Sheep Sorrel

Sheep Sorrel

(Rumex acetosella)

Red sorrel, also referred to as sheep sorrel, is a summer perennial. The leaves alternate and form a basal rosette. The older leaves are arrowhead shaped with two basal lobes attached to a petiole. Leaves formed along the stem are more elongated and usually lack the basal lobes. The margins of the leaf are smooth. The leaves become thick and fleshy over the summer months. The root red sorrel is a shallow yellow taproot, combined with multiple rhizomes.

Red sorrel grows best in acidic soils. It can be used as an indicator of low soil pH, but a soil test is still recommended. Low nitrogen fertility encourages the growth of red sorrel. It is best not to try and physically remove plants, as segments of the rhizomes will remain in the soil and promotes additional plants. Drainage should also be checked as poor drainage encourages the growth of red sorrel.

Source:  Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University