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Rumex acetosella, Sheeps Sorrel


Sheep’s sorrel is a native perennial, which looks a little like Common sorrel but is smaller (to 20cm) and more slender.

A food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterfly, it is a good plant to grow in the spring meadow.

Dark green to brown and dark grey dyes can be obtained from the roots, they do not need a mordant.

Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Sheep's sorrel is a detoxifying herb, the fresh juice of the leaves having a pronounced diuretic effect.

Can be sown at an time of year.

Succeeds in most soils, preferring a moist moderately fertile well-drained soil in a sunny position. Although a plant of acid soils, it can tolerate some alkalinity.

Edible uses:

Leaves - raw or cooked. A delicious lemon-like flavour, most people consider them too strong to use in quantity, but they are excellent as a flavouring in mixed salads. The leaves should only be used in small quantities due to the oxalic acid content. The leaves can be used as thickeners in soups etc, they can also be dried for later use.

Root - cooked. It can be dried, ground into a powder and made into noodles.

Seed - raw or cooked. Easy to harvest, but the seed is rather small and fiddly to use.


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