Rumex acetosa
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Rumex acetosa

sour dock
herb patience
patience dock

  family polygonaceae 
  genus rumex 

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Genus  Rumex Species  acetosa Variety  Cultivar  Common names  sorrel   syre   sour dock   herb patience   patience dock Family  POLYGONACEAE Specimen number  S12060 Data source  ColorNat p24;DyePl p67;HtZn p164;MedPl p262;UnVeg p369
Life cycle
Life form  Terrestrial Life cycle  Annual Life span  1 year Annual cycle  Not applicable Stature  Flower Growth form  Not applicable Growth habit  Various Overall height  1' - 3' Overall spread   
Sunshine  Full sun Water  Moist Optimal soil texture  Soil texture 04 Acceptable soil pH  Neutral USDA hardiness  USDA zones 04a-08b AHS heat zones  Heat zones 12-02 Sunset climate zones  Not classified
Suitable for gardens  yes Nursery  Unknown Compost  no Size at acquisition  Unknown Garden location  Unknown Garden notes  This whole plant as well as the roots and the leaves has been used in traditional fabric dyeing. A range of possible colors can be produced by Rumex acetosa including yellow, pink and greenish-yellow. Sorrel is used in Norway for dyeing. Herb patience (also known as patience dock, sorrel or sour dock) can survive very cold winters with annual averages as low as -30 Fahrenheit. Rumex acetosa is known as syre in Norwegian. It needs a bit of a cold spell with temperatures below 15 Fahrenheit to do its best. This plant needs summer days with high heat. This species likes full sun. It likes moist soils.
Special qualities
Tolerates drought  no Tolerates high humidity  no Tolerates seaside conditions  no Insect resistant  no Disease resistant  no Deer resistant  no Best uses    Symbiosis  Attracts butterflies  no Attracts hummingbirds  no Autumn foliage  no Colorful berries  no Desirable qualities    Other interest    Other interest color  Other interest period   
Adverse factors
Common pests  Poisonous parts  Poisonous indications  Internal poison  no Dermatologic poison  no Livestock poison  no Mechanical injury  no Hay fever pollen    Hay fever season    Adverse qualities   
Herbal medicine
Medicinal properties  detoxifier Medicinal parts  Aerial parts Has medicinal uses  yes Do not self-administer  no Do no use if pregnant  no Legally restricted  no Toxicity precautions  Medicinal notes  It is tart and juicy. The list of beneficial vitamins and minerals found in Rumex acetosa is impressive; notably vitamin A, vitamin C and iron are all present. Herb patience (sometimes called patience dock, sorrel or sour dock) if frequently used as a flavoring. This plant is most frequently used cooked. This species may have beneficial uses as a detoxifier. The plant parts used in herbal preparations are the aerial parts.
Traditional uses
Parts used  Traditional uses  Contemporary uses  Fragrance  sour lemon tasting leaves Fragrance parts  Leaves Fragrance intensity    Fragrance category    Dye parts  Whole plant   Roots   Leaves Dye color  yellow,pink,greenish-yellow
Propagule  Seed Pollination method    Planting style  Clumps Crop spacing  4" Row spacing    Cold frame  8 to 10 weeks Planting period  May 01 - May 31 Harvesting period    Frost tolerance  Hardy Heat requirement  Any Fertilizer  Nitrogen Time to harvest  spring to fall
Is edible  yes Culinary uses  Cooked   Flavoring Nutritional value  Vitamin A   Vitamin C   Iron Edible parts  Leaves Description of edible parts Flavor / texture  tart and juicy
Horticulture notes  May is normally the best time to begin planting. Provide 4" spacing when grown in quantity. Harden in a cold frame for 8 to 10 weeks prior to setting out. Nitrogen is required for optimal growth. The best harvesting period is spring to fall. Rumex acetosa is typically propagated by seed. Herb patience (in some places called patience dock, sorrel or sour dock) is thought to originate from Norway.
Tag needs printing  no Collection notes  Rumex acetosa has an annual life cycle. Leaves: Herb patience (locally known in some parts as patience dock, sorrel or sour dock) has narrow leaves.

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Last reviewed November 01, 2004   


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