This section is from the book "Nature's Garden", by Neltje Blanchan. Also available from Amazon: Nature's Garden; An Aid To Knowledge Of Our Wild Flowers And Their Insect Visitors.
Flowers - Golden, fragrant, in long peduncled, small, terminal groups. Calyx of 5 sepals; corolla of 5 petals, usually reddish at base; stamens, 10; 1 pistil with 5 styles; followed by slender pods. Stem: Pale, erect, 3 to 12 in. high, the sap sour. Leaves: Palmately compound, of 3 heart-shaped, clover-like leaflets on long petioles.
Preferred Habitat - Open woodlands, waste or cultivated soil, roadsides.
Flowering Season - April - October.
Distribution - Nova Scotia and Dakota westward to the Gulf of Mexico.
An extremely common little weed, whose peculiarly sensitive leaves children delight to set in motion by rubbing, or to chew for the sour juice. Concerning the night "sleep" of wood-sorrel leaves and the two kinds of flowers these plants bear, see pages 107 to 110.