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Rumex acetosa (Common sorrel)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
1m
Max height
0.1m
Max spread
2-5 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Rumex acetosa

Other names

Common sorrel, Sour dock, Sour grass, Sour leek, Patriot's blood, Sharp dock, Sorrel dock, Garden sorrel, Green sauce, Sorrel

Genus

Rumex Rumex

Species

R. acetosa - R. acetosa is an erect, clump-forming perennial with edible, oblong, mid-green leaves and narrow panicles of red flowers in summer.


Rumex acetosa is: Deciduous

Habit

Clump-forming

Flower

Red in Summer

Foliage

Green in Spring; Green in Summer; Green in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Slugs Aphids , Slugs

Diseases

Generally disease free.

General care

Pruning

Can be difficult to eradicate or control. Cut back after flowering and prior to seed setting to avoid self-seeding.

Propagation

This plant usually dies after flowering and producing seeds. However, seeds germinate easily and plenty of seedlings will grow around the original plant.

Propagation methods

Seed


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Where to grow

Rumex acetosa (Common sorrel) will reach a height of 1m and a spread of 0.1m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, Cottage/Informal, Flavouring food and drinks, Wildflower, Wildlife

Cultivation

Plant in any well-drained soil in full sun.

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

This plant can hold its own against big bold plants such as hostas and acanthus.

Botanical name

Rumex acetosa

Other names

Common sorrel, Sour dock, Sour grass, Sour leek, Patriot's blood, Sharp dock, Sorrel dock, Garden sorrel, Green sauce, Sorrel

Genus

Rumex Rumex

Species

R. acetosa - R. acetosa is an erect, clump-forming perennial with edible, oblong, mid-green leaves and narrow panicles of red flowers in summer.

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Clump-forming


Colour

Flower

Red in Summer

Foliage

Green in Spring; Green in Summer; Green in Autumn


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Slugs

Diseases

Generally disease free.

General care

Pruning

Can be difficult to eradicate or control. Cut back after flowering and prior to seed setting to avoid self-seeding.

Propagation

This plant usually dies after flowering and producing seeds. However, seeds germinate easily and plenty of seedlings will grow around the original plant.

Propagation methods

Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Rumex acetosa (Common sorrel) will reach a height of 1m and a spread of 0.1m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, Cottage/Informal, Flavouring food and drinks, Wildflower, Wildlife

Cultivation

Plant in any well-drained soil in full sun.

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Rumex acetosa (Common sorrel)

Common pest name

Corn borer; Corn moth; European corn borer; European maize borer; European stalk borer; Maize pyralid

Scientific pest name

Ostrinia nubilalis

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Present (Limited)

Likelihood to spread in UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Polyphagous boring pest present in the UK since the 1930’s. A maize-affecting race was detected for the first time in 2010. Industry may wish to monitor for its presence and mitigate against impacts.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

COMPANION PLANTS

This plant can hold its own against big bold plants such as hostas and acanthus.

DISCUSS THIS PLANT

Rumex acetosa

The sharp-tasting leaves remind some of vinegar or acetic acid, hence the species name, acetosa. The leaves can be eaten in a salad, and farm workers used to chew them for refreshment. The taste is… read more

There is 1 active discussion about Rumex acetosa (Common sorrel)

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