Scientific Name: Rumex acetosella
Also known as: Sheep Sorrel
Red sorrel is a summer perennial. The leaves alternate and form a basal rosette. The older leaves are arrowhead shaped with two basal lobes attached to a petiole. Leaves formed along the stem are more elongated and usually lack the basal lobes. The margins of the leaf are smooth. The leaves become thick and fleshy over the summer months. The root of red sorrel is a shallow yellow taproot, combined with multiple rhizomes. Flowers are produced from May to September. Male and female flowers are produced on separate plants. The male flowers are yellow-green and the female flowers are reddish-brown. The flowering stems of red sorrel can be one or many developing from a crown or rhizome. Red sorrel spreads by seeds and rhizomes. Red sorrel is found throughout the United States.
Red sorrel grows best in acidic soils. It can be used as an indicator of low soil pH, but a soil test is still recommended. Low nitrogen fertility encourages the growth of red sorrel. It is best not to try and physically remove plants, as segments of the rhizomes will remain in the soil and promotes additional plants. Drainage should also be checked as poor drainage encourages the growth of red sorrel.
Apply your post-emergence herbicide to red sorrel that is actively growing and in the seedling to flower stage of growth.
Weed Photos: Courtesy of Dr. Lambert McCartey. Clemson University. Clemson, SC.