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Rumex scutatus - L.

Common Name Buckler-Leaved Sorrel, French sorrel
Family Polygonaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards Plants can contain quite high levels of oxalic acid, which is what gives the leaves of many members of this genus an acid-lemon flavour. Perfectly alright in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since the oxalic acid can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. The oxalic acid content will be reduced if the plant is cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition[238].
Habitats Old walls and mountain pastures[17, 244].
Range Europe. Occasionally naturalized in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Rumex scutatus Buckler-Leaved Sorrel, French sorrel


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Rumex scutatus Buckler-Leaved Sorrel, French sorrel

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Rumex scutatus is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to July, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Ground Cover; East Wall. In. South Wall. In. West Wall. In.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw or cooked[2, 4, 12, 14, 27, 33]. A delicious lemon-like flavour[183], most people find them overpowering if used in quantity, but they make a delightful addition to the salad bowl and can also be used as a pot-herb[K]. This species has less acid leaves and so is often preferred to sorrel (R, acetosa)[238]. The leaves should be used sparingly due to the oxalic acid content[4].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antiscorbutic  Astringent  Diuretic  Laxative  Refrigerant

The leaves are antiscorbutic, astringent, diuretic, laxative and refrigerant[4, 238]. They are rarely used as a specifically medicinal plant.

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Other Uses

Dye

The cultivar 'Silver Shield' makes a good, if rampant, ground cover beside paths and at the front of borders[238]. Although no specific mention has been made for this species, dark green to brown and dark grey dyes can be obtained from the roots of many species in this genus, They do not need a mordant[168]. A dynamic accumulator gathering minerals or nutrients from the soil and storing them in a more bioavailable form - used as fertilizer or to improve mulch.

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife  Dynamic accumulator  Food Forest  Ground cover

Cultivation details

A very easily grown plant, succeeding in most soils but preferring a moist moderately fertile well-drained soil in a sunny position[200]. Prefers a rather dry soil[4, 27]. Established plants are drought tolerant[200]. Plants often self-sow freely in the garden[K]. Buckler-leafed sorrel is occasionally cultivated for its edible leaves[61, 105]. There are some named varieties that have been selected for their ornamental value[238]. A food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterfly[30]. For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a clumper with limited spread [1-2].

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is rapid, the seedlings can be pricked out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and are planted out in early summer[K]. It should also be possible to sow the seed in situ in mid spring[K]. Division in spring. Division is easy at any time in the growing season, though the plants establish better in the spring[K]. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Rumex abyssinicusSpinach RhubarbPerennial3.0 -  LMHSNM10 
Rumex acetosaSorrel, Garden sorrelPerennial0.6 3-7  LMHSNM533
Rumex acetosellaSheeps Sorrel, Common sheep sorrelPerennial0.3 4-8 FLMHSNM431
Rumex alpinusAlpine Dock, Munk's rhubarbPerennial1.2 4-8 MLMHSNM42 
Rumex angiocarpusCommon sheep sorrelPerennial0.3 0-0  LMHSNM10 
Rumex aquaticusRed Dock, Western dockPerennial1.8 0-0  LMHSNWeWa13 
Rumex arcticusArctic DockPerennial0.0 -  LMHSNWe21 
Rumex arifoliusMaiden SorrelPerennial1.2 -  LMHSNM10 
Rumex berlandieriamamastlaPerennial0.6 -  LMHSNM10 
Rumex browniiSwamp DockPerennial0.6 -  LMHSNM20 
Rumex bucephalophorusred dockAnnual/Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNDM10 
Rumex conglomeratusSharp Dock, Clustered dockPerennial1.0 0-0  LMHSNM12 
Rumex crispusCurled Dock, Curly dockPerennial0.6 4-8  LMHSNM230
Rumex daiwoosour dockPerennial1.0 -  LMHSNMWe12 
Rumex dentatustoothed dockAnnual/Biennial0.6 -  LMHSNM11 
Rumex gmelinii Perennial1.0 -  LMHSNMWe10 
Rumex graminifoliusGrassleaf sorrelPerennial0.1 0-0  LMHSNM10 
Rumex hastatus Perennial1.0 -  LMHSNDM22 
Rumex hydrolapathumGreat Water DockPerennial1.8 5-9  LMHSNMWeWa11 
Rumex hymenosepalusCanaigre, Canaigre dockPerennial1.0 0-0  LMHSNM22 
Rumex japonicus Perennial1.0 -  LMHSNM20 
Rumex longifoliusdooryard dockPerennial1.2 -  LMHSNM11 
Rumex maritimusGolden DockAnnual0.5 -  LMHSNMWe12 
Rumex mexicanusMexican DockPerennial1.0 -  LMHSNM12 
Rumex nepalensis Perennial1.2 -  LMHSNM12 
Rumex obtusifoliusRound-Leaved Dock, Bitter dockPerennial1.0 4-8  LMHSNM120
Rumex occidentalisWestern DockPerennial1.8 -  LMHSNM11 
Rumex patientiaHerb PatiencePerennial1.5 5-10  LMHSNM310
Rumex paucifoliusFewleaved Dock, Alpine sheep sorrelPerennial0.0 0-0  LMHSNMWe10 
Rumex pulcherFiddle DockPerennial0.5 -  LMHSNDM10 
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