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Herbaceous Perennial

Rumex scutatus

French sorrel

A low-growing perennial with a creeping habit and spear-shaped grey-green leaves. Small greenish-red flowers are produced in summer, but the plant is usually grown for its edible leaves which can be cut for salads

Other common names
buckler-shaped sorrel
garden sorrel
Synonyms
Rumex scutatus var. hastilis
Rumex scutatus var. hastifolius
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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Grey Silver
Summer Green Red Green Grey Silver
Autumn Green Grey Silver
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Polygonaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Matforming
Potentially harmful
Harmful if eaten in large amounts. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
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

Name status

Correct

How to grow

Cultivation

Thrives in rich, fertile soil but will tolerate almost any well-drained soil in full sun or light shade

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in situ, may self-seed in place if flowers are left to seed

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Patio and container plants
  • Ground cover
Pruning

Young leaves can be harvested as a 'cut and come again' crop. If growing for foliage it is best to remove any flowering stalks that appear

Pests

May be susceptible to slugs and aphids

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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