Creeping wood sorrel, also called procumbent yellow sorrel or sleeping beauty, resembles the common yellow wood sorrel, Oxalis stricta. It is a somewhat delicate-appearing, low-growing, herbaceous plant in the family Oxalidaceae.
This species probably comes from southeastern Asia.
It was first described by Linnaeus in 1753 using specimens from Italy, and it seems to have been introduced to Italy from the east before 1500.
Creeping wood sorrel is a world-wide weed which is almost impossible to get rid of. So, one might as well enjoy it - it has beautiful yellow flowers. Creeping woodsorrel is of uncertain origin just because it became so wide spread so long ago. Branching from the base and often rooted at the nodes, the upper portion is ascending or weakly erect, smooth or hairy. The leaves are arranged alternately along the stems. A single long stalk arises from the axils of the leaf, from which extend three flower stalks, each with a single flower. The flowers are 7-11 mm wide and have 5 yellow petals. The fruit is a capsule, 1-1.5 cm long, cylindric, pointed apically, and 5-ridged in cross section. Creeping wood sorrel is also found in the Himalayas, at altitudes of 300-3000 m. Flowering: February-October.
Creeping Wood sorrel is used in the treatment of influenza, fever, urinary tract infections, enteritis, diarrhoea, traumatic injuries, sprains and poisonous snake bites. The juice of the plant, mixed with butter, is applied to muscular swellings, boils and pimples. An infusion can be used as a wash to rid children of hookworms. The plant is a good source of vitamin C and is used as an antiscorbutic in the treatment of scurvy. The leaves are used as an antidote to poisoning by the seeds of Datura sop, arsenic and mercury. The leaf juice is applied to insect bites, burns and skin eruptions. It has an antibacterial activity.