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Life » » Plants » » Knotweed family »

Sheep Sorrel

Rumex acetosella L.

Brief Summary

    Rumex acetosella: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia

    Rumex acetosella, commonly known as sheep's sorrel, red sorrel, sour weed and field sorrel, is a species of flowering plant in the buckwheat family Polygonaceae. The plant and its subspecies are common perennial weeds. It has green arrowhead-shaped leaves and red-tinted deeply ridged stems, and it sprouts from an aggressive and spreading rhizome. The flowers emerge from a tall, upright stem. Female flowers are maroon in color.

Comprehensive Description

    Rumex acetosella
    provided by wikipedia
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    Rumex acetosella, commonly known as sheep's sorrel, red sorrel, sour weed and field sorrel, is a species of flowering plant in the buckwheat family Polygonaceae. The plant and its subspecies are common perennial weeds. It has green arrowhead-shaped leaves and red-tinted deeply ridged stems, and it sprouts from an aggressive and spreading rhizome. The flowers emerge from a tall, upright stem. Female flowers are maroon in color.

    Description

    A perennial herb that has a slender and reddish upright stem that is branched at the top, reaching a height of 18 inches (0.5 meters). The arrow-shaped leaves are small, slightly longer than 1 inch (3 cm), and smooth with a pair of horizontal lobes at the base. It blooms during March to November, when yellowish-green (male) or reddish (female) flowers develop on separate plants at the apex of the stem, which develop into the red fruits (achenes).

    Distribution and habitat

    The plant is native to Eurasia and the British Isles,[2] but it has been introduced to most of the rest of the Northern Hemisphere. It is commonly found on acidic, sandy soils in heaths and grassland.[2] It is often one of the first species to take hold in disturbed areas, such as abandoned mining sites, especially if the soil is acidic. Livestock will graze on the plant, but it is not very nutritious and is toxic in large amounts because of oxalates. The American copper or small copper butterfly depends on it for food, although its larvae can consume some related plants.

    Rumex acetosella is widely considered to be a hard-to-control noxious weed due to its spreading rhizome. Blueberry farmers are familiar with the weed because it thrives in the same conditions under which blueberries are cultivated.

    Culinary uses

    There are several uses of sheep sorrel in the preparation of food including a garnish, a tart flavoring agent, a salad green, and a curdling agent for milk in cheese-making.[citation needed] The leaves have a lemony, tangy or rhubarb-like tart flavor. It is also known as sheep shower in parts of the country[which?].

    References

    1. ^ "Acetosella vulgaris". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 16 December 2017..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"""""'"'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
    2. ^ a b Stace, C. A. (2010). New Flora of the British Isles (Third ed.). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. p. 450. ISBN 9780521707725.

Distribution

    Distribution
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    More info for the term: forb

    Common sheep sorrel is a forb of Eurasian origin that has naturalized
    throughout much of temperate North America [46,75,95].



    Distribution of common sheep sorrel. Map courtesy of USDA, NRCS. 2018. The PLANTS Database.
    National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC [2018, June 5] [88].

    Distribution
    provided by eFloras
    Fujian, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Nei Mongol, Shandong, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xinjiang, ?Yunnan, Zhejiang [India, Japan, Korea, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia; Europe, North America; widely introduced elsewhere].
    Distribution
    provided by eFloras
    introduced; Greenland; St. Pierre and Miquelon; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask., Yukon; Ala., Alaska, Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Utah, Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.; Europe; w Asia; introduced almost worldwide.

Morphology

    Comments
    provided by eFloras
    Rumex acetosella s.l. is a variable and taxonomically complicated, polyploid complex represented by several more or less distinct entities (subspecies and/or segregate species). Despite several painstaking efforts (see Nijs, Feddes Repert. 95: 43–66. 1984; Löve, Bot. Helv. 93: 145–168. 1986; and Akeroyd, Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 106: 97–99. 1991), their taxonomy remains rather confused. At least two of these taxa are represented in China: gymnocarpous R. acetosella subsp. acetosella and angiocarpous forms referred to subsp. angiocarpus (Murbeck) Murbeck (R. angiocarpus Murbeck) or subsp. pyrenaicus (Pourret ex Lapeyrouse) Akeroyd (R. pyrenaicus Pourret ex Lapeyrouse). The distribution and taxonomic relationships of these taxa of R. acetosella s.l. in China is still insufficiently known, and because of that no attempt has been made to distinguish them in the present treatment.
    Comments
    provided by eFloras
    Rumex acetosella in the broad sense is an extremely variable and taxonomically complicated polyploid complex, which includes diploids, tetraploids, hexaploids, and octoploids. This complex (excluding more distantly related arctic-montane R. graminifolius and its allies) probably originated and developed mostly in southern Europe and southwestern Asia. Some races of R. acetosella now are distributed almost worldwide as introduced and often completely naturalized aliens.

    Á. Löve (1941, 1983) assumed that in this group chromosome numbers are strictly correlated with morphology. In his opinion, every chromosome race represents a distinct species: diploid Rumex angiocarpus Murbeck [= Acetosella angiocarpa (Murbeck) Á. Löve]; tetraploid R. multifidus Linnaeus [= R. tenuifolius (Wallroth) Á. Löve = Acetosella multifida (Linnaeus) Á. Löve]; hexaploid R. acetosella in the narrow sense [= A. vulgaris (W. D. J. Koch) Fourreau, with gymnocarpous A. vulgaris subsp. vulgaris and angiocarpous A. vulgaris subsp. pyrenaica (Pourret ex Lapeyrouse) Á. Löve]; hexaploid R. graminifolius Rudolph ex Lambert [= A. graminifolia (Rudolph ex Lambert) Á. Löve]. However, the distribution given by Löve for these taxa seems unnatural. Studies by J. C. M. den Nijs and collaborators (den Nijs 1974, 1976, 1984; den Nijs and T. Panhorst 1980; den Nijs et al. 1980, 1985; see also W. Harris 1969, 1973) indicate that the situation is more complicated. They postulated the development of two major evolutionary lines into two ploidy complexes: a primary western Mediterranean one and a secondary eastern Mediterranean one. According to this scheme, polyploid races independently and spontaneously emerged (and still are emerging) within different ancestral populations.

    The most widespread, almost cosmopolitan race, presumably native to the southwestern Mediterranean region, including southwestern and Atlantic Europe, which is common in North America, is characterized by a hexaploid chromosome set (2n = 42), nonmultifid lateral lobes of basal leaves, and angiocarpy (fruits are not easily separable from accrescent inner tepals). It was commonly and erroneously referred to as Rumex angiocarpus Murbeck, or R. acetosella subsp. angiocarpus (Murbeck) Murbeck. According to J. R. Akeroyd (1991), who in general followed the taxonomic revision of the group by J. C. M. den Nijs (1984), the correct name for this taxon is R. acetosella subsp. pyrenaicus (Pourret ex Lapeyrouse) Akeroyd (=Acetosella vulgaris subsp. pyrenaica (Pourret ex Lapeyrouse) Á. Löve). Gymnocarpous nonmultifid and multifid forms (R. acetosella subsp. acetosella and R. acetosella subsp. acetoselloides (Balansa) den Nijs, respectively) also occur in North America, but evidently rarely. The distributions of subspecies of R. acetosella in North America are poorly known. Keys and detailed descriptions for the subspecies were provided by den Nijs and Akeroyd. However, the tempting simplicity of the keys is somewhat suspicious. The alternative point of view (and an alternative key) may be found in Á. Löve (1983).

    Rumex acetosella subsp. arenicola Mäkinen ex Elven was recently described from Greenland and reported for Scandinavia and arctic Russia (R. Elven et al. 2000). This entity seems to be morphologically transitional toward Rumex graminifolius (see discussion under that species below). According to Elven et al., it differs from other infraspecific entities of R. acetosella in having the following characters: leaves usually without basal lobes (as in R. graminifolius), with revolute margins; inflorescence sparsely branched; tepals and pedicels densely covered with red papillae (as in R. graminifolius). From R. graminifolius and related taxa (R. beringensis and R. krausei) it can be distinguished by narrower inner tepals (similar in size to those in other subspecies of R. acetosella). The distribution of subsp. arenicola and its relations to other taxa are in need of further study.

    Description
    provided by eFloras
    Herbs perennial, dioecious. Rhizomes horizontal, ligneous. Stems usually numerous from rhizome, erect or ascending, 15-35(-45) cm tall, slender, finely grooved, branched above middle. Basal leaves hastate, rarely without basal leaves, 2-4 cm × 3-6(-10) mm, glabrous, central lobe ovate-lanceolate, lanceolate, or linear, basal lobes spreading or curved, sometimes multifid, margin above basal lobes entire, apex acute or obtuse; cauline leaves smaller upward. Petiole short or in upper cauline leaves nearly absent; ocrea fugacious, white, membranous. Inflorescence terminal, paniculate. Flowers unisexual. Pedicel 2-2.5 mm, articulate near base of tepals. Male flower: outer tepals small; inner tepals elliptic, ca. 1.5 mm. Female flower: outer tepals lanceolate, ca. 1 mm, not reflexed in fruit; inner tepals slightly enlarged in fruit; valves ovate, 1-1.6 mm, without tubercles, net veined, base rounded to broadly cuneate, margin entire, apex acute. Achenes brown, shiny, broadly ovoid, trigonous, 1-1.5 mm. Fl. Jun-Jul, fr. Jul-Aug. 2n = 14, 42.
    Description
    provided by eFloras
    Plants perennial, glabrous, with vertical rootstock and/or creeping rhizomes. Stems erect or ascend-ing, several from base, branched in distal 1/ 2 (in inflorescence), 10-40(-45) cm; shoots variable. Leaves: ocrea brownish at base, silvery and lacerated in distal 1/ 2; blade normally obovate-oblong, ovate-lanceolate, lanceolate-elliptic, or lanceolate, occasionally, linear-lanceolate to almost linear, 2-6 × 0.3-2 cm, base hastate (with spreading, entire or sometimes multifid, dissected lobes), occasionally without evident lobes, then base broadly cuneate, margins entire, flat or nearly so, apex acute or obtuse. Inflorescences terminal, usually occupying distal 2- 3 of stem, usually lax and interrupted to top, broadly or narrowly paniculate. Pedicels 1-3 mm. Flowers (3-)5-8(-10) in whorls; inner tepals not or slightly enlarged, normally 1.2-1.7(-2) × 0.5-1.3 mm (free wing absent or barely visible), base cuneate, apex obtuse or subacute. Achenes brown or dark brown, 0.9-1.5 × 0.6-0.9 mm. 2n = 14, 28, 42.

Diagnostic Description

    Synonym
    provided by eFloras
    Acetosa acetosella (Linnaeus) Miller; Acetosella vulgaris (Koch) Fourreau; Rumex acetosella var. vulgaris Koch.
    Synonym
    provided by eFloras
    Acetosa acetosella (Linnaeus) Miller; A. hastata Moench; Acetosella vulgaris Fourreau; Rumex acetosella var. vulgaris W. D. J. Koch

Habitat

    Habitat
    provided by eFloras
    Hilly grasslands, forest margins, moist valleys; 400-3200 m.
    Habitat
    provided by eFloras
    Roadsides, cultivated fields, waste places, disturbed areas, lawns, meadows, railroad gravels, sandy and muddy shores: usually in acidic soils; 0-2700m.
    Key Plant Community Associations
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    More info for the terms: bog, grassland, marsh, tundra

    Common sheep sorrel occurs mainly in grassland, mixed-grass prairie, and
    montane meadow communities of western North America, but is also common
    in forested communities throughout temperate North America. 

    Common sheep sorrel is common in floodplain and riparian habitats.  In western
    Washington common sheep sorrel is found on gravel bars and floodplains
    dominated by Scouler willow (Salix scouleriana).  Other associates
    include Virginia strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), velvetgrass (Holcus
    lanatus), white clover (Trifolium repens), curly dock (Rumex crispus),
    and bog rush (Juncus effusus) [20].  In Oregon common sheep sorrel occurs in a
    riparian mountain meadow community dominated by cheatgrass (Bromus
    tectorum) [45].  In California common sheep sorrel occurs in a freshwater marsh
    community dominated by tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), sedge (Carex
    spp.), and narrow-leaved cattail (Typha angustifolia) [18].

    Common sheep sorrel is commonly found in old fields, annual grassland, and
    montane meadow communities.  In Connecticut common sheep sorrel occurs in a
    postagricultural little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) grassland.
    Associates include redtop (Agrostis alba) and yellow sedge (Carex
    pensylvanica) [69].  In New Jersey common sheep sorrel is a member of an
    old-field plant community dominated by Canada goldenrod (Solidago
    canadensis) [9].  Common sheep sorrel is commonly found in southern Appalachian
    grassy bald communities dominated by mountain oatgrass (Danthonia
    compressa).  Other associates include thornless blackberry (Rubus
    canadensis), hillside blueberry (Vaccinium pallidum), and violet (Viola
    spp.) [56,60].  In Indiana common sheep sorrel occurs in a little bluestem
    community with hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) and smooth horsetail
    (Equisetum laevigatum) [81].  In Montana common sheep sorrel occurs in
    mixed-grass prairie communities [86].

    In California common sheep sorrel is common in annual grassland, montane
    meadow, and perennial bunchgrass communities.  Associates include ripgut
    brome (Bromus rigidus), soft chess (B. hordeaceus), silver hairgrass
    (Aira caryophyllea), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratense), Sandberg
    bluegrass (P. nevadensis), Italian thistle (Carduus pycnocephalus), wild
    oat (Avena fatua), and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum)
    [8,12,18,61]. 

    At Point Reyes National Seashore, California, common sheep sorrel occurs in a
    coastal grassland community with coast rock cress (Arabis
    blepharophylla), poison-oak (Toxicodendron diversiloba), California
    barberry (Berberis pinnata), and the endangered Sonoma spineflower
    (Chorizanthe valida) [11,12].

    Common sheep sorrel is a common understory species in forested habitats
    throughout North America.  In Pennsylvania common sheep sorrel occurs in
    eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)-poverty oatgrass (D. spicata)
    communities; associates include Canada goldenrod, fireweed (Epilobium
    angustifolium), whorled yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia quadrifolia),
    Virginia springbeauty (Claytonia virginica), trout lily (Erythronium
    americanum), mountain wood sorrel (Oxalis montana), and violet
    [3,49,93].  In Alberta common sheep sorrel is a member of an 80-year-old white
    spruce (Picea glauca)-jack pine (Pinus banksiana)-feathermoss
    (Pleurozium spp.)  community [21].  In Idaho common sheep sorrel occurs in
    grand fir (Abies grandis)/wild ginger (Asarum caudatum), grand
    fir/pachistima (Pachistima myrsinites), and grand fir/ninebark
    (Physocarpus malvaceus) habitat types [30,53,54,99].  In California
    common sheep sorrel occurs in redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), Douglas-fir
    (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana)
    habitats [22,50,83].

    In Montana and Wyoming, common sheep sorrel is found in alpine tundra
    environments [94].

General Ecology

    Life Form
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    More info for the term: forb

    Forb
    Post-fire Regeneration
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    More info for the terms: ground residual colonizer, herb, rhizome, secondary colonizer

       Rhizomatous herb, rhizome in soil
       Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)
       Secondary colonizer - off-site seed

Cyclicity

    Flowering/Fruiting
    provided by eFloras
    Flowering spring-summer.
    Phenology
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    More info on this topic.

    Common sheep sorrel flowering dates are as follows:

    California         Mar-Aug      [68]
    Idaho              May-Sept     [19]
    Georgia            Mar-Jun      [98]
    Kansas             Apr-July     [4]
    Montana            May-Aug      [100]
    North Carolina     Mar-July     [72,98]
    North Dakota       May-Jun      [100]
    Oregon             May-Sept     [19]
    South Carolina     Mar-July     [72,98]
    Tennessee          Mar-Jun      [98]
    Virginia           Mar-Jun      [98]
    Washington         May-Sept     [19]
    West Virginia      May-Sept     [82]
    Great Plains       Apr-Aug      [29]

Management

    Management considerations
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    More info for the terms: frequency, presence

    Common sheep sorrel is classified as a noxious weed in 23 states [67].  It is a
    serious weed in pastures and rangelands.  Control is difficult because
    of its perennial, creeping rhizomes [4,52].  Common sheep sorrel is a common
    weed in West Virginia, except in limestone regions; liming the soil may
    help eradicate common sheep sorrel [82]. 

    Common sheep sorrel presence and abundance are indicative of poor and "sour"
    soils [82,87].  It reaches peak abundance at low soil nitrogen levels
    [87].  Common sheep sorrel is potentially poisonous to livestock because of the
    presence of soluble oxalates [19]; however, it is grazed by sheep and
    cattle [39].  In Idaho common sheep sorrel is an increaser species under heavy
    grazing regimes, and a decreaser species under light grazing regimes
    [54].  In Oregon percent frequency of common sheep sorrel was not affected by
    late season cattle grazing in a riparian mountain meadow [45].

    In Novia Scotia common sheep sorrel is one of the most common weed species in
    lowbush blueberry fields.  Control with hexazinone was attempted but
    after the activity of the herbicide decreased, common sheep sorrel grew and
    produced a large number of seeds [62].  In Pennsylvania in a goldenrod
    (Solidago spp.)-aster (Aster spp.) community, common sheep sorrel was dominant
    in 1- and 3-year-old plowed, disked, prometone-treated plots [64]. 

    Control Methods:  Repeat cultivation during dry weather gradually
    weakens rootstalks of common sheep sorrel [19].  According to Fitzsimmons [19]
    several herbicides can selectively control common sheep sorrel.

Taxonomy

    Common Names
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    More info for the term: forb

    common sheep sorrel
    red sorrel
    sheep sorrel


    TAXONOMY:
    The scientific name of common sheep sorrel is Rumex acetosella L.
    [29,34,51,95]. It is in the family Polygonaceae. There are no
    recognized infrataxa [34,44].


    LIFE FORM:
    Forb

    FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS:
    No special status

    OTHER STATUS:
    NO-ENTRY




    DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE
    SPECIES: Rumex acetosella
    GENERAL DISTRIBUTION:
    Common sheep sorrel is a forb of Eurasian origin that has naturalized
    throughout much of temperate North America [46,75,95].
    Taxonomy
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    The scientific name of common sheep sorrel is Rumex acetosella L.
    [29,34,51,95]. It is in the family Polygonaceae. There are no
    recognized infrataxa [34,44].