Rumex acetosa (Sour Dock, Garden Sorrel) - photos and description

Female flowers in above photo, are 1 mm in diameter, plant just starting to flower

Male flower in above photo, are 4 mm in diameter, plant just starting to flower

Stem leaf in above photo

Basal leaf in above photo, leaf is sagittate

Basal leaf in above photo, leaf is sagittate

General: Stout, erect perennial, inflorescence tall and narrow. Plants glabrous, stems are angled. Very short hairs on bottom of main stem and on the nerve on leaf undersides.

Flowers: Numerous, small, greenish in narrow, leafless, terminal panicles. Plants are dioecious. We measured female flowers at 1 mm diameter, and male flowers at 4 mm diameter.

Leaves: Leaves sagittate. Basal leaves with long petioles; stem leaves alternate, clasping the stem. Leaves reduced in size upwards. We measured a the blade of a lower leaf at 22 cm long by 7 cm wide, and an upper stem leaf at 9.5 cm long by 4 cm wide.

Height: We measured plants to 130 cm tall.

Habitat: Disturbed soil, ditches, waste ground.

Abundance: Fairly common.

Origin: Introduced.

How to identify this species of Rumex: Plants dioecious, leaves sagittate (Taxonomic Reminder for Recognizing Saskatchewan Plants). This is the only Rumex species in SK with sagittate leaves.

Dioecious = flowers of only one sex on each plant; sagittate = shaped like an arrowhead and with the basal lobes pointing downwards.

When and where photographed: Photos taken July 1st, along railroad track, boreal forest, about 350 km north of Regina, SK, and July 28th in a roadside ditch south of Chaplin, about 150 km west of our home in Regina, SK.