Sorrel is a slender plant about 60 cm high, with roots that run deep into the ground, as well as juicy stems and edible, oblong leaves. The lower leaves are 7 to 15 cm in length, slightly arrow-shaped at the base, with very long petioles. The upper ones are sessile, and frequently become crimson.It has whorled spikes of reddish-green flowers, which bloom in summer, becoming purplish. The stamens and pistils are on different plants (dioecious); the ripe seeds are brown and shining.The leaves may be pured in soups and sauces or added to salads and shav; they have a flavour that is similar to kiwifruit or sour wild strawberries. The plant's sharp taste is due to ascorbic acid.
In Northern Nigeria, sorrel is known as Yakuwa or Sure (pronounced suuree) in Hausa. It is also used in stews usually in addition to spinach. In some Hausa communities, it is steamed and made into salad using Kuli-Kuli (traditional roasted peanut cakes with oil extracted), salt, pepper, onion and tomatoes. The re