, from Pakistan to SW China, at altitudes of 2400-5000 m. Flowering: May-July.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Nubra Valley, Ladakh & Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand.
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