Rumex acetosa L. - Sorrel

Regular position.

Family: Polygonacea Juss.; Genus: Rumex L.

Basic synonyms:

Acetosa fontanopaludosa (Kalela) Holub; Acetosa pratensis Mill.)

Morphology and biology.

This is a perennial plant with short, fibrous roots. The stem is straight, branching, with grooves, up to 1 m in height. Leaves are rather fleshy, 2.5-13 cm long, 1.5-5 cm wide, ovare-oblong, pointed. The bottom leaves are on long stalks. The base of a leaf is sagittate, sometimes almost hastate. The top leaves are sedentary, narrower, than bottom ones. The inflorescence is a narrow panicle. Flowers are unisexual, dioecious, pinkish, reddish or yellowish. Perianth lobes of anther flowers are oblong-oval; internal lobes are falling and larger than external ones. External lobes of pistil flowers are back and turned downward and pressed to a pedicel; internal ones are upright, almost ovate, at fruits they expand up to 4 mm. Fruits are nutlets, trihedral, dark brown, brilliant, 1.5-2 mm in long, less than 1 mm wide. Blossoms in June-July, fructifies in July-August. It is Anemophile and zoochore.


The common distribution: Arctic, Scandinavia, Average, Atlantic and Southern Europe, the Balkans, Asia Minor, the Mediterranean, Mongolia, Japan, China, Jungarsky-Kashgarsky, Indian-Himalayan areas, Northern America. In territory of the former USSR: the European part - all areas, except for Crimea; Caucasus - Ciscaucasia, Transcaucasia, Dagestan; Western Siberia - Upper-Tobolsk and Altay areas; Eastern Siberia - Yenisei, Angaro-Sajansky and Daursky areas; the Far East - Zeya -Bureinsky, Ussurijsky, Sakhalin areas; Central Asia - Pamir-Alai, Tien Shan.


Grows in meadows, in rarefied woods, on grassy slopes, in the alpine zone in mountains.

Use and economic value.

Leaves are used as a vegetable, fresh and cooked. The juice of the plant contains oxalic-sour potassium and a free acid. The plant is cultivated.

Reference citations:

Cherepanov S.K. 1995. Plantae Vasculares Rossicae et Civitatum Collimitanearum (in limics USSR olim)[List of Vascular Plants of Russia]. St. Petersburg: Mir I Semia. 990 pp. (In Russian)
Grossgeim, A.A. 1945. Flora of Caucasia. V. 3. Baku, Publishing House of Azerbaijan Acad. Science. 89 p. Appendix. (In Russian)
Hulten E., Fries M. 1986. Atlas of North European Vascular Plants, North of the Tropic of Cancer. Konigstein. V. 1-3: 1172.
Komarov, V.L., ed. 1939. Flora USSR. V. 5. Moscow-Leningrad: Publishing House of Acad. Science. 451-452 pp. (In Russian)
Krasnoborov, I.M. & L.I. Malyshev, ed. 1992. Flora of the Siberia. V. 5. Salicaceae-Amaranthaceae. Novosibirsk: Nauka. Map 117.
Malyshev, L.I. & G.A. Peshkova, ed. 1979. Flora of the Central Siberia. V. 1. Novosibirsk: Nauka. 278 p.
Schmidt V.M., ed. 1990. Areas of medicinal and related it plants of the USSR (the atlas). Leningrad: LGU. 37, 132-133 p.

© Smekalova T.N.


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