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sour weed plant

Sour weed plant

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

Genus

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

Toxicity

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

Flower

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

Foliage

Green in Spring; Green in Autumn

Watch out for

Specific pests
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

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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

Soil pH

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

Exposure

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

Companion plants

Botanical name

Other names

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

Genus

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

Habit

Toxicity

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

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Colour

Flower

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

Foliage

Green in Spring; Green in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests
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

Monthly care advice

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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

Soil pH

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

Exposure

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

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
Current status in UK
Likelihood to spread in UK (1 is very low – 5 is very high)
Impact (1 is very low – 5 is very high)
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.

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

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Find help and information on Rumex acetosella Sheep’s sorrel Red sorrel Sour weed Field sorrel vulgaris, including varieties and pruning advice. Click here to find out more. ]]>