Herb: Sorrel Tree

Latin name: Oxydendrum arboreum

Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Medicinal use of Sorrel Tree:

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

Description of the plant:


10 m
(33 feet)

July to


Habitat of the herb:

Well-drained gravelly soils on ridges rising above the banks of streams.

Edible parts of Sorrel Tree:

Leaves - raw. A pleasant acid flavour. They allay thirst.

Other uses of the herb:

Wood - heavy, hard, attractive, very close grained. It weighs 46lb per cubic foot and is sometimes used for panelling, tool handles, bearings etc.

Propagation of Sorrel Tree:

Surface sow the seed in a shady place in a greenhouse either as soon as it is ripe in the autumn or in late winter. Germination is variable. Put outside in a shady position as soon as it germinates and overwinter in a frame. 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. Layering.

Cultivation of the herb:

Well-drained gravelly soils on ridges rising above the banks of streams.

Known hazards of Oxydendrum arboreum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.