Purple Butterfly Sorrel Leaves
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Purple Butterfly sorrel grows in small clumps to heights of approximately 15-30 centimeters. Its small threadlike burgundy stems are topped with three uniform leaves that resemble the shape of a butterfly wing, hence its name. The leaves are a deep purple color that can range from magenta to near black, with dark edges that fade to a paler center. Its flavor is acidic and sour with a slightly sweet undertone. The leaves may be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Purple Butterfly sorrel is available year-round.
Purple Butterfly sorrel is botanically classified as Oxalis regnelli "Triangularis", and may also be commonly referred to as Love Plant, Purple Shamrock, Purple Wood Sorrel, or YKA leaves. The name YKA is a trademarked name by a Dutch company called Koppert Cress that specializes in cresses, seedlings of unique plants and Micro-vegetables. Purple Butterfly sorrel contains oxalic acid, a naturally occurring organic acid and a defense mechanism that makes it taste sour and discourages animals from eating the plant. The plant is best used in small amounts as a garnish, as large amounts consumed over time can lead to nutritional deficiencies and kidney stones in humans and livestock.
Purple Butterfly sorrel’s delicate texture wilts with exposure to heat, and the brilliant color is best preserved when used raw. Its color offers contrast and a bright lemony flavor to plates when used as garnish. Purple Butterfly sorrel compliments crustaceans, shellfish, and vegetable and fish dishes.
Purple Butterfly sorrel is native to Brazil and other parts of South America. It is commonly grown as a house plant but may be found in the wild in areas of light shade with moist, well-drained soils. It grows year-round and blooms soft-pink, trumpet shaped flowers in spring and summer.