Plant Image
Flower stalk
Aspen Creek Tr - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Rumex acetosella - common sheep sorrel

Synonyms: Acetosella acetosella, Acetosella tenuifolia, Acetosella vulgaris, Rumex angiocarpus, Rumex tenuifolius
Other Common Names: red sorrel
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Polygonaceae

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Aspen Creek Tr
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Aspen Creek Tr
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Aspen Creek Tr
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Introduced   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: Upright perennial with 2-1/2 inches long leaves clustered at the base and along stems; tiny flowers are clustered on elongated stems.
Identification notes: Rhizomatous; erect, simple grooved stems without hairs; arrow-shaped leaves, basal leaves spreading; flowers unisexual (male and female sex on different plants), sepals and petals green or purple, reddish with age.
Height: 4 to 24 inches


Habitat Description: Roadsides, cultivated fields, waste places, disturbed areas, lawns, meadows, railroad gravels, sandy and muddy shores.
Plant Communities: Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 5500 - 8500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Green or purplish, reddish     Shape: Regular in elongated clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: May - Aug
Description: Male and female flowers are usually on separate plants. Flowers are 6-parted, borne in narrow, elongated flower heads, becoming reddish with age.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Other     Leaf Margin: Lobed     Leaf Attachment: Basal and alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Upper leaves 1 to 3 inches long and smooth with a pair of lobes at base. Lower leaves are arrow-shaped. The stems are slender and reddish in color. Extensive horizontal roots can reach depths of 5 feet.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Brown or dark brown   
Fruit Type: Achene
Seed Notes: Seeds are reddish or golden brown with rust brown hulls that adhere to seeds. Seeds can remain viable in soil for 10 to 20 years.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2022
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