Sheep’s Sorrel – Rumex acetosella

Sheep’s Sorrel (Rumex acetosella) is sometimes known as Red Sorrel, Sour Weed or Field Sorrel and is a member of the Buckwheat family and is considered to be a common weed in the U.S.A.

Sheep’s Sorrel has an arrow head shaped leaf which has red tinted deeply ridged stems, the flower emerges from a tall upright stem and the female flowers are maroon in colour, where as the male flowers are typically yellow / green and develop on seperate plants of the same stem which then develop into red fruits.
This plant has a tall slim stem that can reach a heigh of 18 inches with arrow shaped leaves that are around 3cm with a smooth texture.

Sheep’s Sorrel is sometimes confused with Common Sorrel which is smaller, roughly aound 20cm, and more slender. The Arrow shaped leaves spread sideways and not backwards. Sheep’s Sorrel prefers to grow in dry, well drained soil. Most commonly found in grassladnd, heaths, dunes and sometimes shingle beaches where there is an open area for the plant to thrive. This plant does not do well in crowded conditions where it can sometimes be overpowered by other foliage. Sheep’s Sorrel is a plant that is particularly good at attracting caterpillars of the small copper butterfly.

Height: Up to 20cm
Flowering Time: May to August
Preferred Conditions: Sheep’s Sorrel is typically found in non calcareous soil, mainly found in heaths, dunes and shingle beaches.

Sheeps sorrel - Rumex acetosella