Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Heartwing Sorrel - Rumex hastatulus   Baldwin
Members of Polygonaceae:
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Section 6 » Order Polygonales » Family Polygonaceae
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AuthorBaldwin
DistributionThroughout the Coastal Plain, including the Outer Banks, west to the Triangle area and southern Piedmont; ranges inland to Granville, Iredell, Catawba, and Polk counties.

NY southward in the Coastal Plain to central FL, TX, and NM. Northward far inland to southern IN and KS. Scarce in the Piedmont and absent in Mountains.
AbundanceCommon to abundant in most of the Coastal Plain and Sandhills; fairly common to common in the southern Piedmont, but scarce in the northeastern Piedmont. Not common in the northeastern Coastal Plain.
HabitatDry, sandy, acid soils of fallow fields, fallow croplands, roadsides, neglected yards, other disturbed areas. Behaves as a non-native species, but definitely is native to the eastern US. In early spring, fields may be colored reddish by it, often mixed with blue flowers of Canada Toadflax (Linaria canadensis) to produce a pleasing visual effect.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting March-June.
IdentificationHeartwing Sorrel is typically 1-2 feet tall, with several basal and lower stem leaves that have 2 basal, sharp lobes (hastate). The stem has stiffly ascending branches that produce densely-flowered, reddish-tinged inflorescences. Sepals grow prominent heart-shaped wings. The non-native and equally abundant Sheep Sorrel (R. acetosella) is very similar, but its sepals do not form wings and it is a much shorter plant (up to 1 foot tall versus 1-2 feet tall in Heartwing Sorrel).
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Hastate-leaved Dock, Heartwing Dock
State RankS5
Global RankG5
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