Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Sheep Sorrel - Acetosa acetosella   (L.) Mill.
Members of Polygonaceae:
Members of Acetosa with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Family Polygonaceae
Author(L.) Mill.
DistributionThis species had its genus name changed in Weakley (2023); it was formerly Rumex acetosella. Throughout the state; likely in every county.

Native of Europe and western Asia; in N.A. throughout except the Far North.
AbundanceFrequent to locally abundant; can be the most numerous or obvious plant in fallow fields soon after abandonment.
HabitatDry to mesic soils of disturbed areas, waste areas, roadsides, railroads, barnyards, campuses, lawn weed, granitic flatrocks, rock outcrops, grassy balds, cropfields, pastures.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting March-November.
IdentificationSheep Sorrel is a familiar plant of weedy places owing to its long "spike" of dull reddish flowers. The stems are perennial and may grow to 1.5 feet tall, but usually less than a foot. The basal leaves are moderately long-stalked, the blades lance-shaped and with 2 lateral narrow lobes near the base. The stem leaves are similar but shorter-stalked. The inflorescences are axillary and terminal, slender or stringy looking, the flowers numerous in whorls of 5-8, reddish. In several respects it is a smaller version of the native A. hastatula, the major difference being the lack of sepal wings in A. acetosella.
Taxonomic CommentsThis and several other former Rumex taxa have been moved to Acetosa, by Weakley (2023).

Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
State Status
US Status
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B.A. SorrieRoadside, Glendon-Carthage Road, May 2015. MoorePhoto_non_natural
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