Sheep Sorrel
(Sheep Sorrel - Red Dock - Red Sorrel)
Rumex acetosella
Polygonaceae (Buckwheat) Family

The plant is an upright sour-tasting weed. Its preferred habitat is open sites, especially sour soils. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

The leaves are arrowhead-shaped and long; measuring about two inches.

Flowers are small and clustered on a stem that measures about one half the length of the main stalk. The calyx is in six parts; no petals. Male flowers are nodding on jointed stalks. Female flowers have the fruit protruding from deciduous sepals. The flowers are reddish-green; male and female flowers on separate plants. Flowers occur in early summer.

Fruit is a shiny golden brown seed.

The plant is especially favored by soils low in nutrients. In pure stands the plants are sufficiently showy to be attractive. Bees and small butterflies are the primary pollinators. The seeds are eaten by ground-feeding birds and the leaves are eaten by small game.

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