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A picture of a Sorrel


Rumex acetosa

Also known as

Garden Sorrel, Sorrel Dock, Sour Dock, Common Sorrel, Green Sorrel, Meadow Sorrel, Oseille, Sour dock, Dock

Photo by natalia_Texas (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








1 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Sorrel

A photo of Sorrel
A photo of Sorrel

Sorrel Overview

An ancient, popular herb that used to be a regular ingredient in food since ancient times, and has enjoyed a revival. Sorrel saved many sailors from scurvy thanks to its high Vit C content. It is a slender, perennial herb with deep roots ​and long arrow-shaped leaves. The leaves and flowers have a characteristic tangy, sour taste. It is low maintenance and related to rhubarb. Occasionally sold in the UK under the names of Zuring (NL) or Oseille (FR).

Common problems with Sorrel

Aphids that attack sorrel can be handled by pinching out infested areas or hosing the aphids off the plants.The caterpillars of butterflies and moths feed on the leaves.

Sorrel Companion Plants

How to harvest Sorrel

Leaves are harvested while they are still young from 60 days after sowing. Seeds should be cut off while still green, because sorrel reseeds easily and can become invasive.

How to propagate Sorrel


Sow in spring; 2cm deep and 30 - 50 cm apart. Thin out after 7 weeks. It takes a full season for sorrel to establish well in the garden.


Divide the plant in every 3 to 5 years in Spring to avoid reseeding and to renew the plant.

Special features of Sorrel

Crop rotation

Medium feeder

Other uses of Sorrel

Culinary (leaves used to flavour sauces)


Historically, its high Vit C made it a cure for scurvy. Benefits for eyesight, immune system, digestion, strong bones and circulation. Contains iron, Vit A, potassium, antioxidant elements, and fiber.


Leaves have a tart taste, and are eaten fresh, pureed or cooked. Tastes best in early Spring, but turns bitter later in the season. Pairs well with goat cheese, eggs and chicken.

Planting For Butterflies - Host/Food Plants

Include these plants in your garden for butterflies to hatch out caterpillars on.

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