Polygonaceae
Rumex acetosella

Sheep Sorrel

Erect. Stems slender, usually in small colonies. Leaves mostly basal, arrow-shaped, with a lobe on each side. Plants with male or female flowers or rarely both on top sections of branches. Flowers red or yellow, male with long stamens that hang. Grows in disturbed soils, fields, along beaches, at low to high elevations. Both Rumex and sorrel mean "sour." The leaves are full of vitamin C but also contain oxalic acid, which causes medical problems if too much is eaten. Flavor is somewhat like rhubarb, which also contains oxalic acid.

  • Rarity: Common
  • Flowering Time: All Summer
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Height: under 18 inches
  • Habitat: West-Side Forest, Meadow, East-Side Forest, Coastal, Disturbed
  • Found In: Siskiyous, Steens, Wallowas, Crater Lake NP, Olympic NP, Mt. Rainier NP, N Cascades NP
  • Native: No