• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Rumex acetosa

common sorrel

  • Other common names common sorrel

    garden sorrel
    green sauce
    patriot's blood
    sharp dock
    sorrel dock
    sour dock
    sour grass
    sour leek

    see more
  • Family Polygonaceae

  • Genus Rumex can be annuals, biennials or perennials with mostly basal, simple leaves and erect panicles or racemes of small greenish or reddish flowers followed by reddish-brown, triangular fruits

  • Details R. acetosa is an erect perennial with edible, sour-tasting oblong leaves arrow-shaped at the base, and small reddish flowers in a narrow panicle or raceme

  • Plant range N Temperate Arctic Regions


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Columnar/Upright

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Exposed or Sheltered


  • Chalk


  • Loam


  • Sand


  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilChalk, Loam, Sand

  • pHAcid, Neutral


  • Ultimate height 0.5-1 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0-0.1 metre

  • Time to ultimate height 2-5 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in any well-drained soil, in full sun, self-seeds and can be difficult to eradicate or control

Propagation Propagate by seed

Suggested planting locations and garden types Cottage & Informal Garden Wildflower meadow Wildlife Gardens

How to care

Pruning Cut back after flowering. Cut back prior to seed setting to avoid self-seeding

Pests Susceptible to damage from slugs and aphids

Diseases Generally disease free

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