WSU Whatcom County Extension

Integrated Pest Management for Blueberries

Red Sorrel

(Rumex acetosella)

Perennial Broadleaves

 

Red Sorrel

Habitat Characteristics

Weed of turfgrass, landscapes, and nursery crops. It is often found on, but not limited to, acid soils and areas with poor drainage, low nitrogen, and little competition from other species.

 

Identification

This upright weed grows to ½ - 2 feet on somewhat woody stems; branching occurs mostly at the upper parts of the stems. Leaves are arrow shaped with lobes at base of the narrow blades and occur alternately on the hairless stems. The flowers are in loose clusters on the sparsely leaved upper parts of the branching stems. This dioecious plant has red-brown female flowers and yellow-green to red-orange male flowers on separate plants. The seeds are glossy, reddish-brown and triangular in shape. Red sorrel is a perennial weed with creeping roots and rhizomes.

 

Life History

Reproduction is by seeds and rhizomes. Rhizome buds sprout in early spring and produce basal rosettes. Flowers are produced from May to September. Foliage often turns yellowish in late autumn, but plants typically are green throughout the year.

 

Management

Cultural Techniques

     - Frequent cultivation can control red sorrel

     - Hand removal and mowing can control red sorrel

Chemical Techniques

     - See Herbicide Efficacy Table (pdf)

 

Web References

USDA – NRCS Plant Profile, Common Sheep Sorrel
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=RUAC3&photoID=ruac3_3v.jpg

University of California IPM, Weed Gallery, Red sorrel
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/WEEDS/red_sorrel.html

Invasive Species, The Source for Information and Images of Invasive & Exotic Species, Common Sheep Sorrel
http://www.invasive.org/browse/subject.cfm?sub=6331

B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Common Sheep Sorrel
http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/weedguid/sheepsor.htm

Weeds B.C., Sheep Sorrel
http://www.weedsbc.ca/weed_desc/sheep.html

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WSU Whatcom County Extension • 1000 N. Forest St., Bellingham, WA 98225 • (360) 778-5800 • whatcom@wsu.edu