Plantae > Tracheophyta > Magnoliopsida > Caryophyllales > Polygonaceae > Rumex > Rumex acetosa

Rumex acetosa (garden sorrel)

Wikipedia Abstract

Common sorrel or garden sorrel (Rumex acetosa), often simply called sorrel, is a perennial herb in the family Polygonaceae. Other names for sorrel include spinach dock and narrow-leaved dock. It is a common plant in grassland habitats and is cultivated as a garden herb or leaf vegetable (pot herb).
View Wikipedia Record: Rumex acetosa



Allergen Potential [1]  Medium-High
Bee Flower Color [2]  Blue-Green
Flower Color [2]  Red
Edible [3]  May be edible. See the Plants For A Future link below for details.
Flower Type [3]  Dioecious
Hazards [3]  Plants can contain quite high levels of oxalic acid, which is what gives the leaves of many members of this genus an acid-lemon flavour. Perfectly alright in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since the oxalic acid can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. The oxalic acid content will be reduced if the plant is cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition;
Lifespan [3]  Perennial
Pollinators [3]  Wind
Structure [5]  Herb
Usage [3]  Dark green to brown and dark grey dyes can be obtained from the roots, they do not need a mordant; A grey-blue dye is obtained from the leaves and stems; An infusion of the stems is used as a polish for bamboo and wicker furniture and also for silver; The juice of the plant removes stains from linen; It is sometimes sold as 'essential salt of lemon';
Height [3]  24 inches (0.6 m)
Width [3]  12 inches (0.3 m)
Light Preference [4]  Mostly Sunny
Soil Acidity [4]  Moderate Acid
Soil Fertility [4]  Mostly Infertile
Soil Moisture [4]  Moist
View Plants For A Future Record : Rumex acetosa

Protected Areas




Parasitized by 
Microbotryum stygium[9]
Pegomya bicolor[7]
Puccinia phragmitis[9]
Ramularia rubella[7]
Uromyces acetosae[9]


North America;

External References

USDA Plant Profile



Attributes / relations provided by
1Derived from Allergy-Free Gardening OPALS™, Thomas Leo Ogren (2000)
2Arnold SEJ, Faruq S, Savolainen V, McOwan PW, Chittka L, 2010 FReD: The Floral Reflectance Database — A Web Portal for Analyses of Flower Colour. PLoS ONE 5(12): e14287.
3Plants For A Future licensed under a Creative Commons License
4ECOFACT 2a Technical Annex - Ellenberg’s indicator values for British Plants, M O Hill, J O Mountford, D B Roy & R G H Bunce (1999)
5Kattge, J. et al. (2011b) TRY - a global database of plant traits Global Change Biology 17:2905-2935
6Biological Records Centre Database of Insects and their Food Plants
7Ecology of Commanster
8HOSTS - a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants Gaden S. Robinson, Phillip R. Ackery, Ian J. Kitching, George W. Beccaloni AND Luis M. Hernández
9Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
10Ben-Dov, Y., Miller, D.R. & Gibson, G.A.P. ScaleNet 4 November 2009
11Analysing diet of small herbivores: the efficiency of DNA barcoding coupled with high-throughput pyrosequencing for deciphering the composition of complex plant mixtures, Eeva M Soininen, Alice Valentini, Eric Coissac, Christian Miquel, Ludovic Gielly, Christian Brochmann, Anne K Brysting, Jørn H Sønstebø, Rolf A Ims, Nigel G Yoccoz and Pierre Taberlet, Frontiers in Zoology 2009, 6:16
12New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Plant-SyNZ™ database
Protected Areas provided by Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
Ramsar Sites Information Service
GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Natura 2000, UK data: © Crown copyright and database right [2010] All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100017955
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License