Sheep Sorrel
Rumex acetosella
Family Polygonaceae

* Leaves small, arrow-shaped, with spreading lobes, spicy and pungent to the taste.
* Flower heads tiny, clustered, green turning to reddish-brown.
* Height: 4-12'.

Natural History:
* Flowers June - October.
* Habitat: Lawns, fields, roadsides, preferring acid soils.
* Range: Throughout the United States.
* Introduced from Europe.

* Sheep sorrel leaves are used by many people, including ecology professor Nick Rodenhouse, in salads or as snacks on nature walks. Some colonial Massachusetts names for sheep sorrel include Cuckoo-Bread, Flora-Carol-Sorrel, and Gentleman's Sorrel.

* "Shall I strew on thee rose or rue or laurel,
Brother, on this that was the veil of thee?
Or quiet sea-flower moulded by the sea,
Or simplest growth of meadow-sweet or sorrel?"
-Algernon Charles Swinburne, 1837-1909


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008