OK
In progress indicator

Rumex acetosella (Sheep's sorrel)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
0.3m
Max height
1m
Max spread
2-5 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Rumex acetosella

Other names

Sheep's sorrel, Red sorrel, Sour weed, Field sorrel, Acetosella vulgaris

Genus

Rumex Rumex

Species

R. acetosella - R. acetosella is a vigorous, erect, rhizomatous perennial with narrowly lance-shaped, mid-green leaves and, from early spring to late autumn, slender, branching, red-flushed stems bearing yellow-green male flowers and maroon female flowers on separate plants.


Rumex acetosella is: Deciduous

Habit

Erect

Toxicity

Leaves are edible but should only be consumed in small quantities due to oxalic acid content. Leaves have a lemon-like flavour.

Flower

Yellow-green, Maroon in Spring; Yellow-green, Maroon in Summer; Maroon, Yellow-green in Autumn

Foliage

Green in Spring; 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

Sow in situ in spring.

Propagation methods

Seed


Sign up for your FREE ACCOUNT today or login to receive detailed monthly care instructions

Where to grow

Rumex acetosella (Sheep's sorrel) will reach a height of 0.3m and a spread of 1m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

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

Cultivation

Grow in any well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Site carefully as spreads aggressively by rhizomes and seed. Male and female plants must be grown together if seed is required.

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

Botanical name

Rumex acetosella

Other names

Sheep's sorrel, Red sorrel, Sour weed, Field sorrel, Acetosella vulgaris

Genus

Rumex Rumex

Species

R. acetosella - R. acetosella is a vigorous, erect, rhizomatous perennial with narrowly lance-shaped, mid-green leaves and, from early spring to late autumn, slender, branching, red-flushed stems bearing yellow-green male flowers and maroon female flowers on separate plants.

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Erect

Toxicity

Leaves are edible but should only be consumed in small quantities due to oxalic acid content. Leaves have a lemon-like flavour.


Colour

Flower

Yellow-green, Maroon in Spring; Yellow-green, Maroon in Summer; Maroon, Yellow-green in Autumn

Foliage

Green in Spring; 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

Sow in situ in spring.

Propagation methods

Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Rumex acetosella (Sheep's sorrel) will reach a height of 0.3m and a spread of 1m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

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

Cultivation

Grow in any well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Site carefully as spreads aggressively by rhizomes and seed. Male and female plants must be grown together if seed is required.

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 acetosella (Sheep's 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/

In order to add a note on this plant, please add this plant to your plant lists.

In progress indicator
Full size image
In progress indicator
Caption

Caption

Cancel and close this form
In progress indicator
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...

Report content or feedback to Shoot

To add ? to your lists,
login to your account or subscribe.

Find out more about plant lists here

or Login


To check if this plant is suitable for your garden first login to your account or subscribe.

or Login

In progress indicator
Note

Note

You are adding a note to: ?

Cancel