RED SORREL, Rumex
acetosella L. 1, young plant; 2, seed; 3, entire
plant. Perennial, reproducing by creeping rootstocks and seeds.
Roots and rootstocks extensive but rather shallow. Stems
6 to 18 inches (15 to 45 cm) high, slender, upright, branched at top. Several
stems may arise from 1 crown. Leaves are arrow-shaped, 1 to 3 inches
(2.5 to 7.5 cm) long, thick, smooth, acid to the taste. Early growth consists
of a rosette of basal leaves. Flowers yellow to red, borne on a
raceme near top of plant. Male and female flowers borne on different plants.
Seeds 3-sided, reddish-brown, shiny. Hull reddish-brown, rough,
often adhering to the seed. Found mainly in pastures and meadows,
sometimes in lawns. Persists in areas of poor drainage, low soil fertility,
and little competition.