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Sheep’s sorrel (Rumex acetosella) is a relative of dock whose tangy young leaves in long grassland are favoured by foragers. However, in gardens especially on sandy, acidic soils it can be a troublesome weed.
Sheep's sorrel is a common, perennial weed of dry, sandy well-drained acid gardens. It mainly spreads by underground roots but produces abundant seed making it a troublesome weed. A common native found on heaths, grassland, roadsides and in the garden with dry, sandy, well-drained acid soils.
Sheep’s sorrel has a basal rosette of oblong arrow-shaped leaves. Tufted plant to 30cm (1ft) and distinguished from common sorrel (Rumex acetosa) by its small size. Flowers May to August. Male and female flowers are on separate plants.
Sheep’s sorrel has a relatively shallow, spreading root system which can regrow from small sections of root left in the ground. If allowed to flower it produces large amounts of seed.
Sheep’s sorrel is difficult to eradicate by cultural methods alone as it can regrow from sections of root left in the soil. It is more vulnerable to hoeing in spring.
In rough grassland:
Inclusion of a weedkiller product does not indicate a recommendation or endorsement by the RHS. It is a list of products currently available to the home gardener.
Weedkillers for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining weedkillers available to gardeners; see sections 1a,b,c and 4)
Chemicals: using a sprayer Chemicals: using safely and effectively Chemicals: using spot and broad-scale Weeds: non-chemical control
Bindweed Brambles and other woody weeds Couch grass Garden thugs: potential nuisance plants Ground elder Himalayan balsam HorsetailJapanese knotweed
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