Rumex acetosella L.
Acetosella acetosella (L.) Small
Acetosella tenuifolia (Wallr.) A. Löve
Acetosella vulgaris Fourr.
Rumex acetosella L. ssp. angiocarpus (Murb.) Murb.
Rumex acetosella L. var. pyrenaeus (Pourr.) Timbal-Lagrave
Rumex acetosella L. var. tenuifolius Wallr.
Rumex angiocarpus Murb.
Rumex tenuifolius (Wallr.) A. Löve
Red Sorrel, Sheep Sorrel, Sour Weed, Field Sorrel
Sheep sorrel is native to Eurasia, introduced to North America and now common here.
Identification: Sheep sorrel is an early colonizer of disturbed soil, such as railroad beds, roadsides, and mining sites, with a preference for wet or seasonally wet areas. It is up to 18" (45 cm) in height, often closer to half that height, with a few pale silver-colored lance-shaped leaves. Some of the leaves at the base are hastate, like an arrow with two barbs at the bottom. Flowers occur in spikes about 3-8" (7.6-20 cm) tall, tightly branched. Male flowers are yellowish-green, and female flowers are red to maroon. Fruits are also maroon. Although the individual flowers are minute in size, less than ⅛" (3.2 mm), large patches of sheep sorrel look like a rust-colored haze near the ground.
Edibility: Raw or cooked, small quantities add a tart, lemon-like flavor to salads. Poisonous in large quantities. Contains oxalic acid, which gives the plants a bitter, acidic taste.
Rumex acetosella on Missouriplants.com
Rumex acetosella at Illinois Wildflowers
Rumex acetosella on the Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide
Rumex acetosella on Forest and Kim Starr’s Starr Environmental site
Rumex acetosella on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database
Rumex acetosella on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Rumex acetosella on luirig.altervista.org
Rumex acetosella on eFloras
Rumex acetosella description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 12 Oct 2018.